Kid-Tested, Parent-Approved App Guide for Kids
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written by Michel Kripalani, president and CEO of Oceanhouse Media
So parents, you finally caved and bought your kids an iPad or tablet for Christmas- or maybe you bought one for yourself. And now you need an app guide.
Because you have already found that your kids log far more time on it than you? You’re not alone.
Now it’s time to load up the device with great apps to keep your kids swiping and tapping through the new year. But with hundreds of thousands of apps for kids on the App Store, how can you distinguish the good from the bad?
Parent-Approved App Guide for Kids
Here’s a list of kid-tested, parent-approved apps for your new devices:
–The Cat in the Hat
–The Monster at the End of This Book…starring Grover!
Apps for Literacy:
–Learn with Homer
–Dr. Seuss’s ABC
–There’s No Place Like Space (Dr. Seuss/Cat in the Hat)
–It’s Tyrannosaurus Rex – Smithsonian’s Prehistoric Pals
–Britannica Kids: Volcanoes
–Jungle Coins – Learn Coin Math
–Dragon Box Algebra 5+
Apps about the Outdoors:
–On Beyond Bugs: All About Insects (Dr. Seuss/Cat in the Hat)
–Dora’s Great Big World
Apps for Creativity:
–Superhero Comic Book Maker – Duck Duck Moose
–Princess Fairy Tale Maker – Duck Duck Moose
How to Find Quality Apps
1. Start following children’s app review sites such as Digital Storytime, Common Sense Media, Imagination Soup, or Best Apps for Kids on social media for trustworthy app recommendations and reviews.
2. Find developers you like and sign up for their email newsletters or follow them on social media.
How to Choose the Best Apps
AGE: Kids will lose interest if an app is too simple or too challenging. Pay attention to age recommendations and pick apps accordingly.
FUN: Pick a science or math app with fun, familiar characters to find a balance between educational and entertaining content.
FINE PRINT: Beware of free apps, which are often loaded with advertisements or In-App Purchases.
INTEREST: Pick educational apps about topics your child is interested in to keep them engaged.
Tips for Parents
Worried about screen time? Use apps to complement other activities! For example, read “I Can Name 50 Trees Today!” and then go outside and see if you can name different types of trees with your kids.
What’s my biggest tip for new iPad parents? Stay involved. Set time aside on a regular basis to sit with your kids and see what they’re doing on the iPad. Sure our kids may be more tech savvy than us, but it’s our job to stay one step ahead of them. Make sure they are using the iPad not just to play games but to learn, read, create, and explore.
Research shows that kids learn more when parents are part of the learning experience. Sit with your kids while they use the apps and ask them questions about the content to check for comprehension.
Do you have any tips to add?
How about any favorite apps to add to this list?
Bio: Michel Kripalani is president and CEO of Oceanhouse Media, a digital book apps publisher (omBooks) for iOS and Android devices. With over 180 omBooks from all-time favorites such as Dr. Seuss, The Berenstain Bears, Little Critter, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and many more, there’s a story for everyone.