Early education and school preparedness is an important
issue for the Latino community. More and more parents are learning the value of
teaching their children basic concepts to prepare them for entering
kindergarten. But knowing how and what to teach often remains a mystery for
many families. Fortunately, there are a growing number of apps hitting the
market to help parents teach their children anywhere and everywhere.
Here, we've reviewed three apps to help you teach your
children in the areas of math, literacy, art, right-brain creativity, hand-eye
coordination and fine motor skills.
An app designed for parent with
games and activities to develop their children's math and literacy skills
Subjects: Math, Literacy
Language: English and Spanish
Ages: Adults, with games for children ages 2-5
Available for: iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, Kindle and Android
The PBS Parents Play and Learn app is PBS' first app
designed primarily for parents with young children. The app focuses on developing
pre-literacy and early math skills to help prepare children for school. There
are 13 categories of teachable moments, including at the park, a party, in the
car and in a restaurant, just to name a few. Each category contains an
interactive game your child can play independently or with you, but the best
part of this app is the list of hands-on activities parents can do with their
children. Each category has four age-specific activities: one each for babies
and toddlers, and two for preschoolers.
Like many of their other apps, PBS
has included a sticker game featuring many of the familiar images used within
the app such as fruit, zoo animals and musical instruments. It's also a fun way
to develop your child's fine-motor skills.
An app for preschoolers that uses
animals to develop letter recognition, spelling, and vocabulary
Language: English and Spanish (Separate apps available for purchase)
Ages: 2 to 5
Available for: iPad, iPhone
This full-immersion app is
available in English or Spanish and centers on an impressive collection of more
than 100 domestic and wild animals. From avestruzes to morsas, your niños will
learn the names of each animal. Many of the animals included are not frequently
seen in Spanish-language children's materials available on the market today.
The app features four different
games, each of which develops your child's fine motor skills. "Letras" teaches
your child how to spell the name of the animal using moveable letter tiles that
your child simply drags and drops into place. The words and letters are voiced
aloud to reinforce letter and word recognition. Kids can draw their own
animals, or use one of the templates to color it in "A colorear."
"Raya y rellena" allows your child
to color in images, also, but great for those not ready to stay within the
lines just yet. All your child has to do is swipe their finger back and forth
across the image. And finally, "Igual a la silueta" is a matching game that
provides a silhouette, and your child must choose the correct animal from a
selection of three, drag and drop it into the silhouette.
Subject(s): Art, Right Brain Creativity, Coordination
Price: $0.99 to $1.99
Ages: 4 and up
Available for: iPad, iPhone
the joyful background music to the
simple act of creating faces out of food, toys, tools, candy, musical
instruments, you child will have total control over each item, including where
to place it, what size to make it, and their ability to rotate it into the
position they desire. It's fascinating to see whose faces my kids recreate, and
it warms my heart to know that when they create abuelita's face, or mine, they
are choosing subjects they love and it reflects our close relationship. But
your kids aren't limited to creating funny faces—they can create images of
virtually any object. This app even allows your child to use their own objects
from pictures they take using the iPad.
Once their masterpiece is complete,
you can share it via Facebook or email. This provides a wonderful opportunity
to share your child's art with los abuelos! And if you'd like to take creating
a step further, you can explore the images in the gallery for inspiration. Watch
five video lessons featuring artist and children's educator Hanoch Piven. The
videos are in English, but the rest of the app isn't language-based, so
children fluent in any language can enjoy creating their own artwork without
any language barriers.