Following on from Five Things to Consider When Choosing Online Activities for your Kids I’ve compiled a list of our five favourite educational apps, which provide a great place to start if you’re lost in the overwhelming number of apps out there and the lists of ’10 Best Apps’ that all seem to be different.
These are the criteria that I base my choices on:
1. Subject area – I looked for the best app in each subject area (literacy, foreign language and Maths). I chose one per area. I believe it is better to focus a kid’s attention on one app per subject as repetition and familiarity helps with learning.
2. Simplicity – I prefer apps that use a simple approach to teaching — offering effective solutions to learning without the clutter of the average online offering.
3. Effectiveness – It’s not about the flash for me, it’s about the outcome. Is my child learning something at the end of interacting with the app? Then it’s a YES
4. Monsters – I have an affinity for monsters (like our very own Wacky), they are particularly versatile and a nice break from the old cow, dog and cat 🙂
5. Affordability – These apps are either free or partly free, allowing you to give it a go before you invest to see whether your child is learning.
1. DuoLingo / Foreign Language – Help your child learn a second (or third language). This app has been tried and tested and they’ve developed ways to effectively teach language to humans of all ages and levels.
2. Teach Your Monster to Read / Reading and Spelling – Help your child learn to read through phonics, encouraged by rewards, adventures that you progress through and lots of cool monsters. I love that they have only a few games that they repeat, so that children can master them while also learning important letter sounds.
3. Piano Maestro / Piano and Music – Help your child learn the basics of piano and start playing simple songs. You do need a piano first of course.
4. Khan Academy Kids / Maths & Social Emotional Learning – This app is great for many things (including literacy and general knowledge). I’ve been a fan of Khan Academy and its founder since the beginning. They perfect the psychology of learning, offering a lot of repetition, clear instructions and perfectly-crafted activities to help your one learn effectively. There is a lot of content so you have to find the ones you think work the best but it is very easy to navigate and all activities are short.
5. Wobble and Kick Online / Sports and Motor Skills – There’s aerobics, yoga, pilates, music, dancing, ballet, reading, spelling, stories and nursery rhymes online and then there’s toddler football. This app is great for getting your child into sport and football alongside a community of other parents and little ones doing the same.
What are you favourite apps? Share yours in the comments below…