Thanks to today’s best educational apps for kids, you can leverage technology to help your children or students learn new things in a fun, engaging, and highly effective manner.
Of course, there are still many parents who calm a child by handing them a tablet or a phone. But they have also learned to leverage these opportunities into beneficial learning experiences for their youngsters.
Research performed by experts on a wide variety of educational apps ranging from different subjects and age ranges has helped to isolate some of the best apps for kids to have a solid learning experience while in front of a screen.
We’ve put together a list of the 25 best learning apps for kids that parents can consider installing next time they anticipate handing their child an electronic device for play.
Without further ado, let’s dive in…
What are the Best Kids Learning Apps?
Here are our top picks for the best educational apps for kids available today:
1. Khan Academy
Aside from being free, Khan Academy is a platform that is widely regarded as the top of the line in terms of educational software.
They offer a wide variety of subjects across many age ranges and difficulty levels. The app focuses on learning through games, books, videos, and songs.
The platform serves as both a teaching and a sem-gaming software and is a favorite of students, parents, and teachers due to its highly engaging YouTube videos. Their lessons cover everything from history to engineering, and all things in between.
They have linked up to the Common Core curriculum, so they can more readily provide generally pertinent levels of education to student users.
There are no foreign language offerings through the platform yet, and ELA apps are still in beta modes. But they do have a related service named Khan Academy Kids that is geared specifically at young learners between the ages of 2 and 7.
2. Hungry Catapillar Play School
Based on a popular children’s book by Eric Carle, Hungry Catapillar Play Schools is a renowned app geared and young learners between the ages of 1 and 5 years old.
The beautifully rendered app with 3D designs splits its learning sectors into five sections: numbers, alphabet, book reading, puzzles, as well as shapes, and colors. The app is free to download but requires a small subscription fee ($6/mo or $50/yr) to use.
3. BrainPOP Jr
BrainPOP Jr. is another app with a young audience in mind, mostly useful for kids between the ages of 5 and 8.
Their in-depth video lessons are based on state educational standards and contain content for a variety of subjects like math, reading, writing, science, arts, music, and health.
The video aspect allows for visual learners to interact with the app as well as those who have grasped reading already.
The fun learning environment keeps the young students engaged, while progress reports are available to both parents and teachers interested in their child’s advancement.
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4. Moose Math
Moose Math, from the Duck Duck Moose software publisher, places youngsters into a city that they will decorate by participating in a variety of math activities, split by five multi-level categories.
Each activity is located in a different building across the game’s landscape, allowing for not only academic stimulation but also a level of intrigue and exploration for the student.
The app aligns with age-level appropriate common core standards for kindergarteners and first graders. The children’s progress is tracked and the app can generate a report of their accomplishments for interested parties.
Moose Math has been around for a better part of a decade and has gone through various incarnations. At one time it was available for $1.99, but currently, it is offered in the Google Play store and the Apple Store for free.
5. Little 10 Robot: Goodness Shapes
Get it for iOS
This Apple-based app has kids practice their counting by sorting a variety of shapes into separate categories, split by either color or number.
The game operates on a loop and there are no setting tweaks in terms of the sound effects, music, or which games will loop around next, making this a simpler but less robust choice.
In terms of appeal and usefulness to 3 to 6-year-old players, however, this app, available for $0.99, is a fun and educational destination resulting in a mellow but intriguing way to sharpen their math skills.
6. Number Run
Number Run is meant for slightly older players (ages 6 and up) as it is based on a drill concept where players must answer math questions but also recall them quickly, sometimes with numbers that are double digits.
The app offers a tutorial, but it does require the ability to read in order for the player to grasp the concept of the game. Once understood, it is an easy app to play.
It aligns with Common Core Standards and offers a respectable 52 levels of gameplay with varying math operations to practice on. It is available at the Apple Store and Google Play Store for $2.99.
7. DragonBox Numbers
Instead of memorization, DragonBox Numbers offers its young 4 to 8-year-old players an opportunity to develop a sense of the numbers they work with.
Parents initially set up a profile for their child and then the child can choose a play mode. However, as kids progress through the activity the app increases the complexity, yet works with the player to help them understand what is being asked of them.
The game does not punish mistakes with any types of failures but rewards positive accomplishments with coins.
Kids can use those rewards to skip over levels and perform various other activities. The app is available at the Play and Apple Stores for $7.99.
8. Tic Toc Time
Get it for iOS
One of the more overlooked and essential skills for a child to learn is the fundamental ability to tell time.
Time is a challenging concept because it is abstract, yet present in our daily lives and involved in nearly every activity we perform.
Tic Toc Time provides an educational method for just this purpose. By guiding a family of Canadian beavers, young players can learn how to tell the times of the day via the use of sunlight and shadows. They can also learn to read time from different clocks.
Suitable for 6 to 8-year-old kids, Tic Toc Time can be purchased for $3.99 at the Play and Apple stores.
9. Read-Along By Google
Get it for Android
Launched early during the days of the pandemic, Read-Along by Google was meant to help develop the reading skills of youngsters who may have fallen behind due to school closures.
The app provides a solid way to educate and encourage young readers to learn letter combinations, accompanied by Diya, a reading assistant.
When a child is struggling in later levels that put together full words and short phrases, they can request Diya’s assistance at any point to help move their progress along.
Seeing the word and having audible assistance can help an engaged player better memorize the word for when they next encounter it.
Google built the app to work with or without the presence of WiFi, and privacy measures such as lack of storage of user data have been taken.
The actions by the app occur in real-time rather than relying on caching. The app features no in-app purchase options and is ad-free.
Read-Along offers as many as 500 stories for young readers to practice with and is available for free at the Google Play Store.
10. Montessori Crossword For Kids
The Montessori Crossword for Kids app aims to drive both a challenging and stimulating experience for young gamers, as well as the expansion of their vocabulary.
The app teaches the phonetics of letters and letter combinations and creates associative links to letters of the alphabet.
Its well-designed interface offers a selection of several categories, allowing the youngsters to generally navigate without any parental assistance.
Reviews of the app have overwhelmingly shown parents satisfied with how quickly their child’s reading skills seem to develop with this app. It can be purchased at your favorite app store for $2.99.
Kids adore stories. They place them in worlds they have never been exposed to and introduce them to characters they could have never imagined.
Most parents are aware that reading to their kids is an essential activity and is rewarding on both a literacy front as well as imaginative development.
Audible is a popular app utilized by those who enjoy audiobooks, and when a parent cannot find the time to read, the Audible app is happy to accommodate the reading for the children.
Stocked with a library of more than 35,000 book titles, the Epic! The app has reading choices for ages 2 through 12, with the ability to build a collection based on their literal preferences.
This is a popular app with teachers who apply the vast library during silent reading time or read along in class. With so many choices, there is bound to be at least one book of interest for everyone.
But Epic! also focuses on plot points, characters, and themes for fictional works, and deeper research options for those interested in historical events.
The app is available on both iOS and Android platforms, with an $8 per month subscription tag, with a free trial month at the start.
13. Write About This
Get it for iOS
The skills of imaginative writing are important for young students who have recently acquired the ability to write words and full sentences.
But often when prompted to write about something students, like many authors who write professionally, simply hit a wall of not knowing what to write about.
Young writers also require an ability to exercise their creativity, descriptive skills, and critical thinking in their writing work.
All of these things are helped by the Write About This app which prompts young writers with pictures that help trigger their imagination and get them thinking about particular topics if they feel stuck. The app is available at the Apple store for $3.99.
14. HOMER Learn & Grow
HOMER Learn and grow is a literacy-based app geared at young readers from ages 2 to 8. It includes traditional phonic exercises, stories, songs, and voice recordings. The categories available to young players, however, are more vast.
The app provides sections for creativity, math, and games, as well as multiple others, which kids can choose to hear and view a particular lesson.
The Math and Games sections have activities that involve kids’ puzzles and memory games. The songs and stories sections include books, songs, and nursery rhymes, both original and classic.
HOMER Learn & Grow is free to acquire (though it does feature ads), and it is available on both the Android and iOS platforms.
15. Stack The States
One of the staple features in elementary education in the United States involves teaching kids the states and their capitals. That is the primary premise of the Stack The States app.
The offers flashcards about every state that include information such as the capital city, postal abbreviation, landmarks, major cities, bordering states (or countries), and state nicknames.
There is also a state stacking game where players will be presented with the shape of the state or clues about it, and need to identify that state correctly. If done right, the state gets added to a stacked pile.
When a certain number of states has been stacked, the player is rewarded with an additional state for their pile. There are also additional bonus games involving puzzles and “capital drop.”
The app is available for $2.99 in the Play and Apple stores, as well as through the Amazon platform.
16. Barefoot World Atlas
Get it for iOS
Adorned with gorgeous graphics and imagery, the Barefoot World Atlas allows students to explore the globe. The students can effortlessly maneuver around the globe, spinning it and zooming in on all of its parts.
The zooms reveal more details in the form of country shapes, images of cities, animals, and landmarks, each providing a set of detailed descriptions.
This app allows the exploration of all sorts of different aspects of the world. The app is geared for children between the ages of 4 and 11 and is available for $4.99 on all of the popular OS platforms.
Get it for iOS
The ability to code is now so popular and is in such growing demand that many educational apps are starting to explore teaching programming concepts to young students in order to prepare them for the future.
At the very basic conceptual level, an app like ScratchJr teaches youngsters basic programming commands through games that snap together blocks to create a particular flow.
The app is designed to be engaging for students from ages 5 through 7. While adult guidance is usually required, once the youngsters get an idea of the app, they can repeat the piecing together of processes with an assortment of different animals and settings.
Better yet, the app is free to download and use on both the App Store and Google Play.
18. PBS Kids Play and Learn Science
PBS is well known for providing great children’s content, but its platforms are not exclusive to television.
With the free PBS Kids Play And Learn Science app, kids and parents can share in the experience of exploring basic scientific topics including life, earth, and physical sciences.
The app supports both English and Spanish language. It covers interesting phenomena including planes, natural weather events, and light-based occurrences, including shadows.
19. Peekaboo Barn
Get it for iOS
One of the first things children learn at an early age (0 to 3 years old) is the name of some common animals, especially of the barnyard variety.
These creatures hold a special appeal to youngsters, especially when they learn to associate the creatures with the sounds they commonly make.
Peekaboo Barn is an app geared at helping infants and toddlers learn the names of these animals and the sounds they make.
The young players simply touch the barn doors to enter the game, then touch an animal to get the barn doors closed.
The animal then makes a sound with the barn door closed, helping the child later recall that the sound they heard is associated with the particular animal they touched. The app is available on the Android platform.
20. Star Walk Kids
This fun, free, and the well-designed app is great for kids who are fascinated with things related to space. The layout is simple and navigation is intuitive.
When the app is pointed to the sky, the map on the screen matches up to the stars in that particular view of the sky. The sky image can be rotated at different angles.
A compass positioned at the bottom of the map informs about the polar direction, and clicking icons at the top left corner provides various interesting facts about space. The app is free and is intended for ages 5 through 12.
21. Seek By iNaturalist
One of the most efficient ways to learn about nature is to take the initiative to identify aspects of it on their own.
Seek by iNaturalist allows young users (generally between the ages of 9 and 17) to identify various animals, plants, and fungi by submitting pictures taken directly via their smartphone camera or from their picture library.
The images are compared against a vast multi-species database and return a result of the match. As the player collects additional species, the photo is added to their collection.
The more species they find, the more badges they earn for their efforts. As more species are added, more facts are displayed.
These include similar species, other species around the area, the likeliest time of year to find them, and their scientific names. The app is free and available for iOS.
Get it for iOS
Kids as young as 4 years of age can learn to play music with this app featuring an attractive and simple interface that allows a young learner to write the music and then play the music they composed.
It allows for the construction of musical pieces, with 11 different languages supported, and over 140 musical challenges. This app is available for $1.99 on the iOS platform.
23. Melody Jams
Get it for iOS
With the Melody Jams Music Bundle, a child can select their personalized monster to serve as their representative avatar in a garage band featuring a slew of instruments.
The musicians can be positioned in any way, and they with their particular instruments either playing together or isolated to hear the particular tone.
Kids can even collaborate with the band by adding an instrument with their own contribution from an instrument list provided with the app. It is available just for the iOS platform and can be purchased for $2.99 at the Apple store.
24. YouTube Kids
YouTube is stocked with great content to learn about nearly any topic, but YouTube proper is not always suitable for youngsters.
The YouTube Kids app on the other hand features a more heavily filtered list of educational and entertaining videos curated specifically for a younger audience.
You can find this content on the app’s standard version. However, YouTube Kids provides a centralized place where youngsters can come to seek out knowledge with parents safely regarding the app’s listing as child-approved viewing.
The app is free to use, but a subscription version also exists for $12.99 per month.