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Simplify gift giving this season with apps

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With the holiday season in full swing, the pressure’s on to find that perfect gift. Gift-giving is a skill, especially when finding presents for kids.

There are traditional gifts like toys and clothes, which can be costly, and not always what children are wishing for. Practical items like sweaters, gloves, and scarves are not fun for the youngest recipients to open. When children are the target audience, keep in mind a few essential gift-giving goals: find items that are entertaining, educational, interactive, and cost-effective.

This may sound like a tall order, but it’s a cinch with apps!

Children’s mobile apps fulfill all the key elements of perfect gift giving. Apps turn learning into a game. Children’s apps use fun, colorful graphics to engage short attention spans. Task- and level-based apps help young children develop important skills, such as vocabulary, math, reading, and organization. Great children’s apps allow the child to interact not only with the app itself, but also with the parent or teacher.

For instance, if we want to teach children organizational and time-management skills, voice-activated calendar apps are great gifts (especially for a new calendar year). They allow kids to hone organizational skills through play with colorful sticker graphics as they learn the days of the week and schedule their activities. Look for interactive features that encourage self-awareness and build self-confidence, such as recording reminder audio memos and sharing activities through social networking.

Not sure how to find the perfect app? Lucky for you, there are entire websites devoted to reviewing educational apps that can help guide you through the process in just minutes.

For a quick review, check outfuneducationalapps.com and bestappsforkids.org. It is the goal of these sites to provide our kids with enticing, educational apps, and they provide a place for parents and caregivers to see the app in action.

And the great thing about apps is that you can give in bulk. They make great presents for teachers to give their students, and they are a one-stop shop for grandparents’ gift-giving needs. To top it all off, apps only cost a few dollars, as compared to expensive toys and planners. They also cut-down on clutter and help the environment! Plus, app-giving allows you to shop from home and avoid the holiday season’s long, stressful lines.

So do yourself and your little ones a favor this holiday season — give the gift of an app!

Susan French is a kindergarten teacher, mentor, and math coach, working for the city’s Department of Education for more than 20 years. She is the co-creator of the 4KidCal brand of mobile calendar apps designed specifically for children. For more information on 4KidCal, visit 4KidCal.com or write to 4kidcal@gmail.com.

Updated 4:46 pm, July 9, 2018
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