App review: Khan Academy Kids, stellar creative learning app inspires and engages toddlers

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Parents need to know that Khan Academy Kids is a huge database of activities that address learning themes from Head Start Early Learning Outcomes Framework and Common Core Standards. Content includes activities in math, English Language Arts, executive function, socio-emotional learning, and creative expression. Parents must provide an email address and confirm the address through their email account to begin using the app. Once in, parents can create multiple user accounts with name, avatar, and age. Kids can follow a learning path, which automatically presents varied activities based on age and past performance, or browse the database for videos, games, books, songs, and more. Parents must allow access to their device’s microphone for some activities to work fully. Read the developer’s privacy policy for details on how your (or your kids’) information is collected, used, and shared and any choices you may have in the matter, and note that privacy policies and terms of service frequently change.

WHAT’S IT ABOUT?

After providing and confirming an email address, parents to create a user account for each kid using Khan Academy Kids. When kids start, they meet and play with friendly animal guides. Then, activities are automatically presented according to age and past performance. Topics rotate among math, ELA, logic, and socio-emotional learning games, videos, and books, with opportunities for exploration and creative expression. After completing activities, kids choose a prize to add to their animal friends’ collections. Kids and parents can also browse and choose activities by topic or type.

IS IT ANY GOOD?

This collection of early-learning videos, songs, and activities covers a lot of ground in a creative, highly accessible format. Khan Academy Kids makes it easy and fun for young kids to jump in and immerse themselves in foundational and fundamental early learning content. Books, videos, songs, and games are high quality and make creative use of the touch screen format. Mixed in among the more typical multiple choice type activities are plenty of opportunities for kids to experiment, explore, and express themselves. For instance, a logic game asks kids to follow directions for putting hats on some animal friends, but between trials, kids are encouraged to play by putting the hats on the animals in whatever way they like. Or, if kids get tired of responding to learning games, they can draw and then narrate a story as they move objects around the screen, read a book, or listen to a song. On the parent side, there’s some feedback to track progress, but not so much as to feel overwhelming. Overall, Khan Academy Kids definitely goes beyond your typical ABC/123 early-learning app.

RATING AND CONTENT

Recommended for ages 3 and older

Quality: 5 out of 5

Educational value: 5 out of 5

Ease of play: 5 out of 5

Violence: 0 out of 5

Sexy stuff: 0 out of 5

Language: 0 out of 5

Drinking, drugs, and smoking: 0 out of 5

Consumerism: 0 out of 5

APP DETAILS

Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Fire phone, Kindle Fire

Price: Free

Release date: July 18, 2018

Category: Education

Size: 101.90 MB

Publisher: Khan Academy

Minimum software requirements: iOS 9.3 or later; Android 5.0 and up

Common Sense Media is an independent nonprofit organization offering unbiased ratings and trusted advice to help families make smart media and technology choices.

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