Magical Book Reader, a review with language tips!

magical book reader

Are you a speech language pathologist who is looking for a new therapy tool? Are you a parent who wants your child to become more excited about books?  Try this Magical Book Reader!

I was contacted by Magical Book Readers company a couple of weeks ago and was thrilled when I received it in the mail. After checking out their website, I was excited to try the reader because it seemed so easy to use with so many added benefits. The magical book reader is a simple device that you attach to any picture book. Once attached, you can record each page and then have the book saved on the reader, so the next time your child reads that book it is already recorded. The reader has a camera attached which is how it recognizes the page a child is reading. The magical book reader can record up to 50 books. To learn more about how to record books on the reader and see videos, click here.

When the magical book reader first arrived, I immediately began brainstorming how I could incorporate this device with my own children and during therapy. I loved how it was so easy to record the stories and that you can record other people’s voices as well. For example, Grandma can record a special book for your child. This can be very meaningful for a child! Using the reader with your child can be a bonding experience that is fun and engaging. If you are a working mom, you can record books for your child while you are at work so they can hear your voice throughout the day. When I left early for work one morning, my own daughter attached this device to a book I recorded and listened to it. She was so excited to read the book all by herself and hear my voice. The reader is also versatile because it can be recorded in any language since it’s digitized speech (human speech).

helpful tipsAs a speech language pathologist, I have tons of ideas in using this Magical Book Reader during therapy:

1. Record a social story (for more information on social stories, click here) on the magical book reader. Practice conversation with books that encourage appropriate social skills such as Elephant and Piggie books by Mo Willlems. For ideas on how to work on pragmatics with Elephant and Piggie books, click here. In my opinion, the reader does not look childish and could be used with older children as well. Attach the reader to adapted books as well!

2. Teach specific words and/or parts of speech. You can easily modify a book using the magical book reader. For example, if you are working on actions, record the words that you want to target in your session.  By making the vocabulary more simple in a book, there will be increased comprehension.

3. Since you are recording the book, you can use as much expression as your like! This can help teach a child punctuation markers and appropriate intonation. When you provide the appropriate expression when reading books, research finds that there is increased comprehension of the story. To read my article on using expression during book-reading time, click here.

4. Take turns! Try in a small group and each child can take turns recording the pages.

5. Improve literacy and phonemic awareness. This can be a great way for a child to practice reading words and sounds within a story. By taking turns with a partner, it will become fun and engaging.

6. Commenting! This is a perfect opportunity to comment because they will hear your voice, their voice and possibly other people’s voices. If you have a small group, they will naturally comment on how their voices sound and about the story. Encourage this  by making comments yourself and engaging in discussion.

7. Following directions. When recording the book, the child has to listen and follow directions. They have to press record at a certain time, the button to pause, etc.

8. Expanding vocabulary. By having a child hear the specific words read over and over again, they will learn the words more easily. Practice makes perfect! To see my recent post on expanding vocabulary, click here.

9. Improve narratives and sequencing abilities. With the magical book reader, a child can improve their narrative and sequencing abilities. For example with the book, Good News Bad News, you can record your own version of the story using the magical book reader. Once recorded, you can use the recordings for data collection and it can be written up as part of an assessment.

10. Increasing Mean Length of Utterance (increase sentence length). Using the magical book reader can provide an excellent speech model which can help them build sentences.

If you have any more ideas yourself, please comment!


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