These iPhone apps for five-year-olds make screen time worth it

Technology certainly has its pluses and minuses. On the one hand, smartphones and tablets are entertaining and exciting, but on the flip side, too much time spent on devices isn’t healthy for the body. As parents, we need to help kids find the balance between electronics and other activities. When children are online, you want it to be time well spent.

In order to ensure kids are using their designated screen time during the day for beneficial activities, it’s important to choose apps that foster creativity. Smart apps for kids provide STEM or STEAM activities to get children engaging their brains. Inspire apps encourage critical thinking and problem-solving skills as well as sparking the imagination. When kids are playing educational games on their devices, you can feel a bit better about the time they are spending online. So, what are the best apps for kids?

The Cat in the Hat Builds That

The PBS KIDS popular television series is the inspiration behind this STEAM-based iPhone app. The Cat in the Hat, Nick, Sally, along with Thing 1 and Thing 2 are featured in the app that includes five science and engineering games.

In Bridge-a-rama, kids learn about measurement and experiment with how sturdy objects can be. Sorta-ma-gogo focuses on organizational and identification skills, while Slidea-ma-zoo introduces users to foundational physics concepts. Sounda-pa-looza lets kids explore pitch and sound by creating musical instruments, and Builda-ma-loo really gets the creative juices flowing by letting kids make a color-mixing invention before attempting to paint their own masterpiece.

The Cat in the Hat Builds That exposes kids to the science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics components incorporated into STEAM activities. Geared toward preschoolers and kindergarteners, the app is free to download. It is also perfect for bilingual learners with a Spanish-language option. The app also includes parent/child activities.

Sago Mini Big City

In this fun interactive app, kids get to explore all the fun things metropolitan cities have to offer. From riding a bus to climbing a skyscraper, kids navigate their way around the big city from having lunch outside to checking out a museum. Sago Mini Big City is for preschoolers to first-graders. With Annie the Skunk, Nutmeg the Squirrel, and Umi the giant Squid, users are in control of their own open-ended discoveries. The app does have a fee, but it does not include in-app purchases or third-party advertisers.

It’s a great game for kids to use when in the car or waiting at a restaurant because the app works with or without WiFi. While exploring and having fun with the inviting animation and cute surprises, kids are also learning basic counting and money skills.

Dr. Panda Art Class

With this super-creative app, kids can use virtual scissors, paint, crayons, and more to make their own artistic masterpieces. Once kids create something, they can actually play with it. The app does have a fee, but it does not have in-app purchases, and parents won’t have to worry about third-party advertisers. Kids can design kites, pinwheels, and even spin their own cups and vases without making any mess at all. Once kids’ artistic juices are inspired virtually, they can try to make some of the easier crafts at home with a bit of help from their mom and dad.

Daily Monster Monster Maker

What’s cooler than designing your own monsters? Kids can have a lot of fun and use their imaginations to design their own monsters with this free app. Parents should note that this app doesn’t include in-app purchases.

Little girl having fun playing with learning apps on a smartphone
takayuki/Shutterstock

My First Classical Music App

Introduce your kiddos to the beauty of classical music with this interactive music app. Designed for ages 4 and up, kids can learn about different composers while hearing their music and how the different instruments sound. There is a fee for this musical app.

SkyView Lite

Get your kiddos looking up at the stars with this amazing app that brings the stars to you. Children of all ages and adults too will appreciate the beauty of the SkyView Lite app. Free to download, it does offer in-app purchases. WiFi is not necessary to use, and kids can take a peek at stars, planets, and even satellites during the daytime or evening hours. Kids can learn all about the constellations they actually see in the night sky by pointing the smartphone or tablet directly at the sky. This is a super-fun way to get kids interested in astronomy.

In today’s technology-based world, it is hard to keep kids away from screens. Most doctors recommend limited time in front of devices for kids. Certain times like traveling in the car or long wait times in restaurants, appointments, and airports cry out for digital distractions. With smart apps installed on your kids’ devices, you can feel more comfortable letting them indulge in some screen time. Learning apps inspire creativity and get kids thinking, which can actually be time well spent on devices.

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