It’s no secret that I can be a bit of a TV nazi at times. Well most of the time anyway. Lately I’ve been dealing with a child who has pneumonia, burst geezers, insurance quotes from when our car was broken into, school registrations and life in general- So I’ve been resorting to more screen time than I care to admit.
My kids have also become iPad obsessed and it has become my mission to find great apps that are not only FREE but authentically educational. Some of them say they are but I swear my kids have better chance increasing their IQ’s by picking paint off the wall.
So I have spent some time researching the apps that I think are really going to benefit a child between the ages of 3 and 6 years. And I have put the ones I (AKA mom) approve of to the test!
*Obviously with all screen time, its important to put strict time limits in place, but lets face it, there are going to be times where an iPad can come in really handy – After a long day of learning and being active (your child needs to chill out too!), when they are unwell and in bed for longer periods of time, when you are out for dinner and they can’t be expected to sit still any longer, or when you are just at your wit’s end and need 10 minutes of peace and quiet. It’s really a good idea to make sure that the games and activities they are playing are helping them learn a thing or two.
So here are our family’s TOP TEN FREE Apps that you may enjoy too:
- Fun brain Jr – This is such a rad game! There are four fun activities to choose from. The balloon popping is so fun for the younger age group but there are some harder activities for the older kids that involve memory flash cards as well as recognising letters of the alphabet. It was a winner with my 5-year-old! Find it at the App store here.
- Endless Alphabet . This one had me at the cute and quirky illustration. It’s so flipping cute! Besides that it has a wonderfully creative way of teaching kids to spell using sounds and visual words. It’s perfect for 3 up but I would say in our experience, kids a little older will benefit more. Find it at the App Store here
- Phonics A . Z – While the animation isn’t anything to write home about, this app is great for Phonics! The best thing about it is that it has such a fun way of explaining what kids need to do. Often kids get lost (or distracted or in my case lose patience) but this is so easy to follow. Another pro, it teaches them to trace letters which is really teaching them to write! Also they get awarded stickers for completing a task correctly. I have to be honest I was pretty impressed with how my kid got the hang of this one! Find it in App Store here.
- Read Me Stories Everyday – This is so awesome. You basically have a load of books to choose from where the narrator reads it aloud. It’s so perfect for those crazy times where your kid is begging you to read to them but you are in the middle of something. It downloads a new book everyday! Once again the illustration isn’t mind blowing but that’s just the arty person in me being overly critical. Both my 2.5-year-old and 5-year-old are huge fans! It’s amazing to see them follow the words as they are highlighted. Find it In App Store here.
- Preschool All-In-One learning games for kids /Abby Basic Skills – This is so easy for kids to navigate and the bright colours make it super fun and attractive. It incorporates so much – Letters, Counting, Puzzles, Sizes, Shadows, Matching, Colors, Shapes, Differences,Patterns and more! It really is one of the best and my kids love it. Find it in App Store here.
- Tiny hands sorting – This has to be one of the cutest ones when it comes to illustration and sound. It’s all pretty simple and easy to follow! It may suit the younger ones a little better. I would say it’s too easy for the over 3’s although I think there are harder levels! My youngest loves the sorting/puzzle aspect of it. Find it at the App Store here. Find it at the App Store here.
- Kindergarten Animal Math .My kids adore this one and you will see why. It’s SO straightforward and the illustration again is bright and colorful, perfect for kids. It offers, shapes, colors and numbers so its good for kids to recognize what numbers look like. The game starts off quite easy but gets progressively harder as you go. It’s a nice one for siblings to do together, who knows they may learn to be better sharers in the process! Find it at the App Store here.
- Animal Pre-K – This one is great of r counting and shapes etc.. and pretty straightforward. It’s defiantly more for the over 3’s as you need to be able to recognize shapes, although my youngest loves guessing and this eventually leads him to learning! Find it in the App Store here.
- Endless 123 . This is the same makers of Endless alphabet and once again the animation is beautiful and oh so quirky. It makes numbers SO fun and children as young as 2 can begin to learn and recognize numbers. The sounds are so cute and everything is just super engaging. This one gets a thumbs up from mom and kids! Find it in the App Store here.
- Animal Pants . this app is great for building your childs matching skills and is super cute and fun!! What adds to the high rating of this incredible app is that it teaches your child fun facts about 12 different animals and where they live. This is a firm favorite with both my boys. Find it in the App Store here.
So there you have it! Some of the best games/Apps we have discovered lately and ones that I know I can rest assured knowing they are not wasting their precious brain cells. Perhaps you have a few you could share with us? I would love to explore some other Apps that have been a hit with your kids!
Happy healthy gaming! 🙂