These educational travel apps apps are enticing enough that your children will want to use them while you are traveling this summer. They can create a new element, an imaginative short story, or tinker with inventions of the past and present. Download them before you set out on your next adventure.
Toca Boca: Elements (iOS, Android, Kindle)
This app is the chemistry lab for young kids! It’s the perfect place for exploring how different materials interact. The app is ingeniously designed around the world of a science lab. The incredible part is that children do not have to be able to read or understand all there is to know about chemistry to engage in tinkering in the lab. As children dabble with the “elements,” they create new “elements” for their own periodic table. Please note that the “elements” and periodic table are not based on the actual scientific reactions occurring but rather give children the understanding that when elements are placed under certain conditions, a new element can be created. The app does not provide narration so parents be sure to provide lots of vocabulary and ask your child lots of questions while using the app. For example: What do you think is happening? Encourage them to ask questions too. This app will make your child feel like they have all the tools of a mad scientist! The app is appropriate for children ages 4-8 and free at the time of this publication.
Journeys of Invention (iOS)
This app is designed for the curious child. Ever wonder what the inside of a light bulb looks like or an old typewriter? The app, created by the Science Museum in London, includes pictures and videos that are completely fascinating; most feel like you are holding the invention in your hands. Journeys of Invention is a wonderful app for any child (or adult) interested in science, technology, and math.
Word Games for Kids is highly recommended as a multifaceted game to use with your family. The app is completely customizable for what you want kids to learn and play. This is one of the few apps designed completely for social play. Either play with the provided content or create your own. Up to four players can sit around the iPad. Tap “start” and the game begins. One game might have the center showing a picture of a pig. The first player to tap the word “pig” on their panel scores a point. After winning three rounds, the child is awarded a Futaba which is a small seedling. Word Games for Kids comes with several learning sets, but what makes this app exceptional is the fact that you have complete control of the content. Design your games by using the camera on your device or add your own text. The latest update provides an option to use Dropbox to upload images. The amount of customization allows both parents to get creative. The options seem limitless and all for free!