Summer break may be a vacation away from school and homework, but you can still encourage your kids to learn when the warm days get a little too long. Tablets and smartphones are an excellent entertainment device for kids, but they can also serve to teach interesting facts and even improve areas where your children may be struggling in school. So take a look at these apps and take some time over summer break with your toddlers or kids to help them learn – and have fun – at the same time.
1. Play and Learn with Wallace
Play and Learn With Wallace is an excellent summer app for teaching kids a wide variety of interesting educational tidbits if you are not sure which areas to focus on. It covers many aspects of foundational learning, from basic math and spelling to understanding common concepts. For Summer 2013, the app is also on sale and can be bought for free on iTunes.
2. ABC PocketPhonics
ABC PocketPhonics is ideal for kids who are a bit older and ready to start tackling phonics. It uses a lot of clever tools to encourage kids to link letters and sounds until they can put together whole words and even phrases. This app may be a little less entertaining than other options, but it can be tracked by teachers and is an excellent method to catch up on some trouble areas during long car rides.
3. Math Trick
Math Trick is an iTunes app that you can customize to a wide variety of skill levels and areas of concentration. It is a mostly question-based app, an endless series of quizzes and lessons to help understand basic arithmetic and rise to the front of the class when It comes to math problems. Math Tricks is a similar app for the Android platform. If this is a little too intense for your kids, then try out Grandma’s Kitchen, a more limited but much more fun app for kids to experiment with both kitchens and math.
4. Jungle Coins
Jungle coins is another math app with a twist – it can teach your kids about money, a practice that goes along excellently with a vacation. The app offers fun quizzes centered on either U.S. or Canadian money. Skills levels range from identifying certain kinds of coins to adding coins up into a final amount. This is one of the more expensive apps to buy on iTunes at $3, but it has also garnered very high reviews from multiple organizations.
5. 8 Planets
For a more entertaining for of educational app, try 8 Planets or 8 Planets Pro to help your kids study the planets and learn more about the solar system. The app runs through spelling, names, and matching games among other activities that will teach them about science and planets. It is a great tool for young ones who love learning more about space.
Leafsnap is an “electronic field guide” that uses visual recognition to help identify leaves and flowers. If your kid is older enough to trust with your smartphone for a while, then this app can provide hours of entertainment around parks, forests, and even the backyard. Earlier versions had trouble with stability, but these problems were resolved in later issues.
7. Bogga Vacation
Bogga Vacation is not exactly an education app, but it does help kids understand vacations and how to plan for them. After packing, kids can explore a tropical island and have fun experimenting with several different activities.
Author Info: Elizabeth Wright is a professional blogger that provides information and advice for early childhood education and after school care in Chapel Hill NC. She writes for The Learning Experience, a leading Day Care Center.