As parents, we want to make sure the time our children spend on mobile devices isn't wasted, and instead is spent on skill-building or educational activities. With this in mind, we set out to find the best child-friendly apps, as well as those which actively help improve a child's focus and patience.
To discourage kids from flipping aimlessly from activity to activity, we found the best apps which promote children to be content with what they're doing, and be focused on a greater goal. Here are our top picks:
1. Toca Blocks by Toca Boca
With plenty of experience making kid-friendly educational games, our top pick from Toca Boca's line-up is easily Toca Blocks. It may seem reminiscent of other games you've seen, but rest assured there's no violence in Toca Blocks. It's appropriate for any child old enough to master the controls, though older kids are likely to have more fun.
The best thing about Toca Blocks is the creative freedom it gives your child, and the social atmosphere which is encouraged in the game. Kids can share their creations, or build with others. Even though it may take a while to build something great, completing a project is sure to give your child a great sense of satisfaction.
2. Arrow Fear by Swan Soft
Arrow Fear may involve throwing spears, but it's much more like archery practice than war. Players need make split-second decisions in order to hit the right targets, which require great focus and skill. The simplicity of this game makes it perfect for children, coupled with how easy it is to learn and gain competence. There are no complicated dynamics in Arrow Fear, but it takes patience to succeed.
This game is best suited for children 6+, but only because of the skills required to play. For older children, Arrow Fear is a fun way to improve concentration.
3. Roll The Ball by BitMango
Many of you reading this will remember the real-life version of Roll The Ball, from a simpler time when toys didn't need to be plugged in. Not to be left behind, this favorite pastime toy has been revamped into an app, complete with new puzzles and easy controls that make it a perfect family option.
We like that this app has low-key premium options that don't encourage your children to spend money, and that the puzzles are great for any age group. If you want wholesome fun for your kids, Roll The Ball is right up your alley (get it?).
4. Breathe, Think, Do With Sesame by Sesame Workshop
Another app for younger children, this game promotes healthy emotional intelligence with different social exercises within the game. It teaches children to stop and think before acting, as well as how to consider consequences and make better decisions.
You simply won't find another app more built to the task of bettering a child's patience, manners, and focus. Parents with impulsive toddlers and small children will find this app to be very helpful.
5. ABC Kids – Tracing and Phonics by RV AppStudios
Download from PlayStore
In addition to games that emulate traditional toys, we love games that make learning fun. If you have younger children, the alphabet is a major first step and any learning aid is handy. ABC Kids – Tracing and Phonics goes above and beyond to make learning letters and sounds enjoyable for parents and children alike.
Your toddler or kindergartener will love the colorful graphics, learning their alphabet seamlessly through interactive mini-games. This app also teaches your child coordination, and promotes focus with full engagement and in-game encouragement. Best yet, this game in no way advertizes to your child for premium content or upgrades.
What your children experience on electronic devices is ultimately your responsibility. Continue doing research to learn what is and is not appropriate for your children, and always be vigilant about the media they're exposed to. Don't be fooled into thinking that all apps must have some form of sex, violence or greed in them, as there are many honest companies making wholesome games your children will love.