These days, children instinctively know how to swipe on a screen as early as they understand how to flip the pages of a book. Technology has changed the way we consume information, and it is up to us as parents to keep up with it.
However, there are pitfalls to be aware of when it comes to our children’s technology use.
How to Pick Which Ones to Download for My Child?
There are many educational games available for kids, but how do you know which ones to download? Here are some factors for you to consider in selecting one for your child:
The best educational apps for young children will provide multiple levels of play so that they’re constantly challenged to learn something new.
Look for games that offer different levels of difficulty or offer awards, badges, or anything to show for their efforts.
Check if the educational app you’re considering is appropriate for your child’s age group.
Some of the apps might be too difficult or unsuitable for young children, so look for the ones that are designed specifically for your kid’s age and interests. Platforms typically have a content rating system that provides information on potentially inappropriate materials within the app, do consider checking that out before downloading it for your child.
Google Play Store, for example, uses the International Age Rating Coalition’s (IARC) system in countries without an age rating standard in place while adhering to the preferred systems in countries that do have rules on age recommendation systems, such as Europe’s Pan-European Game Information (PEGI).
Apple App Store, on the other hand, follows its own age restrictions and recommendations. They’re classified into 4+, 9+, 12+, and 17+. Although these ratings are not always reliable, they should give you an idea of the type of content that you may expect from the app.
Look for apps that offer variety in the form of puzzles, matching games, and other educational tools to meet your child’s learning needs.
The best educational games for kids tend to feature a wide range of activities so that they’re always learning something new to explore!
Look for games that have colourful graphics and fun sound effects. These will help keep your child engaged and attentive to the lessons that the app is trying to teach.
You’ve probably already heard about it on the news when a five-year-old accidentally left his mum with thousands of dollars worth of in-app purchases on their mobile.
This may even be the very reason you find yourself looking for the best preschool educational app in the first place.
You’ll be pleased to know that some apps are designed with a child’s best interest in mind and don’t have deceptive forms of in-app purchases or upgrades.
In fact, some of them have no in-app purchases at all.
We know that preschool is a critical period in a child’s life that’s full of discovery and learning, but don’t let that be the only thing you consider when choosing an app to try.
Try to find one that combines fun with learning so that your child is always excited to play. If they’re not having fun, they’ll lose the plot of the app and abandon the lesson entirely.
The truth is, there is a lot more out there than just cute videos of puppies or funny memes, and it’s up to us to prevent them from gaining access to any harmful content.
So, we’ve curated a list of apps, both web apps and mobile, that are educational as well as engaging:
Khan Academy Kids
You’ve probably already heard of the magic of Khan Academy.
It’s a popular educational non-profit organisation that teaches students math, science, computer programming, and more. Their goal is to give everyone access to free, world-class education.
Khan Academy Kids offers an extensive library of educational interactive videos and games for children in preschool through to the second grade.
It’s the perfect supplement for parents who want to get their kids started on early math and science learning. They have a diverse range of topics including the solar system, shapes, fractions, and more.
It’s a high-quality app that has made it to Apple App Store’s Editor’s Choice list and ranks high on the list of recommended apps on Google Play Store and Amazon Appstore.
It ticks all the boxes for us as it’s fun, has thousands of activities, books, and videos to choose from, and best of all, it’s completely free.
The app is suitable for kids of all ages, and it’s easy to navigate around. It has a clean and simple design that doesn’t distract kids from learning.
The content is well-organized into different topics, so you can easily find what you’re looking for.
My Very Hungry Caterpillar
When it comes to well-designed preschool educational apps, there’s no better example than the My Very Hungry Caterpillar. It’s a beautifully designed app that teaches kids in a fun and intuitive way.
The app is suitable for kids between 3 and 5 years old; however, younger children can also enjoy it if they’re already familiar with Eric Carle’s famous picture book.
It’s loaded with fun features that will keep kids engaged for hours. It features a series of mini-games and puzzles, which help teach colours, numbers, shapes, and food.
And one of its best features is that the main version of the game is free.
My Very Hungry Caterpillar is available for both iOS and Android. It’s an app that you can download for free and enjoy without spending a dime.
The simple, childlike artwork found in Avokiddo’s Thinkrolls game has a charm that elicits a unique response from preschoolers. The design, on the other hand, is so intuitive that even toddlers can pick up the game and begin to play without any instruction.
This attention to detail makes Thinkrolls one of the best preschool educational apps for mobile phones and tablets. It’s a simple yet engaging game that teaches kids about logic and problem-solving. It helps them develop their critical thinking skills through a series of puzzles that get progressively harder as they go along.
The game is available on both iOS and Android devices.
So, with a little bit more of a background on how to choose the apps, you’ll hopefully be able to whittle down your choices a bit further and find the perfect educational app for your child.
However, do remember that proper handling of your child’s screen time is still important even if these apps can help them grow and develop. There’s just no substitute for good old-fashioned play time, and interaction with other children is still best.
Too much screen time can lead to poor school performance, mental fatigue, and cause sleep issues. So, monitor and adjust your child’s screen time accordingly.
Aim for balance and set a good example by keeping tabs on your own screen time as well.