Educational Apps for Kids – Early Elementary

FREE educational apps

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!
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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. ❤

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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.

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Star Walk Kids – What kid doesn’t love to learn about space? My kids are just fascinated by this app!

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SkyView Free – We all love pointing this one to the sky at night and learning about constellations and where the planets are.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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Intro To United States, by Motessorium – Kids learn to recognize the shape and location of each state and the state animal.

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Marco Polo Weather – A really cute game that teaches kids about different types of weather, seasons, and plants.

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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:
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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.

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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!

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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!

Erin

 

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The Handbook of Nature Study – Free Online Ebook

img_1609.jpgSweet Fennel we found on the side of the road in San Onofre, California.

Hi friends! I just wanted to come on quickly to share a link with you. If you’re into Charlotte Mason’s style of homeschooling, you may have seen or heard about this book, The Handbook of Nature Study. Lately I’ve been seeing it show up in every third photo on my Instagram feed. I can’t help but be curious about a book that’s over 100 years old and still so popular! After finding out today that all copies at our charter were taken, I hit the internet. I’ve had good luck in the past finding free versions of books on Hoopla and openlibrary.org, and thankfully tonight was no different!

Click here to read the book online for free!

or

Click here to read another version. (Same text, white pages, and updated photos.)

I also just came across this blog while researching the book. Looks like she’s done all the work for you and has her lesson plans ready to be downloaded.

Enjoy!!

 

Erin Fuentes

 

Read for free

 

Simple DIY Graduation Caps for Kids

Photo May 25, 2 42 44 PM

I can’t believe the end of our first year of homeschooling has come! My feelings on this subject are comparable to the ones I have about having children; while time seems to have flown by, I can’t fully remember life before homeschooling. What on earth did we do all day? It’s funny how you don’t realize how much free time you have until a few years later when you’re looking back at your previous life of freedom, wishing you had taken advantage of all those moments you could have been napping or eating chocolate.

While all the schools around us are doing their end-of-the-year festivities, we’re over here trying to hit all of our favorite spots as much as we can before the onslaught of children happens. Actually, my kids truly love a full park. It’s their introverted mom who prefers it empty/safe from potential kidnappers. (Have you seen all those videos of kids being snatched from their moms at the store? SCARY.) Anyway, the girls got to watch some preschoolers practicing for their graduation ceremony a few days ago and it immediately stirred up some feelings of discontent in my 5 year old. “I never got to have a preschool graduation!” Me: “Well considering you never went to preschool…..” Betsey: Tears. Me: “It’s okay, we can have our own graduation party tomorrow, okay baby?” Remind me to stop blaming their grandma for their spoiled attitudes.

So this morning I grabbed a few supplies we already had on hand and put together some pretty darn cute grad caps for my miniature homeschool alumni. We were still missing some party food so we jumped online and decided to test out these snickerdoodle cookies. They turned out delicious and I had two very happy little girls!

How to make you own cap

What we used:
scissors
ruler
3 pieces of construction paper
glue stick
tape
yarn

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Making the cap:
First, I measured the short side of the construction paper (mine was 9 in) and marked along the long side where I need to cut to make a perfect square. Cut two pieces of construction paper into large squares and glue them together with a glue stick. (Liquid glue would also work, just spread it thinly.) This gives the top enough strength to stay flat while the tassel hangs off the side. Set it aside.
Next, fold the third piece of paper the long way and cut along the fold. Glue the ends together to make one long piece. Wrap it around your child’s head to measure the right size and tape it together. Set it aside.

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Making the tassel:
Grab your yarn and cut a 6 inch piece and a 20 inch piece and set them aside; you’ll need these shortly. Holding the end against your palm with your thumb, wrap the yarn loosly around your hand. Stop wrapping when you have enough for your tassel to look the way you want it to. I wrapped mine about 40 times. Take your 20 inch piece and poke it through the top. Carefully pull the whole thing off your hand and tie the top in a knot. Now tie the 6 inch piece around the tassel and tie in a knot. One of the best tricks I learned for this part is to wrap the knot three times instead of two. It makes it tight and strong. Go ahead and cut the bottom. Trim as desired.

Finishing up:
Grab the top of the cap and use scissors to poke a hole in the middle. String the 20 inch piece through from the top, measure where you want the tassel to hang, then tape the end to the inside. Cut the excess.
Place the top of the cap down and connect the last piece with tape on the inside.

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And there you have it! An adorable DIY graduation cap for your little one.

Easy DIY graduation cap

Congratulations grads!

Erin Fuentes

Simple DIY Graduation Cap (1)

*Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”