Best Educational Programs For Kids
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The digital world has transformed the education industry. Because of the arrival of various online applications out there, learning has become more accessible for kids – bridging the communication gap both between teacher and students and parents and their kids. So, rather than engaging in purely entertainment games for days, why not introduce these nine best educational programs to your kids?
1. Curious World
Curious World is a database containing original and licensed ebooks, videos, and learning games. Its target audience is young kids, ages 3 and up.
This education program targets eight key learning areas: language and literacy, science, math, creative expression, executive function, social and emotional development, family and community, and health and wellness. It also gives out the best learning experiences by using well-loved cartoon characters such as Curious George and Gossie and The Polar Express.
- Highlighter – The app offers digital highlighters which enable the user to highlight phrases and sentences after reading an online book.
- Parent Dashboard – This feature allows the parents to track their child’s progress and provide feedback on their performance.
- Recommendation Feature – The recommendation feature lets the creators give out suggestions to the parents on how they can further enrich their child’s journey through offline activities.
According to users, there is a large variety of books, videos, songs, and simple games in this app. Listed below are some particular feedback per category:
- Books – The books are engaging and full-color. What makes the offerings unique is that these digital books come from actual print books. All the creators had to do is to transfer the content into the digital medium to make it more accessible for their kid audience. These books are also engaging and colorful.
- Videos – The video collection has a nice mix of art, music, and adventure. Although, most of the videos seem to be more advanced for the target age group.
- Games – The games are the dark horse of the pack. Unlike the books and videos offering, the games don’t offer much meaningful learning. Some parents even complain that they have trouble accessing the games’ full content even after paying for the full version.
2. National Geographic Kids
National Geographic Kids is an education program that centers around exploring animals and the natural world. The users get to have a virtual tour around different countries while featuring several fun facts about the living things located in these areas. Younger kids can also play games here to reinforce logic, memory, and other skills. It also offers one-minute high-quality videos to address the curiosity and short attention span of kids.
- Homework Help – This section provides valuable information for students’ light research projects. Teachers can also use this to gather resources for their ongoing topics in class.
- Extensive Animal Section – In this part, animals are categorized per type of animal and/or their respective habitats.
- Games Section – The games section allows users to learn lessons through fun activities such as code-breaking, recycling games, and many more.
- Interactive World Map – The interactive world map makes the exploration of the kids to different countries more realistic and exciting.
There is a vast array of video clips, games, hands-on activities, and regular series. This is beneficial as a learning opportunity for the students. The language of these offerings is also apt for the target audience’s age. The one thing that can be improved on, however, is the lack of teacher resources available on the website.
Spatulatta is a kid’s cooking website containing more than 300 video recipes for them to watch and try. It also offers other topics such as essential cooking tips, food-related craft ideas, and safety information.
- Recipe Box – A recipe box section is a search tool that can be useful in looking for specific recipes by ingredient, cuisine, holiday, or meal.
- Parents Page – Contains stock articles that parents can browse with regards to nutrition, food, and cooking.
- Artist in the Kitchen – This page features craft projects for the kids to improve their creativity while cooking. Some activities include creating a turkey cupcake and aquarium placemats.
- Spatulatta Store – Users can visit the sites’ store to purchase cooking gears for their kids.
The video recipes on the site are bright and kid-friendly while the written recipes are easy to read. The site also encourages a healthy lifestyle among its audience; that’s why most of the offerings there are nutritious and healthy. On the other hand, there are two ways to improve the program. The first suggestion is to update the recipes regularly, and second is to add more exciting content in the Parents Page.
KidsReads features a collection of books along with reviews, excerpts from the books, and plot synopsis. The program also shows previews of upcoming book releases and offers simplistic games where they can play word puzzles and trivia games about the books that they have read. KidsReads also features interviews of well-known writers in their selection.
- New in Paperback – This section contains new books offered in paperbacks.
- Series – Devoted entirely to stories that are created as a series.
- Book into Movies – Popular books which have already been transformed into a moving picture.
- Book Club – This page is dedicated to older kids who are interested in starting and running a book club in their respective schools.
- Games Section – Includes various word scrambles and trivia quizzes about the user’s favorite books.
The interface is appealing to kid readers due to its colorful background and organized headers. What’s good about this program is that it continually uploads new reading materials which make its audience more up to date.
5. Intro to Geography: World Edition
Intro to Geography: World Edition is an educational tool that aims to promote geographic learning through challenges, lectures, puzzles, and coloring activities. It banks on the idea of repetition to sustain the learnings from the activities conducted. One of its goals is for the users to have a basic understanding of the countries around them so they can develop an interest in learning more information about the world.
- Language – The app is available in English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Chinese, and Japanese.
- Parent Portal – The parents can also adjust the learning pace of the app. They can set the settings by specifying the number of states included in the activity set – 3, 6, 9, or 12.
- Roadmap – The roadmap shows the parents the kid’s progression in the first six activities of the app – drag and drops, special awareness, flag matching, flag coloring, and vocabulary building.
The main activities in the app are interesting and up-to-date. However, there are times that the app is unresponsive and glitchy, which makes the users too frustrated with using it.
6. DragonBox 5+
DragonBox aims to help kids learn about algebra in a fun environment. There are 10 chapters in a game mode, each of which has 20 levels. In addition, there is also a practice mode where users can answer more traditional equations without pressure. What’s good about this app is that the kid starts by solving basic problems, but the difficulty increases (expansion, multiplication, combining like terms) as the levels progress.
- Solution Video – The program plays a solution video whenever the player gets stuck in a particular problem.
- Congratulatory Prompt – The app notifies you whenever you solve problems in fewer steps than the usual way of solving it.
This program offers a unique experience to its users. Answering the equations in this app does not feel like math due to its kiddie and colorful interface. For example, it replaces the functions with inverse colors and bubbles while the variables are shown as cute tiles. One thing that bothers, however, is the bug experienced starting from level 6.
Science360 offers a variety of images and videos from the math, science, and engineering fields from around the world. The content posted in this app comes from the National Science Foundation (NSF) or are collected from scientists, experts, universities, and engineering centers.
- Email Feature – This feature is customized for teachers so that they can email the said images and videos to themselves for future classroom use.
- In-App News Feed – The app also shows the latest science news from NSF-funded institutions.
The videos posted in the program will most likely captivate your kid’s attention due to its excellent cinematography and unique messages. The downside to this app, however, is the text segment, which also contains higher-level vocabulary not fit for younger kids. There are complicated scientific terms that other users might not be familiar with. Lastly, some videos are also inappropriate for children since the content scares them.
Lightbot is a program that trains kids in computer programming. It lets players know the basics of control-flow concepts such as procedures and loops, instruction sequencing, and HTML. Users are expected to solve eight puzzles in the Basic stage, six problems in the Procedures phase, and another six puzzles in the Loops stage. The goal of the game is to have the robot light all the blue tiles by writing the code.
- Language – The app is available in 28 different languages.
The best thing about Lightbot is its ability to send its instructions and concepts to the users clearly. Hence, the kids do not have to seek the help of their parents to solve the problems presented in each stage. The graphics, cute robotic characters, and music also add a nice touch to this outstanding program.
The only downside to Lightbot is that it does not offer multiple user accounts. This means that only one player at a time can play the game. So, if a new kid wants to work through the game from the beginning, he or she will be forced to erase the current progress of the previous user.
9. Easy Music
Believe it or not, an Ear Training Professor designed Easy Music. Its goal is to introduce young children to music theory at a young age by learning about pitch, notes, melody, and rhythm through the use of everyday objects.
- Compose – The compose mode enables the kids to come up with their musical masterpieces through experimenting with unique sound effects.
- Mini-Games – Games such as freeform stages, memory challenges, and rhythm games are present in this program.
The app houses charming animations, entertaining mini-games, and excellent voice acting. These characteristics make the app more exciting and captivating to play with. What’s impressive about this app is its ability to give a tremendous sense of responsibility to its child users by letting them create their original music.
All of the education programs featured above will significantly be beneficial to your kid. However, if we were to choose the best among this pack, we would go with National Geographic Kids. First, it is a multi-faceted educational program. There are lectures, videos, and write-ups that can serve as the lecture domain, but it also offers various entertainment features that go hand-in-hand with the said lectures.
Aside from these, this app is also parent and teacher-friendly. The parents can keep track of the profile and progress of their children while the teachers can save several contents they can use in their future lessons. Overall, National Geographic Kids is the best app for both you and your child!
If you are looking for an app that can fit your budget, do not worry too much. Most of the programs mentioned above have their free trial versions. At the same time, the full game can be unlocked at a low price.
Remember, however, that these educational apps are just supplementary knowledge materials. As parents, you should not solely rely on them. Ensure that you still bring your kids to museums, summer classes, and trips to aid your child with a balanced education.