Have you noticed how many kids sitting in restaurants are occupied with a parent’s smart phone while the adults yammer on about one thing or another? I’ll admit that my internal jury is still out on that — but I’m pretty sure I feel about this like I do anything we use to “keep kids busy” while we do what we want to do or need to do. As long as it is used in moderation and there is balance in how much we outsource the care and development of our kids to others and to technology, it’s fine.
After a recent experience at a restaurant where there were slightly board kids, I realized that I don’t have much on my iPhone that will appropriately engage younger children — especially compared to what is available out there.
I suppose that experience prepared me to be more interested than I might have been when I heard* about a FREE app (iPhone, iPad and Android, as I understand it) which features the stories of Scripture in comic book format.
On the iPad you get views that resemble a page (like the image above) while on the smaller devices you scroll from image to image — something that works quite well and is quite intuitive.
Each week they make one comic book for The Children’s Bible app available as a free download — or you can purchase various books for prices that range from $1.99 to $4.99. I downloaded the one available this week when I grabbed the app and like the way it works quite well. I figure this will be one share with the kids of friends as something for them to explore while the grown-ups talk about whatever it is we talk about.
One cool feature is the ability to email or otherwise share favorite screen shots directly from the device.
Even more cool than that is that is comes in more than just English. The stories are available in English, Catalan, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish. (The fact that it’s available in Catalan as well as these others gave me a clue that the developers and distributors of this app are from Barcelona. In fact, if you go to their website, you’ll find that the content is also available for the Kindle and other eReaders as well as in a printed version. )
Any time we can engage people at any age with the stories of God’s faithful love, extravagant grace, and perfect holiness, that’s a good thing. This might be a good way to introduce kids to God’s Word in a fresh format. Maybe you’re kids (or the ones in your life) are very familiar with Scripture and this might seem ho-hum to them. Consider using this to introduce a second or third language to them — or to enhance their ongoing learning of another language.
If you do use this app, I’d love to hear about it in the comments here on the blog. You may find a way to use these that will encourage others to engage as well.
[* BuzzPlant provides me with free stuff on occasion in exchange for a commitment from me to honestly share my observations about and experiences with said product via my blog. Recently they’ve also pointed me to things like upcoming television specials/movies or an online children’s game. They neither pay me for my work nor control what I say. Anyhow, that’s where I learned about this app.]