Top 10 Apps for Bunkered Down Kids
In the wake of the novel coronavirus outbreak, most of us find ourselves bunkered down in our homes, with limited contact with the outside world aside from essential errands like grocery shopping.
We all need to do our part to help flatten the curve, and that means limiting social contact as much as possible (social distancing).
Yes, it’s difficult. And as of the time this blog post was written, no one can say for certain when the lockdown will officially end.
For you parents out there, you’ve probably already had to deal with a greater amount of stress than usual when it comes to caring for your children. Nobody likes feeling stir-crazy, and that especially goes for children who have a harder time controlling their emotions than adults.
So, here are ten fun apps for bunkered down kids.
With more than 850 lessons and 10 different levels, ABC Mouse is a great way of instilling early reading skills in children ages 2-8.
The curriculum is taught to your child as he or she is guided from one level to the next. Starting in the classroom, children can access different lessons and activities. They can explore the Zoo, Farm, City, and the rest of the ABC Mouse world.
The Reading Curriculum Includes:
- Uppercase and lowercase letter recognition
- Rhyming words and word families
- Sentence structure
- Different parts of speech
With ABC Mouse, your child can start from learning the names of each letter in the alphabet to reading entire books.
Hungry Caterpillar Play School
With a curriculum tailored to children ages 2-6, Hungry Caterpillar Play School uses classroom-proven techniques to help children learn:
- Nature studies
- Creative arts
It’s packed with interactive characters, helping children learn through:
- Shapes and colors
- Basic ABCs and 123s sections
- An Art section
Quick Math Jr.
Quick Math Jr. is a fantastic app for children in elementary school.
Let’s face it: math can be boring. Adults know it, and so do children. This app, however, uses creative and interactive ways to teach children math.
Your kids can play 12 different math games with fun graphics and ways to build characters. They’ll practice counting and arithmetic, and the adaptive difficulty setting ensures an appropriate challenge level for each player.
Not only that, but all of the answers are hand-drawn on the screen - this way, children can learn handwriting skills along with math.
Stack the States 2
A great app for kids in middle school, Stack the States 2 is an educational game that instills knowledge of geography and the different states.
When children answer a question correctly, they can add a state to their stack. The end goal is to stack the states to a certain height.
As your kids complete different rounds, they unlock three other fun games to keep the app interesting and dynamic.
There’s also a version that teaches kids about countries as well.
Great for high schoolers, Duolingo helps kids learn a different language through audio, word identification, and oral exercises. With over 30 language options available, your high schooler can practice learning a second language that is practical and will give them more confidence and a greater skill set for future job opportunities.
The Duolingo Owl (the mascot of the app) has become a meme on social media recently, so it’s likely your child has seen it already. Why not encourage them to take the next step and learn a cool new language?
Toca Hair Salon 3
A great dress-up game for kids to get crafty and express their creativity, Toca Hair Salon 3 lets kids style hair on various characters any way they want. This app allows them to:
This is a great free-form app - there are no instructions or rules, so let your kids go crazy and experiment any way they want!
Lightbot: Code Hour
Lightbot: Code Hour is an interesting app that gives kids 8 years old and up a basic understanding of coding and computer logic - they will learn basic skills used by computer programers. This can all be done without your kids ever even having to write any code! Rather, your kids navigate through different pathways via functions commonly used in computer code.
In a way, they’ll be learning computer code without even knowing they’re learning it. Basically, your kid commands a little robot, helping it turn on lights and navigate a maze. By arranging symbols on the screen, players command the robot to walk, jump, turn, and switch on lights. As the game progresses, the maze and the symbol lists become more complicated.
Players will learn coding concepts like loops and procedures.
This app is for older kids, and even many adults find it entertaining. Created by Apple as a way of introducing people to coding language that’s used by app developers worldwide, Swift Playgrounds helps teach basic coding language via targeted lessons, puzzles, and dynamic visuals.
One of the great things about this app is the imagery - it is beautiful to look at and work with. For best results, play on an iPad.
Nick Jr. lets your kids watch their favorite shows without the need for a TV. It has both videos from all of Nick Jr.’s shows as well as plenty of games to keep them entertained. These games range from both educational to strictly recreational.
In order to unlock certain parts of Nick Jr. App, you’ll have to enter information from your cable provider, but even without unlocking those areas, your kids can still the main features: full episodes of their favorite TV shows and plenty of games!
Kids are getting more and more interested in YouTube, and while it’s an excellent source for information and entertaining videos, parents should know by now that there can be plenty disturbing content on YouTube that isn’t appropriate for kids under a certain age.
YouTube Kids allows you to screen YouTube content so they only see videos that are appropriate for their age. Screen content and only show videos appropriate for children ages 2-12.
Keep in mind, however, that no app or algorithm is perfect - be sure to set the parental controls correctly and monitor your children’s watch history.