While it’s important to limit screen time, there are times when you need a moment. Maybe to fold that last load of laundry or get through a few emails. Or maybe we need our kids to sit still at the dentist or while we’re working. Yet, the Canadian Pediatric Society recommends limiting screen time to less than 1 hour a day and also suggests that the screen time children are exposed to is thoughtfully selected.
So, I’ve rounded up my favourite apps for kids ages 2-12 that promote education and development (and ones the kids will really enjoy), which means you can feel better about screen time in moderation.
Apps For Kids 2-3 Years
During the toddler and preschool years, letter recognition skills are starting to develop. Elmo Loves ABCs is a wonderful app that focuses on teaching kids’ letters with the cute and loveable Elmo as their teacher. This app is interactive (which little kids love) – the games, activities and videos teach kids how to recognize and draw letters as well as start to develop a connection between letters and their sounds.
The beloved classic children’s book Pat the Bunny by Dorthy Kunhardt comes to life in the Pat the Bunny app. I personally love this app because there are so many opportunities for kids to get to touch and tap to interact with each page of the book, teaching them important foundation cognitive and association skills. Plus we all know toddlers like to tap their little fingers all over our devices – now they can do it with purpose!
Apps for kids 4-7 Years
Kids at this age really enjoy exercising their imagination and being creative. Build a Truck by Duck Duck Moose gets kids to design and build their own monster truck and then take it out on the race track. This process offers kids a chance to express their creativity and practice decision-making skills.
Storytelling is also developing at this age, children are starting to learn the different elements of a story – setting, character development, plot, climax. Why not get your kid to translate these skills into creating their own cartoon through Toontastic 3D. Kids will harness their creativity by drawing, animating and narrating their own cartoon. And pump up their confidence by showcasing their short film at the next family movie night!
Apps for kids 8-10 years
As our kids grow and develop, their logical thinking skills become stronger – this is why at this age they enjoy playing games with rules. Game apps are ideal because they provide an opportunity for kids to strategize and think critically as well as games challenge them and will bring out their friendly competitive side.
Some of my favourite game apps for this age range are:
Four In A Row – Classic Games. Connect 4 is a classic game that encourages strategic thinking. Also, kids can play by themselves or against a sibling. Two kids engaged at the same time is a win-win!
Tetris. This puzzle game is an oldie but a goodie. It’s a great brain game. Mom and dad can also take a trip down memory lane and give it a spin as well.
Temple Run Classic. This running game allows kids to practice their reflexes as they race through an ancient obstacle course. This app offers a bit of a challenge so it keeps kids engaged as they have to try multiple times to master the course.
Blocks – Tangram Puzzles – Tangrams are block puzzles that use geomatic shapes to solve the puzzles. This app provides puzzle challenges for different skill levels. It is amazing for teaching many applicable math concepts such as geometric shapes, spatial thinking and problem-solving. Plus your kids will be VERY satisfied and proud once they solve a puzzle!