Updated: May 31, 2022
I stumbled upon this application today, and I thought I MUST share it with you. I have been searching apps on my mobile and Google in vein for quality Arabic stories for kids. Most of the content I found was too dull and unappealing even to me, needless to say it might interest my fussy four year old. This was a heavenly find, after installing and uninstalling countless apps prior.
The app is called قصص عصافير: قصص أطفال (Asafir meaning bird, i.e. Bird Stories). I counted at least 107 stories, which include narrated audio and sound effects, starting from the simplest to the more complicated reading levels. The basic levels include the stories which mainly interested me, like "Let's Count with the Dinosaurs", "The Book of Opposites", "The Animal Book", and other simple stories revolving around topics like colors, transport, family members, letter groups, and much more. You are meant to start with the stories on top and progress to the next levels. You also get a story description before you can download.
You can download the app on Google play or itunes. It is an extension to the mother website: "3asafeer.com", an online digital library and platform, which aims to provide: " quality, cost-efficient, trackable resources for reading in Arabic for kids. Along with a wealth of aiding materials, resources & worksheets for teachers to use in the classroom. With leveled content, based on the latest research in child Arabic literacy education." "3asafeer.com" is my preferred personal choice so far, as you can access the stories online or through a downloadable smart phone app.
Angela and I had so much fun going through a few stories from this application today. We had never read stories in Arabic before. It was always English stories before bed. This was fun and best of all totally free. It saved a fortune, when i looked up the prices of Arabic learning stories and books for kids online. I could not understand why the prices were so expensive, which seemed to counter-effect the purpose of encouraging kids to learn Arabic and parents to buy the resources.
I am aware that just teaching her the alphabet and how write is not good on it's own. Nothing replaces the power and magic of reading. It's like the baking powder that makes the cake rise. Learning a language without reading would be an incomplete experience. Even if most of what the child is hearing at first may sound alien and new, with time it will all fall into place. Using audio books is a great tool for Arabic language learning immersion.
I can confirm that my daughter has really enjoyed reading the stories from the app, and she even picked up the Arabic numbers 1-10 from it. Any thoughts? Let me know by leaving a comment.
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