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Coding for Kids – 3 FREE & Fabulous Apps

Why teach kids to code? Coding is what makes computer software work. Understanding the basics of programming will help your child be prepared for the jobs of the future. And, in the process your child will be using logic, solving problems, and having fun! Check out these apps and try coding yourself. Then try it with your students. We are living in creative, exciting times – be part of it!! 🙂

Here are fabulous FREE resources to use:

scratch jrFREE app – ScratchJr is designed to teach kids how to code their own stories and/or games. Specifically developed for younger children, ScratchJr is based on Scratch programming language (http://scratch.mit.edu) which is used by millions around the world. The app includes an introduction video and examples of sample projects. Once the add button is pressed, the app opens to a page with a friendly looking cat in a blank square surrounded by programming tools. Then the fun begins. Kids snap together programming blocks to make the cat move – forward, backward, right, left, hop, etc. They can choose to add a setting to their story/game by selecting one of the twenty-eight different backgrounds. They can add additional characters and/or objects to their scenes. They can make their character talk either by using word bubbles or by recording their own voices. They can control timing, speed, and the sequencing of events. The app can be simple but it becomes more complex as kids start to figure things out. For example, they can learn to program multiple characters to move in sequence, move together, etc. Kids can also add themselves to the story. They simply choose one of the fifteen “faceless” characters then add in their own face using the iPad’s built-in camera. How cool is that? As kids learn to program, they are also learning to problem solve, design projects, and be creative on the computer. LOVE this app!

Download link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/scratchjr/id895485086?mt=8&uo=4

kodableFREE for iPad – Kodable, an introduction to programming for kids 5+. The fuzzFamily has crashed their spaceship on Smeeborg. Kids help the fuzzes through Smeeborg’s mazes by creating drag & drop instructions for them to follow. As they code, kids need to remember that fuzzes follow instructions exactly as they are written. After coding the instructions, kids hit play to watch the fuzzes roll through the maze. They are rewarded with stars, coins, and extra members of the fuzzFamily if they are successful. This educational app comes with 45 free levels which become progressively more difficult. Additional content is available as an in-app purchase.

Download link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/kodable/id577673067?mt=8&uo=4

Hopscotch HD

Hopscotch HD is an educational app that teaches kids how to program their own games and animations! Introduce kids to computer science with this app. 🙂 Kids drag and drop “method blocks” into scripts. When they are done, they can press play to see their code in action! Why teach kids coding? According to the developer – there will be about 1.4 million computer jobs by 2020 and only 400,000 computer science students. Many coders first fell in love with coding when they were  8-12 year old children. Hopscotch is based on a visual programming language named Scratch which was developed by MIT. It promotes STEM education (science, technology, engineering and math) in a fun way – by making coding kid-friendly!  LOVE it!!

Hopscotch HD - Hopscotch Technologies

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PBS KIDS Apps on Sale

Seven apps from popular PBS KIDS series are on sale for only $.99!!

daniel tiger

Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: Play at Home with Daniel

Direct Link https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/daniel-tigers-neighborhood/id553211336?mt=8

Daniel Tiger’s Day and Night

Direct Link https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/daniel-tigers-day-night/id690106176?mt=8

Daniel Tiger’s Grr-ific Feelings

Direct Link https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/daniel-tigers-grr-ific-feelings/id899193797?mt=8

Super Why ABC Adventures: Alphabet for iPad

Direct Link https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/super-why-abc-adventures-alphabet/id546688555?mt=8

Wild Kratts World Adventure

Direct Link https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/wild-kratts-world-adventure/id844517266?mt=8

Wild Kratts Creature Math

Direct Link https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/wild-kratts-creature-math/id585747376?mt=8

Dinosaur Train A to Z

Direct Link https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/dinosaur-train-a-to-z/id804766670?mt=8

 

 

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Spelling Star

spelling star

FREE for a limited time – Spelling Star, an educational app for practicing spelling lists. The app is simple to use – just type in and record the words. You may also include sentences to clarify the words’ meanings. Kids must spell each word correctly three times to become a Spelling Star.  Words are presented in random order. As kids practice, they can get a hint – a quick look at the word spelled correctly. When they spell a word without a hint, they earn a star. Spelling Star provides feedback after each word is spelled with the option to “try again” when an error is made. This educational app is great for home and/or school. Parents can use it to input spelling lists for multiple kids. Kids may enjoy inputting their own lists at the beginning of the week which would be GREAT practice! Teachers can create lists on one device and share those lists with anyone who has the Spelling Star app. Simple to use, effective, and tracks progress – what more do you need? 🙂

Download link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/spelling-star/id557070660?mt=8&uo=4

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Artkive

As featured on THE TODAY SHOW, Artkive makes it easy to digitally store, share, and print your children’s artwork/schoolwork.  Originally released on August 11, 2012  – this app for the iPhone/iPad is FREE again for a limited time. It is very easy to use. First you create an account. Then enter the first names of your children. Take photos of their artwork/schoolwork or upload existing photos from your camera roll. Tag the photo with a child’s name, age or grade, the date, and a title. So simple! You can then share their art with family & friends. You will also be able to have Artkive create digital books & other products with your child’s artwork/schoolwork. Artkive makes it easy to collect and store your children’s artwork in one place.

What a great idea! As a parent, you can use it to create books for your children, of any age. I plan to make gift books for my adult children of their art/work that I have saved!  As a teacher, you could use it to create digital portfolios of children’s work. Lots of possibilities! Try it yourself while it is free 🙂

To learn more @ http://www.artkiveapp.com/

Recommended!

Artkive - The Kive Company

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Marco Polo Ocean

marco polo

FREE for a limited time – Marco Polo Ocean, an adorable educational app for preschoolers. Kids will learn about Earth’s oceans in two ways – through build & explore activities or free play. There are five build & explore (puzzle) activities – build a coral reef, build marine animals, build fish, build a boat, and build a submersible. As kids add parts to each puzzle, they learn the appropriate vocabulary. Many vocabulary words are also explained. During free play, kids can do several things: explore from the shore to the sea floor, steer their vehicles through ocean waters, add creatures to the water to see how they interact with each other, and more. Marco Polo Ocean uses self-directed discovery to expose kids to STEM education (science, technology, engineering, and math) in a fun, engaging way. Kids will learn about the ocean structure, the species that live there, characteristics of the fish/marine mammals, etc. It’s no wonder that Marco Polo Ocean was named App Store Editors’ Choice in 15 Countries!! Do not miss this one. It puts the fun back in learning. 🙂

Download link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/marcopolo-ocean/id797157312?mt=8&uo=4

 

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Artkive

As featured on THE TODAY SHOW, Artkive makes it easy to digitally store, share, and print your children’s artwork/schoolwork.  Originally released on August 11, 2012  – this app for the iPhone/iPad is FREE again for a limited time. It is very easy to use…. First, you create an account. Then enter the first names of your children. Take photos of their artwork/schoolwork or upload existing photos from your camera roll. Tag the photo with a child’s name, age or grade, the date, and a title. So simple! You can then share their art with family & friends. You will also be able to have Artkive create digital books & other products with your child’s artwork/schoolwork. Artkive makes it easy to collect and store your children’s artwork in one place.

What a great idea! As a parent, you can use it to create books for your children, of any age. I plan to make gift books for my adult children of their art/work that I have saved!  As a teacher, you could use it to create digital portfolios of children’s work. Lots of possibilities…. try it yourself while it is free. 🙂

To learn more @ http://www.artkiveapp.com/

Artkive - The Kive Company

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Summertime Apps

Those lazy, crazy days of summer have arrived. Here are some summer-themed apps for kids to enjoy.

sand drawing

Sand Drawing by Timbuktu is currently $2.99 but it was FREE when I downloaded it. Kids can relax on the virtual beach by drawing in the sand. The app comes with 3 drawing tools and 12 decorations that kids can choose to use. Decorations can easily be mixed, rotated, and resized. Waves clear the beach so to make way for new creations. Simple to use and fun!

I wish the app had a save feature built-in – perhaps that will be an option in an updated version. The good news is that you can save your child’s sand drawing by taking a screen shot of your iPad. Here’s how: 1. Have your child’s creation open. 2. Find your Sleep/Wake button (top right of the iPad). 3. Find your home button (centered on the bottom your iPad’s screen). 4. Hold down both buttons together – it only takes a second. 5. Release them and you should hear a camera shutter sound and see a white screen. 6. Check your Camera Roll – the image should be there!

Now the fun begins… use your creations to as illustrations in story apps, as backgrounds for photo albums of your vacation, as postcards to grandma & grandpa, etc. Get creative!!

Sand Drawing - by Timbuktu - Timbuktu Labs, Inc.

Ice Cream Truck Game

Ice Cream Truck Game is another cute, educational app for only $2.99 –  Kids utilize their math skills while operating an ice cream truck in this game. They begin by purchasing the right amount of ingredients (cones, ice cream, and toppings) for each day. All ingredients are sold in metric measurement – liters or grams. Then, kids choose a cone size  and set a price for the treats. Sales are affected by price and by the popularity of the treats. At the end of each day, the child sees a graph of liquid assets and a graph of customer satisfaction. They can assess what works or what does not work and make the necessary adjustments for the next day. Kids have 10 days in each city. The goal is to make enough money to move to the next city (level). The levels get progressively more difficult. Lots of math skills are woven into this game – money, measurement, estimating, reading a graph, etc. I could see third, fourth, & fifth graders having fun with this one!

Ice Cream Truck Game - Hooda MathI Like Summer

Preschool Books – I Like Summer from Grasshopper Apps is FREE! Written for preschoolers, this book is 1 of 20 books in the “I Like” series. Kids will enjoy listening to the story that highlights the joys of summer. They will also love looking at story’s photos. The best part of this educational app is that it can be customized. You can record the existing story in your child’s voice (or your voice). Or… you can completely change the text and record the new story in your child’s voice/your voice. How fun  – have your child make up a story to go with the pictures!

Preschool Books - I Like Summer - GrasshopperApps.com

Stella adn Sam Storypack

4 out of 5 of these stories are about summer!

Now only $3.99 – Stella and Sam Story Pack, a wonderful educational app that was selling for $6.99. The story pack contains 5 Stella and Sam apps (Into the Snow We Go, Rainy Days and Rainbows, Backyard at Twilight, Go There Square, and Cocoons & Caterpillars). They are also sold individually for $1.99 each. Stella and Sam apps are based on the television show and book series by Marie-Louise Gay. The Stella and Sam books have been translated into 15 languages and have sold over a million copies. All Stella and Sam apps are also supported in French.

I love how all of the stories focus on getting kids outside to enjoy the beauty of nature. They are beautifully animated, creatively presented, and such fun for preschoolers!

Into the Snow We Go: In this adventure, kids join Stella and Sam to make pictures in the snow, decorate a snowman, and discover what’s hidden under the snow.

Rainy Days and Rainbows: Once again, kids join Stella, Sam and their dog Fred. They paint with Fred, dig through leaves looking for treasures, and have a pine cone race across Puddle Lake.

Backyard at Twilight: In this adventure, kids play along with Stella, Sam, and their dog Fred as they spend the night camping out in the backyard. They look for bugs, learn about shapes from fireflies, and discover the constellations.

Go There Square: Stella and Sam find magical places with the help of their go-there-square. Kids go along to pop musical bubbles, collect dandelions and build a bridge out of flowers.

Cocoons & Caterpillars: In this adventure, kids play along with Stella, Sam, and their dog Fred to discover the joys of nature – butterflies, birds, and clouds.

Download link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/stella-and-sam-story-pack/id441939700?mt=8&uo=4

torii

Now $1.99 – Torii’s Summer Adventure, a cute interactive book written by an elementary school teacher. Torii is a lovable & curious golden retriever who loves exploring – especially when her family takes her to the lake! Kids will enjoy reading about her adventures. They will have fun discovering the interactivity & sound effects on every page. The book has “read to me” or “read by myself” options. It also has a choice of reading levels – a very cool feature. Kids can search for Torii’s bone throughout the story and the app keeps track along the way. The app also includes additional activity/coloring pages at the end of the story. Who wouldn’t love a dog in pink sunglasses? 🙂

Download link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/toriis-summer-adventure-interactive/id579935507?mt=8&uo=4