If screen abuse can harm young people, wise use of certain applications on tablets and smartphones is, on the contrary, a way to entertain them while ensuring their progress, especially during periods of confinement. Based in particular on the tests of specialized sites like Super-Julie or Souris-Grise, we have selected a dozen games particularly rich in learning – logic, calculation, observation, memorization.
These applications are available on smartphones and tablets. Most require the accompaniment of an adult, who will have to intervene to help them overcome the difficulties that will arise, frequently or occasionally depending on the applications and the age. Many are chargeable, but are generally priced lower than a book.
Rules before getting started
Before rushing to download, it is better to take a few moments to think: how to make your children adopt these games in a harmonious way? First, set frames with them over the duration of use and your support. If you do not want to monitor your offspring at all times, also remember to clean up on the smartphone or tablet: delete Fortnite, YouTube, or any other application that might divert his attention. Ideally, you can use the parental control tools of Android and iOS to prevent the use of other apps and limit your viewing time.
For the little ones
From 2 years to 6 years, the use of screens must of course remain moderate. As psychiatrist Patrice Huerre explained in a question and answer session with readers of the World : ” What is more problematic at these ages is the solo screen, the babysitter screen. (…) The danger of early exposure to screens comes mainly from the lack of emotional and social interactions for the toddler. “
- “Fiete Farm”: days in the countryside
2 to 5 years | 3 euros | Apple phones and tablets
From waking to bedtime, this game offers to share the life of the inhabitants of a small island: we dig up the carrots, clean the pig, load the van. These small simple tasks are carried out by clicks and swipes, they develop logic and fine observation. We rarely find ourselves really stuck: we can come back later when we can't finish a task. Too bad the playing time is limited to a handful of hours.
- “Pango Storytime”: visual riddles
2 to 6 years old | 12 euros per year | Apple and Android phones and tablets
The child embodies various characters – cyclist, doctor, glacier – immersed in their daily activities. We have to guess the simple things that these are about to do. When you play as a firefighter, for example, clean your truck, load it, and go out to put out fires. The fifteen tables proposed work memory, observation, logic, anticipation. The progression is linear: the child is likely to get stuck at one stage, especially if he is less than 5 years old. The help of an adult is then necessary, at least to discover each painting for the first time. With a fairly long lifespan, Pango Storytime is expensive, but you can test it for free for 24 hours.
- “Dragonbox Numbers”: the basics of computing
4 to 8 years old | 8 euros | Apple and Android phones and tablets
This game teaches how to count, add, divide in a very unusual, intuitive and fun way: many children don't feel like they are working at all. The figures do not at all resemble those we know, they are characters with a strong personality, who all look like sticks, more or less elongated. They must be mixed to add them or diced to divide them. The difficulty will then increase.
- “Thinkrolls 2”: a first introduction to physics
4 to 8 years old | 4 euros | Apple and Android phones and tablets
In this fairly classic board game, the child must remove obstacles and clear a path by confronting physical phenomena, such as gravity, flotation, magnetism, the breath of the wind. Without knowing it, he integrates concepts that will be useful for the future.
From 6 to 10 years of age, psychiatrists recommend preventing the screen from taking precedence over social life and other activities that can help the child progress. The consultation time should therefore be limited.
- “Toca nature”: a corner of paradise
6 to 8 years old | 4.50 euros | Apple and Android phones and tablets
It’s a little piece of nature that you can see from very high. You can make mountains, trees, lakes emerge there, then descend and walk there, contemplating its flora and fauna, interacting with rabbits, bears, fish. An introduction to nature and a call to creativity.
- “AR Kids Space”: to explore space
5 to 10 years old | 3.50 euros | Apple tablets
This app allows children to explore the International Space Station, the Moon and the solar system by moving their tablet around them, much like they were there. This experience of “augmented reality” mixes the real environment of children – the one around them – with the three-dimensional images displayed on the tablet. AR Kids Space is so immersive that many children will forget their educational vocation. The space wanderings are accompanied by comments from a small robot who recounts the difficulty of venturing into a hostile universe. The experience is a bit short, alas.
- “The Human Body-Tinybop”: to discover biology
4 to 12 years old | 5 euros | Apple and Android phones and tablets
What happens in our digestive system when we swallow a carrot? What mechanisms are at work in our nasal cavity and our brain when we wear a flower to our nose? What about listening to a trumpet? This application reveals the secrets of how our body works in a purely visual way, without comments, allowing curious little ones to learn about biology without having the impression of working.
- “DragonBox elements”: the instinct of algebra
6 to 12 years old | 5 euros | Apple and Android phones and tablets
We learn in a fun way to recognize triangles and quadrilaterals. In this game, all the discoveries are presented in the form of geometric puzzles that serve as a motivating final drawing: beat a big dragon. The more we progress, the more we integrate concepts like radius, angle, parallelism, etc.
From 10 years old, screens should always be used in moderation, even if your dear toddlers are now much more autonomous.
- “The House of Da Vinci 2”: the mechanics of the enigma
9 to 77 years old | 5.50 euros | Apple and Android mobiles and tablets
Immersed in the Renaissance universe, we solve puzzles that often come in the form of intriguing mechanisms or complex puzzles. Collecting clues works on observation, but also on memory, because long quarters of an hour pass before we can benefit from certain objects collected.
- “Samorost 3”: far from the springs of classic games
10 to 77 years old | 5 euros | Apple and Android mobiles and tablets
The least we can say is that this particularly inventive exploration game does not leave intelligence at rest. The investigations, the puzzles and the little puzzles that dot it are not alike and make the logic work in an offbeat way.