When my kids were babies, I was sure that television and video games were the root of all evil in the world, and it was my job to protect my children from having their minds warped. As they got older, and harder to entertain, I began to realize that not all of it is bad. There are some really excellent, educational television programs that can both entertain kids for a half hour and teach them a fun fact or two. I had my two year old with me at the library one day when he pointed to a painting and said “bald eagle!” People around me seemed shocked and I smiled to myself knowing that they probably all thought my son was some sort of toddler genius. Really he had learned that from the show Little Einsteins, but they didn’t need to know that. My point is that if selected carefully, we have a lot of great technology at our hands to help our children learn. Since I received an iPad for Christmas, my current obsession is “app searching”, and I found a ton of great educational applications for my kids that I thought I would share.
Apps for iPhone:
- Sight Words – Animals, vibrant colors, planes, trains, helicopters and sight words! This app helps kids to practice sight words with fun animations that make the words eye catching. Words are divided into groups of 20 each for ease of learning and when a player finishes a word set they get a star
- ABC Tracing – This is a great app for younger kids working on writing and letter recognition. Players trace letters and hear the sound that the letter makes.
- Preschool – This is my favorite because it pretty much has everything that the other apps have all rolled into one. Players can sketch, learn to write, work on sight words, math or play a matching game.
Apps for Android:
- iStory Books - Free books complete with voice-over, pictures and alternative languages. Want to teach your baby Spanish? You can do that too, with the bilingual story telling feature.
- 0-10 Numbers - Babies have fun with numbers and it is excellent for what it does. A brightly colored application that works well for kids aged two to four.
- Radio Disney - If you've got kids who love Disney music -- or, heck, if you do, too -- check out the Radio Disney app. It's a simple streaming service full of all our Disney favorites!
Best of all…all of these apps are free, and there are always new ones being added! Try these out and let us know what you think – Kristina’s boys are testing new apps every day, and will be updating with more as soon as her little testers get her their feedback reports!