There are plenty of parents who’ve completely kept their kids off technology or use it to the bare minimum. I have HUGE respect for them but I’m surely not one of them although there was a time when I aspired to be one (so bad!). That’s a story for another day.
I sure do try my best to limit screen time but more often than not, I’m not creative enough to keep the kids occupied all the time nor do I have the patience that’s needed to keep them engaged every minute they’re awake and some days, I just don’t want to. Over time, I’ve learnt to be okay with the fact that technology is something I’ve got to take the help of because god knows I’m not superwoman enough to handle two of them all day.
I have no shame in accepting this because it’s the truth and I strongly believe that irrespective of how we choose to do it, we all do our best for our kids. Also, honestly, I think we should stop making a monster out of technology for kids. We all grew up watching plenty of TV and I still would trade anything for a game of Road Rash or Mario or to watch Cartoon Network until it turned to TNT. Ah, good ol’ days. But I digress.
I acknowledge the fact that there are far more perils associated with technology now than ever before but with adequate parental supervision, we sure can use these resources to our advantage.
So, in order for peace to prevail in our house and for the sake of our own mental health especially during these trying times, we’ve chosen to give the kids screen time as needed but with a focus on making this useful/productive/educational as much as possible.
So here’s a list of our top five favorite apps for kids. These are educative, engaging and fun and perfect for kids over 3 years of age.
1. Khan Academy Kids –
This app has TONS (and mean, really) of activities for kids – from reading to writing to games, puzzles, coding, logic, math, songs. You name it, they have it.
It feels like the candy land of kids apps with all those options. Super easy to use and the best thing of all, it’s free and doesn’t require any subscription.
Right now, they are also offering plenty of printables/activities on their website to keep kids occupied. These even come with instructions to adapt the activities without having to print them in case you don’t want to or don’t have access to a printer.
2. Kidloland –
If you’ve followed me on Instagram for a while now, you’d know that I had reviewed them some time last year. This one has remained a favorite for a while now.
This again is a treasure trove of stories, songs, activities and kid friendly content. You can even use the activities offline. However full access requires a subscription.
3. Teach Your Monster To Read –
This is a great app for learning and practicing phonics and to get your preschooler to start reading.
They get to go on adventures with their monsters (that they get to design too!) and that keeps them engaged. This was recommended by my son’s teacher and was a free to download app a while back. It still is good VFM if you choose to download it. If you choose to try them on your computer, it’s completely free. You just need to sign up.
This was another app recommended by his teacher and it’s great for learning some basic science concepts through a bunch of games.
It is free to download and has over a dozen games/concepts in it.
We discovered this at the start of the quarantine about two months back. We LOOVED the Bedtime Explorers show and eventually moved on to listening to their other shows and it’s got super engaging and fun content not just for the kids, but for the adults too.
The Bedtime Explorers show is one of the most calming story telling podcasts we’ve listened to. Although it feels a little repetitive in the beginning of every episode there is also a sense of comfort knowing what is coming especially when winding down with this after a long day.
They do have an app but it’s not available in our region, so we listen to it on Spotify or on Podcasts.
We do use a few more apps but these have got to be the most used ones. All these apps are ad-free, kid friendly and require minimal adult supervision which is a win in my book. In addition to this, there is always Youtube for when they’re in no mood to play games. I’ll do a separate post later with details of our favorite YouTube channels for kids.
What are the favorites in your household? Tell me because I can do with a little less of ‘Ammaaaa, it’s been soooo long, can you please download something new?’.
PS: no one gave me any monies to write this. *sob sob* This is merely a list of apps that we use and enjoy and an honest review of the same, as always.