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Written by: Tésa Nicolanti
As a tech blogger, I have tried out hundreds of apps and many of those have been for children. My kids have a tablet and while we regulate how much time they spend playing on it, I make sure to keep them full of educational apps for when they do. There are an amazing number of fun apps out there for kids that have very high educational value. Here are nine that I’m happy to let them play with because I know they are learning something while having fun!
I downloaded this app one morning and by the second or third time the kids played it, I couldn’t believe how much Spanish they had learned. A short time after that, they could speak Spanish in small sentences. This app is completely free and you can learn English, Dutch, French, German, Greek, Hindi, , Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Romanian, and more. This app makes it fun to learn a new language by leveling up and even competing with friends. One of my favorite features, and one that my kids love, is being challenged to speak the words into the microphone. The app makes sure you are speaking the words, phrase, or sentence correctly and gives you a couple of chances to do so before allowing you to move forward. It’s unique, challenging, and fun.
2) Brain Quest
The company with the tagline “It’s fun to be smart!” and the maker of educational trivia decks for kids and board games, has come to the iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, and Nook. This app is a fun challenge that takes kids on journeys such as sailing through Wisdom Islands or trekking through a snowy pass as they tackle questions about math, science, language, and social studies along the way. We’ve been using this app to prevent the dreaded summer slide and the kids have been impressed by how much they know and by how much they are learning while having fun at the same time. The app is available for Grades 1 & 2, Grades 2 & 3, Grades 3 & 4, and Grades 4 & 5. With 1200 questions and 56 levels, there’s enough to keep the kids reviewing and previewing throughout the school year and summer.
3) Stack the States/Stack the Countries
I am constantly amazed what the kids have learned by using this app. It’s one of their favorite apps and whenever they have a chance to play their tablets this is one of the first they would play. It wasn’t long before they were able to match the shape of a state to its name. The reason I found this so amazing is because we have not done anything to teach them the shapes of the states yet. They haven’t addressed it at school either. They learned this just by using the app. Impressive!
There are many other educational features of the app that the kids love, including:
4) Tower Math
In Tower Math, all the numbers have been changed into monsters by an evil wizard. As kids add, subtract, multiply, and divide, they build towers with magic powers to free the numbers. Their math skills will help them earn special powers like a Freeze Ray or others. The kids love this game and enjoy using the math they already know, as well as new math skills, to help save the day. With multiple scenes, this app has a long life and provides lots of entertainment, education, and fun. Download on iTunes.
5) Amazing Alex
This is a very creative physics based app from the creators of Angry Birds. Each room in Alex’s house has children setting up various objects to create chain reactions to complete a challenge. Kids can set objects up to bounce, pop, bash, and crash into one another and based on angles and cause and effect, kids find out if the setup is a success or it needs some tinkering. What both I and the kids love about this game is that with an entire house full of toys available to choose from, there is more than one way to solve each challenge.
This app is a combination of creating cartoons, putting on a puppet show, producing a play or movie, and acting in them, as well. Kids can use this app to draw, animate, and share their stories. They choose the scene, select or draw characters or objects, hit the record button, move them around the screen, and add voice to the characters. Toontastic records the animation and their voice as a cartoon video which you can then save or share with family.
7) Piano Maestro
If you have children that are interested in playing the piano or if you would like to have them learn, this app makes it all a lot of fun. It’s full of classic and popular songs and kids can play either in the app or set it up to use along with your own acoustic or electric piano with no wires or adapters needed. I love that this app helps kids learn to read sheet music and that new songs and levels are added every month.
8) Mystery Math Town & Mystery Math Museum
This is actually a recommendation for two apps, Mystery Math Town and Mystery Math Museum. In Mystery Math Town, kids help a friendly little ghost rescue fireflies that are hidden around town and in Mystery Math Museum, kids help friendly little ghost rescue dragonflies that are hidden in Mystery Math Museum. In both apps, kids use math skills to unlock rooms and passages along the way. This app offers customizable math skills for each player including addition, subtraction, and multiplication as well as varied number representations in dice and tallies.. Download on iTunes.
Music4Kids is for children ages 4 and up and it teaches them how to write and play music at the same time. Kids simply touch the screen to create and play music notes and move them around the screen. They create the notes, then move them, delete them, or change the length of them. There are also musical recognition games with 140 challenges created by a composer. This app does a great job developing creativity, and helping kids improve their ear for music.
These are my top nine favorite educational apps for kids and I recommend them all to those looking for great ways to make learning fun for kids!