With so many negative discussions surrounding the impacts of screen time on children, it’s easy for us to disregard the simple fact that integrating technology into a child’s education can actually help kids of all ages to stay engaged. How, you ask? Well, most kids today have been using mobile devices like tablets and smartphones to play since they could crawl – so it only seems logical to align their education and development style with a medium they’ve already adapted to.
There’s no arguing that too much time spent with passive technology isn’t in the best interests of a child’s development. However when utilised properly, the use of technology for children can have many benefits (and potentially give mum and dad 20 minutes of silence). If you’re wondering how to best integrate screen time into your child’s routine for its educational benefits, look no further! We’ve done our research and rounded up the 5 best free learning apps for your kids so that you don’t have to.
1. GoldieBlox and The Movie Machine
Reckon you’ve got Nasa’s next female Aerospace Engineer on your hands? Let us introduce GoldieBlox – the modern day toy company with the world’s first girl engineer character. The company’s main focus is on equipping young girls with the tools that empower them to build their confidence, dreams and ultimately, their futures. GoldieBlox and The Movie Machine is an extension of the company and its first app designed for inspiring a community of mini engineers. Kids will learn the basics of animation and create their own one-second animated GIFs. GoldieBlox and The Movie Machine is designed for a slightly older age range at 6+ years, and is most suited to girls.
2. Endless Reader
It’s never too early to introduce literacy to your child. Endless Reader is the digital version of the universal “sight word” learning style that all kids use as they’re learning how to read. The app encourages them to develop literacy and phonics by introducing sight words that are commonly used in children’s books. Integrating engaging and playful animations that demonstrate the meaning of the words and how to spell them, the app teaches the child the phonetic sounds and names of the letters as they go. Endless Reader is best suited for children aged 4+.
3. Fish School
Fish School is the all rounder app that exposes kids to concepts like letters, numbers, shapes, colours and patterns through a range of 8 different activities. Brightly coloured schools of fish will form letters, shapes, and the numbers 1 – 20, and provides a sensory element as your child can make the fish swim and do tricks with a simple touch and drag. Fish School is an app that’s best suited to children from the ages of 2-5.
ColorBand is one for the Picassos in the making. The app will engage your child’s senses and allow their imagination to roam free as they draw pictures with sight and sound. Over 80 colours have their own corresponding sound – when your child has finished painting, they will be able to listen to the music that their artwork has created. Over 80 colours are available through the app and are accompanied by a cute bunny mascot who will dance to their music. ColorBand is an app that’s best suited to children from the ages of 3+.
5. YouTube Kids
Last but definitely not least, we have YouTube Kids. Curated especially for children, YouTube Kids offers both educational and entertainment content which has been designed to inspire and enhance young minds. Your child can choose their own content at their leisure, and you can relax knowing that that they won’t come across anything you wouldn’t want them watching. It’s one of the best learning apps as it offers an easy way for them to explore anything that captures their imagination. YouTube Kids is an app that can be used by kids of all ages.