Many games, apps and websites make the promise of being “educational.” Just like many breakfast cereals make similar claims, it’s vital we look closer and do our research. Here are some guidelines form the wise folks at Common Sense Media for choosing media that has the most potential for helping your child learn...
Despite the claims of certain products that they teach your baby to read or do math, media that's really good for learning may not produce immediate, observable results. Instead, websites and apps with the most learning potential help your child learn how to learn -- and makes her want to come back for more. It's a bit tough to find the good stuff, but it's worth it. Many of the apps, games, and websites that Common Sense reviews also are rated for learning potential, so check our lists and reviews for hand-curated good stuff.
Products that lay the foundation for lifelong learning encourage questions, foster curiosity, and support critical thinking. They teach by engaging kids, building concepts and deep understanding, providing feedback about performance (and adjusting difficulty accordingly), and providing opportunities to strengthen learning beyond the play session. A few that incorporate these qualities include open-ended sandbox games such as Minecraft and Algodoo, creative games such as Faces iMake and Curious World, and math apps such as DragonBox and Get the Math.
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