We believe that multitouch devices fundamentally change the way that little kids access media and explore the digital world. Just three years ago, the main media directed at small children was TV. (Computers still being too complicated to use for toddlers.) Now, as babies learn to walk, they walk up the TV and try to change the channel by wiping across the screen. Because the first displays they get their hands on are the smartphones and tablets of their parents.
Attentive parents and curious researchers also find that the iPad or another multitouch devices may become the perfect educational toy. There are reports of increased learning motivation and accelerated learning through educational apps. Some western cities and some eastern nations already decided to bring tablet computers to all their kids in elementary school. Parents of kids with special needs create apps that help them learn in their own pace and mode.
Just like a huge shelf of toys and books, a multitouch device full of apps can capture a child’s attention for a long time. Bringing much more variety and easily adapting to the user’s abilities, apps can accompany a child through the stages of learning and development.
Already now, there are thousands of apps out there, that are made just for kids. From math and language to music and science, there is hardly a subject that is not covered yet. Most publishers of kids’ apps are very small companies: often parents who want to create something for their own family. Others are larger publishers of books and toys, who bring their contents to the app world.
When we, as parents, discovered this world for our kids, we were both amazed by how fast they learn to use our devices, but also stressed out by the huge number of apps and by those (often free) apps that are really mean: A finger painting app with banner ads next to the drawing area. Sex quiz labelled as kid’s app. The smurf game that makes children buy virtual currency as in-app-purchase. No, thank you.
So we set out to bring some light into this new “toy store” of apps, and measure those apps with high standards. We hope you find it useful and hope we can help you enjoy this new world of educational, fun apps.