The jury is out on whether or not children should be allowed to have screen time. While the experts unanimously agree that any child under the age of two years old shouldn’t have any exposure to screens during their earliest stages of development, but beyond this is a large grey area. Some parents prefer to have a blanket ban on virtually all tech until much older ages when children eventually reach school and are perhaps in a better position to handle technology. Other parents take a more liberal approach and start gradually introducing screen time at earlier ages to encourage a better relationship with the inevitable gadgets they’re going to be exposed to during their education.
Unfortunately, beyond restricting screen time under the age of two, there is no one universal agreement on what constitutes appropriate levels of screen time for young children. Various government health departments and other experts weigh in on the topic, but the wildly differing amounts mean parents are at a bit of a loss for what to do.
For parents who do choose to incorporate screen time at younger ages, then choosing to expose children to educational apps can be a fun and exciting way to encourage children to start to develop their academic skills before they reach the classroom. There are fortunately several different options when it comes to educational apps for children. They include:
The Endless Alphabet Series
The Endless Alphabet Series is an English-language vocabulary builder targeted towards young children. It includes the typical alphabet lessons that allow children to learn their ABCs, but also a series of vocabulary exercises that build up to 100 words. These aren’t just the standard words that children will become familiar with during the earliest stages of school. They include far more advanced words beyond their years like gargantuan and cooperate.
There is a free to play version that includes seven different word puzzles with a more limited vocabulary range. A one-time premium purchase unlocks the app in its entirety. Amanda from www.sellmyphone.co.uk/ believes it is an excellent purchase for parents seeking to offer an excellent academic experience to children in their earlier years before sending them to school.
Professor Astro Cat’s Solar System
Based on a hardcover children’s book of the same same, Professor Astro Cat takes children into outer space to teach them the various facts and figures of the planets in our galaxy. The app is an immersive experience that isn’t strictly limited to the bare basics of solar system travel either. Children will learn about the volcanoes on Venus, various rocket technologies that allow astronauts to get into outer space, and precise distances and calculations between planets. It is certainly an app worth considering for those who are interested in the wider galaxy around us.
Numeracy skills are something that many children struggle with during their earliest stages of school, so encouraging mental arithmetic from an early age is arguably one of the best ways forward before children get into school. Quick Math+ is an excellent app for children that encourages children to solve simple math problems against the clock and will introduce concepts with gradually increasing difficulty as children work their way through the app. Solving problems quickly will score points that can be exchanged for character upgrades in the game, which allows children to personalize their avatars to their own tastes and preferences.
Monster Physics is an interesting app that allows children to build various machines to complete assigned tasks in the game. By doing this, it reveals the basic scientific concepts behind physics and in particular focuses on how motion works. This means kids won’t only be able to build some rather interesting gadgets to complete various tasks, but also have a complete understanding of why their inventions actually work the way they do.
Peekaboo Barn Series
For the youngest learners, Peekaboo Barn encourages children to associate animal sounds with their corresponding animal in the app. The game begins with the typical farmyard animals that are appropriate for the early learning group, then starts to expand into more common exotics like llamas and owls. The game also reveals their native habitats and other interesting facts about the animals.
Whether or not you as a parent decided to include screen time in your child’s development is ultimately up to you. There are various schools of thoughts on the topic and choosing to limit screen time is something that would be beneficial for just about every age category, but choosing to include a few educational apps in their development experience like the ones above can set them on the right path before they enter school with a solid foundation of general learning that keeps them in line or even slightly ahead of their classmates. It’s never been a better time to take advantage of all of what technology has to offer you as a parent, but the question is will you allow it in your household?