We can’t escape technology. Children are picking up our phones and iPads at incredibly young ages and we should take advantage of their interest in them to get them to learn! Apps can be an amazing tool for learning and when they’re fun, your kids won’t mind using their screen time to play and learn! Here are a handful that I personally love.
Heads Up Kids
From animals to actions to items around the house, give clues to help your teammate guess the picture that’s on your head before the time runs out. This game is great for expanding vocabulary and describing skills and deductive reasoning. ($.99, iTunes App Store).
My Play Home
Imagine a dollhouse where your child can use everything – even the closets, TV and shower. Children love this one because it is so interactive. You can really up the learning factor on this one by telling your child what to do with the characters and have them follow directions. ($3.99, iTunes App Store).
Fish School HD
This one does everything! Colorful fish teach your preschooler their letters, numbers, shapes and colors in an under-the-sea world. (ages 2 to 5, $1.99; iTunes App Store).
Stack the States
This one is great for geography. As your child learns state shapes, capitals and abbreviations, they will build a stack of cartoonish states to reach the finish line and pass to the next level, eventually creating a full map of the United States. Children can tap the location of selected states to complete the whole country, slide states around to put them together like a puzzle, or match states with their capitals in five fast-paced bonus games. (ages 9 to 11 $1.99; iTunes App Store, PlayStore).
Habitat the Game
Your little one will learn to love and care for the environment with Habitat the Game. Players adopt a virtual polar bear and must complete real-world actions — such as turning lights off and conserving water — to keep the creature healthy. Little ones will take pride in making an actual difference in the world with these exciting games. (4 years+, free; iTunes App Store, PlayStore).
Dexteria Dots 2
Your child will have a blast practicing math and improving his fine motor skills with Dexteria Dots 2. Each dot represents a number and players must combine and divide them to solve each problem. The simple-to-use app features bright colors and goofy animations that adults can enjoy too. (6 years+, $3; iTunes App Store).
It is important for me to share that apps (and TV shows, toys and DVDs) claim to be educational when really they are not.
I would encourage parents to look at the function and content of apps and ask the question, “is this learning or entertainment?” Everyone enjoys and needs entertainment, but we also need to challenge and grow our minds and our children’s.
You can be sure that if you are sitting and playing with your child, they are going to learn so much, whether you’re playing a game on an iPad or working on a more classic board game.
Ginger Geldreich Jones, M.A., CCC-SLP, LSLS Cert AVT
Speech-Language Pathologist, Certified Auditory Verbal Therapist
Founder, CEO | Jones Therapy Services, LLC | 615.614.8833 | jonestherapyservices.com