As of March 2010, Google reported approximately 30,000 apps were available for Android devices, with nearly 60,000 Android headsets being sold every day! At that rate, it’s fair to assume that millions of parents are using these phones in their everyday lives. Thousands of Anroid apps focused on children and education are available, giving parents the ability to use their phones to help foster learning. Whether parents are looking for interactive, engaging ways to practice reading, math or just a little finger painting, there are hundreds of apps available!
Android for the Kids: 10 of the Most Recommended Children’s Apps
Once the kids have gotten a little older and need a challenge beyond basic flashcards, games like Word Up! Offer a chance to challenge growing minds to put their vocabulary and spelling skills to work. Similar to the game Boggle, users are tested to locate as many words as possible within a grid of letters while being timed. Young and old minds alike can be put to work trying to assemble words from a seeming jumble of letters.
Young and old alike enjoy simply doodling from time to time. Finger Paint is a free Android app that gives users virtual tubs of paint to dip their fingers in and doodle across the screen. Does your toddler want to draw at the coffee shop, but there are no crayons to be found? This simple app will provide quick entertainment for little ones.
Math Workout Lite
As one of the most popular brain training apps available for Android devices, Math Workout is an app designed for daily use by kids, or adults, to help keep the mind sharp! Focus areas include addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. After selecting an area to play in, users are put to work whizzing through math problems as fast as they can. Challenge the whole household to see who can put in the best daily score!
Kids’ Flashcards Transport
Planes, trains and automobiles are the learning focus of the Kids’ Flashcards Transport series. Children are shown a mode of transportation, then listen to the name of the vehicle and listen as the word is spelled. Clear pictures and spoken words are sure to help “twain” become “train” in no time. Recognition of real world items assists parents in their everyday quest for simple lessons, such as how to decipher the difference between a car and a truck.
Kids Numbers and Math
Although this app comes with a slightly higher price tag than many, it also comes with rave reviews from parents of pre-school aged children. Multiple functions within the app help kids learn to identify numbers while providing basic, easy-to understand math instruction. Kid friendly outdoor cartoon backgrounds set the stage for number memory match-up games, math equations accompanied by graphics and simple count along games.
How many times have you allowed the munchkin to play a game on your phone, only to look over two minutes later and catch him trying to call your boss? Prevent accidental usage of the phone with Toddler Lock, an app that provides children an opportunity to learn colors and shapes while not being able to close out of the app, or accidentally start calling China, on their own. App controls allow parents to automatically set the device to airplane mode each time Toddler Lock is started for even further reduced functionality. Be aware, however, app reviewers note that children over age 2 may become easily bored with the limited use. For updated fun, check for holiday themed versions of the app, like the 2009 Halloween Toddler Lock.
Kip & Kiki’s Big Problem
This 32-page children’s book follows Kip and Kiki, the youngest children in a family of ten. As the youngest, and smallest, Kip & Kiki often miss out at mealtime and finally decide that it’s time to do something about it. A story of teamwork, dotted with gloriously cute illustrations, this read is simply cute. Recommended for children ages four to seven, I see no reason why those a couple of years above or below the target age wouldn’t find enjoyment in this read either.
Concentration for Kids
Memory games are a great way to get little minds working. This simple, and oh-so-cute, version of the classic Concentration game is dotted with barnyard animals, letters and creatures from under the sea. To begin, a quick view of all of the items is given to the player before they are all covered up. Users are then challenged to pick out the pairs as quickly as possible with limited errors. Ten separate levels advance kids from simple games with just a few items to remember, all the way to screens with twenty-plus different items to pair up.
Flash cards are a classic way to begin learning, or refine basic math skills from addition to multiplication. CardDriod Math is a simply flash card app that displays mathematical equations in the chosen topic area: addition, subtraction, multiplication or division. As cards showing equations appear, children are given four answer options in large buttons at the bottom of the screen. A correct answer prompts a positive reaction and the next flash card. Incorrect answers give the user another chance to select the right answer. Reviews report friendly voices and kid-friendly features as a few of the bright spots in CardDroid Math.
My nephew’s favorite toy is an Old MacDonald spinner that lands on a cartoon animal and belts out the sound of the creature. Animal Friends is an app for Android that reminds me of that exact toy! Developed for toddlers, the app features high quality photos of animals including horses, cows, cats, dogs and more. When a particular animal is selected, the noise made by that animal is played and links are provided to learn more about the creature. The only complaint about Animal Friends is that there aren’t more animals to learn about!