10 Guilt-Free Apps for Nursery Children
Right Mums and Dads! Here is our list of favourite Apps for your kids…
Now before I start I must make one point clear… I’m not a parent that thrusts an iPad or iPhone into my child’s hand at any given moment to keep them quiet. You won’t see my children with a device in their hands at a restaurant or in the supermarket, or in the car on the way to nursery in the morning. It’s at these times that I delight in the imaginative and often enlightening conversation with my child.
I love the discussion about what they think we might need from the supermarket, how many tomatoes we might need for the week, what items we have ticked off the shopping list. I love restaurant chit chat, where we might talk about the menu and how much this or that might cost. I love the time spent together singing along to radio songs in the car or finding out what was the favourite activity for the day. I guess my point is we need to take a reflective look and ask ourselves when is the right time to use a device and when is it important to be practising the ancient art of conversation.
Like all things in life, balance and moderation is the key. Following our parent presentation with Douglas Russell from the Middlesex University last term we reconfirmed that children must have access to screen time if they are to ‘keep up’ in a world that is evolving fast. According to his researched statistics, children between the age of two and five may engage in no more than 2 hours of screen time per day… and personally we think this is a lot.
Perhaps the most important message we could make here is to get involved! Avoid using a device as a babysitting tool and instead treat it as a time to connect with your children through technology. If the quality and educational value of the screen time is high and parents are involved, then learning becomes meaningful and effective. Technology moves quickly and our children are preparing for a future that we cannot predict, so let’s arm them with all skills necessary.
Following is a list of our top 10 Apps that we enjoy exploring with our toddlers and young children. This list is based on educational quality and functionality, each with a slightly different focus.
- Sago Mini – Forest Flyer or Ocean Swimmer – Great for young children learning about how a finger can operate a device.
- Little Fox – Music Box – This is a favourite. Three interactive nursery rhymes, the best is perhaps Old McDonald as you can change the seasons.
- Caspar Babypants Music Time – Explores musical instruments and sound.
- Nosy Crow – Flip Flap Series – Nosy Crow has several nice Apps to choose from and this one in particular is illustrated by Alex Scheffler (illustrator of the Gruffalo).
- Mulle Meck’s Cars or Boats – Perfect for the transport enthusiast! This was rated the ‘five star favourite’ amongst the 4 year olds here at Nursery.
- Highlights Shapes – Preschool Learning Puzzles – This App makes it onto the list as it’s free. It’s easy enough and encourages shape exploration but it’s very simple.
- Eric Carle’s Brown Bear Animal Parade – We love Eric Carle! There are more Apps to choose from, including the Hungry Caterpillar and On the Farm. There is a free app, but it is not as good.
- Bogga Jewel – Fishing fun that incorporates ideas about recycling.
- Noa Magic Pond – A story App with beautiful pictures, available in Dutch and English.
- Ben and Holly – Elf and Fairy Party – Who doesn’t love Ben and Holly!
We would love to hear your thoughts and any suggestions of Apps that we can add to this list.