20+ Best Educational Apps for Kids

Say what you want about screen time, but sometimes it’s a real lifesaver. If you wanted my opinion, I’d vote that limited screen time, with the right apps, can be greatly beneficial. OK, I’ll be honest: my five-year-old has taught me things that I didn’t know that she learned from an app. #truthbomb

I do my best at checking out apps or new TV shows before I abandon my child to soak up the screen time, and for this list I spent a lot of time playing on kids’ apps…and I didn’t totally hate it either! I might be a little jealous of the world our kids are growing up in, although it’s a real shame they will never know the beautiful sound of dial-up.

I didn’t check out every part of each app (each one seems like its own universe), but I looked over reviews and ratings and selected the top apps for you and your littles! Here’s to hoping they will screen happily, so you can have a second to do all the mom things you do, or enjoy a cup of hot coffee. 

The apps are listed by target age, but many are appropriate for large age spans. Also, while many are available on several platforms, I pulled specifically from the Apple App Store.

Sight Words Learning Games & Reading Flashcards

Price: $2.99 (to unlock all games)
Developer: CFC s.r.o.
Target age: 2–7
Subject:
Reading
Description: More than
220 sight words with multiple games and fun activities for learning new words.

ABC Mouse

Price: $10.00 monthly
Developer: Age of Learning, Inc.
Target age: 2–8
Subject:
Various
Description:
User note: We had this app for about a year. My daughter (three years old at the time) liked it a lot, but we both got frustrated with how often the app would freeze, or we would get an “under construction” notice. I am hoping the app has since worked out those kinks. It’s certainly worth the free trial.

Fun Spanish | Learn Spanish

Price: Free (with additional games available for purchase)
Developer: Studycat Limited
Target age:
3–10
Subject: Spanish
Description: Lessons and learning games make a fun way for your child to work on basic Spanish skills.

Tinybop Explorers 1–9

Price: $4.00–$18.00
Developer: Tinybop
Target age: 4+
Subject: Various
Description: I
ndividual apps can be purchased for $3.99, or the bundle of nine apps can be purchased for $17.99.

The bundles includes: (1) The Human Body; (2) Space; (3) Skyscrapers; (4) Mammals; (5) The Earth; (6) Weather; (7) Homes; (8) Plants; and (9) Simple Machines.

This collection is another personal favorite in our home. The apps are very detailed, interactive, and user friendly. The biggest hit with my daughter has been the anatomy (human body) app. She likes to feed the girl, watch her food digest, and then make her poop, because she’s five and poop is HILARIOUS! She also likes clicking on the different body parts and hearing what they are called and learning how they work.

One More Story

Price: $1.99 weekly
Developer: One More Story, Inc.
Target age: 4+
Subject: Reading
Description:
A subscription buys you access to 80+ books and vocabulary words.

Homer: Kids’ Learn-to-Read App

Price: $7.99 monthly
Developer: Homer
Target age:
5 & under
Subject:
Reading
Description:
Since my daughter turned five, reading has been a big focus in our home. This app is chock full of educational activities that my daughter can work through independently, and she really enjoyed them. It gets two thumbs up from me!

Teach Your Monster to Read

Price: $4.99
Developer: Teach Monster, Inc.
Target age: 5 & under
Subject:
Reading & Phonics
Description: I haven’t used this one personally, but one of my friends used it to help her son read and highly recommended it. It’s definitely a more affordable one on the list—and what little kid doesn’t love silly monsters?!

Epic!

Price: $7.99 monthly
Developer: Epic Creations, Inc.
Target age: 12 & under
Subject:
Reading
Description: This app features more than 25,0000 videos, interactive books, and audio books, and is mostly geared toward children who already know how to read and want almost limitless resources literally at their fingertips. You can create up to four profiles for each reader in your home.

Kiddopia

Price: $7.99 monthly
Developer: Paper Boat Apps
Target age:
5 & under
Subject:
Math, ABCs, color, shapes, spelling, tracing
Description:
Dare I say this is the perfect preschool app? Tons to do, and holds the interest of three- to five-year-olds well. My daughter always learns something new and is able to easily navigate the app herself. I would categorize this under best early learning apps.

Toonia Colorbook—Educational Coloring Game for Kids & Toddlers

Price: Free (but you can purchase additional activities in the app if desired)
Developer: 3fs
Target age: 5 & under
Subject:
Creative play
Description: Perhaps n
ot as “educational” as others, but perfect for some in-the-car coloring time. This has been one of our favorite apps ever since my daughter could first hold an iPad in her chubby hands! All the pictures available to color are sweet and innocent and simple to have some creative fun with!

Starfall

Price: Free version, with several paid apps that can be downloaded for $1.99 each or unlocked for a monthly fee
Developer: Starfall Education, Inc.
Target age: 5 & under
Subject: Reading, math, science
Description: Starfall features various apps for math, science, and reading. I like how the different subjects all come in different apps, so you can focus on whichever subject you feel like your child needs the most practice in.

Endless Numbers

Price: Individual apps are available from $14.99 up, or the $59.99 bundle includes (1) Endless Alphabet; (2) Endless Reader; (3) Endless Numbers; and (4) Endless Wordplay.
Developer:
Originator Inc.
Target age: 5 & under
Subject: Reading, numbers
Description:
We have not used this app in our home, but one of the awesome moms in our ACMB Community + Conversation Group says her daughter has been a big fan of this app for many years. (P.S. If you’re not already a member, check out our FB group for lots of great mom tips: ACMB Community + Conversations!)

The Cat in the Hat

Price: $3.99 for the individual app; you can also purchase a bundle of Dr. Seuss apps for $24.99.
Developer: Oceanhouse Media
Target age: 5 & under
Subject: Reading
Description: ACMB team member
Inga says this app practically taught her then-four-year-old how to read! 

PBS KIDS Video

Price: Free
Developer: PBS KIDS
Target age:
5 & under
Description: Do you ever wish you could delete certain options from your kids’ Netflix so you don’t have to explain why you don’t want them watching it? Thank goodness, there’s PBS kids. It’s a streaming service that contains only shows that I can feel good about my child watching, so she can open the app and pick whatever she wants. The app is free, and they also have an app with ga
mes.

Sorry that Daniel Tiger looks hungover here, that’s not his fault, just a bad screenshot on my part.

Rocket Math

Price: $2.99
Developer: Rocket Math, Inc.
Target age:
5+
Subject: Math
Description:
Great for learning and exercising your math skills, but ACMB team member Inga warns that the timer on this app can be stressful for kids. This app is also family friendly, as it allows you to create three separate profiles so you can track each child’s progress.

SmartKids.

Price: $7.99 monthly
Developer: Yogome, Inc.
Target age:
6–8
Subject: Various
Description:
Fun games and personalized learning for all subjects. You can create multiple profiles under one account.

Osmo

Price: $40–$200 (The apps are free, but the accessories must be purchased.)
Developer: Osmo
Target age:
4–12
Subject:
Reading, writing, science, drawing, math, coding
Description:
These apps are a personal favorite in our house. Osmo’s whole thing is “tangible play,” or play beyond the screen. They have pieces that interact with the app, from number cards, word cards, and shapes, to interactive drawing on the art board. The app will grow with your child, and is appropriate for all age ranges. To be honest, even I have enjoyed playing with it. You can create several profiles, so the app will track each child’s progress.

Duolingo

Price: $9.99 monthly
Developer: Duolingo
Target age: 4+
Subject: Language
Description:
This app boasts the award of #1 iPhone app and most popular way to learn a new language. There are 23 languages to choose from and tons of fun ways to earn them. I think I’ll be downloading this one for myself. It’s time to take my three years of high school Spanish to the next level!

Kids Doodle – Movie Kids Color & Draw

Price: Free (with in app purchases available)
Developer: Bejoy Mobile
Target age: 4+
Subject: Art
Description:
This one comes highly recommended from one of our writer’s kids. I think it’s the 2018 equivalent of “Windows Paint,” which we all used to know and love!

Toca Boca

Price: $2.99 +
Developer: Toca Boca AB
Target age: All ages
Subject: Various
Description:
It seems like everywhere I turned while doing research for this post, was another Toca app! It seems as though they’re dominating this field with apps for all ages and all subjects, and most of them with great ratings. There are some which are just intended for fun, like the “hair salon” apps my daughter LOVES, but also some other purely education based! You can purchase apps individually, or in a bundle. Search “Toca” in your app store to see which ones you prefer.

Stack the States®

Price: $2.99
Developer: Freecloud Design, Inc.
Target age:
9–11
Subject: Geography
Description:
Recommended for elementary-aged kids, this app is a fun way to learn about or brush up on their knowledge of all 50 states.

CuriosityStream

Price: $2.99 monthly
Developer: CuriosityStream, LLC
Target age: All ages
Subject:
Science, technology, nature, history
Description: This app is basically
Netflix for smart people, or an all educational Netflix. CuriosityStream is a streaming service full of fascinating documentaries and talks.

News-O-Matic: Reading for Kids

Price: $3.99 monthly
Developer: Press4Kids
Target age: 6
14
Subject:
Reading, news, journalism
Description: I
seriously wish this app had been around when I was a kid. I can only imagine how cool I would feel checking my phone daily for news updates. Although I haven’t used it myself, I checked into it, and it looks like a seriously cool way to introduce your child to world news, and perhaps encourage his/her own love of journalism!

Lumosity

Price: $11.99 monthly
Developer: Lumos Labs, Inc.
Target age:
10+
Subject: Various
Description: Daily brain training activities that will track your progress and increase in difficulty over time. The perfect way for your child to use technology to actually sharpen his/her mind.

Brainwell – Brain Training Games

Price: $9.99 monthly
Developer:
Target age:
10+
Subject: Various
Description:
Daily training exercises to keep your child’s mind sharp.

Android Users

It has been a hot minute since I have held an Android in my hands, and I am no expert at all things Android. But I didn’t forget about y’all, and I want to send you some love and help too. Luckily, there are others who are all-knowing in Android things. So here is a list of the 50 Best Education Android Apps.

Kindle Fire Users

Truth be told, I would have forgotten about you. How old does it make me sound if I ask, “What exactly is a Kindle Fire?” But fellow ACMB team member Shanti says her kids fully rely on their Kindle Fire for their technological fun, and her favorite apps are:

  • PBS Kids
  • Toca Boca
  • Brain Candy
  • And downloading lots and lots of books!

And for more suggestions, check out this list of 10 Favorite Educational Apps For Kindle.

 

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One Response to 20+ Best Educational Apps for Kids

  1. Lori February 5, 2018 at 6:41 am #

    We love the Curious George Curious World app! There are curated and themed videos, games, books, and activities. Our little one never gets bored with it!