It sometimes feels like kids nowadays were born with a tablet in hand and the innate knowledge of how to use it. I know my 5 year old probably knows more about his Kindle Kids tablet than I could ever hope to learn. And that’s great, in a way, because the future seems to be headed towards all-digital environments – my 9 year old nephew is required to have an iPad to attend his school. But it’s important to me that my son’s tablet be more than a platform for games and videos – I want some of the time he spends on it to channel learning and encourage his curiosity. Here are a few of the best learning apps that my son doesn’t mind using, because they help him learn in a fun way.
Designed for kids aged 5 and up, this app focuses on math and numbers. It teaches children the rudiments of adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing using fun little characters called Nooms. Kids can stack them up, slice them, group them, sort them and compare them. The app also offers a sandbox section where children can just play with the Nooms and get acquainted with basic numbers. DragonBox Numbers is $7.99 on the Apple Store.
Tinybop’s Space app is a wonderful way to introduce children as young as 3 to space and the solar system. The beautiful graphics are inviting and aren’t marred by loads of text. Children can explore each planet and learn more about their characteristics, learn about the phases of the moon, and even launch meteorites and shooting stars. The app also allows kids to zoom in close and observe the surface of each planet, looking for water or moon rocks. Best of all, it’s only $2.99.
The Human Body
Another of Tinybop’s creations, The Human Body teaches kids about anatomy but also about how the body works. For example, kids can watch a mouth chew, then follow the food down to the stomach and watch it as it is broken down. The app also teaches about the nervous system, cardiovascular system, and so on. The sounds effects and graphics are truly spectacular, and the rendition of the human body, while not cartoonish, isn’t scary or gory either. The Human Body can be purchased for only $3.99 here.