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Electronic devices have been the biggest game changer for our family, especially for my son, who has autism. There are so many apps that not only make learning fun but also prepare kids for more advanced skills. Here's a list of eight fun apps that keep younger kids entertained while letting them practice their STEM and science skills. Win-win!
CodeSpark Academy & the Foos
I first heard about the Foos learn-to-code program when my oldest started elementary school, and now all of my kids really love it. Rated for ages 4 and up, it has a "no words" interface that makes it user friendly even for pre-readers. With personalized interactive puzzles, games, and creative projects, this is a super-friendly introduction to programming for your little ones.
codeSpark Academy & The Foos
GoldieBlox: Adventures in Coding
GoldieBlox construction toys have long been a favorite in our house. GoldieBlox taps into girl power to help build spatial skills and encourages inventiveness and exploration by teaching kids to solve problems using fundamental coding. In this app, Goldie needs help building a spinning machine to help her dog, Nacho, chase his tail. Made for kids ages 4 and up.
GoldieBlox and The Spinning Machine
Lightbot Jr: Coding Puzzles
Lightbot is a programming puzzle game that invites kids to guide a robot to light up tiles. This app introduces children to computer science concepts and step-by-step coding in an engaging way. It's recommended for ages 4 through 8, but some of the reviews mention that it can be complicated for younger children. I love a pay-once app!
Lightbot Jr : Coding Puzzles for Ages
Osmo: Creative Starter Kit
Compatible with Fire and iPad tablets, Osmo has a whole collection of hands-on learning games. Designed for kids ages 3 to 12, the app lets you choose from a wide variety of creative and STEM games. It has everything from coding and physics to spelling and drawing. The apps themselves are free to download once you have the kit. Take a look at my review here!
Osmo-Creative Starter Kit for iPad
This app won the Most Innovative Game Award in 2017. It uses clever and challenging games to teach kids basic programming skills. It offers eleven different coding games within the app and requires a subscription of $4.99 a month.
Kidlo Coding Games for Kids
PBS KIDS Wild Kratts World Adventure
Everyone loves Wild Kratts. It's rated for all age groups, but is best for kids ages 4 to 8. This app focuses on science, observation, and exploration skills. Kids can explore diverse natural habitats and learn about a wide diversity of animals, from frogfish to woodpeckers, all around the big wild world.
Wild Kratts World Adventure
Tappity is a science and learning app that was created by a group of Stanford-educated scientists and teachers to make science learning fun for kids. We have had this app (currently only available in the App Store) for more than a year, and my kids never tire of playing it. It offers 15 lessons for free, so you can check it out before paying for any extra features.
Available at Apple
TerraGenesis: Star Settlers
Using data from NASA, players can unlock and colonize "desolate" planets, turning a planet from uninhabitable into able to support human life. While the app is free and doesn't cost anything to play it fully, there are in-app purchases available. It's rated for ages 4 and up. Upon review, this app seems more appropriate for strong readers, in the later elementary years and beyond. Parents can monitor progress with a convenient stats summary page.
Available at Apple