These days, children are practically born with the ability to use a smartphone and have an immediate understanding of technology from a young age, and 91 percent of children play video games. In this environment, parents can fight the trend and likely lose, or use it to their advantage by allowing their children to play educational games that will enhance spelling, reading, and math skills. There is no better way to trick your child into learning than with a flashy tablet app featuring talking fish. Your little ones will think you are a cool parent for letting them spend so much time in front of the computer, and parents will have peace of mind knowing their kiddos are actually furthering themselves.
All of these websites and games are safe for all ages, and many allow for multiple players so they can be played together as a family.
One thing to look out for with apps is in-game purchases. If kids don’t understand that getting more lives in a game costs actual money, there can be real problems. Make sure to read the descriptions before handing it over to your kid or stay safe with our guide to turning off in-app purchases.
Fish School HD (Apple $2)
Fish School HD is a great game for preschoolers. It teaches numbers, letters, shapes, and colors with the help of animated fish. There is even a lesson on differences, where children have to find the fish that doesn’t look like the others. The app tries to cover basic skills taught before or during preschool curriculum. After kids work out their brains, they can have play time by tapping and dragging the fish and watching them react. Some letters and numbers are hard to read when displayed by fish, so it could be frustrating for some little ones.
Scout’s ABC Garden (Apple $2)
This is one entry in a series by Leap Frog that stars a green puppy named Scout, who takes kids through his backyard where they help him find things he’s lost, grow letters, and count drops of water. The app can be personalized and Scout will learn your child’s name, favorite color, and favorite food. The only bummer is it can only be personalized for one person at a time, so if there is more than one kid wanting to play with Scout you might need to have them share a profile or download it on another device. Scout will teach your kids how to count, but not to share.
Balloony Word (Apple Free)
This version of Hangman features Gordon the Gorilla and Kendra the Kangaroo as they hang helplessly from balloons with letters printed on them, and their lives are in the hands of the players who must guess words based off letters they choose. There are different categories of words to choose from, such as fruits or vegetables. Every wrong guess pops a balloon and brings either Gordon or Kendra closer to the ground, but gently. This is a game for children, so there won’t be any animals plummeting to earth, but there’s still a feeling of drama. This game is simple and is a good one to play with your kids, or by yourself when they’re sleeping, you deserve it. The only downside is an older kid could get tired of the repetitive nature of the game.
There is no better way to trick your kids into learning geography than putting faces on states. This app covers a wide variety of United States geography such as capitals, state shapes, borders, and abbreviations. The game presents the player with multiple choice trivia about states, if you answer the question correctly, you are allowed to place that state on the base. You win once you stack your states all the way up to the checkered line. Because it allows up to six unique profiles it’s easy to let the whole family play. Nothing brings families closer together than competition. There is also a Learn menu that presents an interactive map and flash cards. There is a “lite” version that is free but, as one could guess, isn’t as extensive as the full version.
Instead of letting your kids watch Jurassic Park, leaving them terrified to be alone in an SUV for the rest of their lives, have them play Dinosaur Park Math. This app has the perfect combination of addition, subtraction, and dino facts. The game takes you through a dinosaur park and presents math and trivia challenges to unlock different parts of the park. The kid’s job is to unlock pieces of each dinosaur by solving math problems. Once the fossils are uncovered, the guide will give facts about that specific dino and the world it lived in. The math problems are a little advanced, getting into basic double digit stuff, so play around with it first to see if you think your kid could answer the questions without getting frustrated,while still learning.