The best educational apps for kids are fun! Check out our picks to turn screen time into an entertaining learning experience.
We tend to think of screen time as veg out time for kids, but while screen time should be monitored and controlled to ensure a healthy balance, there are some great educational apps out there. The best educational apps turn learning into play, so it’s a sneaky way of turning screen time into a positive learning experience. Who said learning had to be dry or boring? Here’s our selection featuring some of the best educational apps for kids:
It’s not just our app that counts
As a company in the business of making young children’s apps that are both entertaining and educational, rather than looking at other companies in our field as competition, we prefer to look at these other companies and say “BRAVO!”
When we started on our mission a few years ago, the list of really worthwhile apps was very short (to say the least), but today we can proudly say that there are some amazing apps for your kids out there.
So, in the spirit of giving credit where credit is due, here are some great apps we wanted to share with you that our children enjoy and that we, their parents, enjoy them enjoying…
The Library of Miss Gadish:
- The Library of Miss Gadish
Age Group 2-8
Yes, this is our app, but we’re justifiably proud of what we’ve achieved in consultation with parents, educators and child psychologists. Children formed our testing team. They got the final say in determining whether the Library of Miss Gadish really is one of the best educational apps for kids. If they didn’t just love what we did, we went right back to the drawing board.
Although it’s a story time app, the Library of Miss Gadish is much more than that. Think of great educational TV programs like Sesame Street on the small screen, but with the added advantage of lots of interaction. That’s what we aimed for, and we’re happy to say we’ve achieved it!
- Stories that teach life skills: Each story contains important life lessons that parents need to teach their kids. From the importance of brushing teeth to learning mutual respect and gratitude, there’s an important moral to every story.
- Learning to love books and reading: Kids who love books and reading do much better at school, at college and even in their adult careers.
- Learning to read: Kids can take up the challenge of learning to read by following the text as the story is told. Once they’re ready to try reading the story themselves, you can dispense with the narrator.
- More than just reading: The interactive games that make kids part of the story help with simple lessons such as identifying animals, parts of the body, numbers and colors. And there’s a “reward” every time.
- Learning fine motor skills: By interacting with the app, kids improve their fine motor skills as they help the characters move through the story.
- Learning to comprehend and follow instructions: Boy! Everybody needs this skill. The sooner kids start to learn it, the better. Test and improve your child’s comprehension of simple instructions.
- Speech training: The stories encourage speech. This is helpful for very young children, but also for children living with conditions such as autism. During testing, we also checked to see how our stories can help kids with special needs.
All this and more with cute animations by a variety of top artists and illustrators, each with their own style, great stories and oodles of fun. Plus, your kids get to personalize their libraries. Every time a child reads a story, he or she collects a special star. The library characters help to count the stars with the child, and the stars are turned into shapes. Kids love keeping score and have lots of motivation to collect even more stars!
The app is FREE and comes with one free story that you and your children can test out. Thereafter, moms and dads can help children to add to their virtual library with in-app purchases.
- Hungry Guppy
: Age Group 3-7
Learning math is important too! Did you struggle to learn math in school? Maybe it wasn’t fun enough. But with this app, learning how to add and how to estimate numbers is good fun.
Kids aged 3-7 pull bubbles together to add them up. These turn into dots that are the food the ravenous guppy wants to eat. Yum! Kids also get to see numbers in different ways: both as figures, and as numbers of objects. As they progress, they earn bonuses that let them change the way their fish looks, and with 15 levels of gameplay, there’s lots of room for learning.
- Fox & Sheep’s Petting Zoo
age group 2-7
Animals are always fun, and there is no exception here. Simplicity is key to this ingenious children’s app where no language skills or understanding are required.
What looks like a simplistic pencil drawings of an animal, will quickly prove otherwise with a simple touch. The animals each have some very surprising and funny reactions - and even change species.
Is it educational? No. But it is quality entertainment, easy to ‘play’ and taps into curiosity, creativity and humor. And did we mention that the app provides lots of entertainment that can be appreciated from a very young age? Big thumbs up from us.
- codeSpark’s The Foos
Age Group 5+
Is your child eager to become a computer genius? Learning coding is the first step. But instead of presenting dull lessons, Foos introduces children to the concepts needed in computer programming through games simple enough for even a 4-year-old to enjoy in some cases.
And for when you want to advance, they have a more intricate Foos
app that even has a place for kids to create their own games and levels within the app to share with others.
- Joy Tunes
: Age Group 5+
Remember when learning to play the piano was something most kids did because their parents thought they should? Eliminate the battle and turn learning music into a game with Joy Tunes. From first lessons with real-time feedback to advanced piano playing, Joy Tunes is the ultimate way to learn music in half the time it would usually take.
Choose this app for kids five and over – or try it yourself. It’s never too late to learn a musical instrument.
- Tiny Hands Kids Puzzle Games
Kids Puzzle Games: Age Group 2-5
This app is specifically for toddlers and it has been tested by child psychologists. They’ll love the simple sorting and classifying challenges they get called on to complete. With this app, they learn to sort objects according to size. After completing each puzzle, there’s a bonus game. Kids just love it, and parents are equally thrilled. It’s simple, cute and easy to use. Get guilt-free entertainment for your toddlers with this app.
: Age Group 13+
Once your kids have mastered reading in their home language, learning a second one is a great idea. Duolingo is an easy way to learn French, Spanish, German, Italian, and more. At first glance, it might look like quite a serious learning app, but the lessons are gamified with races against the clock and scores that climb each time correct answers are given. Duolingo is suitable for both kids and adults, so maybe you’d like to get a few lessons too!
: Age Group 3-8
Kids can already start learning to read when they’re as young as three years old, and Homer makes learning fun! Approved by top academics, the fun activities teach everything from the alphabet to reading words and short passages of text. This cool learning app has received rave reviews in the press and from parents who say their kids love learning to read with Homer. Since learning to read is a very big deal, this app is a big deal too! Combine it with the Library of Miss Gadish to add variety to the learning process.
- Endless Alphabet
: Age Group 3-5
There are many alphabet apps out there, but Endless Alphabet is a blast. The funny animated letters and animals are too cute for words, and you and your kids will be in gales of laughter as they learn to identify and place letters to make words. The letters are creatures too! The sound effects tell the kids what sound each letter makes. While they’re learning their ABCs, your kids are learning to spell words too. This one is a definite winner.
Sesame Street’s Alphabet Kitchen
- Sesame Street’s Alphabet Kitchen
: Age Group 2-5
The Cookie Monster and Elmo help kids to cook up words by combining sounds made from letters. While they’re playing, they’re learning how to read, how to spell, and they get to improve their vocabulary as they go. Packed with all the fun of Sesame Street, this kids’ app is a new, interactive way to learn with some of the show’s favorite characters.
Brain Pop Jr:
- Brain Pop Jr.
Age Group 5-9
Kids, parents, and teachers love Brain Pop. The app supplies a new animated movie every single week. After watching it, kids get to participate in quizzes and educational games. It’s designed for kids aged 5 to 9, but some moms say that even younger children enjoy it. It complements schoolwork and guides kids through learning about age-appropriate topics across a range of disciplines.
Sounds serious? Reviews from moms are glowing, and they ALL say how much their kids love Brain Pop. Teachers and tutors say it makes a great teaching tool too.
The Best Educational Apps for Kids Make Learning Fun and Easy
From learning to read to expanding vocabulary and mastering basic numeracy skills, there are lots of ways to turn apps into your teaching assistants. Some of these apps might even help you to learn something you always wanted. How’s your Spanish? Or maybe you’d like a fun way to learn how to play the piano. The best educational apps for kids demonstrate the truth that learning can be fun. And although teaching effortlessly might feel like a cheat, it’s the learning outcomes that matter most.