Thought Bubbles

Tablets are encouraging a new generation of readers by James Huggins

Increasingly evidence is emerging that tablets are not only harmless but can actually improve children's reading when used in conjunction with print books. Along with the radio interview with The National Literary Trust's Jonathan Douglas above, their recent research has been cited in numerous articles including the recent piece by Graeme Paton for The Telegraph.

It is generally accepted that tablets and screen are not harmful to children when, like anything else, used in sensible measures. This generation is the first to be raised with tablets and mobile devices from birth and it is certain that this will have an impact on how and when they experience books and reading. I've always thought that eBooks, or Me Books, provide experiences that compliment, rather than compete, with their print counterparts. Even for the same title we're confident that a Me Book is a faithful echo of the print edition adding a unique dimension. Similarly I always find the pop-up edition to feel quite different to the print original. It is this idea of the physical and digital as complimentary rather than competitive elements that underpins a lot of the work we do at Made in Me.

As far as the kids are concerned, they don't pay as much attention to formats as we grown ups do. Paper, Glass, Book, Game, Movie, Magazine, Toys... these things aren't nearly as important as the characters and stories they allow them to spend time with. They are all different shaped doors and windows into a child's imagination and as far as I'm concerned, the more the merrier.

They're never too young to start making games by James Huggins

With a 5 and a 7 year old who both love playing video games they often ask me how they might be able to make one. There are loads of amazing tools out there to help get children experimenting with game design and creation. Introductory coding tools like Scratch and the wonderful Hopscotch iPad app are brilliant but can still prove a touch technical and labour intensive for younger children. Needless to say there is a lot online in wildly varying degrees of quality but I wanted to share one we found this morning. A small site called Sploder allows you to design levels and styles for different types of classic game formats.

It took us minutes to get going and both the kids have been happily making their own games for the last hour, taking turns to play test each others levels and offering constructive feedback. It's awesome. I'm sure there are plenty of other resources out there so if you know of any, please leave a comment below. Game on!