Previously we’ve talked about how to discipline your children when using gadgets and when they access the internet. Today let us step a notch further by looking into best android apps and games that are appropriate for them.
Google Play Store has over 3 million apps that are downloadable and used for any android tablet. Some of them are paid but most are free to use. Surprisingly, a good percentage of those apps are kid-friendly games and educational tools that parents and children can enjoy together! As you may already know kids learn very quickly. Normally that’s a good thing; however, if you won’t filter out what they’re learning from the internet, then they could potentially learn bad things pretty fast.
To avoid such a scenario, here are 10 best android apps that you can teach your kids to use:
- Kids Place – A customiser app that allows you to organize all other apps that you’ve installed. It’s sort of a virtual sandbox for your kids to play in and with the parental controls in the settings and special features, you can set time limits as to how many hours per day you want your child to use the tablet, prevent new apps installation and blocks in-app purchases as well as pop ads. You can also create multiple custom profiles for different users and it’s free to use. Kids Place is best for tablets and laptops, but you can also use it in smartphones.
- iStoryTime Storybook Library – Normally it’s preferable for parents to read story books to their kids as it strengthens the bond between them; however, if you find yourself in a predicament of time management, then perhaps you could let iStoryTime Storybook Library do the reading for you. As amazing as it sounds, this app is actually designed to do out-loud reading which kids will find adorable and would want to keep listening to the narration more and more each day. The best thing about it is that kids as young as 3 can use it and it’s free to download.
- YouTube Kids – For children ages 3 and up and is also free to download, YouTube Kids was designed by Google to specifically cater to small children in order to facilitate their learning and enhance it. The app promotes content such as childhood classics that includes Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends to videos from Super Simple Songs to the Mother Goose Club, and topics like sports, animals, crafts, and more. It also comes with good user interface features that’s custom-made for kids and parental control settings that gives you control over what your kids are watching.
- Endless Alphabet – This app is excellent for children from 3 years old and onwards, because it let kids learn about the English alphabet in a fun and engaging way. It helps them spell words correctly by turning education into entertainment (it’s an “edutainment” if you will) and kids attempt to rearrange word puzzles to get the correct word spelling. Whether they got it right or wrong the app gives a short animated video after each puzzle to explain how the word should be spelled, what it means and how to use it in a sentence. The app is also free to use.
- Dr. Seuss Collection – This $14.99 worth app from Oceanhouse Media is truly worth the price tag they’ve placed on it. First of all, they have digitally adapted Dr. Seuss’ classics of children’s literature which includes Cat in The Hat, The FOOT Book and Fox in Socks. As if that wasn’t enough they’ve also added a feature where you can record your voice and let the app narrate the story as if it was you who is reading it in real time! Your kids will absolutely love it, especially when they’ll hear your voice narrating the stories on the android tablet. Dr. Seuss Collection is good for kids from 2 – 6 years old.
- PicsArt Kids – Of all the things that your kids love to do, perhaps the most engaging to them is drawing and doodling. PicsArt Kids lets them do exactly that and they can play with endless colors, shapes and even coloring puzzles and games. I have not seen a child who doesn’t draw or doodle. Even children from poor countries who couldn’t afford a tablet or paper and coloring pens will still draw and doodle on the soil. With this app you can even play and assist your children on learning to draw simple animals, shapes and other objects as well as color them. Use this with your toddler and they will love it.
- Artie’s Magic Pencil – Another good educational app for children is Artie’s Magic Pencil from Minilab. If you want to teach basic moral values and empathy to your kids, then this app should be included in your Kids Place organizer app. Artie’s journey which is played like a movie in the app lets children use his magic pencil to help people, whose property has been damaged by a monster, rebuild and restore them to their former state. Your child may be more interested in Artie’s magic pen for now, but the moral lessons of the game will surely be imprinted onto his subconscious and help him/her become a better person when they’ll grow up. This is app is also free to download and is good for kids from ages 3 and above.
- Super Family Hero – What better way to teach your kids how to use tablets and surf the web than to play with them together as a family? Well, the Super Family Hero app does just that and it’s also super fun that everyone in the family will enjoy. This app is a co-op multiplayer game designed to be played together by the whole family on a tablet screen. Battling the villain Dr. Excuses and his robot minions. Clearly the game teaches kids to be productive or become like Dr. Excuses, so this game is not only cool but also educational.
- Dragonbox Algebra – This app is a combination of math, Artie’s Magic Pencil and Endless Alphabet and will subtly teach your kids algebra without them ever knowing about it until they’ll encounter it in school, which should be when they’ll reach the K-8 curriculum (6 – 14 years old). It’s a good thing because it teaches your kids math and somewhat complex algebra at the tender age of 5, so when they’ll get formal education, they’ll be able to distinguish it almost immediately. Even though this app costs $4.99 per download, it can help your child learn math early and develop his or her math skills rapidly.
- Lego City My City 2 – Finally, the game that every child will love will test his/her logic reasoning skills in building and managing a Lego city as they play through the game. While this game was not designed to teach a child empathy or morality, it does teach them how to become good managers. It’s basically an entry-level lesson to leadership and every child, even if they won’t have to become great leaders someday, will need leadership skills. The practicality of the Lego City My City 2 app is a worthy inclusion in this list. This app is good for kids from 6 years old and upwards.
As good and responsible parents you need to ensure that your kids are getting the right kind and amount of information that’s educational and helpful to their development. You also need to make sure that they will not be led into information that will lead them to do things that are harmful to them and others. You have to understand that your child’s mind is fragile at these tender ages and you need to guide them through their development. So be very selective in choosing the best android apps that you want your kids to be exposed to, and leave the rest behind.