Kids love a little tech, especially if it makes it safe for them to play games or watch their favorite YouTubers. However, getting them to appreciate the kind of technology that helps them learn is a more difficult challenge, but who said educational software has to be boring?
Thanks to the kind of fun, free, and educational software you can find on Linux, you don’t have to. Let’s go through eight of the best examples.
Not all children in the world have a natural interest or ability in math, but TuxMath helps overcome this. It is designed to help kids learn math in the style of a space-themed arcade game, practicing their skills in short play sessions.
TuxMath is actually part of a larger suite of games and programs aimed at kids, and while it doesn’t win an award in 2019 for its outdated interface, it’s a very effective tool in the battle to help kids. children to learn (and learn to love) math. , especially if traditional learning does not suit them. It’s quick, so kids won’t have time to worry about wrong answers.
The style of the game is simple — the player is faced with mathematical questions which, if answered correctly, allow him to shoot down asteroids. As the game progresses, the questions become more and more difficult to test their math knowledge and build their confidence.
TuxMath is ideal for visual learners looking to improve their math skills outside of a textbook.
To download: TuxMath
2. Child’s play
Childsplay is not a game for kids — it’s actually 14 activities for younger kids to help teach and reinforce basic skills, learning the alphabet and numbers. basic training in digital skills such as typing and using a mouse.
There is a lot of variety in Childsplay. An educational version of Pac-Man teaches kids how to spell and pronounce certain words, while a memory matching game helps improve memorization while teaching numbers.
With reporting software and SQL database integration, you can also integrate Childsplay into a school environment and track the progress of multiple children, making it a great tool for preschool teachers.
To download: Child’s play
Stars are wonderful, so why not teach children about them? KStars teaches children the stars for free. It simulates the night sky from anywhere on the planet, showing no less than 100 million stars in the night sky to children who are passionate about astronomy.
You can also see different constellations, planets, comets and other bodies (well known and obscure) up close. It’s not just a simulation tool, however. You can also use it for real astronomy, with a planning tool for observing different stars in real life.
KStars also includes Ekos, a tool for controlling telescopes and digital cameras for automatic photography to help you create your own home observatory of the stars.
To download: KStars
It’s never too early to get a kid interested in coding. Learning the basics early helps provide a solid foundation for more advanced programming languages ââlater on, which is why Scratch is the perfect tool for kids who want to learn to code.
Rather than trying to teach using text, Scratch uses colorful graphics to create basic programming routines and animations; you can even make your own Mario game if you want.
There is also a huge community of ideas and projects for aspiring coders looking for inspiration.
To download: Stripe
Not all children like technical subjects like math or science, so what about the arts? Minuet appeals to children with musical talent.
This is a comprehensive suite of music training activities designed to help children improve their musical skills. Learners listen to music samples to help them learn musical chords, scales and intervals. For educators, Minuet is expandable with your own predefined exercises for learners, making it a good tool for the classroom.
Minuet is not only for beginners. It comes with exercises and customizable settings for any skill set, and if you’re a visual learner, the on-screen piano helps learners visualize music as it’s played.
To download: Minuet
Aimed at the youngest, GCompris is another set of games and activities gathered in a complete package. The active development team regularly updates GCompris with new games and challenges for kids on every subject imaginable, including games focused on history, math, science, geography, and digital skills.
There are over 100 games and challenges for kids to work on, in 15 different languages. The games are colorful and well thought out for the little ones, with helpful tips to explain some of the more difficult challenges.
GCompris is perfect for parents looking to build a young child’s skills and confidence at home.
To download: GCunderstood
Sugar is not just a set of activities; it is an interactive learning environment for children. Everything is based on the Sugar interface — it’s designed to run on a USB stick (thanks to the Sugar on a Stick distribution), or as part of a standard Fedora or Ubuntu installation.
Children working on Sugar can review their progress using the portfolio and journal sections. It offers activities to teach typing, basic coding, painting, math, and geography, to name a few. Everything a child does while using Sugar is recorded in the journal and portfolio sections, making it easy to review a child’s progress over time.
It’s a great Linux distro for kids to install, especially if you’re looking to install it on a Raspberry Pi.
To download: Sugar
Kano isn’t just a Linux operating system for kids. It’s actually part of a coding kit for young programmers to learn to code while building their own projects. They can even build the computer they use before they start learning.
Kano is definitely one of the finest packages for teaching kids any kind of tech I have ever seen. Children learn the basics of how a computer works, using a Raspberry Pi as a base. The bespoke Kano OS Linux distro is colorful and easy to use regardless of its capabilities.
You get apps like Scratch preinstalled, along with other apps for making games or art. If you want to take Kano a step further, there are hundreds of other games and apps available to install. You can also purchase add-ons for Harry Potter-style motion detection and wand ripple.
If you want your kid to really enjoy the experience, Kano’s Story Mode turns the entire operating system into one game, with different areas representing different apps to teach them programming skills or, in the case of Terminal Quest application, basic Linux skills.
To download: Kano (third party kit required)
Linux: fun for kids, safe for learning
These Linux educational tools allow children to learn safely, without worrying about costs to parents or educators. Free learning doesn’t discriminate either: kids of all ages, backgrounds and abilities can use these tools to make a difference in their lives.
If you’re not sure which program to try first, decide which one is best based on its purpose:
TuxMath, to improve your math skills
Childsplay, for the youngest
KStars, for budding astronomers
Scratch, for basic programming
Minuet, for young musicians
GCompris, for the youngest
Sugar, for a complete educational experience
Kano, for coders and project leaders
Once kids catch the learning bug, the sky is the limit. These educational games for Chrome can help support a child’s learning even more, no matter which platform you prefer.
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