Education starts at home: nine educational apps for young children (age 3-to-6)

How much kids should be allowed to use technology is a very hot topic these days.  But regardless of how you look at the problem, you can’t deny technology can bring some unmistakable benefits.

For example, tech can transform drab things like math problems or grammar exercises into exciting adventures kids won’t shy away from.

Many parents fear allowing kids to use apps will hook them to a life of being dependent flashy smartphones’ screen. But on the other side of the coin, apps can be turned into great tools to help children expand their imagination or develop their cognitive skills.

It’s a matter of selecting the right apps for your child and allowing him or her use them with moderation.

There’s no shortage of educational apps available in the Google Play Store, and for this post, we’ve lined some of the best apps for 3-to-6-year-olds.

Alphabet Car: Learn ABC’s

What it is:

Alphabet Car is a fun tool designed to aid children who are just starting to learn words. Your little one will discover new words by means of playing and engagement.

Why we like it:

  • The app comes with a bold and colorful interface that’s guaranteed to capture the attention of young children.
  • Alphabet Car teaches kids the basics of letters and then gently moves on to words and implicitly spelling.
  • Gameplay is easy enough to master. You drive a bus and as you roll along, big blocks of letters will appear on the road. Aim the bus towards a letter to make a word and hear the letter pronounced. When you gather enough letters for a word, kids will hear the word pronounced.
  • The game uses visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learning styles, and strengthens hand-eye coordination in the process.

Install Alphabet Car: Learn ABC’s

Kids Connect the Dots

What it is:

An interactive educational game which enables children to develop their imagination, but also learn how to pronounce numbers and letters.

Why we like it:

  • Children simply have to tap a series of dots to outline a mystery animal or object. What could it be?
  • Kids will be filled with wonder as they complete a drawing and see the animal or object “come to life”.
  • The game teaches young children how to count, as they will have the tap the numbers up to a target number.
  • As the player taps, letters of the alphabet, as well as numbers are articulated, so children can get more familiar with the correct pronunciation.

Install Kids Connect the Dots

Dr. Panda’s Swimming Pool

What it is:

An interactive game which aims to teach younger children how to solve problems and develop their critical learning skills.

Why we like it:

  • Dr. Panda’s Swimming Pool teaches the basics of problem-solving to kids.
  • It features five animals the child needs to take care of, while also enjoying a day at the virtual pool.
  • Kids will be delighted to uncover hidden treasures, as they advance in the game.
  • A great adventure  for kids that features no in-game advertisements and no in-app purchases (although it’s not free, it costs $1.99).

Install Dr. Panda’s Swimming Pool

Kids Numbers and Math

What it is:

A simple app which teaches your child to do basic math calculations, even before he or she starts going to school.

Why we like it:

  • Kids Numbers and Math is an intuitive game for preschoolers that makes learning numbers and basic math fun.
  • Children play the activities (solve math problems) and earn puzzle pieces for the big “Bug Collection Puzzles”.
  • There’s a free version that teaches the numbers 1-20 via a variety of exercises including counting, adding, subtracting and comparing numbers, but if you want more the paid version offers more customization.

Install Kids Numbers and Math

Todo Math

What it is:

With Todo Math doing number operations is no longer boring. Not when you count the 700+ fun activities included.

Why we like it:

  • The app teaches kids mathematical reasoning including pattern recognition, math memory matrices and numerical ordering using fun and colorful games.
  • Features an introduction to basic geometry which explains shape recognition, identification, and tracing.
  • By using Todo Math, children also get to learn about time and money. This section covers days and weeks, telling time, and understanding coins.

Install Todo Math

Memory & Attention

What it is:

A game which aims to teach young children how to focus and pay attention, while boosting their visual memory.

Why we like it:

  • The app includes 4 mini-games to aid with the development of visual memory and 3 mini-games for training attention and concentration.
  • The games were created by a professional child psychologist and are inspired by her experience with working with children in preschool and elementary school.
  • The app is recommended to all children, but even more to those suffering from ADHD/ADHS.
  • Each game has up to four levels of difficulty, for children who love a challenge.

Install Memory & Attention

Lightbot

What it is:

Coding is an essential skill these days and Lightbot is an app that teaches basic coding to children.

Why we like it:

  • Because it’s a clever app that gets kids to program by solving puzzles in a video game.
  • Lightbot introduces the basic coding concepts like instruction sequencing, procedures, and loops.
  • The app features 20 interactive levels during which you can learn plenty, although the full version comes with an additional 30 levels.

Install Lightbot

Toca Mini

What it is:

An app which challenges kids to get creative and bring to life a character or avatar from their own imagination.

Why we like it:

  • While math and language are important, developing the child’s creative spirit should also be a priority. Toca Mini is just the app for that, as it allows kids to design their own scary monsters of fantasy animals.
  • Children can customize their new friend by adding colors, stripes, sleeves and playing with facial components like eyes, mouths, noses or eyebrows! Users can take advantage of stamps to create patterns, hair or clothes.
  • The creations make funny sounds and gestures as the child brings them forth into existence.

Install Toca Mini

Astronomy for Kids

What it is:

A great app for children who have started to wonder about the stars and universe and want to learn more about the secrets of the cosmos.

Why we like it:

  • The app teaches kids about the solar system through a series of astronomical games.
  • Children also get to listen to astronomical facts and watch educational movies about space.
  • A few short quizzes are available for those who want to test their knowledge.

Install Astronomy for Kids

Has your child tried any of these educational apps before? If not, you might want to download them for him or her.