Using Screen Time for Learning: 8 Ways Parents Can Choose the Best Learning Apps for Kids by 30Seconds Mom
Even if you’d like to limit the amount of time that your children spend mesmerized by screens, you might find this difficult to achieve. Kids will often find a way to use to electronic devices even if they do not own them. You may have no problem with your children using these devices, but you might still be concerned about what they are accessing.
Today, an increasing number of processes are automatized; this will make the need to be able to interact with screens and electronics even more crucial. In 2019, the number of apps available in the Google Play Store reached more than 2.8 million, and there are more than 17,000 apps for kids in the Amazon app store. How’s a parent to choose what app is best for their child?
It is a good idea to introduce children to tech early on that will help them in the future. An app like Emily’s Pics & Sounds, for example, will enable toddlers to learn through playing games, helping them to develop skills that they will be able to use in their future lives.
There are a number of ways that you can ensure you choose the right apps for playful learning on Android or iPhone. Following these eight tips will help you make an informed decision about apps for kids:
1. Understand What Kids Will Learn
It’s all well and good allowing your children to play games on apps, but are they learning anything from it? Some games are just games that offer mindless fun, but nothing more substantial. So, it's necessary to check the games that are available on the apps that you are considering to determine that they do offer a learning experience for your child. Precisely what it is they'll learn will also need to be a consideration.
2. Check the Variety
Children get bored easily and anything that does not hold their attention will not be an effective learning tool. It is a good idea to check that the learning app offers some variety in its games, which will help keep the child interested and keep them coming back to learn more. An app that offers a number of different games and/or different levels will help keep a child interested.
3. Incorporate Their Interests
In addition to keeping children interested in learning through variety, it is crucial to take their interests into account. By finding apps that have games using their favorite things, they will be more likely to be engaged with the learning process. It is also a good idea to link their learning to other activities. For example, a visit to a zoo or a farm can be enhanced by a game that incorporates matching pictures of animals to their names or sounds. This will help them to link their learning to the real world.
4. Give Them a Head Start
Think about the stage that your child is at with their skills and select games that are suited to their level. In addition to checking the app creator’s age recommendation, you must also take into account whether they are advanced or not. Use learning apps to enhance their skills in the real world.
5. Rewarding Results
Getting children to learn can sometimes be an uphill battle if it is not approached in the right way. It is made easier when learning is fun, and even more so when they get a reward. Children can take pride in their accomplishments and will be encouraged to learn even more.
6. Check Safeguards
While your kids are learning through play, they need to be safe. To ensure this is the case, check the safety features of any app you are considering before downloading it. These can come in a number of different forms, such as parental controls. Also, engage and play with your kids during screen time so you know what they're doing. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), this will encourage social interactions, bonding and learning.
7. Seek Recommendations
Get the opinions of parents and people who work with children about the best apps to use to help kids to learn through play.
8. Check the Reviews
As well as reviewing the apps yourself, you can gain further peace of mind by reading the opinions of those who have already used the app. The reviews that users leave after they have downloaded the app will give you a good picture of what it is like and what you can expect. Determine what users of apps for playful learning for iPhone and Android think about it in accordance with your device.
Rather than worry about your children using screens, relish the fact that they can use them to learn and develop their skills. Consider the benefits that can be gained from allowing toddlers to use learning apps to their advantage.
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