Do you ever get the sense that kids are more tech savvy than most adults? Technology is everywhere and our kids are very adept at using iPads, iPods, computers, smartphones, and touch screens. While too much screen time isn’t good for anyone, there are many apps that are great for helping little ones (and school-aged kids) learn. We’ve complied a few of our favorites below…
Jib Jab Jr.
Yes, the company that brings you hilarious animated elves with faces of your friends during the holiday season has a kid division. These genius apps deliver interactive books to your iPad. For a small fee, a new book will appear each month. Use a photo to create personalities (your child, your pet, yourself) then put a character into the story. The free sample download is a charming story about creating the world’s biggest pizza. Other titles tackle the alphabet, animals in the ocean, camping, a princess story, and more. To check it out online, visit: http://www.jibjab.com/kids or search the Apple App Store for “Jib Jab Jr”.
Duck, Duck, Moose
You can’t go wrong with a single option from this great group. Duck, Duck, Moose boasts an impressive list of awards for their apps for children and it won’t take you long to figure out why. The animated, interactive versions of familiar children’s songs are easy to use and provide hours of fun. You can change the instrument playing the song, the voice, and even the language. Don’t miss “Wheels on the Bus” and “The Itsy Bitsy Spider”. “Old MacDonald” features latte drinking cows that read the Moo Yorker. Preschoolers will love Draw and Tell, Park Math, and Fish School. We’d like to give special mention to “Musical Me!” which introduces concepts like rhythm, pitch, and even musical notation in a fun, interactive way. Visit them at: http://www.duckduckmoosedesign.com/ or search the Apple App Store for “Duck, Duck, Moose”.
For school-aged kids, there are few apps as cool as Toontastic. This creative learning tool allows kids to draw, animate, and share their own cartoons. Kids choose from a cast of characters, add a setting, and animate by dragging and tapping the screen. Then, they provide the narration by recording their own voices as they watch the animation. Bonus points for introducing kids to literary words like “plot”, “climax”, and “resolution” and encouraging them to think about a beginning, middle, and end to the story before they start. Finally, kids add music (and get a nifty lesson on how music helps create a mood) to complete the story. And, Moms and Dads? This app is FREE. Find it at: http://launchpadtoys.com/toontastic/ or by searching the Apple App store for “Toontastic.”
Are there apps you are glad you’ve downloaded on your iPod, iPhone, or iPad? Share with us in the comments.
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/iboy/7776516010/”>Ernst Vikne</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photo pin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>cc</a>