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Best Science Apps for Preschool and Elementary Age Kids
There are so many great educational apps available for the iPad and Android devices. For subjects like math, reading and writing there are far more apps than you'll ever need. Unfortunately when it comes to science apps for preschool and elementary age kids, there isn't a whole lot available.
There are some very good science apps but many probably require parental involvement. They aren't necessarily apps children will choose to play themselves. This is a list of some really good science apps I have found. Most will have to be purchased.
This is a great game for preschool and up. It has more vocabulary words than I expected. Kids start out planting seeds. The have to tap the clouds repeatedly to provide enough rain for the seed to grow. They have to tap the sun to provide the necessary sunlight. Then they tap a bee to pollinate the plants. Seeds are also blown in by the wind that can be planted and grown.
A narrator explains the point of each step. My one complaint is that the Read to Me option is always set to off. I have to turn it on each time my child starts the game. Even if your child is a good reader they will probably ignore the text because they are so focused on the game. I haven't been able to find any settings option to keep it turned on for when my child plays it on her own.
BodyWalk teaches parts of the human body. It has an explore the body section that teaches about different parts of the body, such as the skeleton, muscles, circulatory system and respiratory system. Within each section, you can click on different parts of the body to hear more about them. So, within muscles you can click pectoral muscles to read more about them.
The app includes two games. One is assemble the body. This allows you to put parts of the skeleton together. Color the Body requires players to click on the correct area of the body.
This game could be used with preschool and kindergarten kids with help. It's appropriate for all elementary school ages.
This is a cute story that provides information about the elements that make up water. Children will be exposed to words like element, proton, electron, oxygen, and molecule. The app also has a couple of games. This is probably good for K and up.
City of Light
This app comes with one free section on Light Refraction. It's probably best for older elementary students but you can try the free section to see if your child understands it. Basically, it's an animation that explains concepts and shows what happens. There's a game at the end.
This is good for approximately second grade and up. It teaches about the plant cycle and includes a game. There is a lot of information about various stages of the plant cycle, such as seeds, seed dispersal, pollination, germination and fruit. There is also a Did You Know? section that has some interesting information.
Body Organs is another great human body science app. It covers the brain, heart, lungs, ears, eyes, skeleton muscle and the list goes on and on. The information is very indepth. When you choose a certain organ, there's a basic overview, which can be good for preschool or kindergarten age kids. Further taps bring up more information, with far more details.
Life Cycles provides information on various life cycles: frogs, phases of the moon, butterfly, plants, pollination, rock cycle, water cycle, photosynthesis, nitrogen cycle, oxygen cycle, and ladybugs. Each part of each life cycle has indepth information. Kids can read the information or have it read to them.
This is a good way to introduce kids to the Periodic Table. Kids have to drag the appropriate element to its place on the periodic table. About 20 elements have to be put into the correct place. This is one kids may initially need help with but it's a lot of fun. Even a preschooler may enjoy playing it. There isn't any audio, so it will help to have an adult naming the elements as kids drag them into place.
Speedy Reader Lite
This is fairly basic but is good for preschoolers. It teaches some vocabulary words related to deserts, jungles, space and oceans. There is a paid version that I haven't used.
iCell provides some basic information about animal, plant and bacteria cells. You can choose basic, intermediate or advanced text. It's a good basic introduction to cell related vocabulary for elementary age kids. The advanced text may be helpful to middle schoolers.