If you have kids you know you do not want them vegging out just playing mind numbing games, why not look for an app that teaches them something at the same time? This is the thinking that led me to this article. I have 3 boys ranging from 2 to 11 so trying to keep them entertained is a trick in itself. Of course we have them go play outside or participate in sports but there are those times when they want to play on a phone, iPad or some other hand-held device. Well I wanted to look around and see if there was something out there that would entertain and teach at the same time.
First, I want to cover a really cool app that keeps your kid out of the important parts of you smart phone. If you are dealing with an 11 year old you will not need to worry about them calling 911 or screwing up your settings on your phone. Okay, maybe you will but they should know better. I’m talking about the 2 year old who is smarter than he should be. Verizon has a really nice app for this called Kids Mode, it has been tested on my 2 year old and works amazingly. The main reason this one works so well for me is they cannot get out of it without the password unless they see you type it in and remember it. These little ones are way too smart so you have to be sneaky. I had one app called Kids Place that I installed on my android. My 2 year old figured out a loop hole in this program where if you hit the home button it gives you 1 to 2 seconds on the home page where you can hit another icon before you are forced back into Kids Place. Like I said, way too smart. So if you have a Verizon phone I recommend this app. There are many choices out there so do your research. Enough of this now let’s get back to the point of this article the learning apps.
What I have done is choose 5 different learning apps that I felt best suited the purpose.
- PBS Kids: This one is a no brainer. My kid loves this app so much we can never get our phone back. When you say PBS you know it is good. There are other apps on PBS but this one is his favorite and mine.
- Disney Story Central (iTunes only): This is great for my kids since they love to read. Also they earn trophies as a reward for reading with this app. Great way to get your kids to enjoy reading.
- Duolingo: I love this one because it is never too early to start learning a new language. Of course this is not for all ages but I know kids to learn languages faster than older people. Also this is totally free with no adds that pop up either and we all hate that from the so called “free apps.” This is a must.
- Stack The Countries: Great app that can challenge even adults. Stack the Countries is an educational geography game that teaches and quizzes kids on the countries of the world and their shapes, neighbors, landmarks, capital cities, languages, flags, and other geographical features. Found out that I need a refresher on my countries since I did not do so well on this. Not saying I did badly but certainly need to use this app more. See how well you do and let me know.
- Project Noah: With my boys they love earning patches from the clubs they are in. Well guess what, the app Project Noah does this too. This app well help increase your knowledge on the outdoors. When national geographic backs something you know it is probably something to look at.
After finding these great apps there is a bonus app that I want to mention before ending here.
BONUS APP: NASA Visualization Explorer (Called NASA Viz on iTunes) – I’m a big science nerd so had to share this one with you. Learn and keep up with NASA and all the cool things they are doing. Learn about the Earth, our Sun, the Stars and everything else that NASA deals with.
You can find most of these apps for many different devices. There are many apps out there but this will at least get you started. Now your kids will have fun while learning. In today’s age we as parents need to figure out how to use the technology we are given to teach our children without losing touch. Now when your kid is thanking you for letting them play on your device just be happy in knowing at least they are learning something.
What apps would you suggest?