From the desk of Leslie and Kay, Founders Grandparentslink.com

 

Technology is a game changer in today’s world. For many years we have been the grown-ups, but now when it comes to apps, and computers, and phones, and tablets, our children and grandchildren are way ahead of us. As Yalda T. Uhls, Regional Director of Common Sense Media, so aptly puts it, “We are digital immigrants and our kids are digital natives.”

 

Last week, Grandparentslink attended a digital literacy and digital media presentation entitled Digital Kids Need Tech-Savvy Adults, presented by Common Sense Media and the Center for Early Education. Common Sense Media is a nationalnon-partisan, not-for-profit organization that “publishes independent ratings and reviews for nearly everything kids want to watch, read, play, and learn.” Their goal is “to give you trustworthy information so that you can decide what works for your family.” This site is the go-to source for parents and grandparents. The following is a short list of some of Common Sense Media’s rated and approved apps.

 

Hint: Once you have downloaded an app, take a few moments to actually ‘play’ the app…before introducing it to your grandchildren.

 

Ages 3-5

Beck and Bo
Beautiful discovery app combines logic and creativity.

Doremi 1-2-3
Fun music exploration app helps kids learn to play by ear.

Elmo Loves 123s for iPad*
Kids learn numbers with beloved Muppets.

MarcoPolo Ocean
Preschoolers build, explore, and play in colorful ocean app.

Shape Builder – The Preschool Learning Puzzle Game
Rewarding jigsaw puzzles teach ABCs and 123s.

Ages 6-9

Kodable ProAgege
Fun programming logic for kids, great resources for parents.

Toontastic*
Create amazing multi-scene cartoons with musical scores.

Cut the Rope
Fun physics-based puzzler with adorable mascot.

Minecraft: Pocket Edition
Worthy spin-off of popular PC game encourages creativity.

Presidents vs. Aliens
Goofy and fun way to learn about the U.S. presidents.

The Social Express*
Engaging animated lessons help kids learn key social skills.

Stack the States
Surprisingly fun geography education game.

 

Ages 10 & up

GarageBand*
Powerful sequencer lets kids create pro-quality recordings.

Lightbot
Programming puzzler teaches coding logic.

TinkerBox
Superb physics puzzler challenges kids, inspires creativity.

Plague Inc.
Slow & steady kills the (human) race in disease-design app.

Sketchbook Pro*
Impressive creation tool for teens serious about art.

Words with Friends
Superb Scrabble clone; open chat makes it for teens and up.

 

For more reviews on apps, games, books, movies, and television, visit commonsensemedia.org

 

*Common Sense Media’s ON for Learning Award