Children develop STEM learning from an early age. You may see this STEM mindset with your child when they build with blocks, race paper airplanes, or maybe your child’s curiosity leaves them asking a lot of why and how questions. As a parent it is important to encourage your child to continue to explore the world of STEM. Whether you are just beginning to implement STEM into your child’s learning, or want your child to have extra practice, these fun apps will help engage your little learner in STEM learning.
The Robot Factory (iOS only)
Watch your child tinker with virtual parts to build a virtual robot in The Robot Factory. Your child will love using the camera feature to create a familiar face for their robot and adding the rocket jet pack piece to make the robot fly. In addition, the app utilizes a recording feature to allow your child to produce a personalized voice for the robot. After creating the robot, your child can experiment in the virtual play environment to see how the parts they have chosen work. The virtual testing environment contains a variety of landscape features such as boulder traps and volcanoes that test the strength of the robot. The app is $2.99 and is appropriate for children ages 4-8.
Daisy the Dinosaur (iOS only)
Daisy the Dinosaur is a free app that lays the very basic foundation for learning programming in the future. The app has two sections for your child to explore, free-play mode and challenge mode. In the free-play section, children can experiment with commands and see how Daisy moves as a result of their program. In challenge mode, children are presented with a problem to solve. They must use the commands given to complete the challenge. Use the easy drag and drop icons to make Daisy move. The amount of content in the app is not expansive, but a good amount for a free app. This app would serve as a great introduction to programming or to test your child’s interest in the topic and is appropriate for children 4-8.
DragonBox Numbers (iOS, Android, Kindle)
The focus of DragonBox Numbers is to build number sense from 0-10. Your children will love the colorful boxes made into characters. There is a nice tutorial at the beginning which gives children the concept of how each number works in the app. Then combine monsters together, and make them into new numbers. For example, combine the 1-block and 1-block to make the 2- block. There is a ladder section where children need to combine the number blocks to make the given number on the ladder. For each ladder that is solved correctly the children earn a star. In the puzzle area, children play Tetris style games with the number blocks to solve the puzzle and earn coins. The coins are then used to buy new levels of increasingly difficult puzzles. Your child will enjoy this unique approach to learning and playing with numbers. The app is $7.99 and appropriate for children ages 4-6.
Code Adventures: Programming Puzzles for Kids (iOS, Android)
The character, Aurora, introduces your child to coding in a fun environment in Code Adventures. Aurora uses speech bubbles to explain the gameplay to your child. If your child isn’t reading yet, you will need to read aloud the directions to them. Level 1 begins with the use of three basic commands in order for Aurora to collect a star or the rainbow portal. Use the red question box button at the top if your child needs support. Each command your child completes advances them slowly to challenge them incrementally to create more complex programming commands with Aurora’s guidance. The app is $3.99 and appropriate for children ages 4-8.