Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Why I Love/Hate iPads - Apps for the Kindle

Oh Apple! How I LOVE your wonderful product and the AMAZING array of educational apps; HOWEVER the cost is astronomical! By the time you get a new iPad mini 4 plus protection (because, let's be serious, your child WILL break it at some point!) and a STURDY case you are looking at spending at least $450! Wow!  It PAINS me to put something that expensive in the hands of a child; not to mention a child with impulse control issues! Even on the cheap end you are still looking at $250 (used iPad with no protection). We do have iPads at my house but mostly they are limited to ONLY being used while sitting down and completing homeschool work or working on Apple-only educational apps.

Kindle Kids Edition
So what's the solution? My friend, the Kindle! We got the children a Kindle when they were four! Now Kindle has a child's version with a huge rubbery case built in, and you know what else? The Kindle comes with a TWO YEAR replacement warranty through Square Trade for only $100! Nothing else to buy! Just so you know, I have dealt with Square Trade MANY times over the years and I have never had an issue with them. Now, what I don't like about this edition, it seems a bit slower, you have to use Amazon Free Time from what I can tell, and the Kindle functions are limited.  For the younger set, from 3 to 6 years old, I think this would be fine; however, for an older child, I would move to another version of the Kindle.

If you are wanting a tablet for an older child (and this is what I got my children) then you want to buy the Kindle Fire 7. To get the up-sized version, 16 GB with no ads, it's $85.00 (this is the non-sale price). Once you add in other things like a case, mini SD card, and the THREE year protection plan for $15.00 so you are looking at a total of around $150. So a used iPad, with no protection, will cost a minimum of $250, or you can buy a loaded Kindle with three years of protection for $150. With three kids, I want to save my $300 and have three years of protection!
Kindle Fire 7

The problem with a Kindle? It is not as fast to cruise the internet as an iPad. It does not look as sleek. The bigger problem? Not as many cool app developers!  I really wish someone would get on the Kindle platform and make some truly great educationally based apps. Does that mean there are not any? Heck no, they are just harder to find!  So let me give you a list of the apps we have used over the years with the Kindle to help get you started. I hope you find the list helpful! Let me know what games and apps you use that I may have missed!

3rd Grade Math Genius, 4th Grade (Kindle Tablet Edition), 4th Grade Science Reading Comprehension Free, 3rd 4th Grade Quest10x10 Word Search, A Charlie Brown Christmas (50th Anniversary - Interactive Book), AB MathAbby Monkey®: ABCs First Phonics and Letter Sounds, ABC 123 Fun, ABCMouse, Amazing Coin (USD): Educational Money learning & counting games for kids, Advanced Sight Words: High Frequency WordsAnimal Math Kids Math Games (there are several levels for this), Art Class with Dr. Panda, Avokiddo Emotions - Dress, Feed and Play with Animals, BT Handwriting with Dnealian, Bowling King (great hand-eye and turn taking), BrainPOP Jr, Bridge Constructor, But Not the Hippopotamus (interactive story), Caillou Check Up, Caillou House of Puzzles, Caillou Let's Pretend, Chuggington Traintastic Adventures (It says free but you need to purchase the app), Coloring, Cubistry (good hand-eye coord. if you can get them interested), Cut the Rope, CVC Word Recognition, Angry Birds, Daniel Tiger's Day & Night (there are a lot of Daniel Tiger apps), Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood: Play at HomeDragonBox Algebra 12+, Dora ABCs Vol2: Rhyming Words, Elevation Moon, Endless Alphabet(great game), Endless Reader (great game), Even Monsters Get Sick, EverNote (Note taking app), Farkel Dice - Free (can also use it to work on adding up the dice), First Grade (Kindle Tablet Edition), First Grade Learning Games (Full version), First Grade Math, Flasia HD (cool drawing app), Fourth Grade Learning Games Free, Fruit Ninja (great hand-eye and impulse control), Good Night Wubbzy: Bedtime Counting, Goodnight Caillou - Bedtime Activities, Green Eggs and Ham - Dr. Seuss (Interactive Book), Happy Math Multiplication Rhymes (never too early to start if they like the songs, rhymes are dumb but can work), Hidden Objects (good for visual discrimination; for older children), Hill Climbing Racing (good for  lessons in physics/gravity), How The Grinch Stole Christmas (interactive Book), I Was SO Mad - Little Critter (Interactive Book), It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown (Interactive book), Intermediate Sight Words: High Frequency, Itsy Bitsy Spider, Just Go To Bed - Little Critter (Interactive Book), Kaleidoscope Drawing Pad, Kids ABC Letter Phonics,  Kids A-Z, Kids Doodle 2, Kids Measurement Science Lite, Kids Paint, Letters and Numbers Railroads, Little Critter Collection #1 and #2Lightbot : Programming Puzzles, Lola's math Trains FREE, Madagascar Math Ops Free, Math Bingo and Math Drills Pre-K to Fourth Grade, Math Claw Machine: Sweet Games, Math Jungle, Math is Easy, MathOpen Cool Math Game, Medieval Math Game,  Preschool All-In-One Learning A to Z - Letters and Alphabet School Adventure, Preschool to 5th Grade, Math Slice Pro,  Math Vs Zombies,  Monkey MathSchool Sunshine (this was a favorite), Monkey Preschool Lunchbox (THUP makes several of these games), Monkey Word School Adventure, Montessori Family and Feelings, Montessori Movable Alphabet, Montessori Words & Phonics for Kids, Moo, Baa, La La La! - Boynton (interactive Book), Moose Math (fun game),  Multiplication Flashcard Quiz and Match Game (Boring but works), Multiplication Memorizer, PBS Kids Video, Pair Up Free - Language Development..., Paperama (great game to think spatially), Peppa Pig Paintbox, Pet Bingo (another great game by Duck Duck Moose), Phonics and Reading with McGuffey, Pick the Odd One (great game for preschoolers; logic), Planets (Kindle edition), PBS KIDS video, PopOut! The Tale of Peter Rabbit (interactive Book), Preschool and Kindergarten Learning Games Free, Quell (puzzle game), Rope'n'Fly - From Dusk Till Dawn (first game I let my kids play that has very mild violence, when the character falls apart, when you fail; great for teaching gravity, physics, and hand-eye coordordination plus reflexes), Science Quest - Fourth Grade, Science Quest - Sixth Grade, Second Grade Learning Games (there are several grades/levels to this app), Sight Words Games & Flash Cards vol 1: Kids Learn to Read, Simple FractionsSixth Grade DetectiveSpelltowerStack the CountriesStack the States (1 and 2), SUPER WHY!, Simple Sight Words (Free), Simple Sight Words Sentence Builders, Simple Rockets, Spongebob Marbles & Slides, Starfall (there are a few of these), ABCs, Super Why: ABC Adventures, Teach Your Monster to Read (Great One!), The Berenstain Bear's Collection (there are several), Thinkrolls Kings & Queens, Thinkrolls 2 - Logic and Physics Puzzles for Kids, Toca Collection (there are several including Toca Kitchen, Toca Elements, Toca Labs, Toca School, Toca Nature, and Toca Pet Doctor), Toddler Sing and Play, Trucks by Duck, Duck, Moose, Wheels on the Bus by Duck, Duck, Moose, Where's My Perry?, Where's My Water?, Wonster Words (WELL WORTH the $15 for a Lifetime Subscription!!!), Word Market,  Word WizardsWriting Wizard Premium - Kids Learn to Write Words and Letters (Great game), Wubbzy The Superhero, and Wubbzy's Space Adventure.