Children of all ages are sharpening their growing brains with technology. With the sea of apps that all claim to be "educational, " though, let's discuss which ones are really the best for our kids.
Schools have long been using software and video games to teach kids, of course (any one else play The Oregon Trail?). With tablets, advanced gaming systems, and other modern achievements, kids can also be learning all the time at home (maybe even unbeknownst to them)—and have fun all the while.
Instead of doing this as one of our Hive Fives or recommendations from just one person (like our post on coding apps for kids, which is a more limited field), let's create a master list of the best educational programs together.
To make it easier for fellow parents, teachers, and others interested in learning apps to read through our selections, here are the guidelines you should follow when posting your suggestion in the comments:
- Mobile apps, computer software, video games, and webapps are par for the course. For web sites, I think we should rule out sites that are purely informational (e.g., Wikipedia) and only include ones that are interactive.
- Make sure it's rated appropriate for kids. iOS apps, for example, should have a 4+ rating, Android rated for "everyone."
- Make one suggestion per post. This way others can "recommend" that one app/game and comment directly about it.
- Add as many suggestions as you'd like, as long as you think it's worthy of the "best" badge. Just put them in different comments.
- Don't post a duplicate suggestion. Depending on how many comments we get, this might be hard. But try to see if anyone else has suggested the same thing and, if so, avoid posting it again.
- Use the format below for your comment, including bold text. You can actually just copy and paste into your comment then edit.
[IMAGE from the app/game. Copying from an app store is fine.]
[TITLE/NAME of the app/game]
Platform: E.g., Android/iOS, Mac/PC, Wii. Please add link(s) to the apps if possible.
Cost: Free or $
Recommended Age Range: 3 to 5, etc.
Why You Recommend It: Your toddler has learned calculus with the app, the sound doesn't drive you crazy after three hours, it's fun for both, etc.