Smartphone and tablet use in kids is constantly on the rise. A Nielsen study found that 70% of households that own a tablet have children under 12 using the device. Many debate that this could prove to be a distraction from kids’ learning. As a matter of fact, these devices can play a huge role in education for children with the development of fun and educational app games. Instead of being a distraction, these apps can help kids in catching up with their numerical and word skills.
How are kids using tablets?
The Nielsen study cited earlier found that tablet use in kids isn’t just for entertainment. According to the survey of tablet-owning adults with children, 77% of kids use tablets to play downloaded games. The good news is that 57% use the device for educational purposes. So you can see that a majority of kids are already making the most of these devices for learning. For 55%, tablets also prove useful as entertainment while traveling.
App developers have started transforming traditional games and toys into digital apps, which kids can interact with more than ever. For instance, the Lego Duplo Jams app has been developed with a focus on introducing the classic Lego building blocks to tech-savvy kids. Designed for children who have just started developing their cognitive skills, the app comes with large easy-to-tap icons that will accommodate their small hand sizes.
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Study proves mobile games help in kids’ learning
The fact that mobile apps and games can help kids with their learning isn’t just a bold claim made by marketers and app developers to market their apps. A study conducted by SWI, also known as Sesame Workshop in India and Qualcomm Wireless Reach has come up with proof of this claim. The study covered 4,500 kids between the ages of 5 and 8 and was conducted in 57 schools across two Indian states. It additionally included 40 kids from an under-resourced community.
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For the study, they distributed Android tablets to the schools participating in the study. Each tablet came pre-loaded with 25 games designed according to primary grade school curriculum. The idea was to help improve the vocabulary and comprehension of the kids and help them develop a better concept around science, technology, engineering, and math. Some of the games were also designed to improve their ability to identify shapes, numbers, and alphabets. Here are some of the findings from the study:
• When compared to kids who weren’t exposed to the games, there was an improvement of more than 1.5 times in word knowledge and imagination scores for the community kids in 1st and 2nd grades.
• Kids from 1st to 3rd grades experienced greater gains in comprehension and word knowledge as well as imagination after playing the game.
• The most prominent improvement was seen in 1st grade kids who experienced an improvement three times higher than kids who weren’t exposed to the game.
This initiative shows clear proof that game-based learning using mobile devices can lead to improved gains in numeracy and reading. Both of these skills are essential for young kids in becoming lifelong learners. The collaboration between Sesame Workshop in India and Qualcomm Wireless Reach was aimed at extending the use of modern technology for learning at home and in schools.
Types of educational apps for kids
As you know by now, learning game apps have done wonders in promoting the learning ability of kids especially in the younger years. If you’re looking for apps that will provide optimum learning environment for your children, here are some types of education apps you can find:
• Alphabet games – When toddlers and preschoolers are just starting to pick up the alphabet, you can make use of alphabet game apps that are fun and interactive. Some of the best alphabet games enable kids to interact with each letter of the alphabet and learn how to form them. So kids won’t be lagging behind when learning the alphabet in school. These types of games are also ideal for kindergarteners and special needs kids.
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• Numerical games – You can find game apps designed to help kids enhance their numerical skills and develop their ability to tackle mathematical problems. These games make math-learning fun with a colorful interface and attractive animations. Some of them will offer a question and ask kids to choose between multiple answers.
• Interactive encyclopedias – Designed to help kids develop their comprehension and word skills, interactive encyclopedias may come with videos and images that will help kids understand words better. Some are even designed in the form of games, wherein kids can have a firsthand experience with each of the words.
There are tons of educational apps available in the app store. The goal should be to choose one that suits the learning needs of your children according to their age and school curriculum. If they’re not yet in school, you could start with game apps that will help them learn basic alphabetical skills.
Paulina Dolata, is the founder of 123 Kids Fun App Community where our goal is to create the highest quality games for toddlers and preschoolers for smartphones and tablets. Paulina loves writing and travelling.Like our Facebook Page, Follow us on Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram