THE BLOG
03/24/2014 02:26 pm ET Updated May 24, 2014

Making Art? Getting Healthy? There Are Kids' Apps for That -- and More

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By Ingrid Simone, Common Sense Media App Editor

There's a seemingly endless supply of apps for practicing math, vocabulary, grammar and other traditional school subjects. But you may be surprised to know what else kids can learn. Apps can teach a range of both "soft skills" (such as recognizing emotions) and 21st-century skills (such as online collaboration). Check out these apps in which problem solving, creativity, emotions and more take center stage.

Health and fitness
Apps can help even very young kids learn about health topics relevant to their lives, such as potty training, doctor's visits and how their bodies work. Older kids can get more in-depth information about their bodies and learn to set nutrition and fitness goals.

• Try:
Potty Time with Elmo, age 2+
Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood: Play at Home with Daniel, age 3+
Toothsavers Brushing Game, age 5+
The Human Body by TinyBop, age 7+
DK the Human Body App, age 10+
LiVe, age 10+

Emotions and social skills
It's easy to forget that, just as with academic skills, kids aren't born with social and emotional skills. All these are learned. Apps can help kids with identifying emotions, handling frustration, reading facial expressions, understanding body language, developing empathy and more.

• Try:
Peek-a-Zoo by Duck Duck Moose, age 2+
Wee-You Things, age 3+
Avokiddo Emotions, age 4+
Breathe, Think, Do with Sesame, age 4+
Feel Electric, age 5+
Middle School Confidential 1: Be Confident in Who You Are, age 11+

Creativity
One of the biggest trends in technology in education is encouraging kids to move beyond being consumers of technology to being creators. Creating typically offers kids a richer learning experience, and this comes in a variety of forms: making visual and literary art, making computer programs and more.

• Try:
Toontastic, age 6+
Write About This, age 8+
Hopscotch, age 10+
Codea, age 12+
Procreate, age 13+

Puzzles and problem solving
Kids can learn about problem solving, decision making, predicting and thinking critically with apps, and these are some of the key 21st-century skills kids need as they move through school and into their careers. These apps challenge kids with puzzles that are fun and that get them thinking.

• Try:
Bad Piggies, age 7+
Tynker - Learn programming with visual code blocks, age 7+
Threes!, age 8+
The Room Two, age 11+
Scribblenauts Remix, age 11+

About Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media is dedicated to improving the lives of kids and families by providing the trustworthy information, education, and independent voice they need to thrive in a world of media and technology. We exist because our kids are growing up in a culture that profoundly impacts their physical, social, and emotional well-being. We provide families with the advice and media reviews they need in order to make the best choices for their children. Through our education programs and policy efforts, Common Sense Media empowers parents, educators, and young people to become knowledgeable and responsible digital citizens. For more information, go to:www.commonsense.org.