Playing and learning: Sensible apps for kids12. August 2022 Published by Jana Greyling
Part 2: Primary school age
The topic of smartphones for children of primary school age raises a lot of conflicts. Most of them don’t even have one of their own. But they find the digital world incredibly fascinating. No wonder: At this age, children are also discovering the world outside their families. And they’re just learning to read. That means they can make even better use of the smartphone. What’s more, there’s always someone in the class who knows a new, even more exciting app. So the smartphone is a pretty popular device. Conflicts with parents are not uncommon. Nevertheless, it’s good to introduce kids to technology at an early age. So here are five tips for apps for children of primary school age.
Apps for kids no. 1: The Mouse
Generations of children in Germany have discovered the world with the TV program “Die Sendung mit der Maus” (“The Mouse Show”) The format presents stories packed full of fun and facts. How does the color get into wooden crayons? And why don’t bats fly into trees at night?
Now the show has also made it into the digital world. And kids aged six and over can explore the world of the mouse at their own pace. In addition to the content from the show, they can find educational games to deepen their new knowledge. Furthermore, an amusing photo feature with fun filters complements the app. All in all, this is one of the really worthwhile apps for children with a thirst for knowledge!
Apps for kids no. 2: ESA Kids
Explore the cosmos with Paxi, the space explorer: ESA Kids, the children’s app from the European Space Agency (ESA), promises no less. The young ones learn about the different aspects of space exploration by solving puzzles and playing games. For example, the little explorers can build their own spaceship. They also learn a lot about astronomy and physics. But all in a child-friendly way. And their environmental awareness is also enhanced as they collect digital space junk.
Apps for kids no. 3: Mussila Music
Mussila is considered a small miracle among apps for children. It’s so good, there’s not enough room here to list the awards this application has won. But in a nutshell: Mussila lets primary school kids explore the world of music. On four learning paths, the little maestras and maestros learn the most important basics of music. They discover what rhythm and harmony are in a playful way. They encounter important works of music history. And they create their own songs with the Music Machine. They can also take their first steps on a digital piano.
Apps for kids no. 4: HanisauLand app
Children learn not only reading and math at school, but also how to behave in a group. They thus take a first step far away from their family and towards society. But how are society and politics organized? The HanisauLand app from the Federal Agency for Civic Education helps them understand that. In lovingly designed comics they can read how rabbits, hippos and wild boars manage their country. Along the way, the kids learn a lot about how people live together. They can then start applying their new knowledge right away. Games and quizzes are available to enable that – so it’s great fun for the whole family.
Apps for kids no. 5: The Human Body
What are we made of? How do we function? Those are questions that also interest kids. And they can find the answers with the app “The Human Body.” Many exciting animations convey a child-friendly picture of the human anatomy. The app makes use of all the possibilities the smartphone offers. For instance, the camera helps explain how we see and the microphone how we hear. And the fun aspect has certainly not been neglected: In this app you can watch the body at work – and so there’s a lot of gurgling and burbling sounds everywhere. The heart beats and the intestines move. It’s definitely an exciting excursion into human biology for kids.
Database for kids’ apps
Our five tips are just a small selection of apps for children of primary school age. There are countless numbers of them – but their quality also varies. If you want to delve deeper, you can use the database of the German Youth Institute. You can find lots of apps there: all of them tested and found to be good. In addition, the apps can be filtered by age and subject area.
But even if you’ve found the new favorite app for your own children here, please remember: Too much time on the smartphone isn’t good for the little ones. That’s why the German Federal Center for Health Education recommends that primary school children spend a maximum of 45 to 60 minutes a day online.