Educational-Apps-For-KidsThe use of apps by children can be a divisive topic amongst parents.  Some swear by its entertainment benefits, while others are more sceptical. 

Whatever your opinion, it is clear that smartphones, tablets and the apps that go with them are here to stay.  More than a quarter of 3-4 year olds in the UK use a tablet at home, while three quarters of children access some sort of smart mobile device in the US.  So instead of banning your child from using them, perhaps a better approach is to ensure you download apps that are age appropriate and offer educational value. 

Yes, apps can offer education, creativity and entertainment.  But a quick note, if data allowance prevents you from downloading or using these apps, then you can get around this by signing up for a mobile broadband package with a low cost provider.  For example, you can order a SIM card from the MobiData website, which is free and comes with 100MB complementary data.  Their packages are well priced and you are not locked into long term contracts. Don’t let kids go wild on your phone or tablet without checking out your data allowance first!

With that said, what are some of the best apps on the market at the moment?

Endless Alphabet

This app features 50 words for children to learn and play with.  It uses animation to teach them the meaning of each word, which allows them to learn as well as provide entertainment benefits. Here’s a good review on this app.

Comics in the Classroom

This is an innovative app that engages children to learn about historical figures and events through the use of comics.  The content is fully researched, the illustrations are stunning and it is designed to improve literacy as well.

My First 101 Words

Fun and interactive, this child friendly app uses videos instead of pictures and narrative to teach toddlers.  It is also recommended for use by those with learning difficulties, or non-English speakers.

SquiggleFish

Parents who want to combine physical activity with mobile devices would enjoy this app.  SquiggleFish comes as an empty digital aquarium.  In order to have a full tank of fish, your child needs to get out his or her crayons and actually draw them onto real paper.  By scanning the finished drawings into the app, your child will then see their creations swimming around on screen.

Drawnimal

Another app that focuses on creativity, Drawnimal requires your child to draw around the mobile device to add main features to the animal faces on screen.  It also uses animation to teach them the alphabet.

Great British Chefs Kids

One for slightly older children, this is a free app that will encourage your children to do some cooking.  There are 105 recipes available, each with detailed instructions, as well as photographs and videos to show them what to do.

Mibblio

Children who love music will enjoy this iPad app, which contains numerous storybooks, each with its own song.  You can listen to the song and read at the same time, or play on virtual musical instruments to nurture their musical talent.

To summarise? Children gain knowledge in a variety of ways, so incorporate apps as a part of a balanced range of activities and watch them enjoy this mode of learning.