“You know those viral videos where it looks like you’re spying on a text conversation? They vary in satisfaction, but they’re hard to turn away from. That’s sort of the concept behind Amazon Rapids, the chat-style storytelling app for kids ages 5-12. Young readers follow along as stories unfold through text bubbles. The app previously cost $2.99 a month, but it is now free on iOS, Android and Amazon Fire devices.
There are hundreds of original, professional voice-acted stories to choose from, varying by age and interest. For the youngest readers, many of the tales are extremely simplistic (“This red candy is hot. Hot hot hot”), but each word is highlighted as it is spoken, which can keep them engaged and help their brains make connections. To move the story along, they either tap on a character (in read-along mode) or scroll (in scroll mode).
The app also has a built-in glossary, so kids can look up definitions and hear pronunciations as they read, as well as an option to enable a dyslexic-friendly font. Moms and dads can check the parent dashboard for information about the number of words their kids have read and the types of stories they’re into.
Families can also listen to the most popular Amazon Rapids stories through the free Storytime Alexa skill. Just say, “Alexa, tell me a bedtime story” and grab a pillow.”