Tips On Choosing Educational Apps For Children

How do you choose your child’s educational apps and games? Find some useful tips based on Professor Lydia Plowman’s research on how children use apps here.

How much screen time does your child get daily? How do you choose your child’s educational apps and games?

As a general rule, screen time should be kept to a minimum, depending on your child’s age. However, there are a few educational apps that can help your child’s development while keeping them entertained. Win-win!

In 2015, Professor Lydia Plowman conducted research examining how UK preschool children used apps. The goal of her study was to identify the impact of apps on their play.

Let’s take a closer look at her study and discover a few tips on how to choose the best apps for your children.

Test your child’s apps with these 6 questions

When choosing the apps for your child’s screen-time, here are 5 things you should ask yourself before downloading them:

  1. What’s the purpose of this app?
  2. Does it have a colourful design?
  3. Can you set up your own preferences or deactivate certain features?
  4. How much access does the free version offer you? Does it have in-app purchases and advertisements?
  5. Is it age appropriate? (are the instructions easy-to-read and understand?)
  6. Does the app encourage some thought and creativity?

14 fun and educational apps for young children

We’ve carefully curated an extensive list of educational apps that encourage creativity in young children. Some of them are free, but some aren’t. This isn’t a one-size-fits-all type of list, so feel free to check them out and choose the ones you think are suitable for your child.

  1. Peek-a-Boo Wild: Makes it easier for young children to learn about animal sounds. How does it work? The child taps on a hiding animal and connects it with the sound that animal makes. Suitable for all young children.
  2. Hungry Guppy: It’s a maths app helping children understand number concepts.
  3. Busy Shapes is an app based on Jean Piaget’s theory of cognitive development. It’s a fun game with steadily increasing challenges as children drag and drop shapes in the background.
  4. Windosill is a problem-solving app suitable for older children. Its amazing graphics and the irresistible quest to explore makes it fascinating for children. It’s also interactive and highly imaginative.
  5. Millie and the Lost Key gives children the opportunity to help Millie, a lost dog, find her way home through the city “jungle”.
  6. Play School Art Maker is a creative and interactive app allowing children to create puzzles, pictures, movies and storybooks using Playschool characters. Sounds like fun?
  7. ABC Go Little Explorers. A fun and engaging app that teaches children new words through sight, sound and touch. Check it out!
  8. Morris Lessmore is an amazing app based on The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, an enchanting and interactive story suitable for older children.
  9. Bebot is an easy-to-use touch controlled musical instrument for all children.
  10. Sago Mini Superhero is a fun, silly game for young children. It encourages exploration and helpfulness while having a lot of fun. Children have to tap and drag to fly a rabbit around and unleash his superpowers.
  11. Toca City Life allows children to explore exciting locations, find hidden treasures and personalise their characters. They can even record their own voice as they move things on the screen.
  12. Kodable is a fun and witty programing app for children aged 6 and onwards. The levels gradually increase as you’re moving through the mazes. It can be a great tool to help children understand computer science from a young age.
  13. Scratch Jr is another cool app teaching children the basics of coding. Scratch Jr can help your child program their first multimedia projects. Give it a try!
  14. SkyView Free is an amazing app that allows you to identify stars, constellations and planets by pointing your phone to the sky. How cool is that? If you’re up to date with NASA’s alerts you might even catch a space station flying over your area.

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Playgroup NSW leads play-based programs and services for NSW families with children birth to school age, offering development, shared experiences, and family support, that results in active citizens and inclusive communities.