Good App Guide’s top kids apps of 2016: five to eight year-olds
For our five to eight year-old top kids apps, we’ve chosen those that really feed this age group’s curiosity and imagination, while gently introducing some valuable learning. We’ve kept in mind that children at this age want to do things for themselves; children might need a bit of help getting started, but once they know what they’re doing, these apps can be played independently by children between the ages of 5 and 8.
We think the concept of Virry is brilliant. It gives children access to live-streamed camera footage of animals – including elephants, lions and meerkats – so they can observe natural behaviour up-close (they can even record the particularly interesting stuff they see).
Children can become truly immersed in the safari experience like never before, even virtually caring for the animals by throwing meat to the hungry lion or calling the animals over to play. We love the way children can learn as they play, accompanied by the narrator telling them interesting facts about the animals.
Hama beads are such a classic craft activity and we love that children can now take it with them anywhere with the Hama Universe app – without the tiny beads or a parent armed with an iron.
There are lots of designs to choose from and the app is easy to use; putting the beads on takes a lot of concentration and dexterity though, so will keep children entertained for a long time. The app can also inspire children and build their confidence to go and make real arts and crafts.
ToonSpaghetti Story Lab has been developed by a teacher to help reinforce various language literacy skills; for such an educational app, it’s fantastically engaging and creative.
Children complete a range of activities – from matching the music to the mood of the story, to swapping out words to reinforce synonyms – as they bring their own story to life. In the meantime they learn about story structure, comprehension, vocabulary and much more.
Games like The Foos coding are invaluable to parents who are trying to teach their child coding with limited knowledge of the subject. It makes coding much more visual and clear than complicated text on a screen.
The cute little characters capture children’s imaginations from the start, as they use coding blocks to navigate and solve problems. Kids can see the effect of their ‘coding’ straight away and the funny results (e.g. sending their character in the wrong direction) mean they can immediately work out where they went wrong.
Hoopa City is one of many wonderful imaginative play apps from Dr. Panda. It makes it really easy for children to create their own town from the ground up, with an open-ended style which is ideal for creativity and curiosity.
Children are encouraged to experiment and explore as they play – by combining building elements they can discover over 60 unique buildings and once these are built, children can even zoom in on their little world to see what the characters living there are getting up to.
Tags: children, codespark, dr panda, hama, hoopa city 2, kids, technology, techspaghetti, the foos, toonspaghetti, virry
This post was written by Anna Taylor