Spotify

A family-friendly music streaming option: Create your own playlists to share.

Why the Gold Star status: Tap into professionally curated playlists or the most popular user-generated ones and tune in by activity, mood or decade. With the premium plan, you can now stream over Alexa (across multiple Echo devices). If you hear a catchy tune when you’re out and about, you can Shazam it and save it to a spotify playlist.

Investment required: 90 seconds or less to download and set-up the app.

Cost:Family plans start at $14.99/month

Find it on the App Store

Shazam

Dying to know what song is playing? Name that tune and save it to your favorite playlist.

Why the Gold Star status: You hear a catchy tune playing, and you want to know what it is. And ideally, you want to save it to a playlist and jam out to it at the gym or have a dance party with your kids.

-Identifies most songs within seconds

-Enables you to add it to your playlist with one tap (both for Apple’s Music and Spotify)

Investment required: 2 minutes to download and setup.

Cost: Free

Find it on App Store

Libby

Knew you could download ebooks from the library, but didn’t know how? Libby makes it easy!

Why the Gold Star status: Visit your local library has without ever having to leave your house.  Borrow thousands of ebooks and audiobooks with just a library card.

  • Access multiple libraries in your city with one library card
  • Send books to a Kindle.  
  • Keep track of a child’s reading history
  • Download a picture book with read-along audio.

It’s great for you and your kids too!

Investment required: Less than 5 minutes

Cost: Free

Find it on the App Store

Kindle App

Turn your iPad or iPhone into a Kindle to have any book you want to read at your fingertips!

Why the Gold Star status: Turn an iPad or iPhone into an e-reader–you don’t actually have to buy a Kindle to read Kindle e-books. This is super-helpful when your child is first learning to read. Subscribe to Kindle Unlimited, and your child will have easy access to hundreds of books which you can filter by reading level in the Amazon store here. You can also zero in on which ones are Kindle Unlimited eligible. If you want to make sure, your child is locked into the Kindle app, use Guided Access on the iPad. To encourage reading goals, you can set the timer, and upon completion, the device will automatically shut off.

Cost: Free

Find it on the App Store

Audible

For long roadtrips, long commutes or when you just want edutainment for your kids.

Why the Gold Star Status: Audiobooks are a great way to jumpstart your child’s imaginations and can help to foster an interest in reading.  Use Audible a mental getaway if you’re short on time but long on commute or want a great family bonding experience. Audible syncs wirelessly across devices, and Amazon’s Whispersync technology enables you to seamlessly transfer from an ebook to an audiobook version without ever losing your place.

Find out more

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