As winter weather arrives, many parents and teachers begin a search for fun, educational indoor play activities that have real value in the lives of children. This list of five apps exemplifies touchscreen experiences that are particularly relevant during winter months, when a good deal of playtime is brought indoors.
When finding snow-filled apps, watch for those that intertwine learning and fun, such as those that teach the concept of symmetry when creating snowflakes, snowmen, or shapes. Apps such as Penguin First Grade give children sliding and snowball games that capture the joy of winter recess, while also coordinating with classroom arctic units and Common Core curriculum in math and language arts.
Since we want outdoor playtime to remain imaginative and collaborative during long winter months, storybook apps can provide good models for kids. Into The Snow gives kids specific ideas for creativity, exploration, and social cooperation which are so useful in wintertime.
So bundle up this winter, and find plenty of app experiences that bridge the two worlds of indoor & outdoor fun. Here are 5 great examples:
1. Sunday Lawn Seasons (by Donut Games) is a sequel to a very popular lawn-mowing app, which now lets kids enjoy winter snow shoveling, fall leaf-tending, and spring fertilizing.
This classic arcade style game is calming to many kids who enjoy creating the most efficient pathways around peaceful gardens.
2. Snowflake Station (by Mrs. Judd's Games) is designed with child creativity in mind. Players select a style of folded paper and then create their own intricate, symmetrical snowflake designs as if they were cutting paper snowflakes. Players can also place animated snowfall atop family photos.
3. Into the Snow: A Stella & Sam Adventure (by zinc Roe) is a friendly interactive story in which players help make a snowman, clear snow to find hidden items, and form pictures using sticks, acorns & pinecones. It models helpful corporation & creativity that kids can use when they’re in real-world outdoor play (although these on-screen interactions are limited to following specific prompts and are not kid-created).
4. Snow Doodle (by Shoe the Goose) gives players fun methods and materials to create amazing snow people. Kids can start with pre-formed shapes or roll their own snowballs. It's fun to pinch and pull shapes to create unique snowmen, snow pets, or snow families! You can also add text to your image or even turn it into a jigsaw puzzle!
5. Penguin First Grade (by Mrs. Judd's Games) is one app in a graded suite of penguin games. This 1st grade installment coordinates with Common Core math & language arts, while also offering arctic antics with a fish-toss at feeding time, and trampoline jumps from hot air balloons. Too cute!