Children Education Apps: Marrying Learning and Fun
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Children of the second decade of the 21st century aren’t greatly different from kids of their age who were born at the end of the previous millennium. They are as agile, inquisitive, naughty, and reluctant to study as their peers twenty years ago. They are very much alike in all aspects except one – modern kids are extremely technology-savvy. Being exposed to digitalization practically from the cradle, 5 year olds of today can handle iPhone or Kindle Fire tablet pretty well, surprising parents who may have issues with discovering all functionalities of their gadgets.
Realizing such a wicked faculty of the younger generation, it would be a felony not to make use of it to some noble end. And what is the priority for every boy and girl – at least how adults see it? Naturally, they will hardly mention excelling at an Android video game. Parents and teachers would, first of all, envisage the educational process as the primary sphere, where the digital penchant of contemporary youngsters can work miracles. And a surefire recipe for reaching out to smartphone-obsessed children is to install the best learning app for kids on their device.
Basics of Selecting an Education App for Kids
App developers have become aware of the ubiquity and popularity of mobile phones as well, inundating the market with hundreds of their products. The scope of educational apps is so great that it is quite easy to get lost among them even given tons of reviews available on the internet. The experts of Multi-Programming Solutions can help you out with the choice of the best education app for kids that will suit your child with his or her interests and inclinations to a tee.
There are two key criteria that you should steer by while selecting an educational app. The first is the age of your child. Since child psychological peculiarities and the set of skills they can master have eminent age correlation, an educational app for middle school students will certainly differ from an app for primary school pupils, to say nothing of smaller kids. So choosing an app, you should, first of all, know who will use it.
This child-centered approach must be adopted regarding the other criterion as well: the competence you would like your kid to acquire or improve. Thus, having an intention to hone your children’s calculation skills you should surely try to choose among the best math apps for kids, whereas reading or spelling (in our keyboard-reliant world, it is rather typing) finesse can be obtained by leveraging only software products from this area of expertise.
Yet, even armed with this two-tier selection strategy, some people still have problems with navigating in the ocean of “best educational apps for schools of all types”, as vendors claim. We offer you a list of apps that can cater to various age groups of kids and develop their skills in a number of domains.
A List of Children’s Learning Apps to Consider
Apps from the list are categorized according to the age group they are meant for.
Learning Apps for Toddlers
Since kids under 4 years old can’t read, these tools deal primarily with shapes and colors.
- Goodness Shapes. This app doesn’t only teach infants to work with shapes (as its name suggests) but involves them in playing with colors as well by performing simple sorting and matching operations. Being quite intuitive, the app encourages a good deal of thinking too. The only limitation for it is that it can be played only on an iPad or any other iOS-powered device.
- Busy Shapes. This app is grounded on the Montessori method and promotes hands-on education. Kids learn to manipulate various objects by deducing how they relate to each other. It is effected via matching an object with a hole to drop it into. Objects and corresponding holes come in a great number of shapes.
- Toca Hair Salon 3. This dress-up app fosters the creativity of young users who can perform different hair-styling operations experimenting with the appearance of various characters.
- Hungry Caterpillar Play School. This one is somewhat advanced (or meant for kids of 5 or so) since in addition to shapes and colors it offers alphabet and number puzzles as well as some art-related tasks. Its evident fortes are realistic 3D details and bright colors. Plus, it is free to download.
Educational Apps for Preschoolers
There is no clear-cut boundary between this group and the previous one, but once the product features letters and numbers, it can be surely called an educational app for kindergarten.
- Elmo Lovers 123. Having numbers in its title is a telltale sign that the app is meant to teach young kids to deal with them. To do that, videos, games, and drawing tasks are employed. The app developers intentionally made it hard to exit, so children will spend longer time in the realm of arithmetic.
- Starfall ABCs. Its free version teaches children the alphabet basics (including the sign language alphabet) and encourages them to combine letters into words. Upgrading to the paid full version will add maths and social skills to the initial roster of competencies it is meant to teach.
- ABCmouse.com. This app costs more than most similar ones (around $10), but it is a comprehensive learning tool enabling parents to track their kids’ progress in several domains (reading, math, science, art). Moreover, this full-fledged virtual curriculum has no limitation as to the device where you can use it and awards tickets that can be amassed to buy virtual items.
- Nick Jr. and PBS Kids Games. These two apps are meant for children who enjoy the respective TV shows, serving essentially as a free software spinoff of them. Like the shows themselves, apps involve a slew of subjects (math and reading being the most prominent ones) that are accompanied by videos from the shows.
Educational Apps for Primary School Students
At this age, kids are introduced to separate knowledge fields, so a good app for elementary school should be specialized.
- Epic! Being in fact an e-library, this app with a month of free trial contains over 35,000 books for kids ranged from 2 to 12. For the smaller ones, it has a read-to-me function and older reading fans will find it convenient to get access to their favorite stories wherever they like.
- Winky Think Logic Puzzles. Dealing with colors and shapes may look way too babyish for elementary schoolers, but the three levels of difficulty rule out its seeming simplicity. Each new stage is more challenging than the previous one, so your kids will have to use their logical and analytical skills to the full extent. The tiered structure of the app makes it a perfect gift “with a room to grow” for 3-year-olds.
- Quick Math Jr. Math classes are getting more serious at school (as compared with kindergartens), but it doesn’t mean the subject should become boring. This free iOS app features 12 math games with awesome graphics and buildable characters. Plus, it also gives kids a chance to work on their handwriting, since all answers are handwritten on the screen.
- Prodigy. This app is designed as a fantasy-based game. It doesn’t teach anything new but rather checks kids’ knowledge of what they have already learned. Its basic version is free, but a more advanced one with lots of additional features will cost you around $9.
- Lightbot: Code Hour. As we have remarked, modern kids are extremely digital-savvy. It is natural to assume that those who are interested in using software products would be interested in creating them. This free app ushers them into the realm of code writing, nurturing in them programming skills that are in such great demand in the contemporary computerized world.
Educational Apps for Middle School Students
Specialization of learning areas continues into this age group, with some new subjects introduced as kids’ mind matures.
- Stack the States 2. This app is basically an educational tool that encourages students to learn US geography in the form of a challenging game with the possibility of unlocking other games on completion of a certain stage.
- Swift Playgrounds and Hopscotch. Developed by Apple, these free apps teach junior children coding. The former does it via puzzles and dynamic visuals, while the latter enables kids to build their own programs (with an option to customize them) by drag-and-dropping commands into a script.
- Google Arts and Culture. Built in the form of a sightseeing tour, this free app lets kids travel around the world, visiting famous places of interest. Each of them is accompanied by a plethora of information on theaters, museums (and their collections), historic figures, and events. Its groundbreaking functionality is the selfie feature that makes your virtual journey seem astonishingly life-like. The app can be used not only as a learning aid but as a source of valuable data for research projects.
Educational Apps for High School Students
Typically, such students are aware of the field they are likely to proceed with at college, so at this stage, a deeper proficiency in them is sought after.
- Duolingo. This free language-learning app offers various exercises of different types (from word identification to oral practice), helping to study over 30 languages or hone skills in tongues kids already know to some degree.
- My Molecularium. The specialized chemistry app is designed as a series of fun games that teach teenagers chemical formulas and molecular structure.
- Science360. The high-quality content of this app created by the National Science Foundation is updated every week to showcase the latest achievements of science and technology via 3Dimages and insights of experts from around the globe.
The apps mentioned above are only a small portion of all software products of this kind available on the market. Yet, if you have an offbeat learning app idea of your own, the seasoned professionals of Multi-Programming Solutions can lend a helping hand in developing education app for children or adults that will enable its users to shine in any sphere of human knowledge.
High-tech devices have firmly established themselves as an inalienable part of our life from a very early age. Education apps can get every kid (from a toddler to a teenager) interested in studying and deliver valuable content in a fun and instructive way.