It’s not a secret that I have a very special relationship with technology and that I have transferred that relationship onto my parenting and my child.
If you want to read about it, here is my post on “screentime” from a few years ago, but in short it says no to TV and mindless programming and cartoons, but yes to curated kid’s shows and educational apps.
My decision was based solely on my experience as well as understanding of brain development, as well as extensive research, while also paying attention to clues from my own child.
It’s interesting to note that my opinion on the matter has not changed and I still work very hard to make sure that Lexi does not spend screentime without some sort of benefit.
Does it work every time? No.
Do i let her play games and do fun things on the Ipad now that she is 6? Absolutely!
Do I let her watch mindless TV? Almost never but I have allowed it a few times with family members who enjoy TV.
Other than that, our screentime rules are clear:
- No Youtube (unless it’s Russian youtube, in which case I let her watch it because it really helps her with her Russian vocabulary and comprehension)
- No non-educational games. There are enough fun educational games out there to not have to waste time on anything that won’t teach her math or reading.
- no TV
(Now, I have to admit that her dad, as much as he wants to, does not stick to the same rules with the same strength as I do, though he is pretty close). They definitely play video games. And recently she got “hooked” on Minecraft through a STEM camp she went to. I was very unhappy about it, but allowed her to explore the game and see if there is any value to it. There is none. Not the way a 6 year old plays it in my opinion. So I tell her Minecraft and SIMs (another game she likes) can be played only after she has completed all her homework, her chores, our outdoor play and her reading and math apps. Then after a while I redirect her to educational apps if she wants to continue “playing” on the Ipad)
So what does this all lead to?
There is one app that has been both our favorite for a while. Mine because it’s wildly educational and very interesting. Lexi’s because it teaches her about things she is very interested in: space, science, anatomy. I mentioned it in our previous post and got so many questions ranging from learning more about it to what my screentime policies were that I figured it would be a good topic for a post.
The best educational app for kids
I am not going to exaggerate when I say that this is the BEST EDUCATIONAL APP FOR KIDS and adults. While it is meant for kids age 9-11 and older, if your child has above average comprehension and interest in gathering knowledge ( what kid doesn’t love asking questions and getting answers), this is going to be the most amazing app ever.
It’s funny I sound like I am writing a review. I am not.
This best educational app is called BrainFeed. And here is what you need to know:
- You can download it here
- it is subscription based
- it has animated video content explaining various topics
- topics vary from science to social studies to tech to language to arts to math and beyond
- it is very entertaining for kids and adults
- it does use technically terms and adult language ( not like swearwords, but it dosn’t dumb down the language because it’s meant for older kids)
- you can make it a family thing to watch a few videos together and learn something both of you did not know
- the absolutely best way to expand your kids knowledge
DOWNLOAD IT HERE
Now I am A SELF-PROCLAIMED educational app connoisseur. I make it a point to download every new educational app for kids and check it out in case it’s something I think Lexi will love. So much so that we have a collection of really amazing educational apps that I really need to write about.
If you have a toddler aged child, you can see best educational apps for toddlers post here ( it’s a few years old but should still work)
If you want to see this app in the works (on a child), check out Lexi’s recent YouTube Video about Strokes on her channel, Playtime with Lexi. All the knowledge she has about it is from ONE Brainfeed video she watched once.
You can read here how we decided to film a video about strokes.
A quick note about use of iPads/iPhones. The biggest thing that “bugs” me about use of devices is the bad posture that inevitably follows. So we use this neat Monster iPad holder which fixes the posture instantly (you can see some pictures above in this post, as well). Its teeth hold the device (or book, it works for reading too) in place and it’s soft and comfy on her lap. Check it out here.
Do you know of any similar apps on Android?
Oh it’s not on the Android? That’s too bad. That’s primarily why I stick with Iphones, Ipads. Unfortunately, I do not….
Well, actually check on BrainBop and BrainPop JR. I don’t know if they are on android, but they might be. Similar concept, a lot more kid oriented ( brain feed is really good for adults too and uses adult terms and doesn’t dumb things down to age range, Brain pop does), but it’s still a cool app and Lexi used to watch it too about a year ago all the time.
Wow, I’m shocked you dismissed Minecraft. I’ve found it to be incredibly educational for my daughter who is Lexi’s age, with math especially. We limit screentime pretty strictly, but Minecraft is one of the games that I do allow. Her teacher was so impressed with her multiplication and spatial reasoning skills and I definitely think all of the building and allocating of resources she practices in Minecraft helped her a lot.
I have watched a few games of Minecraft, which was introduced to her by a STEM camp and I do not think that it does any more than any strategic game would. Which in the end, is still a game. I also have a slight problem with the addictive nature of games. She does play Minecraft ( especially at dad’s), but there are so many more educational app and games that she could be playing. That’s just my opinion. Once she is older though, I am sure her and I will spend some days staying up playing Civ 😉