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Whether it’s improving vocabulary or teaching critical-thinking skills, there are lots of fun digital activities for kids. Here are three tips to find the best apps, websites, and games for your child.
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Laurie Burke: Today, there's no shortage of apps, websites, and games that claim to be educational. But what's really best for learning? Well, according to educational experts, today's kids need skills that will prepare them for life and work in our new, ever-changing digital world. That means they need to go beyond mastering core academic skills and learn how to become critical thinkers and creative problem solvers. The good news, if you can take advantage of some of the many educational websites, apps, and games to support kids' development. So how can you find what's best for your child?
First, focus on engagement. Kids learn best when they're interested in what they're doing. Look for great storylines, fascinating characters, and other hooks.
Next, seek out critical thinking. While quiz-style games may be fun and educational, activities that challenge kids with ethical dilemmas or strategic thinking can really challenge them to grow mentally.
Finally, factor in creativity. A key feature of many great learning products is the ability for kids to make their own content. Editing a video or creating a new game level can make learning more personal, memorable, and meaningful for kids. As with any teaching tool, success depends on who's using it and how their learning is being supported. This is especially true for younger kids. Watching kids while they play, asking questions about what they're taking away, and doing related non-tech-based activities can extend learning even further.
For more tips and advice, check out our mobile app or visit us at commonsense.org. I'm Laurie Burke.