With everyone staying home due to the recent outbreak, people are on their phones more than ever. While scrolling through social media and streaming your favorite Netflix series are great ways to kill some time, it is important that we still exercise our cognitive brain functions on a daily basis. Here are ten educational apps designed to get the cogs turning again:
Duolingo – Free
If you haven’t already heard of Duolingo, or the owl Duo, where have you been? This is one of my favorite language apps and it is 100% completely free! There are 30+ languages available on the app, and you start to practice reading, writing and speaking immediately. With bite-size lessons, mini stories, bonus skills and cute outfits to change Duo into, this app is a great and fun way to learn a new language!
Babbel – Starting at $7.08 a month
Babbel is another language app that is free to download and start. However, it is a subscription based app with plans starting as low as $7.08 a month. Their approach is different from Duolingo, by focusing on specific words per lesson, having you initially pronounce them and spell them before seeing the words in phrases and conversations. They also have podcasts available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts if you want to continue learning while doing chores around the house. If Duolingo doesn’t work for you, Babbel might be a better way for you to learn the language(s) you’ve been dying to learn!
Rosetta Stone – Starting at $15 a month
Rosetta Stone is a famous language learning tool – and they have brought it to the App Store. You can use the app and some of its resources for free (for 30 minutes a day), but there is a Full Access program that allows you to get more feedback on your progress and access to all 24 languages available. Offering specific plans that take your proficiency level (Beginner, Intermediate or Proficient) and what you will be using it for (Basics, Work, Travel or Family), Rosetta Stone provides a custom level of learning that works for you and your needs!
BRAIN TRAINING (Developing Cognitive Skills)
Peak – Free
Peak is a free brain training app, and the term ‘brain training’ describes a program of regular activities that improve your cognitive abilities, like your memory or focus. Peak uses fun and creative games designed to train your language, problem solving, memory, focus, mental agility, emotion and coordination skills. There is a daily brain workout designed for you, a ‘brainmap’ that shows how you perform in each category and graphs that show your progress over time and compared to others in your age group. Peak also has a Pro program, which starts at $4.99 a month, which unlocks all 48 games, with unlimited replays and no ads.
Elevate – Starting at $7.99 a month
Elevate offers over 35 different games, focusing on writing, speaking, reading and math skills.
From lessons on syntax and eloquence to conversions and proportions, this app helps strengthen these skills in ways we will actually use in daily life. However, there is only a one week free trial, and after that their subscription starts at $7.99 a month.
Lumosity – Starting at $11.99 a month
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Lumosity is another brain training subscription based app, that allows you to strengthen your memory, attention, problem solving, flexibility, speed, language and math skills. With unique games like ‘Train of Thought’ where you have to correctly direct different colored trains into the corresponding station and ‘Memory Matrix’ where you have to remember certain patterns and recreate them, this app offers another set of games to keep your mind occupied. The free version of the app allows you to play three games a day, but with their Premium program you unlock all 40+ of their games and daily insights on your progress.
Sudoku – Free
Sudoku is a classic puzzle where you have to fill a 9×9 grid with digits so that every column, row and each of the 3×3 boxes contain each digit between 1 and 9. There are many versions of this game available on the App Store, online or even in printed books that contain hundreds of Sudoku puzzles.
Solitaire – Free
Solitaire is any card game that you play solo, and they are usually a great way to get your brain running. The most popular form of Solitaire (and my personal favorite) is known as Klondike, but there are many different Solitaire apps available on the App store, so it’s easy to find which one is best for you. Or if you have a deck of cards with you, you can recreate it in real life!
Chromatic – Free
I recently discovered this puzzle app, and I am already in love with it! In Chromatic, all you have to do is arrange color gradients in the correct order. It is a really pretty and calming game, allowing you to exercise your brain while also de-stressing.
New York Times Crossword – Starting at $6.99 a month
While there are tons of crossword puzzles available online, from your standard crossword to more detailed ones with other features, nothing beats the famous New York Times Crossword. The app offers a 7 day free trial, where you can get a taste of the stimulating puzzles available. After that, the subscription starts at $6.99 a month, where you have full access to the daily crossword puzzle, archives from over 20 years ago, and special crossword packs.