Whether or not you should hand your device over to your young child remains a controversial topic, but it really doesn’t need to be. With a little bit of forethought, your phone or tablet can become a great learning station for little ones.
App developers are beginning to tap into the kids demographic, which is ultimately good news for parents who want to see more quality apps competing for space on their devices. It also means that kids’ apps are seeing tighter regulations, like Apple’s new kids’ app rules that were released just last week.
It also means that kids will be receiving their very own app section on the iOS very soon, so parents and teachers will have a better resource to find age-appropriate software.
So have no fear, go ahead and experiment with handing apps over to kids. If you remember to keep all things in moderation and check the apps before they play with them, you’ll be in great shape.
We’ve selected a few apps that we feel hold enough educational, entertainment and aesthetic value to be worth your download.
Nighty Night! HD
This beautiful app by Fox & Sheep helps kids get to sleep by going through the barnyard and house and virtually turning off all the lights. The art is all created by little sets made of paper combined with 2D animation and illustration, and the soothing narration and music will help kids move into sleep mode. Beware, however, that the game comes with limited animals to tuck in and encourages you to purchase more. The developer has also released a beautifullyl illustrated sing-along storybook called Little Fox Music Box and an animal matching game called Grolly’s Memory.
Quizzing Toddler Preschool
This jack-of-all-trades toddler quiz program by Toddler Teasers covers an array of subjects from shapes and letters to math and musical instruments. What’s neat about this app is that as kids play with it, it generates a “report card” that can be emailed to parents so they can actually measure what kids have been learning with the program. It can be toggled to teach in Spanish, English and French, so kids can get an early jump on becoming multi-lingual. The app’s design is simple and easy to use. Kids can even earn stickers as they progress through the quizzes to display in the sticker page.
This stylish iOS app by Wee Society LLC aims to teach younger kids that it’s absolutely fantastic to be different. In this story, “Ruth has a purple tooth. Little Dot gets scared a lot. Brad has two dads. Ling pretends that she’s a king.” As the tale unfolds, kids create their own “you” to join in the narrative.
Kids Radio by StoryBots
JibJab Media’s Kids Radio by StoryBots is an app that has a bunch of great educational songs for kids that won’t drive grown-ups nuts. The iPhone and iPad app is supported by a 1 month subscription fee of $4.99. The StoryBots line has a bunch of other innovative kids entertainment products as well, like videos starring your kid’s very own head on animated bodies, musical instrument apps, and apps for parents like Beep and Boop, a reward-based discipline program.
Inspired by the visionary 1920s classic film Metropolis, the Numberlys is an inspired avante-garde storybook app for younger kids by Moonbot Studios. As kids move through the story, a world that at first only has numbers bends and shapes to also include letters. The art in the app is utterly gorgeous and the music is performed by a full symphony orchestra. This one had us at Metropolis, but the alliterative language in the story is a delightfully delicious dividend.
The app’s website contains a bunch of mini-videos detailing how the app was made, which are as quirky and stylish as the app is.