As much as we complain about the amount of screentime kids get, the truth is that nowadays, they’re pretty much born with a smartphone in their hands, so might as well make the most of it and ensure that the time they spend on these devices helps them develop and educates them, as well as entertains them.
Fortunately, there are plenty of educational apps out there, so it’s just a matter of choosing the right ones for your child. Here are the best apps for helping kids learn.
1. Quick Maths
Math is by far the subject most kids struggle with in school, not because it’s difficult, necessarily, but because it’s not always explained in a way they understand. But you can prevent the “I hate math” cliché by introducing an app that makes numbers fun and easy, like Quick Maths.
Just like the name suggests, Quick Maths is all about bringing numbers into the little one’s world in a way that’s appealing to children, but still challenges them and teaches them new skills and information. Who says math can’t be fun?
2. Spelling Stage
The other thing kids – and plenty of adults! – struggle with is spelling. Words and their many, many rules can be tricky to learn, especially if you’re not yet at an age where you understand the rules and are just trying to learn how to spell your name correctly.
Spelling apps are one of the great innovations smart devices are good for, like Spelling Stage. This app helps kids get that spelling practice in, but it won’t feel like homework or a boring, difficult chore.
In fact, the spelling practice exercises are designed especially for different age groups and levels of difficulty, and it even includes adult practice, just in case you’re still learning, along with your child. This is one paid app that’s entirely worth it.
3. Class Dojo
Where Class Dojo differs from other apps is that it’s not an app strictly for kids. In fact, it’s designed to come to the aid of online learning as a virtual classroom app. What that means is that teachers and even parents are included and have access.
That greatly improves communication between students, teachers, and parents, which, in turn, improves the quality of education the child receives. Parents are apprised of their children’s lessons, level, and progress, and everyone can freely communicate regarding the kids’ needs and approach to learning. Not every child learns in the same way or requires the same level of attention, so tailoring the educational approach is essential. And that is exactly what this app facilitates.
While not designed to be a replacement for a traditional classroom lesson, the app enhances, complements, and completes the educational experience for everyone, from students to teachers, to parents.
4. YouTube Kids
It may not seem like it at first glance, but YouTube can be a really good educational tool. Beyond the toy unboxing videos and the silly sketches, there’s a wealth of information that can stimulate your kids’ minds while entertaining them at the same time.
The best thing YouTube’s got going for it is the fact that it hosts a wide variety of content, catering to all sorts of kids and their specific needs. From small kids learning the alphabet to kids looking for storytime and even older kids who need help with more complex concepts in subjects like math or science.
It’s also great that kids can access it themselves without fearing inappropriate content. They’re going to watch YouTube anyway, so why not make it educational? The fact that the app is free of charge doesn’t hurt, either.
Science should be among the most entertaining of school subjects, but it can also be difficult to understand, so any help is welcomed by parents and educators. Enter Science 360 – an app powered by the National Science Foundation.
The app is meant to present videos, images, and news to kids, all related to engineering and science. The major advantage of this app is that the content is directly created and supplied by the National Science Foundation, so you know the information is accurate and constantly updated. The source is entirely trustworthy.
If you’ve got a child interested in science, this type of app can be an ideal way to bridge the gap between content that is too simplistic and the proper scientific journals.
One of the most popular kids’ learning apps out there, ABCmouse.com is a really great all-rounder. It’s very accessible, as it can be downloaded as an app on smart devices, or you can visit the website.
Once you’re on, there’s a wealth of activities and learning opportunities available, from videos to fun quizzes to test what your child has been learning. The stories and activities are suitable for kids from as young as 2 to around 8 years old, so you’ve got a good range of content for multiple siblings. You can even check the learning path your child is following on the map they provide.
7. Lightbot: Code Hour
With kids being so precocious and tech being so important nowadays, it would be detrimental to their development and set of skills to not nurture a love and understanding of coding. Most parents are jumping on the coding bandwagon as early as possible, and they do it with Lightbot.
The great thing about Lightbot is that it deals with the very simple basics. It’s not for advanced users and kids who are already familiar with coding. Instead, it’s aimed at beginners and holds their hand while they learn basic functions and the ABCs of programming. Did we mention it was free?
8. PBS Games
Parents used to complain about TV the same way they do about smartphones now, but you know what? It turns out television can be educational, just like apps can be. And if you combine the two, you end up with a brilliant tool that entertains your kid, while also making sure they learn valuable lessons.
The PBS Games app does that effortlessly, presenting a host of games based on educational PBS shows that your kids already love. Suitable for kids from toddlers to school-age, the games cover a range of different activities, from math to reading practice.
Is reading challenging for your child? Or do you just want them to practice their reading more? Epic! Has all the virtual books you’ll ever need to keep your little one entertained, whether they’re just learning their ABCs or perfecting what they’ve already learned.
Not only does the app save you precious space – there’s only so much you can cram into that diaper bag! – but it also ensures that you always have an educational distraction for your child, no matter where you go. There’s even a feature that reads to the child if you don’t feel like doing bedtime reading.
10. Starfall ABCs
Speaking of ABCs, there are apps that help even with basics like the alphabet. Letters, words, and even vowels and sign language are all included in the basic pack of lessons this app offers via animated features that kids will absolutely love.
If you’re willing to splurge for the paid app, they also cover social skills and math, but even if you just stick to the free version, learning ABCs is easy as…ABC!
In this day and age, it would be naïve to not recognize the immense potential apps and smart devices have when it comes to learning and education. Kids are going to spend hours in front of their screens either way, so why not take advantage of it and turn it into an educational opportunity?
Fortunately, there are plenty of wonderful apps for learning out there, from basics like the alphabet to complex math and even coding, and most of this knowledge is accessible for free. Finally, an instance where parents don’t mind the screen time!