Nursery Rhyme App Promotes Parent and Child Learning Through Play

iTunes "Best New App" Free Download

Dr. Betsy Diamant-Cohen /

"Felt Board – Mother Goose on the Loose," a new nursery rhyme/flannel board app for the iPad, is designed to help librarians, parents and other caregivers foster curiosity and a love of learning in young children. Developed by Software Smoothie, it has been named a "best new app" by iTunes, where it is available free of charge. It is based on Dr. Betsy Diamant-Cohen's award-winning early literacy program, Mother Goose on the Loose, long offered in public libraries throughout the country.

Featuring nursery rhyme illustrations and sound recordings from the library series, "Felt Board – Mother Goose on the Loose" is a tool that will stimulate young imaginations. Together, children and caregivers are able to help Bo Peep track down her lost sheep, lead Jack and Jill up and down the hill, jump two Little Monkeys on and off the bed, and more.

"Technology and new media, used carefully and in moderation, can enhance, rather than replace, other important ways of learning," explains Dr. Diamant-Cohen. "This software, consistent with the Mother Goose on the Loose philosophy, encourages parent/child interaction."

"Felt Board - Mother Goose on the Loose' brings traditional Mother Goose rhymes to 21st century learning,…a must-have for those educating young children," notes Jackie Bryla, speech language pathology assistant and founder of ACT - Apps Consultation and Training. "Parents and educators alike can enjoy this app along with children. Sing songs, tap along with fun musical instruments, visually experience concepts like up / down with the felt board pieces and corresponding rhyme."

The app was created based on a recommendation by Cen Campbell, a children's librarian and founder of LittleeLit.com, a website dedicated to helping libraries incorporate digital media into their early literacy programming.  She has used both the original Felt Board app for the iPad and Mother Goose on the Loose in her program, and imagined bringing the two groups together to create an app. Ms. Campbell made the introductions and sparked the conversation and collaboration that led to a project that all are extremely proud of.

Dr. Betsy Diamant-Cohen, creator and executive director of Mother Goose on the Loose, has been developing educational programs for infants and toddlers since the early 1980s. Her books on early literacy and school readiness, and her highly innovative teaching methods recognize the importance of developing the "whole child." In June, Dr. Diamant-Cohen received the 2013 ASCLA Leadership and Professional Achievement Award for Mother Goose on the Loose, recognizing that the program "has revolutionized the way story times are presented to young children at libraries across the country."

Software Smoothie developers Mindy and David Douglas saw a natural connection between their goal of creating fun and educational, family-friendly apps that are developmentally appropriate and Mother Goose on the Loose. Software Smoothie follows best practice guidelines for children's apps and especially appreciates apps that encourage parents and children to explore and create together.

You can find the free download of the Mother Goose on the Loose app on the Software Smoothie website or directly in iTunes.