Let’s face it – singing “the wheels on the bus go ‘round and ‘round” gets old after the fifteenth time. There are only so many activities you can keep your kids busy with during road trips, visits to the doctor’s office and grocery shopping. The booming market of tablets led by manufacturers like Apple, Samsung and Research in Motion, as well as app developers of all kinds, is making child supervision much easier. These useful mobile apps are also helping children all over the world enhance their education with fun activities inside and outside of the classroom.
In a study commissioned by PBS, 40 percent of parents reported that their child played on their tablet at least once a day. Additionally, 90 percent of parents said that “educational value” was the most important reason for choosing an app for their child. If you happened to have a tablet and a bored child, here’s a list of apps you should download to ensure fun and learning at the same time for less than $6.99 each.
The recent release of Angry Birds Space HD has proved this growing sensation to be a continuing success. These mad, catapulting birds have been sweeping the country – and app world – by storm since it was originally released in 2010. The ease and simplicity of this game make it suitable of kids age 4 and older. It has educational value too – kids can read about NASA explorations and Mars expeditions, as well as learn about NASA vehicles.
Let Elmo teach your toddler how to count to 20 through fun videos and songs from Sesame Street. Elmo Loves 123s teaches kids ages 3-5 to identify numbers, trace them, count groups of objects and begin practicing early addition and subtraction. It also keeps record of your child’s progress so you can view it after your child plays.
Where’s My Perry? is a game derived from Disney channel show, “Phineas and Ferb.” The object of this game is to help Perry the platypus get to the headquarters of a lab. Kids must solve progressively difficult physics puzzles to enable water to be delivered to an elevator system where Perry stands. Figuring out how to get the water through is challenging and addicting for kids age 4 and older.
Unleash your child’s imagination with Princess Fairy Tale Maker. It has 32 customizable animated backgrounds for kids to choose from. This app also lets children record a narration for their story and share it with friends. Princess Fairy Tale Maker is perfect for kindergarteners age 5 and older.
The Make Me Smile app is great for fussy toddlers when you’re grocery shopping. It’s your child’s job to cheer up the sad monster on the screen. Tap the monster’s face to turn their frowns into smiles and laughter. This app will keep your toddler busy for as long as you need. It also takes pictures of your child’s reaction as the monster’s face changes for cute keepsakes.
My Beastly ABCs is an interactive book app that introduces a different monster for every letter of the alphabet. The book is narrated and helps your child engage in reading, learning the alphabet and overcoming their fear of monsters. It’s best suited for kids ages 4 to 7.
Plant an army of greenery and defend your crops from undead invaders in the Plants vs. Zombies app. This entertaining game is suitable for kids age 9 and older, and has 50 addicting levels of play.
Hotel Dash teaches older kids how to manage time and complete tasks. Each level gets progressively challenging with a much faster pace. This app will keep kids 9 and older busy for hours while teaching them how to organize tasks in a timely manner.
Madden NFL 10 is perfect for parents with sports-loving kids. Play against your favorite sports team in a recreation of the popular console game. This app may not be as educational, but it’s clean, fun and will keep your child busy on a long car trip.
Do your kids love music? Let them be a superstar with the Rock Band app playing guitar, drums, bass or vocals while learning rhythm and rocking out. This app is best for kids age 10 and older.
Kevin Armstrong is a freelance writer and blogger based in the greater metro area of Carson City. He writes on technology, computers, gadgetry and other similar topics; if you’re considering these apps you may want to view the 4g as it may prove very useful.