Recent studies have shown that over 60% of children under the age of 12 have their own mobile device. In Canada, nearly 25% of children ages nine and 10 have their own smartphone. In 2016 these numbers will only grow. With the new year around the corner many parents and teachers are pondering which apps they should delete, keep, and add to the mobile device/s used by their kids. While our recommended children’s apps for organic gardening/farming and health/nutrition still stand, our Foundation thought to take a look at what’s new for 2016.
4 Free Apps to Help Your Kids Grow & Learn in 2016
1. Healthy Heroes 2 (Ages 4-10)
Health Heroes 2 follows the success of its predecessor, but puts its own twist on the mission to help support health-conscious youth. An ill-intentioned queen and her henchmen have stolen nutritious foodstuffs from the quirky creatures residing within Yogome. Players join the app’s protagonists Oof and Oona on a journey through a prehistoric landscape to discover the five food groups and restore nutritional balance to the world. Healthy Heroes 2 teaches children about holistic eating via a fun matching game styled storyline that effortlessly ties together the five food groups and rewards players for learning. Once again Healthy Heroes encourages parental involvement, suggesting that you ensure the very same healthy foods detailed in the story/game are represented in the household. Parent’s also have access to the app’s easy-to-understand dashboard so that they can track their child’s progress. (FREE iTunes)
2. Perfect Picnic (Ages 6-8)
Perfect Picnic knows that there is a lot of information out there about planting, growing and harvesting food in addition to the nutritional aspects of it all. The gap is found when it comes to food handling. Perfect Picnic teaches children about safe food handling practices in an online environment that allows them to prepare, grill, and handle food in a manner that keeps picnic guests safe and well-fed. (FREE iTunes)
3. Veggie Circus Farm (Ages 1-5)
Veggie Circus Farm is a great app for toddlers. First words can be born from interacting with the app, as participants are introduced to 15 common vegetables. The app features a series of images that teach young children names and facts about the very same vegetables found at their local grocer. Play-mode adds fun games that allow children to interact with vegetables while exercising their learning skills and earning prize stickers in the process. The show-mode delivers users with a funny and entertaining veggie character circus show. Veggie Circus Farm combines fun graphics, games, and music to captivate your child and engage them in the concept of vegetables as a primary source of nutrition. (FREE iTunes)
4. Monster Heart Medic (Ages 9-11)
Monster Heart Medic is a highly engaging adventure app that immerses kids in a broader concept of healthy living. Players interact with a friendly creature named Ragnar, diagnosing potential ailments and guiding him towards healthier lifestyle choices. The apps uses animation, simulated environments, arcade-style games, a cast of wacky characters and rewards to teach kids about their own cardiovascular health. Users learn about the effects of high blood pressure and high cholesterol and are given insight into medical diagnostic tools and real-world procedures. This app gives credit to older kids, recognizing their ability to consume more sophisticated information that applies to the health of themselves and their family. That being said, there is enough fun to be had, complete with customized hats. hairstyles, mustaches and more for Ragnar and friends. (FREE iTunes / FREE Android)
Do you know of any educational and engaging apps that will help kids develop a better understanding of health, nutrition, and the interconnectedness of the world around them? Please follow our Foundation’s Facebook, Twitter, and/or Google+ and feel free to share your recommendations with us.