7 Best Learning Apps for Kids
Written by: Christa Reed
Introducing Touch-Screen Play Into Your Child’s Learning
Educators from Bennett Day School in Chicago recommend a number of apps that teach creative thinking and problem-solving through play.
Touch-screen games and apps can spark imagination and learning in your young child. Whether he’s rearranging story elements to tell his own animated tale, challenging himself to roll a ball down an incline at break-neck speed, or working with ropes and gravity to feed a hungry candy monster, your child’s tablet playtime can in fact be teaching him important foundational concepts in language, math, physics, and more.
As a first step toward introducing your child to tablet play, spend a few minutes exploring a selected app (and its optional settings) to determine whether the content is appropriate for your child. Later, consider taking advantage of dual language settings to provide valuable opportunities for language development. Parents may also wish to enable restrictive settings to prevent a child from stumbling upon inappropriate content.
Bennett Day School teachers Meg Fitzgerald and Colin Reynolds consulted with education advisor and app designer Frances Judd of Mrs. Judd’s Games to offer this list of seven apps to supplement their PK-8 education. These apps give families a sample of thought and play experiences that foster collaborative and individual learing at home.
- Drawing With Carl gives children a buddy who listens and repeats their creative thinking. Carl brings language, humor and creativity to touch-screen art!
- Faces iMake empowers players of all ages to create characters using everyday objects. Add letters for fun with literacy!
- Motion Math: Hungry Fish is a finicky fish who will only eat a specific number value. This app teaches early math concepts to learners of all ages.
- Cut the Rope, like the Bennett Day School TinkerLab, presents early physics, systems thinking, and cause-and-effect concepts.
- Toca Builders bridges a child’s world of block-building to their future experiences with 3D programming and design.
- ABC Music gives children access to musical instruments from around the world while building English/Spanish vocabulary.
- Collins Big Cat: It was a Cold, Dark Night Story Creator is a great interactive book for nature themes and early literacy. Read to Me, Ready by Myself, and Story Creator offer both reading and writing experiences for children.