Top 6 Paid Educational Apps for Preschoolers
By Jenae at www.icanteachmychild.com
I’m a firm believer in real-life, hands-on experiences to help young children grow and learn…So much so that I have really fought against this whole “kids using iPods/iPads” thing. But I’m giving in–mostly because I know that this is the way of the future and refusing to let my children “indulge” makes them want it even more, to the point where they are obsessive when/if they do get to play. Rather than mindless video-game playing (i.e. Angry Birds, which they’ll still get to play on occasion), I want to harness this technology as a tool for teaching and learning. After hours upon hours of reading reviews and testing more than a dozen apps, I compiled a list of 10 of our favourite iPhone/iPad educational Apps for preschoolers!
1. Montessori Crosswords (designed for iPad and iPhone)
This is one of my favourites, probably because it is a great tool for teaching reading (or the phonetic component of reading, anyway). Teaching a child to read is one of my favourite things in the entire world! This app is great for teaching letter SOUNDS (which is WAY more important than learning their names). It also adds a cognitive component of mini-crossword puzzles as well as consonant blends. This app is completely customizable and includes a special section for parents.
2. Handwriting without Tears: Wet, Dry, Try Capital Letters and Numbers (iPad 2 and newer only)
This app teaches children to form letters from the top down. Although it’s quite different from holding a pencil and writing (unless you have your child use a stylus), it at least allows children to learn how to correctly form a capital letter (and numbers). My only complaint about this app (besides the fact that it is ridiculously expensive and only includes capital letter formation) is that it can be frustrating for younger children. Little Brother attempted it and he obviously did not have the fine motor control necessary, so it would make him start over again and again. I would suggest this app for children who are 4+. It is perfect for Big Brother and keeps me from harping on him all the time to begin writing his capital letters from the top down!
3. TeachMe Toddler (Compatible on iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad)
This all-in-one app works on letters, numbers, shapes, and colours (which I think is great for young preschoolers/older toddlers). If you have a preschooler who is ready for more of a challenge, the Teach Me Kindergarten App would be a great step up! The Kindergarten app includes addition, subtraction, spelling, and sight words! Each child has their own login and you can track their progress. The interface is pretty simple, which I personally prefer for my children–some other “busy” apps can be overstimulating. This app can be a little drab if playing it for a while, but it is still something I would recommend.
4. Monkey Preschool Lunchbox (designed for both iPod and iPad)
This is the most popular preschool app available, with good reason! The puzzle feature (below) is great for incorporating visual/spatial awareness while you’re on the go (without losing a million puzzle pieces in the process). It also includes sorting, shape recognition, and colour recognition…just to name a few.
5. Park Math – Duck Duck Moose (compatible with iPad, iPod touch, and iPhone)
This app provides valuable content and is engaging to young children. The bear on the roller skates strolls from task to task, including sorting from smallest to largest, patterning, number recognition, counting, and addition. The graphics won’t wow you, but they’ll keep your child entertained while learning.
6. Bugs and Bubbles (Designed for both iPod and iPad)
This app, along with its companion app (Bugs and Buttons), are the most beautiful children’s apps I have seen! The graphics are incredible! This app, in my opinion, is the perfect blend of fun and learning. Some of the tasks are solely for fun (popping bubbles) while others include important early-learning tasks such as patterning, letter matching, letter writing, and shape recognition. I also really like that every game starts at the easiest level and as the child masters it, it goes to harder levels.
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