iPad is quickly gaining recognition as a premier piece of educational equipment. Schools are using the tools to teach, while parents are able to enlist the services of the iPad for homework assistance and basic learning for young tots. An ever-expanding market of apps designed exclusively for operation with the iPad offer educational opportunities in every subject imaginable, and this week we’ll take a look at five of the highest rated iPad educational apps.
Animal PreSchool Word Puzzle
Pre-school aged learners will have a ball with this visually-pleasing app designed to ease children into cognitive recognition. Adorably animated animals adorn the screen as children are prompted to match animal, letter and number outlines with coinciding silhouettes, acting as a virtual game of trying to fit the round peg in the appropriate hole. Other games encourage children to match photos of animals with their written names and animal sounds with the noise maker! This is a great purchase for parents of young children who want to enhance animal, letter and number recognition while keeping the process fun and engaging.
Wheels on the Bus HD
Each time that I review an app developed by the folks over at Duck Duck Moose, I’m impressed by the overall quality and educational value of the app. Wheels on the Bus is an interactive children’s book based on the song we all know, “Wheels on the Bus.” As your child flips through the pages, they’ll be able to manipulate elements within the screen’s animation, like honking the bus horn or swishing the windshield wipers. Parents can use Wheels on the Bus for an interactive story time, as the app prompts sing-alongs and the opportunity to record your child singing their very own version of this children’s classic.
Pre-School 12 in 1 Kids Pack
This app really is a lot like pre-school in an app. Pre-school 12 in 1 Kids Pack holds true to its name by offering 12 different sections of learning to explore, which in the world of iPad apps, is a stellar value at a $0.99 price tag. From basic math, letter recognition, color recognition, sketching, first words and animal recognition, this app has a little bit of it all. Easy to operate functions are combined with bright, kid-friendly graphics to create an environment that encourages children to learn without the strife of forcing it. Fun is the basis of this app, as should be all learning!
Cookie Doodle is an iPad app that seems best used by the pre-school through third grade crowd as the app walks users through using a recipe to create virtual cookies, then baking and decorating their culinary creations. The educational value of this app comes into play with the recipe, where children are presented with a standard looking dough recipe featuring measurements and all. To complete the cookie dough, kids must properly choose the item for each ingredient listed, requiring them to think about which is more: one cup or one-half cup, count eggs and identify ingredients. The cookie decorating fun isn’t half bad, either!
NASA App HD
I’ve never known a kid who wasn’t completely fascinated with all things solar-system related when it came to that particular learning segment at school. This awesome app straight from the space people, NASA, gives kids a chance to explore space from their iPad. Stunning pictures are accompanied by highly detailed explanations, giving children a real life look into some incredible science.
Older kids will gain a tech-y study buddy with the purchase of Flashcards Deluxe for the iPad. This highly rated app allows children (or adults, for that matter) to create a set of customized flash cards to help enhance memory of any subject. Flashcards can be created on an external computer, within the app itself, or downloaded from Quizlet.com. My favorite feature of this app is its intuitive ability to provide additional focus on the cards that the learner is struggling with, which helps to ensure a well-rounded knowledge of thee subject. I sure remember making flashcards in school, and apps like this add an entirely new interactive technology element to the process!
Sentence Builder for iPad is designed to assist elementary school-aged children with learning the process of assembling grammatically correct sentences. A handy spinner function allows children to scroll through a choice of words to create a sentence that not only makes sense, but is properly formed. Whether your child is struggling with their English studies, or excelling, practice apps like Sentence Builder are a great tool to help build confidence without the process of writing and erasing over and over again.
Grade school students and parents alike are no stranger to the weekly spelling test. Each week, many teachers issue a new list of words to master and throughout the week, families across the globe hold impromptu spelling bees. Spell Board gives learners the chance to upload their new list of words each week and participate in practice quizzes that can be written, or typed, onto the iPad screen. Parents give this app rave reviews for its ability to hold lists for multiple students and provide quiz scores at the end of each practice session.
One of the most widely used resource information sites on the internet comes to life on the iPad with Wikipedia mobile. Learners are able to access tidbits of information concerning just about every topic that comes to mind by searching the topic and browsing the coinciding information page. Just like Wikipedia on the web, mobile users are able to review historical information, population data, notable dates and more at no cost. This is a great resource for the start of any research project with links to resources also included in the footnotes of each page.