Our Favorite Educational Apps {part 1}

My husband gave me an ipad for Mother's Day.  That's an over-the-top kind of gift at our house.  But as a mother, I can't think of many gifts that have helped at our house more than {this little} gadget! 
I don't think either of us knew how perfect this gift would be for a homeschooling mother expecting baby number 4, and now as a mother of a newborn!  

I know how useful it can be to have help sorting through all of the apps available, so I want to share some of our favorites with you!
Where available I will include links for android as well.

We originally thought about getting an ipad because we just have a laptop and in the evenings when the kids are finally in bed and my hubby and I both have our hands free we seemed to both need the computer at the same time.  The same thing would happen during the day when I needed to do something and I Jay needed to use it for school work.
I love the portability of the laptop.  I love being able to take it and edit photos or respond to email while I'm helping my kids practice the piano.   The idea of having so many apps to assist with learning and being able to use it on-the-go meant that it was the perfect meld for our homeschool family that really doesn't stay home everyday for school. 

But I couldn't stand the thought of having the kids carry the ipad around, knowing it could be dropped anytime.  So I added this cover to it:
I love the Gumdrop Case (above) because it's not sleek.  The ipad alone is sleek and this cover changes that which is WHY it is perfect for kids.  This case makes the ipad easy to hold onto, it doesn't slide anywhere and it's heavy duty.  I don't think our ipad has ever been dropped (if it has the kids didn't tell me!) but either way, it has worked great and I love that the screen cover is so easy to wipe clean!  My {little} Ellie is 2 and I trust her with the ipad in this case.
Now onto some of our favorite apps!  
There are plenty of games on our ipad, but most of them are educational.  I don't know if an app or "game" can ever replace a more "hands on" learning approach.  But using these apps in addition to our other learning work has been great and keeps the kids very excited about many subjects!
This list is certainly only a few of our favorites.  I will definitely need to do a part 2 or part 3 as well!  But this list includes our first favorites--and they were perfect for when this tired mommy needed a {little} snooze too :)
Word Bingo is perfect for reading practice and has many levels and games within it.  I use this with Kay for sight word practice.  It says a word and she looks for it and taps it when she finds it.  When she gets a row she gets a Bingo Bug.  It's a favorite for us.  It used to be free, but is now 99 cents.
This game is also available on this website (for free!)
Junior Bingo is perfect for toddlers and preschoolers.  Ellie is 2 and loves this one.  It says a letter, number, or shape and she looks for it and taps it when she finds it.  When she gets a row she gets a Bingo Bug. Also 99 cents.
Math Bingo
Math Bingo is perfect for elementary math.  It has addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division problems.  Jay (6) and Kay (4) both love it.  You tap the answer to the equation and when there is a row you get a Bingo Bug.  
Android App here.
Sprout's Doodle Dots
Sprout's Doodledots was one of Ellie's first ipad apps.  It is perfect for toddlers.  It has settings for colors, shapes, numbers, and fruits and as you touch the one it asks for it creates a pictures--a dot-to-dot of sorts.
Stack the Countries Lite

Stack the Countries is one of Jay's favorites.  It's a great way to learn geography!
Stack the Countries Lite
Stack the States is another long-standing favorite.  
I've been amazed at how much fun they have answering geography questions with this app!
    Chirp! is the neatest app about birds all over the country--including where each species lives, what it's call is, and more.  A favorite, though only part of it is in game format.

    Presidents vs. Aliens (lite) is a game I thought was going to be way dumb.  But it's been great.  After the kids answer the questions about presidents they get to go after the aliens...dumb, but good! 
    Jay gets such a kick out of it ;)
    I love seeing the kids curled up with a good book....

    But I've been surprised at how much learning can happen in ways I never experienced as a kid.

    And I love it when they work together at it! 


    I will also say that I have to really monitor the ipad/iphone use.  They would play all day so we have  a password on both and the kids know they can't even ask for a turn until their other responsibilities are done....which actually makes for some good motivation on some days!

    I started on this post quite a few months ago and of course we've found more learning fun in the meantime....so look for {part 2} soon!



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    Sam said...

    I especially resonated with your mention of 'Word BINGO'. It's not just a hit with the kids, but I'll admit, I've found myself playing Word BINGO on my Android phone even without my little one around! It's such a fun and engaging way to practice sight words.

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