There’s often guilt and worry when parents put their kids in front of a tablet or phone while they make dinner, do some work, or even get that much needed “me-time”.
However, when balanced with physical and other activities, app time can be beneficial, and instead of banishing devices completely, perhaps it’s about choosing apps that enhance a child’s learning and development while entertaining them too.
With a number of playschools and nursery schools still on lockdown, now might be a good time to explore some learning apps for kids that do more than just entertain kids, but rather teaches and reinforces some excellent learning.
Not quite sure that educational apps are the way to go? Here are some reasons why good apps can be great learning tools for young kids:
Apps offer engaging and fun activities – from colouring in to matching colours. They keep kids engaged for longer, and open up more learning opportunities.
They teach tech confidence
Educational apps can familiarise kids with basic cellphone and tablet usage, which makes them confident and encourages tech savviness. With so many predictions that coding and tech will form the basis of future careers, maybe an early start could foster a love of – and skill – in tech.
Apps are fun, and kids are motivated to learn for longer on such an entertaining platform.
Enhances fine motor skills
Kids use their fingers to drag, match and navigate in creative ways, which is excellent for building their fine motor skills.
Building new skills and reinforcing old ones
Educational apps can reinforce skills such as colour and shape recognition, and kids can enjoy practising and playing. Many parents credit apps with teaching their kids new skills – from basic reading and new words to letter recognition and simple maths
Bonding and fun for parents and kids
While your child will likely be able to play by themselves, it’s also an opportunity to hang out with them, witness their learning, and even get involved (remember to guide them gently with any activities, and offer any support and good feedback where possible).
Some apps offer rewards, badges or even cheering when they get things right. This is a wonderful way to learn and to build a child’s confidence.
Worth downloading now: Early Is Best
One of our best apps is Early is Best, a proudly South-African series of educational mobile and tablet games!
The educational games include a Farm animal and Safari animal game for toddlers, as well as an alphabet recognition (phonetics) game for Grade R and Grade 1 children.
The ‘Alphabetland’ app brings tried-and-tested classroom learning techniques into a fun gaming environment and allows for child-directed learning. Children are kept engaged as they’re guided through ‘Alphabetland’ alongside beautiful audio and visuals; and earn badges as they learn. The app lets parents view their child’s progress through the badge report in the menu section.
These apps are also all available in augmented reality (AR) through the purchase of activation cards (available directly from EarlyisBest). The AR experience not only brings the games “to life”, but provides a reinforced, enhanced learning experience.
This is a great way to transform tablet-time into meaningful, fun, learning time.