Have you ever come home tired after a long, stressful day at work and just want to relax on the couch and watch an episode of your favorite TV series, only to find your child, still hyper, begging to play with you? And how many times have you handed him or her a smartphone or tablet to play with to get them to settle down for a little while?
The Eight Best Educational Apps for Kids
Without further ado, below is the list of the eight best educational apps for kids:
1. Khan Academy Kids is a database of YouTube videos from Khan Academy covering school subjects at various levels of difficulty. Subjects include the arts, humanities, math, engineering, business, and courses and test prep. The app intends to help children learn through photos, videos, and quizzes to test their comprehension of the subject matter. Khan Academy also has a junior version, referred to as Kids, which is designed for students between two and seven years old. Khan Academy is quite popular, and kids, students, parents, and educators all love it. Furthermore, the fact that it’s a dynamic, immersive app laced with games, has helped to popularize it even more.
2. Busy Shapes is an app that is designed to develop children's logical and reasoning skills by showing them how objects relate to each other. The system is designed to follow the Montessori learning method, which is hands-on and self-directed. The app is perfect for younger children who are just beginning to interact with technology, since it is based on an active, non-mechanical learning mechanism. How does the game work? The child has to match the shape of the object with the corresponding hole and, once a match is made, he or she will go to the next level. A new object will appear with another hole that has to be correctly matched, and so on…
3. Google Arts and Culture provides kids with in-depth information about the arts by showing them images and videos. Although the app can be enjoyable for anyone at any age, the amount of information may be too much for younger children to absorb. They might need some help from their parents to use this app.
4. Hopscotch is an app that was created and designed for youth between the ages of 10 and 16. The purpose of the game is to teach children the guidelines of computer programming through interactive features such as dragging and dropping commands and instructions into a script, allowing them to create their own programs. Each player can customize their own program by choosing different characters and each program can also be saved and shared on a Hopscotch community creation network, where you can also comment on and reproduce others’ creations. Hopscotch is a great tool to help kids be creative and learn how computer programming works without worrying about technical, difficult coding language.
5. Quizlet is a useful app for those who would like to introduce their child to the study of foreign languages and their pronunciation through an excellent audio interface. Quizlet has as many as 500 million user-created “study sets” in its archives. New users can search for previously uploaded sets to see if there is an already-existing study set that matches their needs. Be cautious, though: since it is a free and collaborative app, shared study sets are not verified by the app's owners. This means that there could be errors throughout the study sets.
6. Adapted Mind - Fun math games for kids is one of the most popular math apps on the market, mainly because it’s set up like a video game. It’s a fantasy-based educational game that deals with math topics for kids in elementary school.
7. Prodigy is an app designed with the sole purpose of testing children's knowledge. The goal is to earn spells by answering questions correctly, and then getting the chance to battle monsters in the different fantastical realms. The basic app is free, but a paid subscription, obviously, offers more features.
8. ABCmouse is an app designed for children ages two to eight, but it's also perfect for younger children who haven't yet started preschool. ABCmouse features hundreds of interactive games, activities, and videos related to reading, math, science, and art. If your child doesn't attend kindergarten, the app is a great substitute for preparing him for elementary school. Plus, you'll be able to monitor his progress! ABCmouse rewards your child's progress with a reward system: as you accumulate points, you can use them to purchase virtual items. This app can be used on either the computer or a mobile device.
What are the pros and cons of educational apps for kids?
Educational apps help children acquire the skills they need to perform daily tasks and future job responsibilities. They can certainly also intrigue children and help them to find topics they might have otherwise found boring, interesting.
Always remember that it is necessary – if not essential – to set limits on the use of apps, even those that are educational. If children or teens spend too much time in front of the screen, it can compromise their health and, moreover, prevent them from relating to other youth. We advise that you and your children come to an agreement on how much time they are allowed to spend “in the company” of a tablet or smartphone and to be consistent in upholding that agreement.