Educational apps can be great for stimulating your children’s imaginations, and helping them learn through alternative methods. The music, bright colours and animation often piques kids’ interest, helping them absorb information on vocabulary, letters and numbers.
Still, even though your kids are learning through apps, you need to set limits on screen time to protect their eyesight and prevent possible digital device addiction. The new guidelines put out by KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH) in 2022 recommends no more than an hour a day of screen time for children aged 18 months to 7 years-old, and no screen time at all for babies aged 18 months and younger.
Here are some educational apps that will help the kids learn, while keeping them entertained. You’ll get to kill two birds with one stone!
If you want to teach the alphabet, download: Talking ABC
This stop-motion production takes your little one through the 26 letters, each introduced by an adorable animal sculpted from clay.
Besides games and puzzles, the Funny Words section lets you type in any word and see it turn into a claymation character that repeats what you say to it. The app developer recommends this for kids aged two to seven. However, the catchy ABC song and claymation will keep Baby enthralled as well.
What’s great: The app features exotic animals like the newt, vicuna and xiphias, so Junior can learn about wildlife around the world.
Get it: $4.48, for iOS.
If she loves singing, download: KidloLand Rhymes and Kids Games
Songs are a time-tested way to learn about the world. If you can’t hold a tune, this app will save you the embarrassment. Bond over familiar songs such as Itsy Bitsy Spider, Old MacDonald Had A Farm and Humpty Dumpty. Its large collection saves you the hassle of scouring Youtube for suitable videos when you need to distract a cranky baby.
What’s great: Each track is accompanied by an animated video with lyrics flashed on screen, karaoke-style. Most other apps of its kind tend to have static images – boring!
If you prefer to leave the books at home, download: Little Stories Bedtime Books
Let your child be the main character in their story with this mobile library of fairy tales. Simply enter their name and gender into the settings, and the app will personalise the stories for you. The 41 exciting stories available are also accompanied by beautiful illustrations and enchanting music.
What’s great: You can record your voice as you read to create your own audiobooks. It personalises story time and your little one can listen to your narration at any time of the day.
If you’re introducing shapes and sizes, download: Fish School
Schools of colourful fish swim across the screen, forming letters of the alphabet, numbers, colours and shapes. Although preschoolers will benefit most from this award-winning app, the interactive features ensure your little one will not feel left out.
What’s great: The freeplay mode. Your child can control the movements and adjust the size of the fish by tapping on them. Even you’ll get a kick out of it.
If she likes to doodle, download: Ookii Squiggles by Baby First & Lazoo
This app transforms your iPhone or iPad into an animated colouring book. Eye-catching graphics and simple voice instructions prompt your tot to draw a mane for a lion, wings for a butterfly and even rain clouds. Then, with a tap of a button, her drawings come alive, bouncing, flying and spinning across the screen.
What’s great: You can save your little one’s masterpieces in your phone, and share them on social media.
Get it: $2.98, for iOS.
If you want to start music lessons, download: Baby Piano for Kids & Toddlers
Kids will love tapping on the rainbow-coloured keys as they learn to play familiar nursery rhymes. The different keyboards, instruments, and sounds are also accompanied by cute animal characters that they’ll love. Switch to the animal or vehicle sound mode to mix things up. Alternatively, explore the other instruments available like the drums, flute, and guitar.
What’s great: It doesn’t require wi-fi, so you can conveniently play it anywhere.
If you’re looking for something all-in-one, download: Learn & Play by Fisher Price
A combination of all of Fisher-Price toy company’s previous apps, Learn & Play teaches kids a wide range of topics. From ABCs and 123s to colours and shapes, the app covers them all. Designed by learning experts, the app also features sing-along songs and an art studio.
What’s great: It has two modes of play – one for the kids to play by themselves, and one for you to guide your kids’ learning.
Text: Young Parents team
Additional Reporting: Jesslyn Lye, April 2022