One of the best things we can do as tech-saavy parents is get our kids acclimated early to the wonders of a digital life. I’m not saying kids can’t be kids, but I think it’s pretty darned cool that my 4 year old is the only kid in her class who knows how to work an iPod Touch or bring up web-based games in Safari. At the end of the day, growing up around technology could really give kids a leg up when they get out into the real world. And so, with that in mind, MacApper is proud to suggest five free apps that every parent should share with their kids.
Buddy the Bus offers up a 21st century take on the book-and-record sets we used to get as kids. Back then you’d dig out your Fisher-Price turntable and listen to the narrator read along with the story. Now that we live in “the future,” both audio and book are magically transported as one package in this totally free app. Your kids can pop in their headphones and listen along as Buddy the Bus takes his passengers all over the town.
Baby Flash Cards is, to no ones suprise, exactly what it sounds like. Flash cards are considered by many to be a great way to stimulate a child’s mind. But why shell out $5-$10 for a set of real cards when you can get a fantastic free set right here? The free set included in Baby Flash Cards features a variety of real world objects and animals paired up with their matching words. Cards can be explored alphabetically or randomly, and you can set it so that all the info is on the card at once or the words are hidden until you touch them.
SimpleDraw proves one solid universal truth: kids LOVE coloring. It’s timeless. Give a kid in 12th century Mongolia a crayon and he’ll know what to do with it in seconds. So it should come as no surprise that the one app my 2 year old is always trying to wrestle away my iPod for is the one she calls “COLOR!!” SimpleDraw’s name couldn’t be more accurate. You can select from a handful of colors and brush thicknesses, but asides from that things are kept alarmingly minimalist. Your little one can just put a finger on the screen and go to town.
Children’s Classics let’s you put the tradition of reading with you’re kids right in your pocket. Sure you could ask your child to sit quietly and patiently on that long train trip/airport wait/doctor’s office visit, but wouldn’t it be more fun to break out the bedtime stories in the middle of the afternoon? Children’s Classics offers up 16 classics children’s reads ranging from Pinnochio and Robin Hood to Aesop’s Fables and The Secret Garden. If you find your family is really digging it, make sure to do a search on the AppStore for BeamItDown Software. Not only have they pblished this great collection, but they have a number of other classic family stories like Alice in Wonderland or A Christmas Carol available completely free of charge.
myHomework is an app that every iPhone/iPod toting student should own, and every parent encourage. myHomework lets a child keep track of their class schedule, assignments, tests and other school activities. Even better, it has color coded reminders to let them know when something is about to come due or has missed a deadline. Organization is a cornerstone to success, and what better developmental task to apply this to than the daily juggle of academia?
This is just the tip of the iceberg. There are many apps, both paid and free, that prove to be a great resource for parents the world over. What iPhone apps do you share with your kids?