4 Children And Young Adult Apps For The iPhone That Are Good For Grown Ups


There’s little doubt that as we continue into the 21st century, we’re in for some truly staggering achievements and innovations that will radically change our way of life. Our understanding of physics, medicine, and the natural world is so far beyond what it was a few hundred years ago that it almost seems like we’re comparing two different species.

But with all the increasing advantages that this knowledge affords us, one thing is a little distressing: most of us are getting dumber in certain areas. A lot of that is inevitable: you can’t dedicate your entire adult life to one pursuit without sacrificing some ground in other areas. And because of how specialized many of our jobs are these days, we’ve created a race of engineers who forget what an adjective is, or journalists who forget how to do long division.

Most of us just carry that sweet little shame secretly, and pretend we have a migraine so we don’t have to calculate the restaurant tip in our heads. But if you’re interested in getting some of your childhood knowledge back, here are 4 free apps for the iPhone that can help you with that:

Vocabulary Spelling City

It’s a quick, polished little game where you desperately lie to yourself about your phonetic shortcomings. The truth is, we’ve gotten used to letting machines correct our spelling for us. I started playing with this app after I realized that I couldn’t actually spell the word “simultaneously” out loud: I just got used to flinging the rough equivalent of it at Microsoft Word at 90 WPM and letting the autocorrect straighten out the kinks for me.

You may think your spelling is fine for now, but maybe one day, after you’re finally tired of spellchecker smugly changing your “desparate” into “desperate”, you’ll swallow your pride and start comparing your spelling abilities with your 13-year-old-self.

SAT Question of the Day

Exactly what it sounds like, this app gives you a daily taste of the test that most of us took at some point in our lives. Not being able to nail a question of this variety is a bit less embarrassing than using your phone’s calculator for 12 X 9, but it’s still nice to stay sharp with this kind of thing.

TapQuiz Maps

A great little app for testing your geographical knowledge of states and foreign countries. You may think the cutesy font and childlike menu are an insult to your intelligence, but when over half of all Americans can’t point out India on a map, this is probably what we deserve.

Motion Math: Hungry Fish

Here comes the painful one. You may think you don’t need this, and maybe you really don’t. A few among us actually succeed in keeping their computational abilities fresh throughout their entire lives, whether it’s for a job or just out of personal habit.

But add 34 and 17 in your head, right now, and spit out the answer in less than 5 seconds.

Yeah. I know.

And it’s not just the liberal arts majors among us.  I know a civil engineer who passionately defended that $6 is a great tip for a $50 tab, because “that’s over 20%!”

So load up that bright pink fish and start feeding him 10+12+17 to keep him happy. If anyone catches you, just tell them it’s your program, and you’re beta testing it before next month’s launch.

None of these apps will get you on Mensa’s short list. But at least they’ll keep you from the humiliation of a child beating you to pointing out Connecticut on a map.

Author bio:

John is a tech blogger who plays children’s games on his iPhone and then pretends he’s just shopping for his imaginary children. He’s written for a variety of companies in the past, including Protect Your Bubble smartphone insurance.


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