Notable Children's Digital Media - 2021

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The Notable Children’s Digital Media list includes real-time, dynamic, and interactive media content for children 14 years of age and younger that enables and encourages active engagement and social interaction while informing, educating, and entertaining in exemplary ways. This list represents the titles selected by the committee for the first half of 2020, and will be updated again with additions in January 2021.

To find out about more great digital media for children, visit the page for ALSC's Excellence in Early Learning Digital Media Award.

Creature Garden by Tinybop. iOS. Elementary

Imagine and create real or original fantastic animals by hatching eggs, adding animal qualities, and testing their skills. Children can name their animal creations, feed and groom them, and have their different creations race each other. Available in English. 

Droplets - Drops for Kids. iOS/Android. Elementary, Middle School

As a language learning app created specifically for families, parents can make Kid Profiles for multiple children of varying skill levels. Users can choose from over 30 languages to learn vocabulary, spelling, and word recognition. Available in multiple languages.

JigSpace. iOS. Elementary, Middle School, and or Parent/Teacher/Caregiver 

Curious seekers of all ages can explore dozens of interactive 3D educational presentations, or "Jigs". This simple and easy-to-use app uses augmented reality (AR) to bring hands-on learning through step-by-step instructions on a variety of topics and concepts. Available in English. 

Knowin - Learn Coding. iOS. Elementary, Middle School

Children will learn basic coding knowledge at their own pace with this app that has the user tapping their answers instead of typing. Easy to navigate and no prior knowledge of coding required. Available in English. 

Lego Duplo World. iOS/Android/Amazon. PreK, Early Elementary

Based on the popular real world Duplo Legos, young children are invited to explore, discover, pretend, and create. Multi-touch functionality allows parent and child to engage together in side-by-side play. Children from all backgrounds will see themselves represented in this open-ended, play-based game. Free, but with paid add-ons. Available in multiple languages. 

Math Land. iOS/Android, Nintendo Switch. PreK, Elementary, Middle School and/or Parent/Teacher/Caregiver

Kids and adults can practice math, everything from simple addition and subtraction equations to more complex equations, with the use of different strategies in a pirate game setting. Available in multiple languages.

Pocket Build. iOS/Android. Elementary, Middle School 

Children can build their own worlds in this sandbox building app. Use survival mode to mine resources and earn new developments, or use sandbox mode for unlimited creativity. Available in multiple languages.

Scribbles & Ink. PreK, Elementary

Children draw along with characters Scribbles and Ink, either following interactive prompts or creating independently. Printable activity sheets and how-to-draw videos are also provided. The drawing tools are clear and easy to use. This is a simple but elegant drawing program for young learners. Available in English. 

Members of the 2021 Notable Children's Digital Media Committee are: Laura Bos, co-chair, Mount Prospect (Illinois) Public Library; Robin J. Howe, co-chair, King County (Washington) Library System; Louise A. Capizzo, Sacrborough (Maine) Public Library; Laura Duncan, Los Angeles Public Library; Annesley E. Gersztoff, Capital Region (New York) BOCES School Library System; AnnMarie Kolakowski, Pasadena (California) Public Library; Kimberly Anne White, Broward County (Florida) Libraries; Taylor Worley, Springfield (Oregon) Public Library; and Seungyeon Yang-Peace, Las Vegas Clark County Library District.