Since the advent of smartphones and tablets, managing screen time has become one of parents’ most dreaded tasks, especially in the summer. How much is too much? How do we drag them away from the devices and encourage them to do something constructive? Well, the good news is, just because it’s screen time doesn’t mean it’s not constructive. There are tons of educational apps out there that can help your kids or grandkids learn while they play, expanding their horizons and prepping them for school come fall. Here are just three of the many unique apps available to our kids today that can help them make the best of that screen time.
1. Barefoot World Atlas. Kids can have a blast exploring the world with this app. As they travel around the globe, kids can learn about different parts of the world through engaging animations, fun facts and culturally specific music. They can even test their own knowledge with interactive, playful puzzles. The app itself is free and comes with a slew of features, but if your kids want to go even deeper, there are in-app purchases that allow even more exploration into the world — more than they could do even with a traditional globe!
2. Go Noodle. This app fuels creativity and physical activity all at once, providing fun songs and dances for kids to enjoy and sing along to, as well as get some exercise. It’s used in classrooms around the country for “brain breaks” during the day — so your kids may even recognize some of the songs and characters. If not, they will love getting to know the different types of silly dances and (sometimes even sillier) educational songs that will get them off the couch and moving. This app is also free.
3. ABCMouse. The educational features in this app span a wide range of subjects: math, reading, music, science and more. The app combines books, games, art activities, songs and other elements to offer thousands of activities for kids to explore and learn. It also applies to a wide age range, from 2-8. Though the app itself is free to download, there is a $7.99/mo subscription fee.
With educational apps like these, screen time doesn’t need to be counter-productive. It can be an enriching experience that helps your kids expand their horizons, get creative and become even smarter.