The phenomenon of toddlers and very little children already using and handling smartphones just like as if they were born with them in their hands is no longer a novelty. We could continue discussion on if it is harmful or beneficial but the thing is that in our technology ruled world it is hard to avoid. And as kids use it anyway, at least they can use for their good. There are already many apps existing with the purpose of preparing kindergarten children for school.
Many apps for launched specifically for preschool kids aged between 2-5 years. Combined apps contain more fields of learning: they teach the alphabet, the numbers, or even coloring and building games. And the emphasis is on the word ’game’. They are enjoyable thus children are willing to use them while it is also beneficial for their development. The best combined preschool apps are Preschool All-In-One, Preschool & Kindergarten and Basic Skills. Even though the names are not so creative but at least they help parents to find them easily when searching for educational games.
Preschool All-In-One offers various activities. Just to teach the alphabet or the numbers it provides 4-5 different games for each – games like memory, flashcards, or bubble game. Every children might not able to learn for example the letters with the same method thus it is good to have more possibilities to choose from and find the one that fits the best for the kids’ thinking. Preschool All-In-One has educational games for teaching the alphabet, the numbers, the colors, the animals, and the days and months. Besides all these, it is also supplied with a coloring, a drawing and a puzzle game to improve visual thinking as well. For those children who need something more challenging, there is also a quiz available. All in all, the strength of this app is that it provides more different methods to gain knowledge and also has an appealing, cartoon-like graphics. But on the other hand, there is no leveling up or a process of getting harder and harder tasks and the topics it covers are bit narrow as well, so it can be used only in the very early phase of learning.
Preschool & Kindergarten on the other hand comes with a longer list of topics plus it goes further from teaching only the basics by containing more challenging games too. Here from learning the numbers or letters kids can reach to a higher level where they can also learn to solve some basic maths problems or to combine shapes and to spell words. Under the name of each game, it is indicated the recommended age group. The graphics is cute and engaging and the voice narrating is giving an extra help in the learning process. It’s such a pity that only 3 games out of the 12 can be used for free – the others need an upgrade.
Basic Skills comes with what its name already suggests: letters, number, patterns, colors, teaching basic counting and matching skills and different games. Until this point, more or less the same as the previous ones. But what makes this app different is that it provides a framework for the learning process: a monkey travelling through different fields of skills in his train. Its smart rewarding system helps children keep motivated and get back to the game again and again: after every round the kids can change the design of the train and receive stickers. The only problem with the app is that in the free version only a very limited number of games are available.
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Learn to read with a help of an app
After learning the basics, the next step can come. Kids Learn to Read offers various games with the help of Tommy the Turtle. The app approaches literacy from different sides: some games help kids to practice learning, some to build words and some focus on spelling. By upgrading the application even word families are taught. All processes are formed as a game with friendly animal characters which is appealing for children. Kids Learn to Read offers some additional apps as well in case the child is not confident yet with the alphabet or its sounds: Kids ABC Letters and Kids ABC Phonics are serving this purpose.
Puzzles to improve the brain
Kids Preschool Puzzles is one of the most downloaded preschool apps on Google Play. Not by accident. While learning the numbers and the alphabet are also important, playing puzzle games result in a totally different kind of improvement. Unlike knowing letters or the names of colors, it is not about factual knowledge but about the way of thinking and using the brain which is the base of gaining any factual knowledge. This means puzzle games are important for the development of the brain and moreover, they are fun. Kids Preschool Puzzles has puzzles in different categories, like animals, food, sports, professions and so on. Even the level of difficulty can be set providing entertainment for more age groups. Sadly, just like in the case of the previous apps, the free version is quite limited here as well, offering only two types of puzzles.
Active ways of learning are always more efficient but also some more passive methods can be useful too as an addition. Playkids offers the combination of the two. It comes with loads of educational cartoons but these short videos are not the kind of cartoons children just sit and watch. They invite the kids to participate by having to name objects or through built-in sing along. What is more, some language learning cartoons are also available – although so far only in English, Portuguese and Spanish – but still it is an important feature as learning foreign languages is easier in an earlier age. Unfortunately, the case with the free version is the same here and the cartoons fit only for toddlers but not really for children who are already one step from school.
Uploaded by PlayKids Brasil on 2015-07-27.