Your kids are smarter than you, at least in terms of technology smarts. Most parents of the early 21st century grew up using a pencil and paper, calculator and maybe an early version of the desktop PC. Kids today would look at a VHS tape and compare it to early Stone Age instruments for grinding corn into meal. Kids want technology; they love technology and now more often than not learn better in a technological environment. So, instead of trying to swim backwards up a waterfall, aid your children’s education and get them an iPad or other tablet PC with some beneficial educational apps. Some of the top apps that will get them interested in education while also being fun to use are:
1. Star Walk: Winner of the 2009 and 2010 Best Apps Award, and the 2010 Apple Design Award, Star Walk is more than just a fun app for the budding astronomer in your life. Point your iPad to the sky and get real-time access to the night sky filled with photos, motion tracking, satellites, search and more.
2. Fish School HD: This young learner’s app won the 2011 Parent’s Choice Award. An educational and fun app, Fish School HD will help your children learn numbers, letters, shapes, colors and differences. It includes an ABC Song, matching games and lots of fun play-time activities.
3. Math Bingo: Consistently ranked as one of the top 50 educational apps for children, Math Bingo makes learning math fun (even for adults who want to improve their math skills so they look smart to their kids, here you can see the adult version for the popular game). The app has games for addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. It also includes three difficulty levels, different player profiles, cartoon avatars and a scoreboard. Note to parents: practice with it while your kids are asleep so you can beat their high score!
4. Build a Zoo: Recipient of both the 2010 “New & Noteworthy” and “What’s Hot” Awards, Build a Zoo is just plain fun. The app is best for preschool-aged children; older children will find the games too simplistic. The app offers six learning games that allow kids to get more and more animals for their zoo. It helps with memory, matching, spelling and hand-eye coordination.
5. Cookie Doodle: This app is not centered on reading or math skills, but instead on creativity. The app features 20 dough choices, 195 cookie cutters and a host of toppings. The point of the app is to give kids a structured, fun app to promote creativity and self-direction.
6. Science 360: The free National Science Foundation’s (NSF) app gives your children an enormous range of photos, videos, news and information about science and engineering. They can share their favorites to Facebook, Twitter or email. NSF adds new content every week, so they will not get bored with the same old content.
7. Montessori Crosswords: Created for Elementary school learners, the Montessori Crosswords app will help your child with spelling, pronunciation and reading in general. It contains more than 300 word-picture-audio arrangements, various levels of difficulty for learners up to 8 years old, fun games, as well as lots of animations and sounds to keep your child interested.
8. Toontastic: The Toontastic app allows your kids to explore their imaginations through drawing, writing and sharing their stories. Teachers at all levels comment on the lack of writing ability for many of their students; Toontastic can help this by adding graphical and sound elements to their stories. Help your kids learn to write better, expand their vocabulary and have fun while doing it.
Do your kids have a favourite app? Tell us about it....