We parents tend to assume that online games are a waste of time. Kids tend to assume that anything educational is boring. Here are five apps that turn those assumptions on their heads: Yes, they are good for the brain and your kids will think they are just plain fun. No need to feel guilty about your kids spending time on these apps. while you steal some time to yourself.
Math facts can be boring, but not when combined with rocket building and slick graphics. Choose your mission: Numbers, counting, time, US money, shapes/patterns, addition/subtraction, multiplication/division and challenge. You can also choose from several levels: Beginner, novice, intermediate, advanced, expert and genius. You can even launch your rocket and steer it in space!
$0.99 on itunes.
Stack the countries
Learn about continents, countries, capitals, and more in this interactive game. You can actually touch and move the smiley-face countries to their correct location, and stack them up to complete a level. Since you can choose which parts of the world and types of questions you would like, the game is easily tailored to various levels and skills.
Warning: Highly addictive!
$1.99 on itunes
Was the can opener invented before or after the typewriter? Were erasers invented somewhere in between the can opener and the typewriter? Mull those questions over, and be the first player to correctly place invention medallions on a timeline. Such a fun way to learn about pivotal inventions and to get a general sense of history. Select from several themes, and may be played solo or with other players.
$0.99 on itunes
Mr. Morris Lessmore
When an Oscar-winning short film becomes an interactive storybook app. it's nothing short of awesome. Written and designed by a former Pixar animator, lush graphics encourage kids to interact with a story about the wonders of books. My kids and I really enjoyed the book, but I have to say the app. made the story seem magical. Although the app. won't teach kids how to read, it sends a strong message about the power and beauty of books. Great for motivating kids to get back into reading.
$4.99 on itunes.
Hop, Frog, Hop! and Ribbit, Frog, Ribbit!
Memory games featuring cute frog characters challenge kids with hopping patterns or note sequences. Research conducted by OISE (Ontario Institute for Studies in Education,) found that these TVO apps. actually helped improve a child's capacity to learn. That's a fact! Suitable for kids 11 and under, but I found the higher levels provided a decent brain workout for me too.
So, what will you do while your kids are busy on these apps getting their brains ready for back to school? Hmmmmm....