How much screen time your kiddo gets is a hot topic in today’s society. Personally, I feel that electronic devices are neither good nor bad – they are a tool, and tools are neutral. In my opinion, what makes screens bad is how you use them. If you’re using them as an all day long babysitter so you don’t have to interact with your kids – I consider that a bad use. If you’re using them interactively with your kids, and they help bring you closer together, I consider that a good use.
In our house, we use screens as a tool for pure entertainment at times, but the majority of the time we are using them for educational fun.
I have an old tablet that I’ve set up specifically for my daughter. She doesn’t have free access to it, but it’s essentially hers. I’ve loaded it up with several games that are learning based and age appropriate for her. We get the tablet out every few days or so. It’s kind of a special treat to her to get to play on it! And I’m happy because she’s having fun learning! Unschooling win!
If you’re like me, then you’re probably constantly on the hunt for good apps. These are our favorite FREE educational apps (for preK/Kindergarten) – in no particular order.
This app is completely AD FREE, which as a parent I LOVE! I don’t have to worry about my little one accidentally purchasing anything. This app has 3 different games which help teach simple spelling of common sight words. There is a LOT of positive feedback during the game, including a character that routinely says “I believe in you!” which I just think is so powerful for little kids. Stickers and toys are awarded as your child completes levels.
Also by RV AppStudios is this an AD FREE math gem! There are 8 different game modes in this app, which covers addition and subtraction using numbers up to 20. (There is a setting to restrict math problems to use only numbers up to 5 or up to 10.) The UI is colorful and fun! My daughter spent an entire HOUR playing with this app and was SO EXCITED to come tell me about the addition equations she was learning. “1 plus 9 equals 10 Mommy!” will never NOT be adorable.
This app is also completely free and ad free! It covers several educational topics such as letters & spelling, numbers & counting, reading, and logic. It also has a collection of books, videos, and coloring pages. I love this app for the variety. It has an automatic “learning track” which you can just resume each time you use the app, or you can handpick activities from the library. Highly recommend this app as an “all around” for meeting preK/K learning goals.
I love all things PBS, but this stand alone app is one of my favorites! It’s a STEM based application that allows kids to explore things like friction, velocity, bridge building, and other science and engineering concepts. It’s a little on the more advanced side for a 4 year old, but with a little help my daughter really enjoys this app.
This is a cute app that has kids guiding adorable “monsters” through daily habits and activities. From waking up to an alarm clock, eating breakfast, getting dressed, and brushing teeth to school day activities and bedtime routines, this app is tons of fun! There are 4 monsters to start with, and each has a different routine. Additional monsters are unlocked as you play! This is an AD FREE app, but occasionally there is a pop up to subscribe to emails. It only pops up like once in an hour, so it’s not interrupting play time too much.
There are a TON of good apps out there, and I’m sure we’ll discover more as K gets older, but these are the ones we are loving on right now. Go check them out!
Got a favorite to share? Comment below!