Sunday, August 25, 2013

Apps for learning

 As much as it drives me up a wall for my kids to spend all day on their bums staring at a screen we did spend a large portion of our day Friday downloading apps for the Kindle.

The kids received a joint gift card and they decided that Kindle Apps were a great way to all enjoy the money equally.  They downloaded some games just for fun like Minecraft and The Little Crane that Could, but others were what I'd call educational.

We downloaded:  Stack the States,  Uno, Monopoly, The Game of Life, Numbers Addict Blitz Bubble IQ, ABC construction, Wild Kratts Creature Power, & Pet World.

We then spent a bit of time tying them all out. Some we loved, some we weren't as crazy about.  We have many apps for our Kindle now and there are some we just love to use for schooling.

Here's a list of our top 15 apps for learning:


  1. My favorite game (and one that Alec played for a good long time!) was Stack the States.  It was only a few dollars and it is a great, hugely fun, app that teaches the kids all about the United States.  He has learned capitals, shapes of states, neighbors, etc.  It reminds me a lot of the Scrambled States of America game but in an app version.  He LOVES this game and I love that he's learning all about geography.  I can't say enough good things about it!  All three boys have learned the placement of all 50 states playing this game.  If they have this as an App for my phone I'll definitely be getting it for my phone too!  GET THIS APP!
  2. Just like Stack the States there is an app called Stack the Countries.  I find this game much more difficult than Stack the States just because there are so many countries out there and many of them I've never even heard of.  However, it is a fun way to learn about the countries and if you enjoy Stack the States you'll probably like Stack the Countries too.  
  3. Uno-- was played much the traditional Uno card game and you can play up to 4 players.  I only tried out the one player version so I'm not sure how well it works with multiple players but I liked that we could play card games on the plane ride without having to bring along the cards and worry about loosing them. 
  4. Number Addict Blitz Bubble- was a free download and I wasn't sure what to expect.  20 min. later and I realized I was hooked!  In playing you have to cluster match numbers (2 #2's, 5 #5's etc.).  Once you have enough matches in your cluster they pop giving you points.  The key is to not let the screen fill up so you have to strategize where to put your numbers.  Then, what I loved the most, is that you can combine numbers.  If I'm given a bubble with a 2 in it, I can drag it over a bubble with a 3 in it and I now have a 5 bubble--- adding helps you win the game!   Another great app if your kids are learning basic addition (or just need to practice fluency). 
  5. Pet World-- teaches kids to take care of animals.  They have to clean cages, make sure the animals have plenty of water and food and as they take good care of them they can earn even more animals.  There are vet checks to make sure the animals are staying healthy and the game prompts you when you are at a loss as to what to do.  We played for a while and Alec really enjoyed it. 
  6. Wild Kratts Creature Power-- is played much like the Wild Kratts game on PBSkids.org.  It was cute and the boys enjoyed it.  Much like the TV show it teaches a bit about wild animals as you play through each level. Great for budding scientists.  
  7. 2048--  This highly addicting math game sucked me in from the start.  The boys enjoy playing it too and it has taught them many math facts.  Basically you have to combine even numbered tiles trying to keep the board clear until you combine the numbers to reach 2048.  It's lot of fun and involves a lot of strategy as well as adding.  
  8. Checkers Free--  Alec downloaded this one the other day and LOVED it.  He says it's just like regular checkers and he just loves these strategy games.  They're great for building problem solving skills.  
  9. Flow Free-- is pretty neat (and addicting!).  You have to connect the colored dots to one another without crossing over another color/ pipe.  It can be quite easy or quite difficult depending on the setting you choose and it gradually grows in skill.  We all really enjoy this app and it's great for critical thinking and problem solving.
  10. Guess What shows you 4 pictures and you have to find the common thing in each picture and spell out the word.  I love that it encourages the boys to spell as well as think critically.  Some of them are really tough and even stumped me, but some are pretty easy.  I don't think it will become a favorite of theirs but for free I thought it was a pretty good app.
  11. Mill Free-- is a Nine Men's Morris free app game.  Alec loves Nine Men's Morris and asks us to play with him all the time.  I downloaded the app so he could play by himself and while I found the computer pretty hard to play against he's beaten the computer several times now.  It doesn't stop him from loving this app and this game though so I'm very glad we downloaded it. 
  12. Hangman Free-- is a one or two player game played just like Hangman.  I love that they found a fun way to practice spelling.  I do, however, wish the game would let them know when they're spelling a word wrong in the two player mode.  Many a times we've come to the end of the game and they're beaming that they've won only to find out that they spelled the word wrong to begin with and that's why we were unable to guess.  It's not bad for a free app though and we have lots of fun playing.  If anything, getting the words wrong really encourages them to think critically about their spelling before we start.   
  13. Trivia Crack-- Helps kids learn facts about a variety of subjects from art to sports to history, science and geography.  They do have to play on-line against other family members or strangers but it's a great, fun way to reinforce learning.  My sons have even started to enjoy writing letters back & forth to family members while playing so they're getting in some writing and spelling practice too. 
  14. Minecraft-- while some might argue this is an app just for fun I have watched my boys build skills while playing. They apply math skills.  They build and problem solve.  They apply science skills and I can't tell you the amount of times I have heard them say "oh just like in Minecraft!" when learning something new in real life.  
  15. Monkey Word School Adventure-- My youngest son loves playing this game to build on reading skills.  It's pretty basic and great for learning sight words and simple word family words.  You know it's a good app when even my older two like to play.  They don't seem to care that the game is too simple for them; they just have fun.  
What are your favorite Apps? 

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8 comments :

  1. The kids love endless alphabet. Good vocab and spelling practice. And it's funny.

    Nate loves stack the states and max really likes abc mouse zookeeper.

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  2. I'll have to look into those. Thanks!

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  3. If you love minecraft, then try minecraft stories its fab. Never thought about downloading Uno or Hangman, they are now on my list.

    We've just updated the kids pads and we love Teach my monster to read and Letterland, I've gone more educational this term.

    Thanks for linking up to #FabFridayPost

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    1. We love minecraft stories! My youngest son used Teach My Monster to Read on the computer and made such huge strides in his reading.

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  4. There really are so many to choose from. My kids used to love something called Poisson Rouge which is in French. Sarah #fabfridaypost

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    1. There sure are and they just keep coming out with new ones everyday!

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  5. My kids are still pretty young, but they enjoy the starfall apps.

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    1. We enjoyed Starfall when mine were younger too.

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