The Best Apps for Kids
by Brian Spero and Leanne Tremblay
Check out these apps that entertain, educate and inspire.
An App Developer Driven to Do It Right
A team comprised of educators, designers, play experts, engineers and parents, FamLoop develops mobile applications that encourage learning and participation through interactive storytelling. “We feel kids are at their best when they are having fun learning and doing it with their family,” says Tracy Tsang, digital innovations manager for the brand.
Releases from FamLoop, including Agent Magic Investigates (Age 4 – 6) and Oz Tales (Age 6 and up), encourage family participation and focus on delivering engaging, yet ultimately educational content for the developing mind. According to Tsang, beyond following federal regulations and consulting the SesameWorkshop.org blog for children’s app development best practices, FamLoop goes directly into kindergartens and primary schools to test their products in the real world. “When they are designed well (apps) can encourage kids to be more active with their learning, as well as to be very creative,” she says.
FamLoops’ Tips for Choosing Safe, Age-Appropriate Apps
1. Look out for features such as in-app purchases that market virtual items directly to kids within the play environment.
2. Consult the Common Sense Media website for everything from parent reviews and lists of appropriate apps by age.
3. Engage your child in conversations at interval about what they are doing, mixing in a healthy amount of time away from technology playing outside or reading traditional books.
Here Are a Few More Recommended Apps:
1. Grammar Wonderland (K-2) and Grammar Wonderland (3-6). Practice grammar with several fun and interactive games (free via iTunes store).
2. Everyday Mathematics. Helps students (PreK-6) practice and improve their math skills. The apps focus on an array of topics including multiplication, addition, subtraction and fractions.
3. iTooch Elementary School. Lessons and tests to develop science, math and language arts!
4. Sea Life. All aboard the virtual underwater ride!
5. Solar Walk. Get up close and personal with galaxy!
6. Sid the Science Kid. Sid’s Slide to the Side Games and stories to learn about friction!
7. GazziliScience. Six activities to teach your little ones about basic environmental science!
8. Leo’s Pad. Preschool Kids Learning Series. Explore telescopes, rockets and gravity!
9. Happy Little Farmer. Teach your kid about the life cycle of plants!
10. Ansel and Clair: Jurrassic Dinosaurs. An interactive adventure your dino-fanatics will love!
11. Kid Weather. Let your kids be a weather forecaster!
12. Alchemy Genetics. Play with the traits of animals to learn genetics!