Come the holiday season and with it, comes my boisterous nephew – now 7 years old – armed with newer ideas to build a rocket. Mars seems to be his fascination. Traveling there in his yet-to-be-constructed rocket is the only thing he wants in life.
This started a few years back, even before he started school, with a certain game in his dad’s phone that employed rockets, which he happened to chance upon one day. Since then he has been scooping up the phone in his little palms, tapping the buttons and miraculously finding his way to that particular game with a certain confidence that seemed strangely remarkable for a guy his age. And I couldn’t help wondering how remarkably ahead his generation is with the incorrigible influence of technology in anything possible. Then I realized that he is actually doing what comes naturally to him.
In fact, a study conducted by Common Sense Media validates my realization. It was found that 38% of children under the age of 2 have used a mobile device for playing games, watching videos or other media-related purposes. A couple of decades or so have passed since technology has become an integral part of education. Even though the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents should bar all screen time for children under the age of 2, the amazing apps developed nowadays for preschoolers speak aplenty of this statement’s conservativeness. If screen time is used responsibly and monitored closely by parents, then it could prove to be beneficial in a number of unbelievably welcome ways.
Combining a little bit of activity with colorful and interactive screens and throwing in a little education in the mix, has given rise to some magical apps for preschoolers. We highlight ten of the most amazing ones here:
1. Montessori Crosswords
This app makes use of image and audio combination to help kids learn how to read and write. Learning the alphabet and spelling out words seem to be the wow factor of this app which is compatible with iOS 5.1 or higher. This app helps kids to develop a phonemic awareness since it comes with a provision for hearing the sound produced by each letter post a certain interactive activity.
With an array of farm and safari animals, AniMatch lets kids flip cards to match animals. A successful match rewards the kids with the respective animal sounds and a cute jiggle. AniMatch claims to develop concentration, memory and cognitive skills for children all the while keeping them educationally entertained. Any parent with an iPhone and a pre-school toddler is bound to have this app on their phones since this engaging one keeps both kids and parents on their toes.
3. Fish School
The Fish School app is one of the best to introduce your kids to numbers, letters, shapes and colors. Colorful schools of fish swimming into numbers makes counting fun. The colorful theme calls for visual engagement. The interactive activities including singing the ABC song, matching fish, playing with fish, forming letters with fish might seem a lot of fish business for a day, but that is definitely worth it.
4. Left Right Pup
The main objective of this app is to inculcate in preschoolers, the sense of direction. A voice instruction of left or right enables kids to associate the same with the correct direction to send a dog or a surfer accordingly to find objects. Practice is highly recommended to develop the proper sense of direction. Simple and easy-to-understand instructions with a mystery of object-hunt incorporated into the mix make this app quite engaging.
5. Feed Me!
An adorable purple monster thinks of what he is hungry for, which appears in a thought bubble. Kids need to feed him the right answer. The right answer makes him happy and the wrong one turns his tummy green. The right answers reward kids with cute awards. This app helps kids to learn the concepts of ordinal numbers, sorting, color and shape recognition, vocabulary, time concepts and more.
6. Monkey Preschool Lunchbox
This one is a quite famous among toddlers. The objective of this app is to fill a monkey’s lunch box with fruit. It helps kids to match cards with fruit, count them, solve puzzles and more. On correct completion, the monkey claps his hands with glee. Kids can also choose a cartoon sticker to stick on a personalized virtual canvas board.
7. Draw and Tell
This app enables kids to choose from a variety of backgrounds, characters, colors or stencils to draw and create stories. This app encourages imagination and storytelling among kids. Toddlers can move the characters they draw on the screen while talking about it and record that. They can also color the characters they create. Creating imaginative stories to simply coloring for fun, this app offers it all.
LetterSchool helps kids to practice the letter skills that they have recently developed. This app guides them to tap on the starting point of a stroke for each letter, trace the letter and finally write it. Once a letter is completed, it comes to life by lighting up or shooting into space as a rocket. Both uppercase and lowercase alphabets and numbers could be traced in this amazing app. Also, the letters are paired with objects to reinforce letter recognition too.
9. Another Monster at the End of This Book…Starring Grover and Elmo
An ardent Sesame Street fanatic since a long time back, this app had to make to my list here. Furry old Grover and Elmo take up opposite stance in this app. Grover asks kids not to turn the pages for fear of the monster lurking at the end, whereas Elmo urges kids to go on. And the best part is, the monster turns out to be Grover himself. This app helps kids to learn vocabulary, emotional awareness and following verbal directions as well.
10. Tiny Robot Maker
This little app is for the tiny robot enthusiast in your house. It enables kids to design their own robots on screen and then print them out in cards which you can use invitations for your kid’s birthday party. The designing and the coloring process is guided so that toddlers face no difficulty in sketching out their designs.
Being vigilant is all you need to be since these apps work on computer or phone screens which could be damaged by careless handling. Apart from that, monitoring the duration your little cupcake is spending with technology is crucial since you do not want to limit the extent of her imagination. You also need to be careful that your child isn’t exposed to inappropriate content. These educational apps help kids to focus and build self-esteem once they complete a level with flying colors along with learning benefits.
If you can think of some amazing apps for preschoolers, which I might have missed out, do not hesitate to drop in your recommendations in the comments section.