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From education to relaxation: Tips on quality apps for kids

| 09 Nov 2021

Learning the basics of coding, exploring art virtually, or even composing beatbox tracks. Mobile apps designed for young kids now offer plenty of meaningful activities. But is your tech-savvy little one discerning enough to choose the best applications? This is where they may appreciate getting a few suggestions from you.

Most children nowadays own a phone by the age of seven. Bill Gates, on the other hand, didn’t let his children have a mobile before they were fourteen. One thing is certain: kids use digital technologies at an increasingly young age, and the immersive world of apps and videos can quickly become overwhelming for them.

Therefore, regardless of when your kids get their first mobile device, your parental guidance is essential. It’s important to have input whilst they are learning how to use new apps or deciding what apps they want to try; and for the latter, we have a few tips to share. Most apps we suggest come with information about recommended age range and availability on Android/iOS, it’s always good to double-check that the app is suitable for your child – meaning the activities it offers are neither too simple nor too complex for them.

 

Exploring Art

Some apps offer a great way for kids to begin learning about art and ways to create it. You can find apps for young filmmakers or photographers, and there are some great easy-to-use options for those who’d like to try composing music too.

Family Fun with Arts & Culture  For the whole family, Android/iOS/web

Also available is a family section of Google's extensive online visual art gallery, which can be explored for hours on end. Navigating this virtual gallery may be a little trickier for children, but this allows for an opportunity to explore the world of art with them.

Incredibox – For the whole family, Android/iOS/web

An amazing app and website where kids can easily create beatbox songs. It features simple and intuitive controls with a fun design. Composing their very first track doesn't have to be complicated at all.

 

Basics of coding

Understanding the basics of programming: now useful, but soon essential. Not only will it teach your children skills like problem-solving and logical thinking, but it will help them build resilience too. Knowing how to code will also allow them to become more competent users of digital technologies and have a deeper understanding of the software and apps they will use on daily basis. Importantly, it will also open many doors for them career-wise. With coding apps for kids, designed to teach them the basic principles while playing games, learning to code can also be fun.

Hopscotch  For kids aged 10-16, iOS

An award-winning coding platform where users can both play games and design their own.

ScratchJr For kids aged 5-7, Android/iOS/web

Children can create interactive stories and games to learn the basics of programming.

 

Creative games

Kids are naturally creative. They enjoy inventing new things or taking a creative approach to solving problems. Creativity is key to the healthy development of their personality and success in future life – just two of the reasons why practicing it pays off. With the help of mobile applications, they can immerse themselves in new worlds, try logic games and use their initiative to start designing things.

Toca Blocks  For kids aged 9-12, Android/iOS/Kindle Fire

An original game with colourful graphics, in which children create their own worlds made with cubes. They can wander through their creations with the cute characters available. The newly-created worlds can be both shared online and combined with friends.

Kawaii Home DesignFor kids aged 4+, Android/iOS

An intuitive app in which kids can design the interior of their dreams.

 

Education

For those who love learning, training their mathematical or logical thinking, and exploring new territories, there are also many quality apps to choose from.

Khan Academy Kids For kids aged 2-7, Android/iOS/Amazon

An app from an American non-profit education organisation, with games that support children's education. It doesn’t contain any ads or subscriptions.

Prodigy – For kids aged 6-14, web

In this platform that connects in-class learning with at-home maths practice, kids can battle foes and rescue pets by answering mathematics questions. They can build a team with personalised characters and learn to cooperate in solving problems. Unlike other apps, this one is web-based.

 

Reading, video & relaxation

When your kid wants to just chill out, watch a video or listen to an audiobook, there is an app for that. These types of applications will help them learn to relax after an eventful day, appreciate a good book, or even catch up with the latest trends on the kids’ version of YouTube. However, you should set clear boundaries for them to know how much screen-time or video is too much, so that they don’t develop a tendency to binge watch.

YouTube Kids For kids aged 4+, Android/iOS

An app from an American non-profit education organisation, with games that support children's education. It doesn’t contain any ads or subscriptions.

Magic FluidsFor kids aged 4+, Android/iOS

A playful application in which children mix differently colored liquids to create enchanting combinations of shapes and colours.

Epic! – For kids aged 4-12, Android/iOS

An e-book library with over 35,000 children’s books and a read-to-me feature for little ones not old enough to read yet. Ideal for when you want to allow your child some quality screen time and good for kids of various ages.

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