Top 3 Creativity Apps for Kids

Try this creative on and offline painting combination.

Try this creative on and offline painting combination.

My daughter loves to paint! I hate messes…Not a great combination. I do make an effort to set aside time to explore despite the mess that it sometimes creates. I always try to control the mess, use lots of paper towels, and hope for the best. Using Paint is an awesome way to be creative, and there is something about the experience that children love! My daughter exclaimed while painting, “I’m an artist.” I love encouraging all of the different things she can be and do. This sentence alone was worth the mess. Try this creative on and offline painting combination.

 

Wreck This App

Wreck This App is a great app to encourage creativity in students who may need a little guidance, or the permission to let loose. As the name implies, this virtual journal invites children to make a mess with the pages. Each page gives the user a prompt in order to think as an artist or start into an artistic direction with their own thoughts and ideas. Wreck This App is based on the book Wreck This Journal by Keri Smith. The app is Wreck This Appintentionally created in black and white and has a simple interface that children ages 4 and up can easily use. The journal does not read the prompts to you, but younger children are able to navigate the tools once the prompts are read aloud to them. Add a photo of dirt, garbage or stains, trace your toes, or document a boring event in detail. This app makes your child think in many different directions and they can use words, photos, or drawing tools to express their answers. If your child doesn’t like the creation they’ve made, they can easily erase it and create another one. The app does have options for easily sharing to social media so parents will want to monitor their children when using the app, or disable these features on your iPad. Wreck this App is available for $4.99 for iPhone and iPad and will be a creative digital journal your child can come back to again and again.

 

Art Set

Art Set

Art Set is a virtual canvas for kids. My favorite feature about this app is that the tools and canvas appear as if they were painted with real paints and watercolors instead of looking digitized. This is a great app to use with students after they have used paints or watercolors on paper. This could also be used before to plan out what type of painting the children will create. There are a lot of different types of tools in the app, but children quickly learn how to manipulate and find their way around the art tools. The app is so sophisticated that it has pressure sensing tools as if your child were creating on real canvas. Explore oil paints, pastels, fluorescent colors or wax crayons with your child. Art Set is $1.99 and appropriate for creative kids ages 4-10.

 

PlayART

PlayArt

PlayART makes you feel like you’ve stepped into an interactive Art Museum. Add a background of Monet; add artistic elements of Van Gogh; and empower your child to take on the feeling of famous painters to create their own pieces. In the My Museum section, kids can save their masterpieces. Within the app, children can decide which painter’s elements are their favorites and save them to their own personal pallet. Children can also add their own paint to the background of notable painters, or start with an empty canvas. The app includes 160 elements and 48 canvases from 8 famous painters. The app is completely kid-safe and does have options for sharing to social media, but they are locked. We wish that the app contained more information about the well-known artists themselves, so parents may have to supply the information once children are exposed to the painters. This app is sure to pique their interest in prominent painters’ work, and they’ll enjoy the process of creating their own unique paintings like the famous artists.

 

KinderTown’s Favorite Paint

 

Try this creative on and offline painting combination.

Washable Crayola Paint with Glitter

Paint Brushes

Paint Paper

Paper Towels

Water

 

Try using a few of the apps above to inspire your child’s inner artist, then move to the paints and paper. Use a cup of water to rinse, and encourage your child to explore the different colors and brushes. Let them freely explore and paint.

 

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Gardening: Indoors With Apps

We are growing seedlings inside to start for our garden.

 

Some time ago, I wrote about the science project I conducted with my children. We grew seedlings inside to start our garden. My children excitedly watched as the seeds sprouted. We used our iPad to take pictures, and I analyzed with my older son why one of the sprouts seemed to be leaning toward the window.

 

They received the book How a Seed Grows as a gift, and we have read it several times. We reviewed the pictures of the seeds later toHow a Seed Grows remember how the seed started and progressed. We also used the app Popplet to make an organizational chart about how seeds grow, which included drawings, our own pictures, and color-coding.

 

After reading How a Seed Grows, my children and I talked about how the story connected to our own experience and how the seed in the story was different from our seeds. Making connections to the story and distinguishing differences is a great thinking activity for reading together with your children.

 

Popplet

Popplet is an open-ended app in which you can create your own graphic organizer. Read KinderTown's review.

Popplet is an open-ended app in which you can create your own graphic organizer. It is a great tool for lots of different subject areas and simple enough for younger kids to use with guidance. I like how the app only offers the most simple and useful tools and doesn’t overwhelm kids with tons of options. We used the pictures we took in Popplet and added descriptions to form a visual representation of the process of how a seed grows. Popplet could be used for many different purposes, such as a pre-writing, re-creating a timeline from a book, describing a character from a book, or recording facts you’ve learned about a topic. Popplet is a fabulous learning tool!

Read KinderTown's blog post about gardening and apps.

Happy Little Farmer

This app is adorable and you will fall in love with it! Read KinderTown's review.

Welcome to your own personal fruit and vegetable farm! This app is adorable, and you will fall in love with it! Kids take on the role of the farmer and complete the tasks associated with growing food. The background music plays familiar nursery rhyme tunes. From the menu, children choose the garden, tractor, or monster area in which to play. Children are engaged in play but certainly learning about how food grows in an age-appropriate way. They can dig the holes for the seeds, plant the seeds, water the plants, harvest the vegetables, and even chase the unwanted bugs away. The app does not contain narration, so, parents, talk to your children about what is happening as they complete all the interactive areas. Children earn stickers along the way for extra motivation and are able to navigate the app independently.

 

The experiential learning will continue throughout the summer and fall as our seeds are transferred to our garden and we harvest the fruits of our labor in the fall.

 

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4 Superb Science Apps for Kids

Science topics are great to explore with young children because they are naturally curious and inquisitive.

Science topics are great to explore with young children because they are naturally curious and inquisitive. Delight in sharing these apps with your child! Be sure to include lots of natural dialog and answer and encourage their questions. They’ll be learning so much in the process. For more KinderTown approved science apps, download the free KinderTown app, the educational app store for parents, and check out the science category.

 

The Human Body by Tinybop

Screenshot 2014-05-02 10.03.17

The Human Body is an app made for exploring and asking questions. There is animation to accompany the 6 different body systems. Encourage and answer your child’s questions while exploring, and they will direct the learning that occurs. Tap different parts of the brain and an animation occurs depicting what that area of the brain controls. Also note that the app does perform functions of the body that may make some children say “yuck,” such as burping and throwing up. The app is not narrated, so parents need to provide the support for the learning In addition, the app offers a parent section and an option to set up multiple profiles for different children. Children can record questions while using the app, and parents can respond to them. Tinybop has even made a helpful parent guide to accompany the app. We highly recommend downloading it and using it with your child. It’s perfect for answering the tough questions your child may ask. In the parent’s section, the urogenital section is available for purchase so you decide when that is right for your child. This app is brilliantly designed for discovery and appropriate for children ages 6 and up and priced at $2.99 for iphone and iPad.

 

Happy Little Farmer

Screenshot 2014-05-02 10.04.11

Welcome to your own personal fruit and vegetable farm! This app is adorable and you will fall in love with it! Kids take on the role of the farmer and complete the tasks associated with growing food. The background music plays familiar nursery rhyme tunes. From the menu children choose the garden, tractor or monster area to play. Children are engaged in play but certainly learning about how food grows in a very age appropriate way. They can dig the holes for the seeds, plant the seeds, water the plants, and harvest the vegetables and even chase the unwanted bugs away. The app does not contain narration, so parents, talk to your children about what is happening as they complete all the interactive areas. Children earn stickers along the way for extra motivation and are able to navigate the app independently. This app is appropriate for young explorers ages 3-5 and is priced at $2.99 for iPhone and iPad.

 

Toca Lab

Screenshot 2014-05-02 10.04.36

Toca Lab is the chemistry lab for young kids! The perfect place for exploring how different materials interact. The app is geniously designed around the world of a science lab. The incredible part is that children do not have to be able to read or understand all there is to know about chemistry to engage in tinkering in the lab. As children tinker with the “elements” they create new “elements” for their own periodic table. Please note that the “elements” and periodic table are not based on the actual scientific reactions occurring, but rather give children the understanding that when elements are placed under certain conditions a new element can be created. Be sure to provide lots of vocabulary and ask your child lots of questions while using the app. For example: What do you think is happening? Encourage them to ask questions too. This app will make your child feel like they have all the tools of a mad scientist! The app is available for $2.99 and is appropriate for children ages 4-8 and designed for the iPhone and iPad.

 

Kid Weather

Screenshot 2014-05-02 10.03.38

Do I have to wear a coat today? Will it rain? Can I wear shorts? Let your child check the weather and answer these questions with the app, Kid Weather. Created by meteorologist, Justin Berk and his son, the app makes weather interesting for young kids to explore. Like other weather apps, you can add your specific locations so try adding your hometown and other locations that are familiar to your child. In addition to showing the temperature and a child dressed appropriately for the current weather, the app includes a trivia and a graphing section. Use these sections with your child to support their understanding of weather terminology and trends over time. The app is available for $1.99 for iPhone and iPad and is appropriate for children ages 4-8.

 

Show What You Know: Track the Weather

 

The weather is something real and tangible that children can relate to which makes it a great early learning science topic. Begin to record the weather daily using a weather chart. Create your own chart to hang in your home. You could choose different areas to examine each day according to child’s interests and science learning level. In addition, choose a common household item to represent different types of weather, for example a cotton ball for a cloud, a blue circle sticker for rain, and a round noodle for a sun. Each day examine the weather and choose an object to glue on the chart. For older students, you could track more complicated topics like the temperature, humidity or percent chance of precipitation. No matter which level you choose, after a period of time discuss trends, patterns and compare different categories. Which type of weather did we have most often? Which category had the least? What trends can you conclude from the data? You are now analyzing data with your child, a valuable science skill.

 

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Artistic Apps by Avokiddo

These apps are so artistically created that you will wonder whether you child is playing and learning with art or an iPad, really it’s both.

I love the artistic quality of the Avokiddo apps so much that I would like to highlight both Avokiddo ABC Ride and Avokiddo Emotions. These apps are so beautifully created that you will wonder whether your child is playing and learning with art or an iPad. (Really it’s both!)

 

Avokiddo ABC Ride

Screenshot 2014-04-11 11.12.46

Avokiddo ABC Ride blends the great artistic qualities of cut-paper art design with learning letters. The characters, Beck and Bo, appear in the park, and your child can begin to play with them as he chooses a bike to ride through the park. Along the way, activities included in the scenery prompt your child to play a learning game that is associated with a letter. Once the activity is completed, students must reconstruct a word that starts with that letter. Another way to navigate the app is to use the ABC icon in the corner to choose a specific letter. In the parent section, choose uppercase or lowercase letters, whether to have the app state the letter name or the phonics sound, and other options, such as music and narration check boxes. Avokiddo ABC Ride combines artistic characters and scenes with a healthy dose of play while your child learns letter names and sounds. Avokiddo ABC Ride costs $2.99, is appropriate for children ages 3-5, and is available on iPhone and iPad.

 

Avokiddo Emotions

Screenshot 2014-04-11 11.11.52

Avokiddo Emotions opens with Avokiddo’s signature artistically created characters. Tap on the zebra, sheep, or giraffe to play with the character. Next, objects fall onto the screen, and your child gets to choose which ones to attach to the character. For example, a big straw hat turns the character into a beach-loving animal. With each object and scene, the characters display emotions associated with the scene and objects. Decide which foods to feed the characters to see how they will react. (Do they like pumpkin, watermelon, or a sandwich?) You can save your picture to your camera roll while playing or pull the lever to have all new objects come into the scene. Through this type of play, young children are learning about emotions, cause and effect, and body language. Avokiddo Emotions is available for $2.99,is appropriate for children ages 3-5, and is available for iPhone and iPad. Enjoy the artistic characters and explore their emotions as you add fun props.

 

Show What You Know: Cut Paper Art

The app, Beck and Bo is designed in a cut paper style. Grab all your paper scraps around the house and have fun creating a cut paper masterpiece and incorporate letter-sound associations, too.

 

Supplies:

-scraps of paper or full sized pieces of paper

-glue

-1 larger piece of paper to use as a construction base

-scissors

 

Have your child begin to cut paper to design a picture. For example, cut out a circular shape for a ship, circles and squares for windows, and long rectangles for the mast. Arrange the cut pieces on the larger piece to create a picture. While creating this with your child, attach the beginning letter or word to objects. For example, write the letters “Sh” on the ship, and “M” on the mast. Talk about the beginning sounds with your child. Provide the letters and sounds if your child is at the beginning stages of learning their letters. If your child knows most of their letter sounds, write the word and ask “What else begins like the word sun?” This activity can be tailored to many different levels. Also, allow your child to experiment and explore with different abstract shapes that may not have a direct letter or word correlation.

 

We would love to hear from you…. Does your child love one of our apps? Did you try the “Show What You Know” activity? Let us know what you thought at sayhello@kindertown.com.

 

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Apps and Activities for Science Learning this Spring

Have a fun spring with children exploring & discovering science with these fun educational apps and activities.

Have a fun spring with children exploring & discovering science with these fun educational apps and activities.

 

Science Apps for ages 3 to 5

 

Dr. Panda’s Veggie Garden

Dr. Panda’s Veggie Garden playfully gives kids the tools to be gardeners. There are 12 fruits and vegetables to grow. Over 30 activities such as plowing, digging, picking off insects and planting seeds are sequenced appropriately for growing each produce.

 

Read KinderTown's review of Dr. Panda Veggie Garden.

The app is more geared towards amusement and working through 1 and 2 step tasks than learning the sequence of growing fruits and vegetables. Each task is fun and easy for kids to work through, but there is not much free play in the games. There are links in the app so you might want to turn off the internet on your device when using this app.

 

Related Blog Post:
Gardening: Indoors With Apps

 

Hippo Seasons

Hippo Seasons responds to your child’s touch for discovering the four seasons. In each season kids tap, swipe, shake and blow to reveal and create with the thematic seasonal scenes. Winter has snow play, spring blends water and colorful flowers, summer an interactive lawn and fall is filled with leaves.

 

Read KinderTown's review of Hippo Seasons.

This free exploration app feels more like a toy than a traditional kids app. A very good app that uses no timers or directions, just your child’s imagination!

 

Related Blog Post:
Apps for Spring

 

Science Apps for Ages 5 and Up

 

Simple Machines by KIDS DISCOVER

Simple Machines by KIDS DISCOVER is a brilliantly designed app that keeps both kids and adults longing to learn more. This is a large app filled with animations, activities, vibrant images and more facts about simple machines than you probably remember learning when you were in school. Activities in the app include puzzles, a mind-bending spelling machine, ideas for simple machines you can make at home and a quiz to see how much you have learned.

 

Read KinderTown's review of Simple Machines by KIDS DISCOVER.

This app doesn’t have the text read aloud, but our curious kids didn’t seem to mind making all kinds of meaningful connections from the pictures when we weren’t able to read aloud.

 

Related Blog Post:
Maker-Inspired Apps

 

Color Uncovered

Color Uncovered is a completely engaging app with interactivity, vibrant images that pique your interest and ton of cool facts about color. Over 20 pages present fun facts about color. The whole family can settle in with this app, allowing the colors on the screen to trick the mind.

 

Read KinderTown's review of Color Uncovered.

There is informative text and explanations provided in the app. They are not written for young children and there is no speech option. An app to use alongside your child, with content that’s interesting for adults too!

 

Related Blog Post:
From Doodles, to Drawing, to Writing!

 

GazziliScience

GazziliScience introduces young kids to Science topics in engaging and kid-friendly play. In the app kids progress through 6 science learning areas that teach through discovery and narration. After completing each area go to the Gazzili fun page where you use prizes earned in the game to build a unique contraption.

 

Read KinderTown's review of GazziliScience.

You’ll notice a tweet button on each page, parents can go into the settings page and turn off going to Twitter (but the icon remains). In addition to removing the twitter button we hope the developers add more learning areas, as the app can be a quick play for some kids.

 

Related Blog Post:
4 Superb Science Apps for Kids

 

Explore the weather and seasons with your young child with the following activities. We crafted each activity to be easy to do with very little planning. Enjoy!

 

Activity 1: What Can the Wind Move?

The invisible mystery of wind makes for great play with young kids. When you are out on walk one day, point out how a flag is blowing or the tree is moving and simply ask you kids, “Why is that moving?” You might get the response, “Oh, Dad, that’s just the wind!” or something wild and unpredictable (like our kids often are).

 

For a quick to set up lesson about the wind, join in with your child to find small objects around the house to test in the wind. The question you’re trying to answer is, what can the wind move.

 

Set up a table in the yard or clear a space on a windowsill. Set out your collection of items to test in the wind. Make sure to jot down your predictions too! Then wait and watch. (You might want to set it up before bed and then see what the table looks like in the morning.)

 

Talk about why certain things on the table were blown by the wind. Why some objects did not move, some moved a little bit and others ended up halfway across the yard.

 

Activity 2: Where Can We Make Rainbows?

A favorite craft in my classroom was coffee filter rainbows. All you need to do is cut a coffee filter in half so you have a half-circle. Then add your colors using markers around the arch, like a rainbow. A few squirts from spray bottle filled with water helps the colors bleed into a bright beautiful rainbow.

 

While that activity by itself is really fun for kids, stretch it out to get kids really thinking of what happens when the water hits the filter and the colors bleed. Challenge your kids to think about where else you can make rainbows:

 

• Can you make a rainbow on cardboard?
• Can you make a rainbow on  tissue paper?
• What happens when you use chalk on the sidewalk?

 

Activity 3: Modeling the 4 seasons

As the seasons are changing from winter to spring, kids are able to really notice the differences and form understandings of the cycle of seasons. Use this time to create books and crafts about the four seasons. Here are a few of our favorite 4 seasons projects:

 

4 seasons foods: Divide a paper plate into 4 parts and label each part with one of the four seasons. Think about foods that look like each season. I used split peas for summer, 3 colored pasta for fall, mini marshmallows and pretzels for winter, and colorful jelly beans for spring. Glue the food into each quarter, describing and comparing what we see outside to the colors and shapes of the food.

4 seasons trees: Gather small sticks from around the yard. Glue them into tree forms on 4 pieces of paper. Label is paper as one season. Kids then add the details to and around the trees to reflect each season. Change up the project by adding: tissue paper, ribbons, paint stamps in the colors of the four seasons.

4 seasons “I like” book: Using four pieces of paper, talk with your child about what they like to do during each season. On the paper write the prompt “I like _____ in (season)”. Fill in the blank with what your child likes to do and add an illustration to each page.

 

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