by Phoenix Desertsong, Published Author
While harder to find than regular ebooks, interactive ebooks, also known as multimedia ebooks, can be lots of fun for children of all ages. Many of these ebooks are interactive books for preschoolers, but they exist for older children, as well. These interactive multimedia ebooks have audio and video features that can add lots of educational and entertainment value beyond the original book itself. While not all are educational ebooks, the interactivity makes them perfect for reading time or homeschool
“Old School” Interactive Ebooks for Kids
Interactive ebooks for kids have actually existed long before ebooks became even a thought on the internet. Some regular kids books actually came with a CD with an interactive version of the book or activities related to the book. They used to be only available at larger bookstores and by special order. Today, you can still buy them online, but some places allow you to download them.
What’s great about interactive ebooks is that your child not only can interact with the book, but can even sometimes alter events within the story itself. No longer are you passively reading the story, but actively being involved with it. Also, by being interactive, there are lots of opportunities for the story to reinforce other reading skills, such as vocabulary or phonics. This makes even older interactive ebooks good learning tools for students.
“Old school” multimedia ebooks either ran directly off of a CD or comes as an executable (EXE) file that you can download. This is because it’s not a document, but instead a program. Some of them even have the ability to have multiple users and allow the child to enter his or her name to personalize the experience. Some even allow you to put the child’s picture into the story, with adult assistance, of course.
Modern Interactive Ebooks
Today, there are still plenty of multimedia ebooks, but they are available today on Amazon KIndle or as apps from the Windows Store, the Google Play store, iTunes, and other similar software download platforms. They offer the same interactivity as the older multimedia ebooks, but often with a small download size and no need for a disc. These newer ebooks are much easier to find and much less expensive than the “old school” multimedia ebooks on CD.
It’s still possible to find some multimedia ebooks in the computer software aisle of big box stores or office supply stores. The ones you can find in these sorts of places tend to be very inexpensive.
Finding Older Interactive Ebooks For Download or Sale
Not every “old school” multimedia ebook has made its way into modern app stores. Some older ebooks may also not be compatible with newer computers. However, if you happen to come across them and you can get them to work, they are still a lot of fun, although they are limited to being run on a personal computer.
If you’re looking for multimedia ebooks not available in your local retail stores, you’ll have to turn to eBay, Amazon, and other online retail websites. This is where they can become expensive. But, it’s also possible to find them at thrift stores or even yard sales. Some of them are even highly collectible if the disc is in top condition.
Whether they’re old or new, multimedia and interactive ebooks can greatly encourage young readers by allowing them to be more actively involved with their favorite stories. Hopefully, by playing along with these interactive books, their interest in regular books will increase dramatically. They were effective back in the 1990’s and early 2000’s, and interactive ebooks for students and kids definitely aren’t going anywhere.
by Phoenix Desertsong, Parent of Three
Ebooks are a hot commodity on the internet. Many of them are given away for free to promote products and in marketing for companies. But, best of all, free ebooks are a great way for up and coming authors to gain an easier chance of discovery and name recognition. So, it's often possible to find great free ebooks for kids. Still, witheverything that comes for free, there will be some that won't be worth your time. So, here's how to find the best free ebooks for your children.
Find Free Ebooks from Up-and-Coming Children’s Authors
It’s quite common for aspiring book writers and novelists to turn to distributing free ebooks online to get their work out into the world. There are many reasons authors do this. Some are sick of being rejected by literary agents and publishers and decide to self-publish their work. By giving out a free ebook or two, up-and-coming authors can get people to visit their website and sign up for mailing lists. Many self-published authors have done extremely well this way.
Despite what some people may think, many authors who put out free ebooks are actually publishing quality work. Keep in mind that publishers tend to reject books before they even see anything of the actual manuscript. Publishers will typically reject anything that doesn’t fit in a certain genre or doesn't have an obvious market.
In particular, many children’s book writers have turned to giving away free ebooks for their first couple of books in order to build their audience. Sometimes, small presses and literary agents who are happy to take a chance on indie authors will discover them this way. Most of the time, these authors are happy to just build their own book business. So, if you discover a quality free ebook from an up-and-coming children’s author - or any author for that matter - be sure to share it with your friends and family.
Free Children’s Ebooks Are Easy to Find, But Which Are Good?
There are so many websites on which you can find free children’s ebooks. Of course, the major online booksellers like Amazon and Barnes and Noble are a great place to start. Kindle and Nook are happy to let authors offer ebooks for free just to build their sales rankings.
But, there are also plenty of independent websites that exist almost entirely for the purpose of distributing free children’s ebooks. One good way of getting free kids’ ebooks is to join kids clubs online. These clubs tend to send you free children’s ebooks monthly or even weekly just by signing up by email.
Most sites that let you download free ebooks will require that you register with the site by email. While most sites are safe, be aware that you may receive a lot of unwanted email due to sites that will sell your email to mailing lists. How sites plan to use your email address should be in the fine print so look at this before you sign up with any sites.
Don't pay subscription fees to any free ebooks sites because authors typically give everything away for free. Always beware of sites that ask you to sign up for a free trial to download any books. While many of these are also legiitate book clubs that are actually no obligitation if you cancel before the trial period ends, read the fine print.
Beware of educational websites that will be sneaky by asking for your PayPal email address. Do NOT sign up for these as they are trying to subscribe you for auto payments, which may still remain active even if you cancel. While PayPal is good about getting you your money back if you have proof of cancellation, it can take ten days for that money to be returned. Save yourself the headache and avoid them. it's a common scam, and even if you are willing to pay, they often don't provide what they promise.
Always Look Over Free Ebooks Entirely Yourself Before Reading Them With Your Child
Before reading any ebook with your child, definitely be sure there will be no unwelcome surprises. While discovering a book together can be fun, you never know what you'll find in something you downloaded for free from the internet. Unless you know the author, even if you got it from Amazon or Barnes and Noble, it's better safe than sorry to know the entire book’s contents before sharing it with your child. Most of the time it will be fine, but you never know what strange things a free ebook will have.
Be aware that some of these sites have educational ebooks with certain political or religious slants. You will want to review ebooks carefully before actually showing them to your children, of course. Sometimes these slants and agendas are hidden within the book and aren’t openly advertised. Keep this in mind when downloading free children’s ebooks, even from major retailers.
Free ebooks for kids are an awesome resource for homeschool or reading time. Just be careful what ebook sites you use and look over what you download carefully. You can find some great educational and entertaining resources for your child thanks to free ebooks.
by Phoenix Desertsong, Parent of Three
Many types of ebooks are available for children. While there are many great children’s fiction ebooks released every year, there are also plenty of new nonfiction, educational ebooks to check out. Educational ebooks aren’t just for teaching children about a subject they’re curious about. There are several other benefits that educational ebooks for kids offer.
Educational Ebooks for Kids Are Great Supplements for Homeschool Reading
Homeschoolers are happy to use educational ebooks to supplement their child’s studies. Not only are they less expensive than traditional workbooks in many cases, there are plenty even available for free. There are plenty of ebooks that are usable as teaching aids in subjects or topics that your child may be struggling with in school.
Like many children’s ebooks, many educational ebooks for kids are interactive. Some have silly songs or memorable, colorful animations. These can help children to memorize certain facts or better understand certain concepts.
Educational Ebooks for Kids Include Textbooks
To keep up with the exploding popularity of educational ebooks, some traditional textbooks are alsonow available in ebook form. Often, they are available at far cheaper prices than the hardcover versions. From composition to math to social studies, you can find online textbooks, sometimes even for free.
Not only are textbook ebooks great for homeschool, but also for supplemental learning. They also help for non-traditional schools or children with disabilities that may not be able to handle traditional textbooks.
Educational Ebooks Are Great for Small Kids
Small children love looking at and interacting with ebooks. Many of the ebooks designed for smaller children include music, slideshows, and other activities. Through having fun, small kids can actually learn a lot. These interactive educational ebooks are great for helping kids learn their ABCs, numbers, colors, shapes, and much more.
With the easy availability and portability of educational ebooks, it’s not surprising how popular they have become. Just using your favorite search engine, you can find plenty of free or inexpensive educational ebooks on just about any topic or subject your child likes or needs to learn. At any age, there’s an educational ebook that can help with something in your child’s continuing education.
Lyn Lomasi is founder and owner of the Brand Shamans Content Community. Services include ordained soul therapy and healing ministry, business success coaching, business success services, handcrafted healing jewelry, ethereal and anointing oils, altar and spiritual supplies and services, handcrafted healing beauty products, and more!
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