I downloaded an educational app called Beanstack, which I learned about through my local library, for the purpose of reading to my 18-month-old daughter 1,000 books before kindergarten. Although I’m consistent in this, Beanstack keeps me on my toes with its reading challenges and book recommendations.

According to Beanstack’s website, founders Jordan and Felix have made sure the app “focused intently on making Beanstack the single best tool for facilitating reading programs, primarily in libraries and schools. Our personalized recommendation system remains part of our secret sauce and how we got started.”

One reading challenge Beanstack offers is “1,000 Books Before Kindergarten.” As the title suggests, I must read, well, 1,000 books to my child before she reaches kindergarten.

So far, it’s been great progress. I read at least 50 books for the challenge so far, with some of the titles repeated. One great thing about this challenge is that you can reread the same book and it will count toward the number. A favorite title of my child is “Around the World We Go!” by Margaret Wise Brown, the author of “Goodnight Moon.”

The app has badges to highlight milestones, suggests activities to do with your little one, and even has a list of recommended books to read to your child. The list features titles such as “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle, “Animals Should Definitely Not Wear Clothing” by Judi Barrett, and “The Story of Babar: The Little Elephant” by Jean De Brunoff. My daughter was especially entertained by “The Very Hungry Catepillar” because some pages have holes in them, indicating how the little protagonist has eaten through illustrations of the food. As I’m reading, I would poke my finger through the holes. Later on, my daughter would guide my finger through them.

Even without “1,000 Books Before Kindergarten” I’d still read a lot to my daughter, but the challenge gives me an extra push. Beanstack keeps me on track on what I read to my daughter and how often. The teachers at my daughter’s daycare tell me she likes to browse through books so much, a sign that she’s interested in them. It’s a joy for me to watch my child grow in multiple ways. 

I’m not affiliated with Beanstack nor am I getting compensated for writing about it on my blog. I just think it’s a great tool that parents can enjoy using with their children.

Teresa Edmond-Sargeant is an author of short stories, poetry, and (yet-to-be published) novels. She lives in Orlando, FL. Visit her website or her Amazon Author Page.