When I asked to be on the review team for Planet 316 Story Bible and the companion Planet 316 Story Bible App I was thinking about my four year old but it turns out that my 10 year old enjoyed it as well. This is a beautifully illustrated children’s book of Bible stories and a really neat app by Planet 316 and WorthyKids/Ideals.
When we first started using it I would sit down with my four year old and let him pick the stories and we would use the app together. My 10 year old saw us looking at the book and app and asked to use it as well. While the stories were geared towards a younger audience she really enjoyed the technology aspect of it and it became something they could do together.
As you chose a story you could aim your phone or certain tablets (apple products) at the pages of the book and make the people and animals ‘come to life.’ They would move and talk on the screen adding an extra dimension to the reading experience. For example on the page where Noah is loading the Ark he says, “elephants check, giraffes check.” and if you touch the animals they make their animal sounds.
In looking at the book itself the illustrations are colorful and beautifully done. My son enjoyed looking through them even when he wasn’t able to use the app or have someone read to him. I also really liked that each story included the scripture reference for where it came from so that you could look it up and read the actual scripture if you chose to do so. Most of the stories are only a page or two which was a great length for keeping the attention of younger children.
We had the benefit of having this book and app for Easter this year so I used the stories leading up to Easter both with my son and on Easter Sunday in my Pre-K class at church. The children loved the stories. My son kept asking me to read them again. When I asked him his favorite stories he showed me the story where Adam was naming the animals and Noah’s Ark first but then he started showing me almost all of them and saying, “and this one.” I think it is safe to say he enjoyed all of the stories we have read so far.
My one complaint is that it was a big difficult to line up and see using my phone. The app worked on the phone but holding the book and lining up the small screen on my phone so that both myself and the children could see the characters on the phone screen was a little bit difficult. I think using a compatible tablet would make that a lot easier but we did not have a tablet that would work with the app at this time.
All in all I found this to be a fun and engaging activity to do with my four year old. I think it would be most engaging for the preschool and early elementary ages though as in our house, older siblings may enjoy using it with the younger children. This would not replace our family Bible time but was a great supplement. Check out the Planet 316 Story Bible and the companion Planet 316 Story Bible App and let me know what you think.
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