Notable Children's Digital Media

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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 in June 2021, and titles added in January 2022.

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

 


4-H at Home. Website. All Ages, Parents/Caregivers.

4-H at Home is a free website full of fun and educational activities kids and teens can try at home. Organized by grade range and topic, projects explore the hands-on nature-based STEM learning for which the organization and its cooperative extension programs are known. Available in English.

Animal Antics (for Families). App: iOS and Android. Younger, Parents/Caregivers. 

Animal Antics is a free app designed to give children and their caregivers the opportunity to create a story together. Each participant chooses a character and records their voice. Prompts are given along the way to model conversation between child and caregiver, and to encourage joint media engagement while building early literacy skills. Available in English.

Civics! An American Musical. Elementary, Middle School. Teacher.

Civics! A Hollywood Musical is a game created by Fablevision, an educational website aimed at classrooms to teach research methods. Civics! allows an educator to select one of four American history topics, then students learn how to conduct research by assisting various theater employees in selecting correct primary sources, studying each resource carefully, then offering observations and reflections. The result: a musical, complete with a song, costumes, and reviews. Available in English.

Duolingo ABC: Learn to Read. iOS, Android. PreK, Elementary. Parent/Teacher/Caregiver.

Duolingo ABC: Learn to Read is a free app designed to help beginning readers explore the alphabet and build early literacy skills. The app’s games focus on letter recognition, writing skills, and comprehension skills. High-quality graphics and user-friendly gameplay make this app a fun and engaging way to learn the alphabet. Available in English

Google Arts and Culture. iOS, Android, website. Elementary, Middle School. Parent/Teacher/Caregiver. 

Google Arts & Culture is a comprehensive high-quality resource of primary source materials for families, students and teachers. The website, and it's companion app, allow for the exploration of a wide range of content from over 2000 museums and archives across 80 countries. Music, art and culture from around the world is accessible through interactive exhibits, tours, and games. Enjoy a wide range of activities in 3D, augmented and virtual reality. Available in English.

Grasshopper: Learn to Code for Free. iOS, Android. PreK, Elementary, Middle School. Parent/Teacher/Caregiver.

Grasshopper is a free coding app for beginners developed by a team of passionate coders from Google. Using your smartphone, learn JavaScript coding fundamentals like functions, variables, ‘if’ statements, operators, and more in progressively challenging levels. With a few taps get started programming with these fun, quick games. Available in English, Spanish and Portuguese.

How Do Animals Work? App: iOS and Android. Younger, Middle. Parents/Caregivers.

Interactively explore the biology of seven animals from the Amazon Rainforest and learn what makes each animal unique, from the pink river dolphin’s use of echolocation to the extraordinary night vision of the jaguar. Available in seventeen languages.

Mindful Powers. App: iOS and Android. All Ages, Parents/Caregivers. 

Mindful Powers is a free, kid-first, holistic approach to building social-emotional learning through play. Through mindful play and focus time, the Mindful Powers app empowers kids (PreK-Middle School) to bring calm to their lives and build a healthier relationship with life, stress, and anxiety. Available in English.

NFL Play 60. Website and app: iOS and Android. Middle, Parents/Caregiver. 

NFL Play 60 is a free app that encourages and challenges kids to get at least 60 minutes of physical activity per day. Kids can choose their own avatars and then earn coins to buy cool avatar gear by jumping, running, and turning while holding onto a device to log their movements. Available in English.

Pango Musical March (Studio Pango). App: iOS, Android, Kindle Fire. Younger. 

Pango Musical March is a paid app that allows users to create their own marching band parade. Kids choose from four different styles of music and have a wide variety of instruments within that style as options to add to an animated, fun, musical parade. Available in English.

Procreate. App: iOS for iPad. All ages. 

A powerful digital drawing app for iPad, used by amateurs and professionals, Procreate offers an impressive range of tools like hundreds of handmade brushes, an advanced layering system, a rich palette of colors to pens and pencils for simple sketching. Language setting in Procreate is based on the language used on the iPad.

Seek by iNaturalist. iOS, Android, website. PreK, Elementary, Middle School. Parent/Teacher/Caregiver.

Seek by iNaturalist is a free, family-friendly nature identification and exploration app. Children and families will learn about commonly recorded species in their area and can use the Seek Camera to identify organisms themselves. With earnable badges and monthly observation challenges, this app encourages everyone to get outside and learn! Available in English.

Sesame Street Family Play: Caring for Each Other. iOS, Android, Amazon. PreK, Elementary. Parent/Teacher/Caregiver. Sesame Street Family Play: Caring for Each Other is a free app which guides parents and caregivers through suggested games and songs to keep kids entertained and learning while offline. Users choose from activities by location in a home or outside within three categories: Keep Busy, Move Your Body, or Calm Down. Available in English and Spanish.

Small Wonders (for Families). App: iOS and Android. Younger, Parents/Caregivers. 

Small Wonders is a free app designed to encourage children and their caregivers to learn together by exploring various topics. Each topic has a song and some simple games with questions for the caregiver to read, encouraging dialogue between child and caregiver. Available in English.

Smithsonian Fun Stuff for Kids and Teens. Elementary, Middle School. Parent/Teacher/Caregiver.

Smithsonian's Fun Stuff for Kids and Teens is a curated collection of interactive activities, games, and exhibits. Discover and explore art, history, culture, nature and science with many of the Smithsonian's museums: meet the Zoo's animals, create with the Learning Lab, bring a treasured object "home" through the wonders of augmented reality, and play and learn through games from the Smithsonian Science Education Center.

Tayasui Sketches. App: iOS and Android. All ages. 

Tayasui Sketches is a user-friendly, versatile drawing app for mobile devices that uses your finger or stylus to create fun doodles, paintings, or illustrations for storytelling. With pens, pencils, and watercolor brushes, this realistic digital drawing tool will spark the imagination of all ages. Available in English, French, and traditional Chinese.

Tinybop: The Human Body. iOS, Android. PreK, Elementary, Middle School. Parent/Teacher/Caregiver.

The Human Body by Tinybop supports children’s curiosity in how the human body works. In this interactive app, children will discover how hearing works, how food travels through the intestines, and how the eye sees when they dive into the skeletal, muscular, nervous, circulatory, and digestive systems with seven interactive, animated, layered models. To learn how to play, Tinybop website offers instructions and ideas on how to use this app effectively, or you can download the free handbook within the app. Available in multiple languages.

Wonder Weeks. App: iOS and Android. Younger, Parents/Caregivers. 

The Wonder Weeks app helps parents and caregivers understand their baby's developmental leaps and provides tips for how they can support and stimulate their baby's development. The app allows parents and caregivers to track their baby's milestones (noting that not every baby accomplishes every skill or shows all the signals at that specific age), personalize schedules, and look back on past moments through the diary feature. Available in sixteen languages.

Wonder Woollies: Play World. iOS, Android, Amazon. PreK

Wonder Woollies Play World is carefully designed for the youngest audience. Allowing for multi-touch play, children and caregivers can explore the beautifully crafted world together, exploring different tools and interactive content. Of note are the beautiful, hand-made graphic elements which give this game a unique visual quality that stands in stark contrast to other games with bright, possibly overstimulating colors. With no points or pre-set goals, this wordless, open-ended world allows children to independently direct how they want to play, and to pursue their own interests and curiosities. Directions available in multiple languages including English.

Zigazoo. iOS, Android. Elementary, Middle School. Parent/Teacher/Caregiver.

Zigazoo is a free, safety-focused social streaming app for kids. Top brands, libraries, museums and other children offer many different prompts for kids to respond to in video format. A fun, safe way for kids to experience healthy online relationships in an appropriate social media-type platform. Available in English.

Members of the 2022 Notable Children's Digital Media Committee are: Robin J. Howe, co-chair, King County (Washington) Library System; Brittany A. Tavernaro, co-chair, Willowbrook Elementary School, Bentonville, Arkansas; Tabatha M. Anderson, Helen Plum Public Library, Lombard, IL; Louise A. Capizzo, Scarborough (Maine) Public Library; Maria Dietrich, Oak Creek (Wisconsin) Public Library; Annesley E. Gersztoff, Capital Region (New York) BOCES School Library System; Richard Izzo, Lincolnwood (Illinois) Public Library; Kimberly Anne White, Broward County (Florida) Libraries.