Apps that Bring Families Together
In a world where media is king, it is hard to avoid using a phone, tablet or computer for everyday tasks. As technology becomes increasingly accessible, kids are learning to navigate an iPhone before they even know their ABCs. Technology is quickly evolving, and so is the way families interact. For a win-win, try these social apps that help bring families together – rather than driving kids and parents into solitude.
Sitting through kindergarten homework is a piece of cake, but once the kiddos are out of basic algebra – that’s when things get tough. Whether your junior high student needs help with pre-algebra or your sophomore is fighting through chemistry, surfing the web is not always the most time-efficient answer. When your student gets stuck, try using a tailor-made, subject-based app.
For math, many students turn to PhotoMath, an app that provides users with a step-by-step analysis of their homework problem in the palm of their hand. Apps like Anti-Social and myHomework also help students stay on track during study time by keeping distractions at bay and a handy schedule on hand.
For parents on the go, reading to your child each night may not always be achievable, but by downloading a reading app based on your child’s age group, parents can fit in reading between daily pickups and errands. Apps like Bookster, Tales2Go and A Story Before Bed are great apps that offer thousands of books right at your child’s fingertips for little to no cost.
During family leisure time, many apps encourage parent-child bonding in both a fun and often-educational way. The new craze around the app Pokémon Go may seem like a blast from the past, but kids of today love searching for virtual Pokémon – and many parents appreciate the app’s ability to get kids out and exercising. Try getting the whole family to download the app to see who can “Catch them all!” Long car ride? Keep the kiddos – and yourself – entertained beyond the basic “I Spy” by downloading Family Car Games. And for long lines at Disneyland or just a fun family game night in, try downloading Heads Up, a spin on charades.
With the app musical.ly, families are able to create their own rockin’ music videos – while they jam out in the car, act silly on a Saturday night in or explore their budding musical talents. The best part? Unlike other recording apps, musical.ly allows even those of us not gifted with shining vocal cords the opportunity to show our star power. With the lip-syncing option, everyone can participate.
If you’re looking for more ways to make the digital world family-friendly, check out the app store. Not sure where to start? Try searching for the kind of app you want such as “reading” or “child,” or select a specific category such as “kids” or “education.”
For more information, consult www.joanganzcooneycenter.org/appguide or research more apps online!