A few months ago, my generous grandma gifted each of my daughters an iPad. While I do my best to limit our screen time, we definitely love technology in this house and we were so stoked! My children and I are constantly learning new things from our devices, and while we adore reading books, sometimes it’s nice to relax and simply watch a video or play a game. Most of the time my kids are on their ipads, they don’t even realize they’re learning!
When I sat down to fill up their ipads, I was blown away at a number of games and educational apps that are available for this age group. We’ve tried out and deleted quite a few apps since we first got them, so I thought I’d share some of our favorites that made the cut with you. All of these apps are free. We paid for the full versions of the last three apps on this list though, and I’ll explain why when we get there. Enjoy!
Hoopla – This is my personal favorite app. We love listening to audiobooks and with this app and a library card (from a participating library) you can download them for free! They also have a wide selection of ebooks and music. We’ve only listened to the audiobooks though. Some of our favorites have been Frog and Toad and Beverly Cleary’s Ramona books. Reading to your kids has so many great benefits including their language and vocabulary, concentration skills, empathy, and they learn to love reading.
Todo Math – This little app is a lot of fun and the kids don’t even realize they’re learning. As I scroll through the “Progress” page, I can see that my 4 year old is learning to recognize and write numbers, patterns, shapes, counting, and days of the week. My 6 year old has promoted to a higher level and is learning all of the above, plus numbers up to 100, addition, and counting money. This is all without purchasing the upgrade.
Spanish School Bus for Kids – This is a great app for teaching kids basic words in Spanish. They go through a set of flash cards, separated by subject, then play a few games to test their knowledge.
Aniscience – This is such a beautiful little app! They get to lead a little mouse through underground tunnels to see which animals are living down there or walk around above ground and learn about different plants. The upgrades on this one are tempting. You’ll see what I mean when you see the pictures. ❤
Go Noodle – Get your kids moving with guided music videos! As a homeschooling family, I really appreciate this app because the kids can easily prop up the ipad and be entertained for hours. They have everything from the electric slide to calming meditations.
Star Walk Kids – What kid doesn’t love to learn about space? My kids are just fascinated by this app!
SkyView Free – We all love pointing this one to the sky at night and learning about constellations and where the planets are.
Little Writer – I love this one because it teaches kids the proper way to write letters and numbers. You can even program your own words for them to follow. I put in each child’s name and picture, then it guides them by showing where to start the letter and which direction to go in to write it correctly.
Bible App for Kids – My kids love listening to bible stories and this app is wonderful for getting their little minds involved in the story with tons of pictures and things for them to click on and play with. They’ve learned more about the bible from this app than I could have taught them myself. We love it!
Simply Piano – A simple app for someone of any age to learn to play the piano. You can use it with or without an actual piano, but it’s especially awesome if you do have your own piano because it actually listens to you playing! The lessons are very short and you can do each lesson as many times as you need to before moving on.
Galactic Genius with Astro Cat – This one is a little confusing to me, but my 6 year old says it’s one of her favorites. There are a few free games on here that work on memory building and logic.
Intro To United States, by Motessorium – Kids learn to recognize the shape and location of each state and the state animal.
Marco Polo Weather – A really cute game that teaches kids about different types of weather, seasons, and plants.
BrainPOP – The free version of BrainPOP has several videos available for each of these subjects- social studies, english, math, arts & music, health, and engineering & tech. We tried out BrainPOP Jr too, but they only had one movie of the week that was available without the subscription. While I would love for my children to watch and learn from all their videos, I can’t afford to pay for the upgrade on every app they have!
While I would love for my children to watch and learn from all their videos, I can’t afford to pay for the upgrade on every app they have! My kids have convinced me to order a few though. After seeing how much they were learning on the free versions, I gave in and paid for the full versions of these three apps:
Quick Math Jr. – My daughter loves this app so much she convinced me to pay the $10 for the full version and I definitely don’t regret it. It was designed with genius’s who truly know how to turn learning math into a game that kids love! Kids travel to different islands where they learn various math standards and earn cute monster bodies and body parts to design their own little army of math monsters that hop around the screen. It begins with super simple math and progresses as your child masters each standard.
Endless ABC – This is another really fun one. I think it has a lot to do with why my 6 year old is reading chapter books already! They learn letters, letter sounds, reading, and vocabulary by dragging the letter to its spot then watching a funny video about the word. So simple, yet so much fun!
The Human Body by Tinybop – This one was a little odd to me at first, but I’ve learned to appreciate it! It encourages little minds to think and understand the body and its processes. While it doesn’t actually teach any facts, it teaches by allowing kids to just play and explore the body. They can see what happens when food is digested, grow nails, put together a skeleton, view organs and see how they work. It’s very interesting and has encouraged quite a few discussions on the human body.
Well, there they are! There are so many great educational apps out there. If you have a favorite that isn’t mentioned on this list, please comment with the name. I’m sure my kids would love to check it out! Thank you!