Good App Guide’s top kids apps of 2016: nine to eleven year olds
Many of the titles included in our list of the top apps for nine to 11 year-olds from the past year are ideal for this age group because they present a challenge – something they can get their teeth into or a skill they can master. We’ve also picked out a few educational apps which successfully make learning engaging and fun, helping to grow children’s confidence for school.
We didn’t expect a geography app to be such a big hit with the kids. The Barefoot World Atlas app invites children to explore an interactive globe; there are hundreds of facts, live data for every country and pictures to bring it all to life.
It’s brilliant that kids can look around at their own pace with no pressure. This really encouraged our testers to spontaneously discuss things they already knew about (e.g. one had been to Hadrian’s Wall) and motivated them to both ask and answer their own questions, such as which country has the fewest cars. Plus parents and teachers can pose more complex questions to push children’s learning even further.
Older children love having a challenge to get their teeth into. Brain Aliens : Earth Aliens uses an alien invasion theme to get children practising their memory, logic, perception and analysis skills.
We could clearly see our testers concentrating hard on the tasks in this app, persevering when they failed and gaining confidence when they got a good score – which are all really valuable skills to learn. The activities are genuinely challenging while defeating the funny aliens provides further motivation to keep going.
This is a very educational and surprisingly addictive role-playing game. While running their own plant shop, children need to breed the right plants to fill the orders of some whacky customers – learning about genes and inheritance in the process.
We love how children can learn through trial and error – the opportunity for experimenting is ideal for encouraging a ‘what happens if?’ approach. Kids can combine any plants and see the outcome for themselves, then work out what they might need to do differently to create the plant they need. The proper vocabulary is used too, so children will also learn the correct scientific terms.
Kids’ Vocab has a collection of mini-games that children can dip in and out of; perfect for a little vocabulary practice every day. We like that there are so many words and phrases that cover a range of topics, such as science and geography, so this app will benefit children across the curriculum.
The games are fast-paced, which makes for exciting gameplay and keeps play moving, so getting a wrong answer isn’t off-putting. Our testers really enjoyed the challenge and were very keen to beat their high score (and even more keen to do better than their friends).
We’re big fans of apps that facilitate play outside of the device, as it means children get to use technology but they also benefit from more traditional play too. The Easy Origami app shows children how to make real paper crafts within one app – avoiding the risk of third party adverts or getting distracted by other websites when searching for tutorials online.
Our testers were so happy when they had made a paper craft they could keep and we could easily see this app inspiring children to make more arts and crafts; Easy Origami is just the beginning.
Tags: amphio limited, blowing minds, filament games, mindsnacks, shoto
This post was written by Anna Taylor