5 (FREE!) Educational Apps - Technology As Support For Parents
We hugely encourage the value of outdoor play, nature study and off-screen time, but every parent can agree that technology does have its benefits on days when you just “can’t anymore” and you need to get things done!
Many parents face burnout from working and schooling at home and consequently, parenting has become more flexible, with a growing appreciation for the valuable support of technology that is entertaining and educational.
Keeping young minds sharp and stimulated through fun learning experiences can be challenging. Ideally, we need technology that emphasises exploration and encourages open-ended play and learning.
Here are 5 FREE educational apps that are trending to help South African parents with toddlers and young children:
1. Reading Eggs – Learn To Read (30 Days Free)
A multi-award winning app which has helped over 10 million children between the ages of 2-13, using games, reading lessons, fun activities and over 2500 digital story books.
For 2-8 year olds, this app teaches English in a fun and playful way, including the alphabet, numbers, colours, shapes, food and animals, with up to 72 topics. Among others, this app has won Mom’s Choice Awards and National Parenting Publication Awards.
Having stood the test of time with old favourites like Sesame Street, this is excellent material for Math and Science learning on iPad.
4. Toca Boca
Boasting more than 130 million downloads in 215 countries, this app is designed from a kid’s perspective and is based on the belief in the power of play to spark imagination and help learn about the world. Playful and creative, award-winning Toca offers fun, safe, open-ended play.
5. ABC Mouse (30 Days Free)
Widely rated as best overall, this app is subscription-based and offers an educational virtual classroom, customised by age and teaching reading, math, colouring, music, and much more.
Other awesome educational apps worth a mention:
This is My Body – Anatomy for Kids (Paid App)
Created by a team of medical doctors, teachers and parents, this user-friendly, fun and interactive app helps children learn human anatomy in an interesting and playful way - featuring many amazing visual elements, ideal for young pre-readers.
Lightbot Jr: Coding Puzzles (Paid App)
From 4+ years, this app offers an introduction to coding using Computer Science concepts. Just by guiding a robot with commands, parents can play along to solve puzzles for writing instructions, debugging problems and simple procedures and loops.
Barefoot World Atlas (Paid App)
This is a 3D trip around the world, discovering planets and exploring many different regions, featuring exciting icons, sound, and interactive quizzes.
Remember that children learn best within a socially interactive environment. Too much screen time can be harmful to their development and affect sleep quality. So to counter this, don’t hand your child an iPad when they are bored or upset and try to regulate their screen time and schedule lots of non-screen activities into their day.