Kids' games buying guide for parents

 
Finding the best in kids’ games can be a challenge, but the effort can pay off in excellent learning opportunities for your child in terms of fun and engaging educational apps. Enjoy!

By Jody Sherman LeVos, Ph.D.

LeapFrog Math Expert

As the math development expert on LeapFrog’s Learning Team, Jody works on products across all platforms to teach math and science concepts in developmentally appropriate ways using research-based techniques. Before joining LeapFrog, she was a visiting scholar at the University of California, Berkeley, a researcher and instructor, and a math textbook author. She is a contributing author to The Encyclopedia on Early Childhood. She is also the proud mother of two LeapFrog-aged boys. She earned her doctorate in developmental science (specializing in mathematical and cognitive development) at the University of Alberta, in Canada.

It’s a great time to be a kid! There are kids’ tablets with remarkable technology and literally tens of thousands of kids’ games and apps. With that in mind, it can be a challenging time to be a parent, especially when it comes to finding the best content for your child. Open app stores are like the Wild West, where anyone can create an app and call it educational. With little gatekeeping, it’s up to parents to sort through the plethora of options to find what’s safe, age-appropriate, educational and fun for their child.

Choosing the best games for your child

Here are some things to keep in mind as you look for the best in learning games and apps for your child:

  • Comprehensive Skills: Look for games and apps with an emphasis on curriculum like reading, math, science and creativity.
  • Age-Appropriate:  Games should provide children with themes and topics that are relevant to their age group.
  • Personalized Learning: Opt for games that automatically adjust to your child’s level as they progress to provide your child with just the right challenge.
  • Educator-Approved: Verify that games have been created or approved by learning experts to meet important learning objectives.
  • Fun & Engaging: Select games that are designed just for kids and kid-tested to keep children playing and learning.
  • Privacy: Confirm that games comply with the Children's Online Privacy Protection
    Act and DO NOT collect private information from your child. Also ensure that the games have no upgrades (in-game purchases), which can result in some surprises when you get your credit card bill.

How to ensure the games are safe for your kids

It’s up to us as parents, caregivers, and educators to ensure that we provide children with the best educational games and apps possible. Once you’ve identified the types of learning games you’re after, consider two additional tips:

1. Get familiar with the games. Play them yourself, watch trailers or reviews online, and read reviews. Make sure you know what you’re giving your child.
2. Seek endorsement from trusted resources, such as teachers and reputable third-party companies that include learning experts so that all content is educator-approved.

LeapFrog’s Learning Library checks all the boxes

Whereas the broader app market is a bit of a Wild West, LeapFrog offers more than 800 games, ebooks, videos, and music that represent the best in educational entertainment for children. Every piece of content has been designed or approved by learning experts, and has been recognized widely by educators and industry leaders as an exceptional offering for children.

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