How to Choose Apps for Kids
With the rise of tablets and smartphones, the quest for finding helpful educational resources has become a bit of a challenge. Nowadays there seems to be an app for just about everything, particularly in the field of children's education.
A great learning app provides a very unique opportunity to enhance your child's learning experience, providing valuable content that is both deeply engaging and highly interactive to make learning fun, rewarding and above all, effective.
But how do you know which app is the most suitable for your child's needs? We've put together some helpful points below.
1. Decide which skills you want to target
Think about the specific activity or skills you would like your child to practise and improve on. For example, if you're looking for an app to help your child with their reading skills, you may become overwhelmed by simply searching for 'reading apps'. Consider specific skills such as phonics, phonemic awareness, comprehension, vocabulary or spelling. By narrowing down your search, you will be more likely to find the best suited app for your child's needs.
2. Ensure apps are age‑appropriate
This can be tricky, as many apps are not sorted by age in an attempt to target a broader audience. However, there are significant differences in what a Kindergarten child is capable of learning in comparison to children a few years ahead. Try to opt for apps that specifically target your child's age level to make sure it's not too boring or not too challenging for them.
3. Look for apps that offer a range of activities
Apps that require children to perform repetitive tasks over and over (known as 'grinding' games) can often fail to hold your child's attention for long periods of time. Make sure you choose an app that offers a variety of different activities in the one app. It will keep your child motivated and entertained for longer, and will give you more value for your money.
4. Do your research
Reputable apps will almost certainly have reviews existing online for you to search for and read. Look for educational or parenting blogs to get advice from other parents and educators, and look for trusted companies that have a history in developing educational products to ensure they are carefully structured to help your child get the most out of their learning experience.
5. Find apps with a range of features
There are many educational apps on the market that claim to offer educational benefits but offer very little in terms of features and functionality. This makes it difficult to provide children with a learning experience that will help them remember key skills and practise them over enough time. For example, you many come across early mathematics apps for pre‑Kindergarten students that simply make a funny sound after they've answer a simple equation. Apps that feature complex rewards systems and multiple levels are not only fun and engaging, they help children stay interested and motivated to keep improving until they've mastered a specific skill adequately.
6. Try the app out yourself
It may seem easier to read a few ratings online and make a quick decision based on this, but it is always beneficial to try the app out for yourself to make sure it's appropriate for your child's age level and needs. Many apps, such as the Reading Eggs app, allow you to trial it prior to purchasing. Apps that give parents this option let you make a confident decision before paying for it.
Reading Eggs provides a range of educational apps across literacy and numeracy for learners of all ages for iPad, iPhone and Android devices. With highly interactive touch activities and a multitude of motivational features, Reading Eggs apps are developed by the trusted team of educators who brought you Reading Eggs and Mathseeds. Discover our extensive range of apps here.