5 Apps My Kids Love (and I do too!)

5 Apps My Kids Love (and I do too!) - jenniferajanes.com

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5 Apps My Kids Love (and I do too!)

A couple of years ago, the girls got an iPad as a joint Christmas gift from grandparents. They wanted the girls to have an iPad for educational purposes, but the girls had different ideas. Fortunately, we have found apps that live up to the girls’ standards for fun but still satisfy us with their educational value.

Here are my kids’ top 5 apps:

  1. Survivalcraft and Minecraft PE. These virtual building games are very similar, and they play them by turns and could do it for hours, if we didn’t set some limits. They love the ability to build fantastical creations, and I love that they get to use their creativity and learn some physics too.
  2. Wedding Salon. Both of my daughters play this game, but my younger daughter especially enjoys it. She wants to be a hair and makeup artist when she grows up, and this app gives her a chance to practice and hone her skills.
  3. Flow Free. This game was recommended by my younger daughter’s occupational therapist a few years ago, and it has become one of my older daughter’s favorite games. It really stretches her thinking to solve each puzzle, figuring out how to connect the same-colored dots to one another.
  4. Scribblenauts. I originally introduced my kids to Scribblenauts as a spelling game, but they play it much more than I ask them to. I love the spelling practice and problem solving and critical thinking skills required to solve each puzzle. They just think it’s fun.
  5. Bag It! HD. The girls enjoy packing the paper bags with the different types of groceries, trying to create certain combinations for extra points. They have so much fun they don’t realize that they’re improving their problem solving skills. (As a bonus, they also learn that putting heavier groceries on top of fragile ones crushes them. That’s an important life skill. 😉 )

Creativity, spelling and reading practice, critical thinking and problem solving skills—they’re all things we look for (and more) in apps that our children spend time playing.

But what I love more than all of that is the interaction between my kids and me while they’re playing. In discussing the games and their creations, I learn more about their passions, what they think about different subjects, and how they go about solving problems. And the laughter is priceless.

What do you look for in apps for your kids?

If you’re looking for information about choosing great apps for your family, check out 6 Tips for Buying Children’s Apps in the Better Beginnings Resource Library.

If you’re in Arkansas and need child care, please consider a Better Beginnings provider. They have fun, hands-on educational activities for every child!

Other articles in the Learning Through Play series:

Back to Basics: Learning Through Play - jenniferajanes.com

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9 Responses to 5 Apps My Kids Love (and I do too!)

  1. Debbie says:

    My grandson absolutely loves Minecraft! He and my daughter and granddaughter play “with” one another….totally lost on me!

    • I’m not sure about that either, Debbie! I think they can somehow connect on a server??? My girls share one device, so we’re not connecting to anyone else. But I’ve heard stories . . . :)

  2. Angie says:

    Thank you so much for this list!

    I don’t know how, but I had completely forgotten about Scribblenauts. My older kids loved that game and only quit playing it as much a short time ago. My 6 year old would love it, and it’s even better that it is available as an app now. Thanks for that reminder!

  3. Shell says:

    Great post. My sons love Minecraft anything. I didn’t know it was an app until this! (I’m sure they did!) :)

    • Thanks, Shell! It’s called Minecraft PE (for Pocket Edition) on iTunes – and Android too, I think. It doesn’t have the full functionality of the PC edition (so I’m told), but it has plenty to do to keep my girls busy and creative!

  4. Laurie says:

    I’m definitely putting a couple of these on my list to download when I upgrade my phone and ipad. At the moment, I am pretty maxed out on space…. :)

  5. Natalie Z says:

    My 3 boys LOVE Minecraft. Thanks for the suggestions so I can help them add some diversity 😉

  6. Renee says:

    These are great to keep in mind when I’m babysitting and during pre k when those particular kids need a moment to re group. Thanks for the round up!

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