Check out our round-up of the best educational apps for your tech-savvy kids!
We’ve been doing a bit of research here at goodtoknow into the ways you use technology with your kids. While we as kids might have been content with playing Hopscotch or watching Button Moon, kids these days are more tech savvy than we ever were. Sometimes it seems even a 5-year-old can get to grips with an iPad quicker than we can!
After asking our goodtoknow mums how their kids used tablets and smartphones, we found that 94% of you use these devices to entertain your kids and keep them quiet. And while you hope that the majority of the time your kids spend on tablets and smartphones they’re doing their homework or accessing educational apps, that’s just what they want you to believe! The reality is that 90% of the time they’re just playing games (Angry Birds, anyone?) or watching videos.
So, with some help from our friends, Holly Seddon, editor-in-chief of parenting and technology community Quib.ly, and Lucy Gill, kids’ app specialist, we’ve found 10 of the top recommended educational apps for primary school kids. Your little monsters can have fun while learning something new (and they won’t suspect a thing…).
From learning about science, music, languages and much more, these educational apps are a great excuse to let your kids play on the tablet, and won’t make you feel guilty for it!
This cute educational app was recommended to us by a goodtoknow user.
Mjmom told us: 'I found this new Android application in the Google Play store to teach toddlers and kids animal names and sounds, my toddlers love it and they have learned most of the animal names. It's a great way to entertain and teach your kids.'
This free version contains 24 animals and birds to learn from.
Suitable for 6 months and up.
Read Write Phonics is currently only available on Android, but coming to an iOS device near you soon. Aimed at the younger primary years (and useful as preparation for pre-schoolers), Read Write Phonics uses a classic learning method: flash cards, but with a modern twist. As well as the building blocks of Phonics - the method used to teach children literacy in this country - the app also helps with reading and writing.
Suitable for 5- to 7-year-olds.
Science is incredible. Learning about it can help children make sense of the world and encourage them to ask big questions. One of the best ways to get kids interested in science is through exciting spaces, like space or the deep sea. Jetpack Journeys is for kids aged 3 and up, and takes kids on a playful adventure through space, teaching them about their own world in the process. And there are no hidden extra costs.
Suitable for pre-school and early years.
Coding app, Hopscotch, is brilliant, and can be used by 5-year-olds and up thanks to its simplicity. Available for the iPad, it uses a simple drag and drop system at first, allowing children to create their own games using simple scripts. As they gain confidence, they can start to introduce more complex moves, such as shaking the iPad to make something happen in the game. Amazingly, it's free.
Suitable for ages 5 and up.
Pocket Phonics is another highly recommended app. Available on iOS, it teaches letter sounds and basic writing, and do so in the same way that kids experience teaching in schools.
Suitable for pre-schoolers to 7-year-olds.
Kids' app specialist, Lucy Gill, says: 'This is great at a more advanced stage. It uses the noughts and crosses game as a format with questions on each square that test phonics skills. It works best as a two player game.'
Suitable for 6- to 8-year-olds.
One for Android families. Although it is a US app, it's fun and the basics are universal, if not all of the pronunciation. The flashcard-based game can be played alone or with mums, dads or siblings.
Suitable for 4- to 8-year-olds.
Lucy Gill says of this iOS app: 'This one is British English and starts with recognising individual letters then progresses to two letter phonics. The little bee is cute too. It's also free which is handy.'
Suitable for ages 3 and up.
Let's not forget that school isn't just about the three Rs! Joy Tunes helps primary-aged kids to create music on an iPad, while the app 'syncs' wirelessly with playing piano or recorder and guides the child - through gamified learning - into reading sheet music, playing with two hands etc. The app even uses sound recognition software to give feedback as the notes are played.
Suitable for ages 5 and up.
Encourage a love of the natural world by getting your kids to go on a flower hunt! FlowerPedia allows kids to identify flowers, like an i-spy for flora. A lot of primary school science is based on the nature all around us, like minibeasts and wild flowers, so encouraging them to identify and research what they find is giving them a good grounding. Upgrade to the larger version for £2.99.
Suitable for kids 5 and up - even adults too!
Available for iOs and Android, this app helps kids to master a second language including French, Spanish, German, Italian and Portuguese. The apps complement the website duolingo.com and are ideal for older children and may benefit from parental involvement. And hey, you might even fancy learning some new lingo yourself!
Suitable for ages 7 and up.