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Les Histoires Farfelues

People have asked me why I don’t rate the apps that I blog about. Truth is, most of the apps aren’t for me…they are for my kids. To truly rate the apps my children use, I feel  I need to give the apps the test of longevity. My children may love a new app once, but then not seek it out ever again. To be honest, I have not been able to successfully predict which apps my children will like best. For example, when I purchased and tried out “Les Histoires Farfelues” I did not think the kids were going to like it. In fact, I thought I had just wasted another $3 on an app that would go untouched, along with dozens of others.

I was wrong.

This is one of the first and only French apps that the kids seek out even when they are allowed a few minutes of free-choice on the iPad. They think it’s hilarious. You get to choose the characters and backgrounds. The characters can have either matching heads and legs or unmatched. It has fun sound effects and the stories are short. During story time, I usually tell them they both can have two stories but they always ask for more and I usually want to create my own mix-up after their turns are over as well. It has become kind of addicting for all of us…in the best sense of the term!

One thing I’d love to see added to the app is subtitles. I always like seeing the written word in my children’s apps. It gets them used to seeing the text and it helps them start to associate the sounds with the words.

We are all learning more French with this app. It includes vocabulary that is even above my head! Sometimes this may be a hindrance, and I fear the kids aren’t truly understanding everything that is being said, but I am not going to worry too much about that because they are having fun with French!

Why, though, do they love this app so much? Especially when initially I thought it was another wasted purchase!?!

farfelues

Now that I think about it, this app gives them something the others don’t. It gives them control over what the story becomes. They are the creators, so to speak, of their own story. As an educator, I understand the power of providing choices for learners. The smart people who created this app have very cleverly incorporated the users choices into every story. It is addicting and fun and I am sorry that I doubted its ingenuity!

If I had blogged and rated this app before giving it the test of time, I would have scored it low. Now that we have had it for several months, I see that the children are seeking it out ON THEIR OWN! (That is huge!) The rating has gone through the roof and I now recommend this app very highly to families learning French! The Sunny Earth kids love it! (Ages 4 and almost 6) Hope yours do, too!!!!!

Enjoy! C’est vraiment amusant!

 

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Starlinos

Starlinos is an sweet bedtime story that is available in French and English.  You have to buy the languages separately. I prefer to have all the languages choices in one app but seeing how we are really only using story apps in French, this isn’t a big deal. It’s just that I like to have the English version for my husband to hear first before he uses the French version with the kids. I am not going to buy the English version. This will just have to be an app that he has to figure out on his own…or better yet, the kids can tell him what’s going on! 

starlinosThe app has two choices for reading: “Raconte-moi” where the story is read aloud to you by a native speaker, and “Je lis moi-même” where you can read it yourself. Each page has some interactive parts. It doesn’t have too many bells and whistles, but enough to have a little interactive fun before turning to the next page. On the main page there is a page finder icon where you can skip to any page in the story.  Lastly, there’s a puzzle icon. The puzzle icon brings you to a xylophone where you can play the notes to animate two characters and some stars. I haven’t figured out if there’s a certain aspect that makes it a puzzle…I tried playing “twinkle, twinkle” but nothing magical happened other than the notes making the page animate.

The story is perfect for bedtime and seeing how we named our daughter after the sun, she was really enjoying all the talk about les étoiles! Our son enjoyed it, too! He was sad when it was over….always a good sign!