Best Travel Apps for Children Ages 4-6

These educational travel apps apps are enticing enough that your children will want to use them while you are traveling this summer.

These educational travel apps apps are enticing enough that your children will want to use them while you are traveling this summer. They can create a new element, an imaginative short story, or tinker with inventions of the past and present. Download them before you set out on your next adventure.

 

Toca Boca: Elements (iOS, Android, Kindle)

toca lab

This app is the chemistry lab for young kids! It’s the perfect place for exploring how different materials interact. The app is ingeniously 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 dabble 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. The app does not provide narration so parents 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 appropriate for children ages 4-8 and free at the time of this publication.

 

Toontastic 3D (iOS, Android)

toontastic3d

Toontastic 3D is one of the strongest storytelling and literacy apps we have in KinderTown. This app is excellent for kids because not only is it highly motivating to use, it is an amazing learning experience that uses the iPad to its full advantage by using the camera, voice recorder and amazing graphics. Children can create their own unique story with interesting interactive characters such as pirates, robots or jellyfish. The app contains 3 different supportive structures for kids to create their own story including; short story, classic story and science project. Build, create, edit, publish – you can do it all in this app. KinderTown loves the Idea Lab that is included for kids who need additional prompts to get started. Toontastic is free and appropriate for children ages 4-8.

 

Journeys of Invention (iOS)

Journeys of Invention delves into the most fascinating inventions in history.

This app is designed for the curious child. Ever wonder what the inside of a light bulb looks like or an old typewriter? The app, created by the Science Museum in London, includes pictures and videos that are completely fascinating; most feel like you are holding the invention in your hands. Journeys of Invention is a wonderful app for any child (or adult) interested in science, technology, and math.

 
 
 

Word Games for Kids -Futuba (iOS)

word games for kids

Word Games for Kids is highly recommended as a multifaceted game to use with your family. The app is completely customizable for what you want kids to learn and play. This is one of the few apps designed completely for social play. Either play with the provided content or create your own. Up to four players can sit around the iPad. Tap “start” and the game begins. One game might have the center showing a picture of a pig. The first player to tap the word “pig” on their panel scores a point. After winning three rounds, the child is awarded a Futaba which is a small seedling. Word Games for Kids comes with several learning sets, but what makes this app exceptional is the fact that you have complete control of the content. Design your games by using the camera on your device or add your own text. The latest update provides an option to use Dropbox to upload images. The amount of customization allows both parents to get creative. The options seem limitless and all for free!

 

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Science Enrichment Apps for Elementary Students

Encourage your elementary students to explore history, the stars, and the human body with these science enrichment apps.

Journeys of Invention

Journeys of Invention delves into the most fascinating inventions in history.

This app delves into the most fascinating inventions in history. The app was created from exhibits in the Science Museum in London. There are 80 objects from the museum to explore. The app does have a fair amount of complex reading, so, parents, you should read along with your child. Rotate the 3D replica of the first battery or a model steam engine or the first supercomputer. The pictures and 3D objects are captivating in this app. Many of the objects have corresponding videos or pictures of historic documents that relate to the object. Everyone is sure to learn something new! The app costs $9.99 and is appropriate for children ages 7 and up.

 

Star Walk™ for Kids

A fascinating learning tool for your kids, Star Walk™ for Kids brings the solar system to life.

A fascinating learning tool for your kids, Star Walk™ for Kids brings the solar system to life. Each planet has a fact card and a short video to explain key facts about the planet. There are extra movies as well that explain space-related ideas, such as the Hubble Spacecraft. A wide variety of constellations and stars turn the sky into an imaginative area for kids. The most amazing feature of Star Walk™ for Kids is that children can take an iPhone or iPad outside and point it to the sky to guide their exploration, and the app will map the stars seen from your location. This is a great activity for parents and children to do together. The app does not collect any personal information but is able to use the location features of your device. This app would be a great complement to any unit of study on the solar system. The app costs $2.99 and is appropriate for children ages 5-8; also, itis available for iPhone and iPad.

 

The Human Body by Tinybop

The Human Body by Tinybop is an app made for exploring and asking questions.

The Human Body by Tinybop 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 appears, 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, which we highly recommend downloading 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 separate purchase so that you decide when that is right for your child. This app is brilliantly designed for scientific discovery.

 

To check out more apps about science, click here.

 

 

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4 Excellent STEM Apps for the Summer

Learn about some of KinderTown's favorite STEM apps that your family can enjoy this summer.

GoldiBlox: Adventures in Coding- The Rocket Cupcake Co

Goldilockscoding

Help! Someone recorded a birthday on the calendar but didn’t include the name with the date. Whose birthday is it? Goldie has a solution. She’ll make cupcakes for everyone in the town. In order to do that, she needs help from Ruby Rails to solve the puzzles and make the cupcakes fast and efficiently.  As your child solves the puzzles, they are learning beginning coding skills. Along the way, take a break and enjoy a mini-game or play with the stickers you have earned in your room. The app costs $2.99 and is appropriate for children ages 5-8.

 

Monster Physics™

Monster Physics

Monster Physics™ helps your child learn physics and so much more. Spend time on the “learn” page, where parents and kids learn physics vocabulary together. Move through the missions, starting with the “tutorial” level that introduces necessary strategies and tools. There are 50 different missions that can be accessed at any time with enough content available for a long shelf life. “Free build” is a personal favorite for watching kids invent to learn. In addition to all the physics, this app cultivates innovation, strategy, and persistence, which are not skills to be neglected. The full version costs $1.99 and is appropriate for children ages 6-8.

 

Toca Lab

toca lab

Toca Lab is the chemistry lab for young kids, and it is the perfect place for exploring how different materials interact. The app is 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 in order 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 actual scientific reactions 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? How can you change the current state? What happens if you add water? 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 costs $2.99 and is appropriate for children ages 4-8.

 

Piiig Labs: Science Experiments for Kids

Download Piig Labs

Science experimentation without the mess! Thank you, Piiig Labs, for this inquisitive app that brings science-friendly activities to preschoolers. The budding scientist in your house will love making a volcano erupt, building a light bulb, and tinkering with a radio. The app does touch on themes such as electricity, chemical reactions, and cause and effect, but the app is designed for children ages 3-6, so the activities are age-appropriate. Each experiment is accompanied by a short science fact for kids. The app costs $2.99 and is available for iPad only.

 

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Apps for Spring

Talk about what is happening outside this spring and then follow up your conversations with these apps.

Spring is a time for children to head back outside and re-investigate the world around them. Talk about what is happening outside and then follow up your conversations with these apps.

 

Plants by Tinybop

Plants

Plants by Tinybop is a fabulous app to explore, play, and learn about plants this spring. The app is based on three biomes: the grasslands, tundra, and desert. Once inside the deciduous forest, the seasons change, the weather changes, and children can interact with the plants and animals. The app allows for multiple logins, so children can explore at their own pace. The learning within the app is based on what your child explores within the biomes. While the app does provide labels in the various biomes for plants and animals, it does not provide facts about each one within the app. Also, the app does not include narration, so be sure to talk to your children while they are using the app. Be sure to explore their wonderfully created handbook about plants for parents on their website. It provides a purposeful way to explore the app and facts about the different biomes as well as further websites to explore. Plants by Tinybop is a truly unique educational app for children ages 4-8. Plants costs $2.99.

 

Related Blog Post:
The Great Outdoors: App Connections

 

GazziliScience

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. Explore sections such as “Plants,” “Water Cycle”, and “Seasons” this spring. After completing each area, go to the Gazzili fun page, where you use prizes earned in the game to build a unique contraption. GazziliScience costs $1.99 and is appropriate for children ages 4-7.

 

Related Blog Post:
4 Superb Science Apps for Kids

 

Dr. Panda Veggie Garden

Dr. Panda's Veggie Garden

Dr. Panda 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 type of produce. 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. In addition, there is not any language provided for your child. Be sure to supply rich vocabulary and questions while interacting with this app for your child to gain the most out of the experience. The app costs $2.99 and is appropriate for children ages 3-6.

 

Related Blog Post:
Gardening: Indoors With Apps

 

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Top Science Apps for Young Children

Check out these great apps for young children interested in science.

Young children are keenly aware of their surroundings, which inevitably relates to science. Check out these great apps for young children interested in science.

 

Top Science Apps

 

Grandpa in Space (iOS only)

Grandpa in Space

Grandpa in Space provides children with an engaging science experience where they can learn science facts.  The app does a nice job of integrating other content areas while learning about science. Other skills presented in the app include: identifying shapes and opposites, memory skills, and rhyming. The app presents the skills in an outer space-themed environment where children can design their own space ship, ride in it with grandpa, and watch short interesting movies about each planet in between practicing skills. We love grandpa’s guidance in learning and his high fives!

 

Weird But True by National Geographic (iOS only)

weird but true

Weird But True is a fantastic free app for children who love to read books with fun science facts or impress their friends and family with interesting tidbits of information. The facts are presented to children in a colorful way, and they can rate the “weirdness” of the app and collect their favorites by pressing the heart. The Weird But True app is free and contains a “pack” of free facts. Additional packs require an in-app purchase that is gated with a math fact (that children may be able to solve). We suggest that you monitor your child’s use of the app so he or she does not mistakenly make in-app purchases.  A fascinating app for the fact-lover in your house!
 

GazziliScience

Gazzili Science (iOS only)
Play with items in a water tank, plant a seed and watch it grow, or taste an apple pie! Gazzili Science introduces young learners to science topics in a kid-friendly environment. In the app, kids progress through six science learning areas that teach through discovery and narration. After completing each area your child can go to the Gazzili fun page where prizes earned throughout the game are used to build a unique contraption. The app also includes an option to turn on the printed narration of the app for hearing impaired students, and that’s pretty cool!

 

Related Blog Post:
4 Superb Science Apps for Kids

 

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DNA Play

Without explicitly teaching about DNA, this app uses the concept of DNA for play and creativity.

DNA Play

DNA Play

Avokiddo has done the impossible by translating the difficult and detailed subject of deoxyribonucleic acid into a game of cause and effect. Without explicitly teaching about DNA, this app uses the concept of DNA for play and creativity. When you dive into the app you are prompted to create a creature by solving the DNA puzzles that appear at the top of the screen. When adding a puzzle piece correctly, the creature grows a new eye, or a longer neck, etc. Keep matching the puzzles in the DNA, and your creature has been created. Your child is learning about cause and effect as they complete the puzzles, thereby effecting the shape of the creature’s body. After the creature has come to life, several props enter the scene and the creatures play, dance, sing or enjoy each of the props in different ways. DNA Play is appropriate for children ages 4-9, and is available for iPhone and iPad.

 

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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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Science Apps for Kids

A love for Science is a wonderful thing to cultivate at an early age, and naturally falls into a young child’s inner curiosity. Check out these Science apps to dive deeper into science topics. To find even more great Science Apps, download the free KinderTown App, and select the Science category.

 

Check out these Science apps to dive deeper into science topics.

Science Apps

Piiig Labs

This inquisitive app brings science-friendly activities to preschoolers. Read KinderTown's review.

Science Experimentation without the mess! Thank you Piiig Labs for this inquisitive app that brings science-friendly activities to preschoolers. The budding scientist in your house will love making a volcano erupt, building a light bulb, and tinkering with a radio. The app does touch on themes such as electricity, chemical reactions and cause and effect, but the app is designed for children ages 3-6, so the activities are age-appropriate. Each experiment is accompanied by a short science fact for kids. The app is $2.99 and available for iPad only.

 

Star Walk Kids

Star Walk Kids is a fascinating learning tool for your kids that brings the solar system to life! Read KinderTown's review.

A fascinating learning tool for your kids, Star Walk Kids brings the solar system to life! Each planet has a fact card and a short video to explain key facts about the planet. There are extra movies as well that explain space-related ideas such as the Hubble Spacecraft. A wide variety of constellations and stars turn the sky into an imaginative area for kids. The most amazing feature of Star Walk Kids is that children can take an iPhone or iPad outside and point it to the sky to guide their exploration, and Star Walk will map the stars seen from your location. This is a great  activity for parents and children to do together. The app does not collect any personal information but is able to use the location features of your device. The app is $2.99 and appropriate for children ages 5-8 and is available for iPhone and iPad.

 

ABC Aquarium

ABC Aquarium brings learning through research and discovery to the youngest learners. Read KinderTown's review.

ABC Aquarium brings learning through research and discovery to the youngest learners. Traditional encyclopedia-style presentations combined with videos, interactive activities and quality images makes the ABC apps from Peapod Labs truly special. The pictures are captivating and appropriate for young learners. The app is organized with pictures with an ocean theme in ABC order. Your child will be learning letters and words along with interesting facts about ocean animals and plants. ABC Aquarium is appropriate for children ages 3-6, and is $2.99.

 

 

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KinderTown’s Top 14 of 2014

KinderTown transforms mobile devices into powerful teaching tools by finding and organizing the best educational apps for kids ages 3-8 years old.

 

Read KinderTown's reviews of their favorite educational apps from 2014.

Our mission is to improve early childhood education by empowering parents with the tools to be better teachers. We work hard to find the best educational apps for children. Each app we select for KinderTown has been tested and reviewed by educators, parents, and most importantly, children. Not all (or even most) of the apps meet our high standards. We take many factors into account including educational value, ease of use, engagement value, design features, artwork, cost, and shelf life. It’s through this process that we believe we can help parents use their iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touches to teach their children anything.

Read KinderTown's reviews of their favorite educational apps from 2014.

1. Reading – Learn with Homer

Learn with Homer is a full “Learn to Read” series of lessons for kids. The app features letter sound instruction, sight word introduction, read aloud stories, and a mixed review of concepts presented. The app does a nice job of mixing reading instruction, a review of previously-taught concepts and the reading aloud of real books, which are all key components to learning to read. The developers of Learn with Homer conducted research using their app on children who were beginning to read, and showed that the use of the app 15 minutes a day led to an increase in their beginning reading skills. Learn with Homer is free to download but does include in-app purchases to buy additional lesson content.

2. Math – Marble Math Jr.

Marble Math Junior is an excellent example of how to merge quality game design with significant educational value. This app moves kids through the sequence of understanding the question, tapping into knowledge to form an answer, and creating a strategy for navigating the gameplay maze. Getting answers wrong is not an issue here, where it’s highly motivating to learn through trial and error, too. Take time to read the information pages to learn about all the features and customize the problems and levels. One of the most engaging, educational math apps we have played to date.

3. Spelling – Rocket Speller Plus

Rocket Speller offers children an engaging space scene in which to practice spelling. The app presents words to students and they must reconstruct the word. To reinforce vocabulary development, each word is presented with a picture. Rocket Speller has the option to have the word displayed (visual hints) so students are reconstructing the word in order to continually practice spelling it, building visual memory of the letters. Children like how getting a few correct answers leads to different choices for designing their own rocket ship and eventually blasting it off into space. Rocket Speller has five different levels that provide options for visual hints and audible hints, as well as smart technology that can determine when a child is having difficulty in order to provide what is called Adaptive Assistance.

4. Social Studies – Barefoot World Atlas

Barefoot World Atlas will completely mesmerize all members of your family. Open to a globe dotted with images that just beg to be tapped. Read and listen to fun facts by touching the images on the screen. Looking for more depth? Search by country and region to learn facts that give you a look into the lives of people and places around the world. This app is completely worth the price of $4.99 and will be appreciated by both the adults and children ages 4-8. Find a time to sit with your child and enjoy Barefoot World Atlas together.

5. Science – Human Body

The Human Body is an app made for exploring and asking questions. There is animation to accompany the six different body systems. Encourage and answer your child’s questions while exploring, and they will direct their own learning. Tap different parts of the brain, and an animation pops up depicting what that area of the brain controls. The app is not narrated, so parents need to provide the support for 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 about their body. This app is brilliantly designed for scientific discovery.

6. Logic – ThinkRolls

In Thinkrolls, rolling character balls take the stage as your child solves increasingly complex problems to allow their character to progress through the maze. There are two levels of game play, easy and hard. Easy is recommended for children 3-5, and hard for children ages 5-8. KinderTown recommends that all children begin at the easy level to understand the goals of the puzzles. Your child does not have to spend a long time at this level to be ready to move to the harder levels, but this will set them up for success. A blinking “redo” symbol flashes in the corner to assist your child when they are stuck and unable to complete the challenge. The challenge is then reset with the maze. The challenges in the mazes come in the form of obstacles. Some unique obstacles include fire blocks, ice blocks, balloons, and KinderTown’s favorite, the jelly block. The jelly block allows your character to jump up from one area to another. Another child tester favorite was the fire block. Watch out! If your character rolls into the fire block, it will turn black and burnt, which our child testers loved! However, the goal is to not become burnt. Children eventually solved the puzzles after experiencing the burnt characters. As the levels progress, children have to use visualization skills to predict the cause and effect of several “moves” in the puzzle. Concepts about physics and chemistry are sprinkled along the way when children must make decisions about the moving gear box, figure out how to make the balloon pop and move the ice to quench the fire. The app offers an amazing amount of content in the 90 levels of easy game play and 90 levels of hard game play. Be sure to read the Chapter descriptions in the settings section for parents in order to have a complete understanding of all the challenges presented in each level or chapter. Thinkrolls is a truly unique app priced at $2.99, available for iPhone and iPad, and is recommended for children ages 3-7

7. Story Creation – Draw and Tell

Draw and Tell brings the best features of drawing apps into one fabulous art experience. Choose from a blank page, your photos, or one of the app’s backgrounds, and start creating. Tools like crayons, stickers, paint and erasers are used while this app records your child singing, talking, and moving stickers all over the screen. Not feeling up to creating your own picture? Try out the variety of coloring pages where you get to drop paint into the lines to create a vibrant scene. The real gem is the final product where your child’s voice and artistic creation are made into a personal movie.

8. Coding – Kodable

Kodable is an introduction to coding for young children. When children use the app, they are coding fuzz balls to move around the screen. The app starts off with very simple mazes for the fuzz balls to complete, and progress as your child completes the puzzles. The children we tested this app on loved to earn color changes for the puff ball by successfully completing puzzles. Kodable is for kids ages 5-8 and is free, but does include in-app purchases to unlock additional levels. With the free version there are 45 levels with interactive tutorials. Kodable Pro offers all of the in-app purchases in one app for 6.99 and includes interactive tutorials and learning guides. Check out their website for more information on their line of apps. Kodable also offers another feature called Kodable Sync, which is designed for classrooms in order to accommodate multiple students.

9. Visual Memory – Dexteria Dots 2

KinderTown loves the creative approach to numbers that Dexteria Dots provides. Dexteria Dots designed a game in which players are developing visual tracking, visual memory and visual motor planning skills through manipulating different sized dots within the app. While playing with the dots, children are learning math concepts such as comparing numbers, counting, adding and subtracting. In addition, fine motor skills are used to slice and connect the dots on the screen. The unique design relates the size of the dots to the numeric value. For example, a 4-dot has twice the diameter of a 2-dot. There are two different games inside Dexteria Dots 2, Make Equal Dots and Compare Dots. In the Make Equal Dots Game, children are challenged to use all the dots to make two equal dots. In the Compare Dots game children combine dots to see which side of the screen is larger. As the games advance, the numeric representation on the dots disappears, developing visual memory and discrepancy. The app is $1.99 and appropriate for children learning addition and subtraction concepts who are approximately 4-8.

10. Social Emotional – Daniel Tiger Grr-ific Feelings

Daniel Tiger’s Grr-ific Feelings provides an app in which kids can learn about different types of feelings while playing and singing with Daniel Tiger. Our kid testers loved the trolley game in which children navigate the trolley to 12 different games. Each game has a specific feeling to complete an activity, such as feeling frustrated and having to find a lost toy, or feeling happy and making Daniel Tiger dance. There is also a sing-along section where kids can sing about feelings with Daniel Tiger, as well as a drawing area that includes paint, crayons and stickers. This app provides an age-appropriate way to explore different types of feelings with children ages 3-5, and is a great way to start conversations with your children about feelings. The app is $2.99 and available for iPad.

11. Letter Sounds – Endless Alphabet

Endless Alphabet is a super silly, wacky, hilarious vocabulary learning app for kids. Scroll through words inside a friendly blue monster’s mouth. Tap on one that looks especially interesting, and learn what the word means. Kids need to build the word, letter by letter first, then watch, listen and learn about the meaning of each word. Wacky, weird letters and colorful, interesting (non-scary) monster characters play the starring role in the app. You won’t find any high scores or multiple levels in Endless Alphabet. This app is just about learning new words in a playful, discovery-focused way.


12. Multiple Skills – Grandma’s Kitchen

Grandma’s Kitchen is sure to delight your youngest chef while practicing a variety of skills including patterning, counting tens and ones, visual discrepancy, telling time, and ABC order. Grandma’s Kitchen has a nice balance of creative play, skill-based practice and informational videos to build vocabulary. Grandma will even give your child prompts if they are having difficulty answering the question. After your child answers the question, they are rewarded with an activity with grandma such as adding ingredients to the mixer to make a cake, watching an informational cooking video, dancing with Grandma, or our favorite, giving Grandma a kiss! Parents, be sure to check out the settings area where you can decide which skills your child is practicing. Check out the fun facts section for tidbits about food, nutrition and cooking. The app is $1.99 and is appropriate for children ages 4-7.

13. Best Non-fiction Reading – Kids Discover Apps

Kids Discover is a jam-packed, non-fiction learning experience for kids. Kids Discover has a variety of topics that they offer in magazine/book-styled apps. Each topic contains pages with information and interactive elements. The app does contain a large amount of text, which is not read aloud. Parents read aloud the text to your child, or help define the topic-specific vocabulary words your child may not be able to read themselves. The apps contain great real pictures, drawings, diagrams, and areas to learn more. At the end of each app there are activities that relate to the topic of the magazine, and multiple choice quizzes with an answer key. Check out their website for excellent parent guides. They also have a teacher area with free lesson plans to accompany each of the apps. Visit their webpage to see all of the app magazine topics like electricity, the Incas, geology, the Civil War, galaxies and much more. Each one is $2.99 and appropriate for children ages 6-8.

 

14.  Handwriting – abc PocketPhonics

ABC PocketPhonics brings three important language skills together into one app. In abc PocketPhonics, children learn to recognize letters, hear letter sounds, form letters by tracing, and use the letter sounds to build words. Parents are able to create multiple users, have control over the font and letter types, what letters their child can work on, and how flawless the writing needs to be. ABC PocketPhonics tracks each user’s answer and will not advance a user unless they first demonstrate mastery of the basics. The app is $6.99 and is appropriate for children who are learning their letters and their sounds ages 4-6. Try the Lite version first to see if it is a good match for your child.

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Top 4 Childhood Adventure Apps

These apps provide a sense of adventure through your iPad without leaving home.

Does your child like adventures? All children seem to have a natural sense of curiosity instilled in them. These apps provide a sense of adventure through your iPad without leaving home. Enjoy an adventure with your child by downloading one of our favorite adventure apps.

 

One Globe Kids

One Globe Kids is an app designed to bring kids in other countries and cultures into your child’s world. Read KinderTown's review.

One Globe Kids is an app designed to bring kids in other countries and cultures into your child’s world. The app allows children to learn about kids from around the world. KinderTown loves the pictures and voices of the children included in the app as they share different aspects of their everyday life. The app opens by allowing your child to personalize their experience by choosing their language and adding a photo of themselves. Then children can explore different cultures by spinning the globe and tapping hot spots that indicate a child is featured from that part of the world. Each child featured includes facts about that child’s native country, language and even a tutorial on speaking a few words in that language. Pictures of the child in their home country are included and show what a typical day in the life of the child might include. The app is appropriate for children ages 3-8 and provides an easy way for children to learn about other cultures without ever leaving home. One Globe Kids is completely kid safe with no advertisements, or information being shared with others. There is a section where children from other countries ask your child questions and they can record their responses as if they were talking to that child, but the information is not shared outside of the app. The app is free, and includes a profile of one child in Haiti. The rest of the content can be purchased as in-app purchases. One Globe Kids has an education version available as well called Globe Smart Education which provides all of the content for one purchase price.

 

Monkey Preschool Explorers

The Monkeys provide an all new entertaining app with exploration as the center theme. Read KinderTown's review.

The Monkeys provide an all new entertaining app with exploration as the center theme. The Monkey PreSchool Explorers app provides a mixed review of early childhood concepts such as colors, numbers, shapes, letters and association skills. One game includes Milo the Monkey driving a jeep through the jungle and children have to tap on the lower case and upper case letter indicated. At the end, there is a fun race game for children to complete and they are rewarded with a choice of a hat for Milo the Monkey. The developers of Monkey PreSchool have a “Thups Knack” system which changes the difficulty of the game as your child plays. This app is a simple one for children to navigate and includes interesting graphics. The app is 2.99 and appropriate for children ages 3-5.

 

Shiny Circus

Shiny Circus teaches young children beginning concepts about measurement and relationships between objects. Read KinderTown's review.

Come have an adventure with all the circus entertainers! Shiny Circus teaches young children beginning concepts about measurement and relationships between objects. Shiny Circus has two different options for engaging with the app; Story Mode and Game Mode. In Story Mode, the children read a story and interact with the characters along the way and participate in learning games. In game mode, children choose which game they would like to play. The app features 4 games that work on early childhood math concepts such as biggest and smallest, near and far, shortest and tallest, and balancing objects. After answering questions correctly children can collect stickers of the characters for their sticker book. Shiny Circus is appropriate for children ages 3-5 and is $2.99.

 

NASA Earth as Art

KinderTown loves this unique app as your children can explore pictures of the world as seen from space for free! Read KinderTown's review.

KinderTown loves this unique app as your children can explore pictures of the world as seen from space for free! Made by NASA, the app encourages children to see the art in the images. The app does not read aloud to children, so parents you may want to read aloud some of the captions. This app would be an excellent addition to a study on geography or inspiration for art. NASA Earth as Art also includes technical information that can grow with your child as they get older and learn about different parts of the world. The app also includes time lapse pictures that show how different parts of the earth have changed over time. Thank you NASA for sharing your work and allowing children to explore the earth from a unique perspective.

 

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