Show & Tell: Three Physics Apps for 5 and 6 Year Olds

Physics analyzes nature to explain how the universe functions. Until recently, schools considered physics to be an advanced subject. Today it is introduced and explored as early as Kindergarten.

We believe in activating our children’s interests in the fields of math and science early and not waiting until high school. Children are natural learners, especially when they can get deeply involved in the activities.

Enjoy using these three physics apps with your child!

Casey’s Contraptions HD

Subject: Science

Categories: Physical Science

Target Age: 5, 6

Device: iPad

Price (as of publishing): $2.99 (iPad)

View Casey’s Contraptions on the App Store 

Casey’s Contraptions is an app you will enjoy using with your youngsters. Casey is a creative kid who designs contraptions to get things done. Your job is to help Casey build paths to pop balloons, move books, roll balls through pipes and much, much more. With 30 different items to use, over 70 levels, and the ability to share through Game Center, the fun doesn’t stop there!  Casey’s Contraptions is the perfect app for the creative problem solver in your family. Be aware that reading is necessary to get started with this app. Plan to work with your child who is just learning to read.

Tippy Tower

Subject: Science

Categories: Physical Science

Target Age: 5, 6

Device: iPhone

Price (as of publishing): $0.99

View Tippy Tower on the App Store  (also view the free version)

Tippy Tower is an entertaining game that has you stacking blocks to build a tower that is both stable and reaches a designated height. Be mindful that this app is not designed as a children’s app, but provides a valuable experience. Blocks dangling from strings can be turned 360 degrees, an extra challenge than just grabbing and moving blocks. This family friendly logic game provides an expanded building block experience. Using this app with meaningful discussions and offline activities is a great way to expose your child to physical science.


Touch Physics

Subject: Science

Categories: Physical Science

Target Age: 6

Device: iPhone, iPad

Price (as of publishing): $1.99 (iPhone), $2.99 (iPad)

View Touch Physics on the App Store (also view the iPad version)

In this app your child will draw shapes with a crayon that comes to life on your device. These shapes interact with a wheel causing it to move according to physical laws. When it reaches the star, the level is complete. Your child will be engaging with gravity, friction and elasticity.

Show What You Know

Activity 1: How smooth is My Ride?

You will need:

  1. Construction Paper: cut into a 5×5 inch square
  2. Sheets of: sandpaper, wax paper, tin foil, plastic and any other flat textured surface you have around the house
  3. Large paperclip
  4. String
  5. 10 coins

Descriptive Vocabulary: bumpy, smooth, rough, uneven, level, jerky, wrinkled, rugged, irregular, coarse, scratchy, firm, resistant, unyielding

The objective of this activity is to experiment with different textures to see how the varied surfaces affect the stability of a tower of coins. This is a very open activity that should change and develop based on your child’s questions and interests.

First thing you need to do is construct a simple sled. Take your construction paper square and punch or make a little hole on one side. Tie the sting through the hold and connect it to the paper clip. Now when you pull the paper clip the sled will travel across the surface.

Lay out the flat sheets of varied textures. Make sure there is one surface that is smooth. Lay your sled on one textured sheet and carefully stack the 10 coins on top. Slowly pull the sled across the surface and notice what happens to the pile of coins.

Activity 2: Ramp it Up!

You will need:

  1. Blocks, Logos or any material you have to build ramps (cereal boxes work too)
  2. Toy cars
  3. Timer – Use your iPhone or iPad!
  4. Writing materials paired with an official clipboard if you have one in the house

Building ramps is a fantastic learning activity for children to experiment with. Pair building ramps with the three recommended physics apps. Guaranteed, your child will be designing new and more complex ramps around your home.

All you need to do is gather a pile of interesting items that can go into building a ramp and then turn your child loose and see what they make. Encourage them to compare two different ramps together and modify their ramps to see if they can make the cars go faster or slower. Get down on the floor and make some ramps of your own!

 

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