Kids love using new technology and it seems like increasingly younger children are drawn to the shiny allure of tablets. Instead of fighting it, many developers are capitalizing on children’s interest in tablets and technology to create educational games and apps for kids. From the alphabet to programming, kids can learn pretty much anything on a tablet. Here’s a run-down of some of the coolest educational tablet apps and games for children.
Alphabet and Phonics
- My A-Z is a flashcard app aimed at preschoolers. What makes this app stand out from other alphabet learning aids is that kids can personalize the flashcards. Including, for instance, a picture of their dog for D. The app guides children in taking pictures of objects to fill in the cards and is a good way for kids to associate real things in their life with the letters they’re learning.
- The Singing Alphabet features letters who sing about their own sounds. The catchy tunes make kids want to sing along and it teaches them to associate the letter with the sound.
- Times Tables: Squeebles Multiplication is for slightly older children who are learning their times tables. The app uses cute characters that walk children through learning and practicing multiplication. Children can earn stars as they improve their skills and the app also lets up to four people make profiles on the same device.
- Counting with the Very Hungry Caterpillar is a counting app that has features the titular character from The Very Hungry Caterpillar. In using the app, children identify, count, and add foods over five levels. The game is appropriate to children just learning to count or to do basic arithmetic.
- Little Digits is a game for children just learning to count. It works by having children place their fingers on the tablet’s screen and then displaying a cartoon number so that children can learn the number symbols.
Maps, Technology, and Other Subjects
- Barefoot World Atlas teaches children about the world and is great for kids with an interest in maps and geography. The app includes an interactive 3D globe that has music and animation for various countries, people, and nature.
- HomeWork is an app for older kids that helps them schedule homework and study time. It lets them set reminders and generally teaches them how to effectively manage their time. The app is quite intuitive and works best on a tablet.
- How to Make Paper Airplanes does exactly what you would expect it to do. While its educational value is perhaps arguable, learning how to follow directions and building plans could be perfect for the future engineer in your life.
- Where’s My Water is hosted by an alligator named Swampy who loves to be clean. This is a physics-based game intended to teach kids basic spatial reasoning, problem solving, and physics skills.
- Move the Turtle is an app that teaches the basics of computer programming by asking kids to plan tasks. Complete with friendly turtle mascot, this app teaches kids to think like a programmer without necessarily covering the nuts and bolts of computer language.
- Ultimate Dinopedia: Complete Dinosaur Reference covers children’s most beloved subject: dinosaurs! Produced by National Geographic, this app includes statistics, facts, pictures, and a story about every dinosaur kids could possibly have questions about.
- IBM Think is a cool app that uses charts and pictures to share the history of technology. It has five interactive modules: Seeing, Mapping, Understanding, Believing, and Acting, plus it has a 10 minute film about technology innovation. This is a great app for hooking kids into an interest in technology in all its forms.
Angie Picardo is a writer at NerdWallet, a financial literacy site where you can find advice on topics ranging from apps to retirement success.