The summer holidays are a perfect opportunity for kids (and sometimes parents) to unwind. However, a debate the rages in many households over these six weeks is how much homework children should be doing.
It’s undoubtedly a contentious issue – and one that’s not likely to be resolved any time soon.
Many parents believe children deserve total downtime, especially if they have had a difficult year, or if they have excelled in class. Equally, there are some who believe the best thing to do is plough on, ensuring children don’t forget what they’ve been learning, and are in the best position to carry on once term starts again in September.
We don’t begin to pretend to know the answer – every child is different, and parents often know best. However, we do think a happy middle ground could be avoiding formal home work, and instead looking at alternative ways of educating that are fun and relaxing.
We’ve been looking at some of the best apps and games available for mobile devices, that might provide a little extra stimulation, without causing tantrums.
This great, free app is ideal for those currently working towards SATs tests in the next academic year. Not only will you be given practice questions, but far more importantly, they are set out in a fun format, and are designed to actually teach material, rather than simply test on it.
Many of us grew up playing Hangman on scraps of paper or napkins, entertaining ourselves at restaurant tables long before mobile phones came to our entertainment rescue.
However, this old fashioned game has fallen out of favour thanks to the twinkly allure of things like Snap Chat and Angry Birds. Thankfully Hangman has been updated, and is available as an app for free download.
You can either play against your device, or challenge others to battle it out to save the poor stick man. There are a wide variety of levels and even categories, ensuring that no matter what your child’s vaocbulary level, they’ll be able to find a game to suit and challenge them.
Toca Life: Farm
Farm is the latest in the Toca Life series and, if you haven’t come across this series yet, it’s well worth a look. It costs £2.99, but is well worth the money needed to cover each platform. - as ever - well worth the few pounds it costs on each platform.
In each area, for example, the barn, farmhouse and fields, kids can interact with everything they can see. This means milking the cow, feeding the lambs, and harvesting crops to name a few things. Whilst it’s not the main point of the app, and probably goes over little ones heads, but one of Toca Boca's aims is to introduce kids to the lifecycle of food.
It’s an interesting way to try out new things, learn about different aspects and start new educational topics.
Head over to our Facebook page and let us know what apps and games your little ones like playing on, and if they even realise they’re educational!