When the first Earth Day was celebrated on April 22, 1970, there was no personal computer, no World Wide Web, not a cell phone in sight. Tablets were made of paper. Social media meant watching TV with your buddies and certainly no apps.
Now kids are glued to screens, big, medium and tiny. This Earth Day, why not bring green fun right to their faces?
Here are our favorites:
Fresh water, clean air, and green grass are all aspects of the Earth that the user will learn to appreciate. In this beautiful educational storybook, the user moves through a virtual world of the four seasons. Includes sing-alongs.
“R” is for recycle! With this fun, visually interactive app, kids familiarize themselves with the process of recycling and sort out recyclables. You never know, if you mindlessly toss an empty bottle into the trashcan, you may just hear a little voice speak up, “Hey…that doesn’t go there!”
Can’t get to the zoo? Download this app and your kid can learn about zoo animals through videos, photos and interactive scenes.
Eric and The Enchanted Leaf: First Adventure
Eric snags a floating leaf and is tossed into the web of a spider he was about to squash. He then moves into a world of natural enchantment, which helps him gain insight and appreciation for creatures in the natural world.
Light it Right
It’s lights out for the player who doesn’t follow the rules. In this playful yet engaging game, kids witness the Green family traveling from room to room in their home. You earn points when you flick off the lights in empty rooms. Simple, yes, but it teaches kids the principle of saving energy by turning off lighting when no one is occupying a room.
Geo Walk HD-3D World Fact Book
This intuitive application offers 500+ up-to-date articles attached to objects scattered around the world. The content covers flora, fauna and people on Earth.
It’s easy to lost in this application, as it reveals stunning real-to-life 3D recreations from around the globe. A child can also find maps of real-time earthquakes, hiking trails, and more.
Britannica Kids: Rainforests
Maps, quizzes, and jigsaw puzzles will have children itching to navigate rainforests around the globe. The curious will enjoy learning about unusual animals such as a poison frog, and the okapi.
Breathe in, breathe out, and grow a tree. This soothing application allows the user to design and watch a tree grow. The visuals are not only breathtaking but can be used in meditation. Your child can discover his or her inner tree-hugger after zoning out. A beautiful, healthy app.
Global Warming Prediction
Learn the ins and outs of global warming and read up on the latest predictions. The application includes visuals of graphs and images of the earth.
So go ahead and download an app or two this weekend in preparation for Earth Day. But while you’re at it, don’t forget…Earth. Allow your little one to put down the screen and explore the world outside. It’s still out there, waiting for your child’s feet, hands, eyes, ears, nose and mind. Apps may be fun and educational but nothing can replace to power of hands-on learning, says Matthew Gorring, Ph.D., Chairperson of the Earth and Environmental Studies Department at Montclair State University: “It’s crucial for kids to get their hands dirty.”
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