Awesome apps for young kids

Our children are growing up in a fast-paced world. We as parents are forging new territory with our responsibilities to monitor and screen our children’s exposure to electronic media and content.

It can be a time-consuming challenge to navigate the wealth of information and resources available for our children, especially when selecting age-appropriate apps, which are evolving and developing each day! 

There are thousands of free educational apps marketed to young children, but some offer a limited experience or can be distracting with pop-ups and advertisements. Content and quality can vary greatly, too.

As an educator and mother, I work to make intentional choices with the tools I use to facilitate learning. I offer you these kid-tested and teacher-mama approved apps that are both educational, developmentally appropriate and engaging for young children.

MatchBlitz is a multi-player game that helps players practice concentration. The object of this game is to quickly tap matching images that appear on each player’s side of the screen. It starts easy and gets progressively more complicated. The first player to get 10 matches wins. Games are short — ideal for preschool attention spans. It can be played in practice mode alone or in game mode with up to four players.

iPad

getshinythings.com

99 cents

Endless Alphabet lives up to its five-star rating. It’s a fun game for preschoolers to play while learning letters, sounds and new vocabulary. You’ll hear your child giggling as he or she creates words with friendly letter-monsters. This app is self-paced, easy to use and engaging.

iPhone, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire and Apps for Windows 

originatorkids.com

$6.99

Bugs and Buttons is a collection of 18 games for preschool and early elementary-aged children. Kids are drawn into the experience of interacting with the realistic images of bugs. The difficulty of the games and puzzles increases with play. Children get to practice early literacy and math skills, such as letter recognition, alphabetical order, counting, patterns, sequencing, sorting and grouping. 

iPhone, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire, Nook and Apps for Windows

littlebitstudio.com

$2.99

Alpha Tots is an award-winning interactive alphabet game for preschoolers. Children are introduced to letter names and sounds through play. There are 26 fun mini games that keep little ones entertained while they’re practicing essential skills.

iPhone, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire, Nook  

spinlight.com

$2.99

Rory’s Story Cubes is a mobile version of the award-winning dice game of the same name. You shake your device to roll nine virtual dice with simple pictures on them. Players use their imaginations to create stories in connection with the images on the dice. It’s a wonderful storytelling activity that nurtures creativity and imagination — a fun alternative to reading. 

iPhone, iPad and Android 

storycubes.com/apps

$1.99