We’ve written about interactive websites for kids and now with the explosion of tablet computers and smartphones, it’s time for a list of our favorite apps and games for kids.
[$.99]: This is an interactive storybook keeps the attention of both my 6 and 3 year old. It tells the story of Jack and the Beanstalk but also offers interactive features such as hidden games and treasures. It’s a pretty big file at 105MB but worth the download!
[$4.99]: My 3 1/2 year old daughter loves this educational app for both the iphone & the ipad. She’s learning the fundamentals of mathematics in a fun and engaging way. The same developer also offers apps called & .
[$.99]: Another hit for my 3 1/2 year old. This is a great “freestyle” way for preschoolers to learn to recognize and draw their shapes. It keeps my daughter’s attention for quite some time, which is not always an easy feat! There’s also a lite version of this app that’s free. Interbot, the developer of the app, has several other apps such as and .
[free]: This drawing app allows children of all ages to let their creativity flow and it’s free! You can change brush colors and use a variety of stamp shapes. The stamps even have funny sounds paired with them. My daughters particularly like the “burp” stamp… Unfortunately the latest update has a lot of ads that pop up, but a lot of people are complaining. I hope they release a new update without ads.
[free]: A free app that gives your child filtered access to free videos on YouTube. It offers thousands of parent-screened videos organized in a kid-friendly age-appropriate playlist for hundres of hours of entertainment. Some of the shows available are Between the Lions, Charlie and Lola, Clifford, Dragon Tales, Little Einsteins, Thomas & Friends, and Winnie the Pooh.
School Zone Apps [$.99 to $9.99] Each of the School Zone apps is arranged by grade as well as preschool. These are more expensive than some of the other educational apps available, but they are comprehensive learning apps for each grade/age level. Jennifer has the first grade and preschool ones and both her kids (4 & 6) like them. Some of their apps include: , , and .
[$2.99]: Handy Manny’s Workshop offers 5 different activities. From searching for missing tools, memory match and puzzles to coloring and singing, this app is sure to please for any Handy Manny fan. Jennifer’s son definitely approves!!
[$2.99]: This app challenges your child’s matching skills as well as offers themed coloring pages, and of course is a great app for any fan of dinosaurs!
This is not to say that we condone hours of screen time each day! However, we recognize that we live in a digital age and that the influence of technology is impossible to eliminate completely - nor should it be, as it is an important part of a child’s education today. So, while we still advocate that kids get outside and play , these apps are great learning opportunities for a rainy day.
Have a favorite educational or kid-friendly app? Please share by leaving a comment!