Summer’s coming and if you’re like me, you know this means more screen time for the kids. Here are seven of our favorite smart apps that will stimulate your kid’s brain.
While we strictly limit screen time in our house, I find merit in a lot of the STEM/STEAM apps that are out there for kids. My son loves to play them, unaware that he’s learning. Here are seven of our favorites that will stimulate the brain and build neural connections.
1. Coosi Box
This super fun STEAM app allows your little artist to combine imagination and creativity with language and storytelling for some adorable scenarios. Kids can create and then share picture stories and will be surprised each time they create something new–which allows them to foster cause and effect and predictive skills.
Though this app is ideally for ages 8+, I have to say that my son (six) and I have enjoyed the missions that have come with creating monsters and solving the challenges. Children create their own monster avatars and design their own inventions while learning basic properties of physics and terminology. The first time your child talks about changing a trajectory, you’ll be hooked!
3. Crazy Gears
Crazy Gears is a junior engineer’s dream! It allows children to manipulate gears, rods, chains and pulleys to move through levels and has challenges created specifically based on MIT Mathematician, Scientist and Constructionist Genius Seymour Papert. Papert’s goal was to give children an empowered opportunity to create, experiment and explore while learning as actively engaged participants.
Now, now…don’t be scared of the word algebra. Today’s mathematicians are learning basic algebraic thinking in pre-school, and this app suite (get the suite, really…you’ll be glad you did!) allows littles as young as pre-k to learn how to solve algebraic equations in a fun way–they won’t even know they are doing algebra and building basic algebraic thinking! It encourages them to experiment and create and it motivates them to continue learning to move on. My husband and I love this app as much as my son!
This game will have your kids learning math facts in Bond fashion! Children explore the world as spies on a mission–missions that help them learn addition, subtraction, multiplication and division facts. It’s definitely not old school flash cards, but certainly helps build their fact base in a fun way!
6. Pet Bingo
Duck Duck Moose has always made some of my favorite educational apps and now that they are a part of Khan Academy, their apps are FREE! Pet Bingo is a great app for kids 5-10 to practice math skills and work on math strategy while they care for their ‘pets’ in a visually appealing way. Hints for kids have been developed by teachers so kids really learn as they enjoy this colorful and adorable app, and it has a report card section so parents can see how their kids do!
Tynker is a coding and programming app that allows children to develop problem-solving and logic skills, while they recognize patterns, and use algorithmic thinking in the creation of code chains. It’s visually appealing, and they can create music or motion or physics chains or stories based on their sequencing. It blows my mind when my son creates adorable stories simply from coding!