If we gather together all educational apps for the youngest users of mobile devices, we’ll get a diversity of topics and ways to engage kids and help them learn more about whatever in the world, be it geography, animal world, languages or mathematics. Kids have a natural interest for finding out more about the world; games are the best means to wake it, and give answers to all the whys. We can also mention that kids like games full of colors, interesting stories, and their favorite cartoon characters – but that’s not enough for a good educational application.
Let us outline some general traits, which are applicable to the multitude of educational apps, and which may come in handy while developing the idea of your own one.
Consider tablets in first place
All kids have different preferences in topics of interest, so that choice, that idea is yours. But whether a child shows passion for music, drawing, arithmetics, or whatever in the world, a tablet will probably be the best device to play with. Smartphones are better for short gaming pastime, while tablets are surely much more engaging, giving more screen space, which is crucial here. Of course, apps may vary, but it’s the tablet that’s usually the primary device for games and entertainment.
Let kids focus attention and develop creativity
Whatever is the essence of your application, don’t make it too straightforward. It can become synonymous to ‘boring’; nobody likes a boring learning process. Any teacher will admit that learning for kids must be fun; it helps catch the interest, face the peculiar challenge, and think of a way to resolve it. You know that it isn’t easy for kids to focus attention for long. Various gestures can also give a less monotonous interaction. The app must be consistent and easily navigated, in order not to distract the kid. One more important thing: do not interrupt the process by ads or pop-ups – it’s a deadly decision.
Treat mistakes correctly
That’s very, very, very crucial. Besides the right answers and the encouraging rewards, there are wrong answers that must be treated with a special attitude. You know that wrong answers aren’t bad – they create challenges and help kids learn from these mistakes. That’s why you can use these mistakes as a part of the whole process.
Put parents in control over the application and the learning process
Parents must be able to adjust the educational app the way it’s better for the needs of a child. It’s quite probable that your product will have various difficulty levels; what’s too easy is uninteresting – parents will choose the appropriate level. You can also allow parents to track the progress of the kid.
Everything that doesn’t relate to the kid’s activities within the app, must be left solely to parents’ access. Various in-app purchases of additional levels or bonus content, for example. If the application contains ads, links, pop-ups, or something else unrelated to the learning/gaming process, all these must be locked outside of it.
And to conclude, think of a way of blocking kids’ access to the parent pages.
Promote the product as a game
An educational application isn’t a teacher anyway. So why wouldn’t you call it a game? Games are catchy and even more attractive if they have a purpose. With the help of an educational game, parents or teachers can help kids develop certain skills.