In the digital age, children take to technology far faster than their parents do. While some of us are still trying to work out how to screen mirror from a phone to a laptop, kids will find their way around a mobile device in no time.
This often leads to our tykes becoming glued to their tablet and computer screens, watching YouTube clips, playing games and discovering music. Since this is almost an inevitability, how about introducing them to some amazing apps that both educate and entertain them? This will turn screen time into quality, quiet time with apps that are engaging and inclusive. The best part about these apps is that most of them are free or quite affordable, and parents won’t need to spend huge amounts of money on them.
“Data and connectivity play a huge role in entertainment, and at Cell C we try to offer options that suit all budgets and connectivity needs. Screen time increases over weekends and public holidays, so it’s a good idea for parents to download some fun Apps ahead of time,’’ says Michelle Beetar, Cell C Chief Customer Experience Officer.
With the 2nd school term for public schools ending on 17 June and children on holiday until 8 July, it may be time to load up your devices with some educational apps for your kids.
Here are Cell C’s quick picks of the great apps for your children;
Age group – 5 to 18 years old
If your child loves looking at the stars, then this might be the best stargazing family bonding app you could ever have. Download it and point it toward the sky at night, and it will tell you interesting facts about each star in real-time. This app follows your movement and lets you explore over 200,000 celestial bodies and constellations. Amazing, right?! And it is particularly vital to those hoping to study astronomy one day.
- The Elements
Explore the wonders of science. If you want to know how the natural elements combine to form the world around us, this app can tell you in words and pictures. It takes technical topics and explains simply how the building blocks of the universe were formed and how it functions. Chemistry comes to life with this interactive version of the periodic table.
- History: Maps of World
Instead of the traditional hardcopy map or atlas that compresses centuries of change, this interactive app allows you to access high definition maps from any period throughout time. It shows the entire world for every single year in recorded history. The scalable and zoomable maps – with pop up information – allow even the smallest countries to be shown.
Mathboard is a maths app that is jam-packed with quizzes and games for kids of all ages. It encourages children to solve problems, and not just guess answers. This is done by providing multiple answer styles, as well as a scratchboard area where problems can be worked out by hand. It takes children through the steps required to solve the problem and it will keep them busy for hours on end.
Apps for pre-schoolers (aged 18 months to 5 years)
This app is perfect for your little one’s growing mind. It teaches them how to identify shapes, while also learning about hand-eye co-ordination. GazziliShapes starts off with an all-time favourite – pizza – and they will learn how many shapes make up that pizza like the circle-shaped pepperoni, the triangle slices and the zig zag cheese. After each game, they progress to the next level.
- 5 Little Monkeys
This app is all about nursery rhymes and encourages language development. In a nutshell, it is an interactive counting song where a child can tap on a monkey and it falls off the bed. It’s slapstick humour that tends to engage toddlers and keep them entertained.
Once the children get bored of the apps – and they will – this is where to go next. Premium entertainment platform black TV offers several dedicated kids channels with a variety of programs and movies. The best part is that you don’t have to be a Cell C subscriber to get onto the platform and watch. black TV is available on all networks and you can choose to opt in for a day, week or weekend. Some of its main features include parental control, download schedules, renting or buying without subscription, access for up to five devices (two of which can be watched simultaneously) and the capability to pre-order the latest blockbuster movies.
Cell C subscribers, on the other hand, have the option to make use of the free unlimited black data, which is available until the end June to watch, stream or download.