Have you ever wondered how to find the best apps for kids when using iPads or iPhones? We’ve put together a list of apps that might be just what the kids want — and also what they need.
- Chore-inator: This cool little app was created by parents for parents. It helps manage household chores and is designed for toddlers to teens. What’s so great for parents? The app motivates children to help out around the house. What’s so great for kids? It’s fun. The app assigns chores and your child taps his or her photo to see their chores for the day. Once completed, the child takes a photo to prove the work has been done. Incentives can be tailored based on age or other factors.
- Parents Magazine Flash Cards: An app for iPhone that entertains and teaches younger kids. It comes with different packs including colors, shapes, letters and numbers. Various games, flashcards, quizzes and tracing that teach toddlers and preschoolers new things. The app improves dexterity and stretches their minds while they play. Comes with 2 FREE card sets; additional card packs available through in-app purchase for 99 cents each.
- A Very Yo Gabba Gabba Christmas: Parents of young kids are all too familiar with the Yo Gabba Gabba chant. Now there’s an app that offers fun music, pictures to color and more with Yo Gabba Gabba friends for the holidays. Even adults can’t help but dance to the lively, upbeat holiday music as they watch the music video. Kids will love making hot chocolate with the Yo Gabba Gabba crew. The app costs $1.99.
- iBiome-Wetlands: Upper elementary and middle school students will have fun with this iPad app offering hands-on, experiential ways to review and reinforce critical science concepts. The app has great animation and graphics to keep kids engaged in learning. Users are motivated to earn badges that denote success. This is a great way to learn more about ecosystems and biology concepts. A great investment for $2.99.
- Presidents vs. Aliens: Who knew learning about presidents could be so much fun? If you have a child who needs to learn more about presidential history, this is a fun and entertaining app. As you learn presidential facts, quotes, nicknames and historical events, you can use your knowledge to help the presidents defeat the aliens. Fling the presidents at the aliens to knock them all down. Use the many special objects and “Executive Powers” to increase the fun. Don’t ask why this is so much fun for kids – just go with it!
- 30/30: If you have tweens/teens who just can’t seem to stay on track with assignments and deadlines, try this app. You set up a list of tasks, and a length of time for each of them. When you start the timer, it will tell you when to move on to the next task. It’s especially helpful when multiple projects are being juggled simultaneously. Tweens/teens often get too engaged in one project, only to let another one fall. This app may be the answer. The app is FREE.
- Dinosaurs: The American Museum of Natural History: A fantastic app especially for boys or girls who love to learn more about dinosaurs. The app contains a mosaic of more than 1,000 images from the museum’s archive, woven together to create a striking image of the world’s most famous dinosaur, the Tyrannosaurus Rex. FREE app for all ages but especially great for older kids.
- iSign Alphabet: Learn the American Sign Language alphabet with this app. FREE and fun for all ages while teaching a valuable skill.
- Infinite Maze: A fast and easy-to-play maze game that is fun and builds skills. A new maze is uniquely generated each time you play, making no two mazes ever the same. You can even use photos from your own photo library. It’s worth the $1.99 for lots of engaging fun.
Avoid these apps
And while we’re talking about apps, there are some apps that should definitely be avoided. Here are a few apps we suggest parents learn more about to keep kids safe:
- Snap Chat: Allows users to send images and videos to friends with a time limit on how long they are available. Many teens use this to send inappropriate photos.
- Ask.fm: A favorite networking site used by teens and pre-teens. However, since the app is anonymous, it may encourage bullying or inappropriate content.
- Yik Yak: An app that gives a live feed of what people are saying around you. It’s used by a lot of high school and college kids and has a lot of inappropriate language and conversations. The app is supposedly private, but we know in the world of social media, nothing is really private.