New iPad App Lets Parents Read Stories to Kids From Afar

Filed under: In The News, Bedtime, Books for Kids, Apps

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The new bedtime story reader? Credit: Getty Images

Once upon a time, long before computer games and DVDs, reading a story at bedtime was a treasured ritual for parents and their little ones. This snuggle time with Mom and Dad gave kids time to chill out and fall asleep in safe arms with loving voices whispering enchanting tales of dancing princesses and magical fairies.

But, now, busy parents don't have to be at their kid's bedsides to sing lullabies. A new iPhone and iPad app will take care of that for you.

"Nursery Rhymes with Story Time" is being marketed as a way for parents never to miss bedtime again -- even if they are across the globe away from their kids, London's Daily Mail reports.

It works like this: Parents plug a microphone into their iPhone to speak to their kid, while the child's touch screen guides her through "Humpty Dumpty," and a host of fairy tales, making the pages move, the newspaper explains.

At the end of the story, according to a video showcasing the app, Dad tells the kid to sleep tight and the child tucks himself in and falls asleep, no fussing.

The cost for this 21st century storyteller? You'll need an iPad for your kid ($499), an iPhone for you (starting at $49.99) and the app from iTunes ($3.99 a story).

The app is coming under fire from online groups who believe it could lead to a lack of bonding with children, the Daily Mail reports.

"There is no replacement for actually being there with your child," Ruth Whitehead, 37, who has a 2-year-old son, tells the Evening Standard. "It might be OK as a last resort or if you are away on business, but I fear it could just make parents lazy."

But, Chris Stevens of Atomic Antelope, which developed the app, tells the Daily Mail the discussion needs to happen.

"You can argue that it's a real shame having a child read a story through a cold slab of glass," Stevens tells the newspaper. "But, on the other hand, if the alternative is not having a story at all, I think it's a good option."

Would you use this app? Or are you sticking to books? Join the discussion on Facebook!

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.