One of the greatest advantages of having an iPad for your child is the ability to reach around the globe and access different cultures. Check out these top apps to learn about other cultures.
Homes is the newest app from Tinybop, a developer focused on play and the natural curiosity of children. In this app, they have developed interactive homes across the world for kids to play in and discover new facts about other cultures. There are four different homes across the globe represented at the time of this review: United States, Guatemala, Yemen, and Mongolia. Once a location is chosen, a child can begin to explore the house. A sliding window bar allows you to peer inside the home. Tap on areas of the home to zoom in on the room. Once inside the individual rooms, children can play with the objects. For example, a room in a house in Yemen has a musical instrument to play with, tea cups and a pitcher to serve tea, and pillows on the floor to rearrange. The app begs kids to ask questions like “How do others live?” “What makes up a home?” The app can easily be changed to several different languages, encouraging children to listen to other languages and learn new words. KinderTown would like to see more information attached to some of the objects to further educate children (and parents). For example, a wash basin in Guatemala is used to wash clothing and prepare food. When talking with the creators, KinderTown learned about the extensive research that went into creating authenticity in the app. In addition, check out the Homes Handbook, which provides lots of facts and questions to ask your kids. The app is based on free exploration, so children can explore at their own pace and follow their interests as well. This app is a great way to learn about other cultures through the home environment which is familiar for young kids. The app is $3.99 and appropriate for children ages 3-8.
News-O-Matic is a news magazine for kids. This magazine contained within an app includes interactive activities and videos. News-O-Matic features 5 daily stories covering the United States and International news, sports, arts, science and more. The articles are written by their staff of journalists, including educational experts, and reviewed by psychologists to ensure age-appropriate content. The content of the articles is designed for young readers to understand. The app is also ad-free so the distractions are limited. News-O-Matic also features complete playback of the articles via a Read-to-Me function, making the information accessible to younger students and struggling readers. Definitions and pronunciations are provided for difficult words within articles. A few games are featured as they relate to the news of the day. The app also offers a Spanish translation. A special school edition exists for classroom settings or homeschool environments. KinderTown’s favorite feature that is only included in the school edition is the ability to change reading levels within the app from a 1st grade reading level up to a sixth grade reading level. In addition, the school version includes assessment questions for students. News-O-Matic is a very complete educational news magazine for kids and lots of features for educators and parents. News-O-Matic is appropriate for children ages 5-8.
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. It is completely worth the price and will be appreciated by both the adults and kids. We see this app becoming one that the family sits on the couch and uses together. The app is $4.99 and appropriate for children ages 5-8. A KinderTown personal favorite!