It can be challenging to keep kids appropriately occupied sometimes, especially when school is out. Today’s kids are spending a good chunk of their days on tablets, phones and other electronic devices and finding apps that provide kid-friendly, developmental content in bite-sizes pieces can be difficult. Using screen time to help supplement their education can be beneficial and fun, especially since many educational apps include games to make learning more exciting.
Many parents rely on these apps to help their children learn new things or practice skills they’ve already learned in school. While it may seem like a one-sided lesson for the child, it’s actually a two-way street because they’ll be able to apply what they’ve learned from these apps outside of the classroom setting as well! This is why it’s important to choose an app that provides educational content while still being fun and engaging for your kids!
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Created by the National Science Foundation for tablet users, this app is updated with high-quality content every week. It’s filled with informative videos, news, and 3D images to explore so that the world’s budding scientists can feel engaged and inspired.
Struggling with spelling? If so, look no further than this subscription-based app. Easy to use – and most importantly – entertaining! Spelling Stage allows users to select their level as well as customize their own character in order to make learning truly immersive. The words are updated regularly to keep things fresh.
CrossWord Puzzle for Kids
You can’t go wrong with an old fashioned crossword! While there are many crossword apps on the market, this colorful version is the perfect tool to get younger learners to think and give them the habit of a lifetime.
Quick Math Jr.
Designed for elementary school students, this free iOS app helps turn the often boring world of math into something approachable. With 12 different games covering the fundamentals in addition to eye-catching graphics, this is a must-own for younger users.
Probably the most famous app on this list, Duolingo has now helped millions the world over learn a new language – or just a few useful basics for your vacations. Easy to use and with a simple interface, Duolingo is a giant of the app world for a reason.
Alternatively, there’s Little Pim, with its cute panda mascot and cartoonish graphics aimed squarely at kids. Little Pim guides children through various exercises and is voiced by native speakers in 12 languages. Available on multiple devices and with unlimited streaming, this app is an ideal way to teach 0-6-year-olds a second or even third language.
While numbers and facts are crucial to a child’s development, let’s not forget about the beauty of creative writing! Night Zookeeper is an online writing tool, class blog, and has a library of interactive lessons – the perfect package for home learning. Based around a series of enchanting story books, Night Zookeeper is aimed at children aged 6-12 to develop their writing, reading, and creative thinking skills. Over a million users have already been put under its spell.
Coding for kids has become a big trend in recent years, and perhaps no one does it better than codeSpark. Essentially you’re teaching kids another language, and codeSpark makes doing so fun with its cute characters, The Foos, games, and word free interface. It’s even subsidized for schools. With us now living in a digital age, coding is an incredibly valuable life skill for youngsters to possess.
PBS Kids Video
For US families, PBS’s child-friendly app is ideal for those who worry about their young ones getting access to adult-oriented content. Via the app’s easy interface, kids can watch favorites like Daniel Tiger, Curious George, Wild Kratts, or Odd Squad. Ideal for busy parents who want to leave the young ones with some educational TV.
Khan Academy Kids
Focusing on literacy, reading, language, and math, Khan Academy Kids may seem the same as many other apps on offer at first. However, its focus on building social skills and creativity via five charming characters gives it an edge over its peers. 100% free and adaptive to each child’s level and needs, Khan Academy is a brilliant tool for parents, teachers, and learners.
Alongside the usual subjects like math and science, BrainPop Jr. can help boost kids’ general knowledge of the world around them. With whole sections on social studies themes such as citizenship, economics, and communities, BrainPop Jr. is a fun introduction to some of the more complex issues of the world.
Inspired by the likes of Temple Run and Super Mario, this highly addictive treat is the best way to trick children into learning their sums! A math game that’s actually fun, Number Run features 52 levels covering addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division as our brave hero chases down the dastardly Baron von Count, who has stolen the 4 Mathemagical crystals.
Tic Toc Time
No, not the TikTok you’re thinking of! Tic Toc Time is a time teaching app featuring a cute Candian beaver. Ad-free and available in 11 languages, Tic Tok can help kids grasp the meaning of time – and not in the philosophical sense, rather 24 and analog clocks and such.
Not just a great place for stories, but also a product offering a wealth of great educational resources too. Audible’s vast library has something to offer kids and adults of all ages. Sing-a-long learning sits side by side with magical tales to inspire and intrigue, with much of the content offered for free.
Barefoot World Atlas
There’s nothing as stimulating as exploring the world around us, and thanks to Barefoot Books’ Atlas app, children can unleash the little adventurer inside them. With hundreds of breathtaking photographs, hours of audio, and facts about countries, regions, and oceans, this app is a must-own for children with a curious nature.
No visit to the library is required, thanks to Epic! With over 40,000 books available, all tastes and reading levels are covered, with progress trackers and personalized daily reading goals helping push kids to their full potential. Teacher approved, and a 30 days free trial offered to parents.
Sometimes the best way for a child to learn is to teach themselves! That’s why Scratch JR is such a unique and interesting program. With an age range between 5 & 7, children can program their own interactive games and stories. Essentially, learning through coding!
What’s In Space?
Found on the app store, this easy to use mobile and tablet app teaches children about space travel, the universe and about our place amongst the stars. The app is simple enough for both children and adults to enjoy.
Learning how to play an instrument, or simply surrounding a child with the world of music can greatly help their learning capacity. Mazaam is a musical game that supports and encourages the cognitive development of children from 4 to 6 years old.
TinyTap is an educational space for children from preschool to 14+. Sometimes the best apps are the ones that offer the widest range of activities, and with color games, stories, to pattern recognition, you won’t be stuck for choice.
With a huge range of singalongs, soundtracks and playlists made for young listeners, Spotify Kids is a great way for children of all ages to discover music in a fun and interesting way. Best part? It’s included free with a Spotify Premium Family account!
It’s one thing for a child to learn about music, and another to learn how to make it! Melody is a great app downloadable through the App Store, that allows young music fans to create music through fun and interactive characters.
The Human Body
Often, our own bodies can be a mystery to us; how they work and why. The Human Body, by Tinybop, is a wonderful tool that breaks the parts of the body into useful and easy to navigate guides, and shows how things like digestion and respiration work.
Artie’s Magic Pencil
Artie’s Magic Pencil is a learning adventure game that teaches children the fundamentals of art, and drawing. The app inspires children to get creative both in front of and beyond screen by tracing shapes, filling colours, and sizing blocks.
One of the key 3 subjects of most people’s lives is science, and Toca Lab is a wonderful game that sparks imagination and creativity in the world of test tubes and beakers. Children can learn to set up bunsen burners and experiment to get different reactions in this easy to use app.
What to look for in the best educational apps for your kids
✔️ Safety: It’s important to protect your personal information and avoid getting scammed.Consider how much information the is app requesting from you and if the app requests additional verification when you log in. Aside from personal safety, is the app even safe to download? Check out the number of times the app has been downloaded, the rating, reviews and look over the permissions list as well as the app description before hitting download. We evaluated each of the apps we’ve recommended for safety to help alleviate concerns for you, your family and your devices.
✔️ Features: Consider what you are hoping to get out of this app: Are you just looking for something that will play fun videos or do you want your little one to be able to engage in educational learning games? Some apps offer personalized learning plans that let you check your progress as you move forward, while others are just for one-off entertainment. Depending on what subject you’re hoping for your child to master and how your child learns best, keep an eye out for the extra features of each app to ensure that they’re the right fit for your family.
✔️ Ease of use: One of the best parts about learning apps is the ability for your child to navigate them on their own. Not only will this help them develop their independence and strengthen their problem-solving skills, but will give you a much needed break while they’re entertained. Make sure the app is intuitive enough for them to handle on their own.
✔️ Age: Make sure your picks are age appropriate for your little one. They are sure to be frustrated and upset if you accidentally put them in 7th grade math while they’re only 8! To get the most benefit out of each app experience, make sure that they’re not learning at too low or too high of a level.
✔️ Price: Many of our favorite picks are free, but a few of the more specialized apps feature paid upgrades or monthly subscriptions with access to all of their unlimited games and videos. Consider how much you’re willing to shell out on apps on a regular basis — if your kids are learning and entertained, it may be worth the splurge!
✔️ Engagement: Keeping your child entertained and engaged is one of the most important aspects of a good app. If your kid isn’t excited to hop on and spend time learning new things, watching videos or playing the app’s games, then it doesn’t matter how helpful the app is if they can’t even be bothered to log in.