By Jodie Lynn
There are so many applications now available to preschoolers that it can sometimes be overwhelming. We have twin three-year-olds and they seem to get bored relativity quickly with some of the previous ones we've purchased. Which ones seem educational and really work, yet are still fun?
ANSWER FROM READERS:
A good app is the perfect combination of education and entertainment. Educational apps balance engagement with learning. Whether an app is focused on teaching math skills or science, it's really important that a child has opportunities to play and do something new. A research study showed that kids who played with the PBS KIDS Martha Speaks Dog Party app made significant learning gains, including a 31% increase in vocabulary tested. Choose the best apps for your kids by selecting games that are developmentally appropriate for your child. Not all four-year-olds are created equal, so different apps will appeal to different children at different times. Ask yourself, is this a skill or storyline my child is capable of following right now? For pre-readers, make sure there are audio cues and not just words on a screen. Explore and play with your child with an app the first time. Set limits and encourage other forms of learning and play. Jason Seiken, Senior V.P., Interactive, Product Development, and Innovation, with PBS, says, "With so many families turning to PBS for high-quality, educational content on mobile, we are excited to offer a robust app with a variety of interactive features." The SID THE SCIENCE KID Read & Play App, just released earlier this month, brings scientific concepts to life for kids in a way that is relatable and engaging. From learning about germs to discovering the five senses, the app encourages children to explore their world and find out that science is all around them. Lesli Rotenberg, Senior V.P., Children's Media, PBS, adds, "Our mission is to offer engaging media content for children to prepare them for success in school and in life, and helping them learn about science is a core piece of that early learning puzzle." See pbskids.org/mobile for additional information. - Jason Seiken and Lesli Rotenberg, PBS, in Arlington, VA
GazziliWorld, a leading developer of educational applications for preschoolers, is focused on creating applications that aren't just games, but are appealing experiences that make learning fun for kids. Their flagship product, GazziliWords, helps children understand hard to explain words and reached iTunes' Top 10 list for Educational Applications. See http://gazziliworld.com/ to learn more. - Richard Krueger in Princeton, NJ
Another app for preschool-aged children is EduKitty. It has six different games that teach various things such as matching, shapes, letters and more. There's an animated monkey that quickly becomes a friend to the kids. The game includes many sounds, names of fruits and several recordings of voices to engage your preschooler. Check out http://www.cubicfrogapps.com/ for more details.
CAN YOU HELP?
My nine-year-old son just started fourth grade. The teacher has asked parents not to check homework. Since this has been a very important of his life up to this point, why all of a sudden is it a bad thing to do? Don't too many errors in assignments create frustration in children?
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