Teach Your Monster to Read: First Steps (Rs 300/ iPad)
Some recent studies have shown that the best way to teach children anything is by gamifying their learning experience. And if your aim is to teach pre-schoolers how to read, this BAFTA award-winning app could be of huge help. Designed in collaboration with the academics from Roehampton University and featuring Simon Farnaby from BBC’s popular Horrible Histories series, this is a phonics-based reading game for children aging from three to six years. The app lets kids create their own monster characters with which they can travel through magical worlds exploring colourful places, meeting characters called ‘Island Kings’ and learning to read on their own. By the time they are done with it, the tiny tots will not just be able to recognise the letters but will also be able put together simple words. With animated monster characters and very unique interactive worlds, this is a good app on an iPad.
LumiKids Park (Free, iPad/Android)
This app from Luminosity is made in collaboration with child development experts. It was introduced after 200 hours of research with both the kids and their parents. One of the most intuitive and engaging apps for children, the Lumikids Park lets them go and explore a digital playground. The app is intuitive enough for the kids to figure out by themselves and challenges them without any feeling of failure. While teaching the kids, the skills like sorting and visual-motor co-ordinations, the app also lets the parents play an important part by giving them insights and tips. It is ideal for children above six years.
Tynker-Learn to code (Free, iPad/Android)
Tynker is one of the most exciting and well thought-out apps. While playing games like Candy Quest, Monster High and Crash Course, the kids get to go through step-by-step tutorials that teach them a vast skill set. They learn everything from animation and drawing to playing with physics and even basic storytelling, so they can create their own unlimited number of games and projects that they can then share or play with their friends. While solving puzzles to learn coding helps with logical thinking, designing their own heroes and villains will keep their creative juices flowing.
It may not always be a good idea to give complete access to Internet-connected devices to the youngsters. With viruses and malwares playing a big role, the tablets and Android phones may also be troublesome at times. While many apps tried to address this problem by confining the kids to a sandbox on the device, none have come as close as Kidoz for a near perfect implementation. It is a content discovery platform that gives the parents access to handpicked children’s apps, which are safe.
Once the apps are installed, one can lock the device to the app so the kids cannot access any of the outside content. Along with the child lock, the kids also get access to a safe browser with a built in ad-blocker and a child friendly camera and photo gallery. If one pays for the pro account, one can even set time limits. It is ideal for children up to five years of age.