There is much debate about kids using electronic devices. I certainly understand the concern about their overuse and abuse. I don’t feel bad about my daughter using the iPad when she’s playing one of the following educational apps for kids.
Pooky is going to turn three any day now, and we’ve been trying out some free learning apps over the past several months. Here are Pooky’s past and current favorite free educational apps for the iPad. (I’ve included a screen shot of each app mentioned.)
Shapes by Toddler Teasers cycles through a few different formats to help kids practice basic shapes. It also has a few short stories to show examples of shapes in the world around us.
Shapes with Sammy and Eve by Baby First is a great learning app where kids practice their fine motor skills while dragging and dropping given shapes into a “puzzle” to make up a picture of an everyday object. (It is a fantastic exercise for fine motor skills.)
Monkey Preschool Lunchbox is one of my daughter’s long standing favorite apps. Honestly, I thought I was going to hate this app when we first downloaded it because I find the monkey’s voice kind of annoying. But Pooky loves it, and I have to admit she has learned a lot from it. This is definitely an app that kids can grow with. It was quite challenging for her when she started it at around age 2, but now she’s mastered almost all the skills on it. The app explores concepts such as shapes, colors, matching, large vs. small, counting, and initial consonant sounds.
Dr. Seuss’s ABC is a fun way to explore the alphabet. The app uses an interactive version of the Seuss Classic to help kids become more familiar with the alphabet and the letters’ sounds. You can get other Dr. Seuss classics for free as well in the App Store.
PBS Parents Play and Learn is an app Pooky is just starting to get into. It definitely has a lot of Pre K learning skills such as location words, sorting, counting, categorizing, and more.
Now for some educational apps we have purchased that we feel were worth the money.
We have purchased episodes of TV shows through PBS Kids. Pooky loves watching Daniel Tiger (based on Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood) and Super Why. These programs are so educational, I don’t feel bad when she is watching them. They teach her academic things as well as social skills that preschoolers can find challenging (waiting, sharing, etc…). And on the iPad, they make for great entertainment on road trips or flights. Thankfully, Pooky has watched the handful of episodes we’ve purchased over and over for the last several months without getting tired of them, so I definitely feel like we’ve gotten our money’s worth out of them.
And finally, an app that might not be for everyone. Busuu Kids is an app that teaches basic Spanish to kids. We’re trying to raise Pooky to be bilingual, so I went ahead and purchased the full version of the app ($9.99) since the free version was very limited. The pronunciation on the app is authentic. I love listening to Pooky repeat the words as she plays along.
This is just a small sample of the educational apps that are available. What educational app(s) do you and your preschoolers enjoy? Please share in the comments.