Nothing makes a parent happier than knowing their child is making the most of their time spent with technology. You want to use technology to enhance your education, but you also want to avoid becoming a distraction from the essential things in life.
Apps are becoming more prevalent in the classroom when teaching young children. With the ongoing growth and advancements in technology, early education is changing quickly, and modern parents have a wide range of alternatives for educational apps for their children.
Although they can be a pleasant method for kids to learn skills they’ll use for their lives, do apps work?
Do they improve your child’s growth and learning?
Yes, but not all applications are made equally. Many options are available because many developers and businesses want to profit from parents looking for the newest and best educational apps.
Some of them lack evidence to support them or aren’t found in any accepted theories about how kids learn. Please learn more about an app before you download it for your child.
>> 5 Best family calendar apps
When installing educational apps for your child, keep the following in mind: – How does the app function? How does it instruct a specific skill? Does the youngster learn letters, for instance, by tracing over pictures of the letters? What note does the youngster see from a collection of letters, or does it teach letters in another way?
Finding the finest applications for young children requires some study, but we have already done it by compiling a list of the best preschool instructional apps. Thanks to these exciting and entertaining programs, your child will learn while playing!
How We Test and review apps?
The best way to find the right app is to have a set of criteria in mind and then try to find apps that fit the bill. We first began by looking at the top-grossing apps for preschoolers and sorting them by price. This gave us a small pool of apps that were popular enough to make money but affordable enough to be out of reach for most parents. Then we looked for highly rated apps among those titles, which led us to list ten apps that fit our family’s needs well.
We downloaded each app onto an iPad (we chose this platform because it’s the most popular and had the most extensive selection) and evaluated it based on several criteria:
- Was the app easy to navigate? Did it include clear directions? Did it seem intuitive and not need much explanation?
- Was there plenty of variety in games or activities, or was it mostly just multiple ways to play with one thing?
- Was it distracting, or would a child get frustrated if he didn’t immediately “get” how something worked?
- Did the child enjoy playing with it right away, or was he initially overwhelmed by the variety of options?
- Did I enjoy playing with it, and is it easy to understand?
- Does it effectively teach?
- Does it encourage curiosity and open-ended exploration?
- Is the visual design attractive and fun?
- Does the app have well-chosen sound effects and music? (Music can be a deal breaker!)
We discovered that most apps excel at teaching particular skills, such as counting or memorizing short lists of vocabulary words. But it took much work to find an app that encouraged a child’s curiosity about their surroundings in a way that wasn’t forced or boring.
Moreover, many apps seemed to follow the same basic recipe—jumping from screen to screen with simple animation—so much of the visual design felt very similar. We found some standouts in both categories: one app had us laughing along with its silly characters, while another encouraged us to get into the details of its gorgeous artwork.
Our favorite apps are the ones that are intended for kids but that parents can play with too. We’ve spent hours downloading and installing educational apps to see what entertainment they offer. Many are fun, but not all teach children anything new or help them improve their skills.
We look for apps that make learning a game, like Busy Shapes, which helps young learners understand the alphabet and how to spell by associating letters with real-life objects, like a cat or a dog. We also like apps like Moose Math, which encourages kids to recognize number patterns on a bingo board and then match those numbers to cards that ask them to find things within the design.
Every app we review has to be kid-tested by our writers before it’s listed on our site. Each app is loaded onto an iPad and played by at least two writers. After the first round of testing, the app is uninstalled from the iPad and then re-installed a few weeks later so we can see if it has any updates or improvements since we first installed it.
What Educational pre-school Apps We Recommend?
Because it provides individualized learning paths and fun educational exercises that cover a wide range of subjects, we choose Khan Academy Kids as the finest all-around educational app for preschoolers. Using a variety of games and puzzles, Busy Shape is an excellent tool for improving fine motor skills. Moose Math is an excellent software for children to learn math concepts via entertaining and engaging games and activities.
Prodigy is the finest software for elementary school students because it offers curriculum-aligned arithmetic activities and challenges that will improve learning results.
With virtual tours of museums, other cultural attractions, and interactive art activities, Google Arts and Culture is a fantastic app for tweens.
The finest teen app is Quizlet, which offers a variety of study aids and flashcards to aid in academic success.
Hopscotch is the most excellent tool for introducing young children to coding through entertaining games and tasks on a user-friendly interface. The finest software for creative discovery is Toca Nature, which has an interactive virtual world where kids can discover the outdoors and learn about wildlife. The most excellent app for learning to read is Homer Reading Learn to Read because it provides a thorough reading curriculum with phonics-based lessons and individualized learning pathways.
Below are the 9 Best Educational Apps for Preschoolers
|Educational App||Price||Ages/Grades||Why We Recommend||Features|
|Khan Academy Kids||Free||Preschool||Best overall app for preschoolers||Offers personalized learning paths, engaging educational activities|
|Busy Shapes||$2.99||Preschool||Best app for developing motor skills||Features a wide variety of puzzles and games to improve hand-eye coordination|
|Moose Math||$3.99||Preschool||Best app for teaching math skills||Fun and interactive games and activities to improve counting and addition skills|
|Prodigy||Free||K-8||Best app for elementary school kids||Features curriculum-aligned math games and challenges to boost learning outcomes|
|Google Arts and Culture||Free||K-12||Best app for tweens||Offers virtual tours of museums and cultural landmarks, as well as interactive art experiences|
|Quizlet||Free/Paid||6-12||Best app for teens||Provides a variety of study tools and flashcards to help improve academic performance|
|Hopscotch||Free||6-12||Best app for teaching kids coding||Offers an intuitive platform for kids to learn and practice coding skills through fun games and challenges|
|Toca Nature||$3.99||Preschool||Best app for creative exploration||Features an interactive virtual world where kids can learn about nature and explore the environment|
|Homer Reading Learn to Read||Free trial, $7.99/month||Preschool||Best app for developing reading skills||Offers a comprehensive reading curriculum with phonics-based lessons and personalized learning pathways|
1. Best Overall: Khan Academy Kids
Why We Recommend It: We love Khan Academy for its wide range of educational materials and significant teacher-to-student interaction. It has videos explaining everything from the basics of addition and multiplication to the details of historical events like the American Revolution.
- Khan Academy Kids is a free interactive learning app for preschool, kindergarten, and first-grade kids.
- The program’s simple and intuitive design makes it easy for kids to navigate the three levels of reading difficulty–read aloud to me, read with me, and read by myself–allows for parent participation, too.
- All the lessons are newly developed and based on standards set by the nation’s leading experts in early childhood education.
- The app works best as a supplement or refresher course but is a solid choice for foundational learning.
Its format is very similar to other online learning sites, but it offers more thorough explanations and demonstrates how exercises logically build on each other.
The activities are beneficial for parents teaching their kids at home—they’re designed to help kids practice what they’ve learned while allowing them to show their parents what they know. This will enable children to feel like they’re in charge of their learning and empowers them to take ownership. In short: Khan Academy is an excellent resource for parents looking to teach their children at home, and it’s also a good supplement for those who attend traditional schools.
Khan Academy Kids is a nicely designed app full of games and interactive elements that will help preschoolers learn in a fun way. The app covers basic math, letters, letter sounds, shapes, colors, and colors words, telling time, money and measurement, music and movement, the human body, plants and animals, space, weather, and more.
Each category has an intro video about what kids can learn about in that area. Then there are interactive games like math bingo, where kids have to identify which shape doesn’t belong in a group; fill-in-the-blank math word problems where kids have to scan over the numbers on their screen to find the missing number; games where kids have to listen to different musical instruments and pick which one is not playing; games where kids have to trace letters using their finger or a stylus; etc.
There’s also a section for parents with tips on how to play with their kid using
2. Best for Motor Skills: Busy Shapes
Why We Recommend It: Busy Shapes is a simple game where you drag shapes to their proper places in a grid, and it keeps track of your scores. The shapes are all colorful and exciting, unlike the typical geometric shapes of similar apps, which makes this one stand out.
- Busy Shapes encourages young children to investigate, experiment, and explore shapes in the physical world.
- The object of the game is to drag the outlines of 2D shapes into the enclosed area or onto a 3D shape so that it’s completely filled in.
- There are 15 levels with up to 8 puzzles each.
- All of the puzzles can be solved by trial and error and that’s part of the fun!
Busy Shapes is a fun way for young children to learn about spatial awareness and shape recognition. It’s simple but engaging. The shapes are clear and colorful, the animations are smooth and captivating, and the app is easy to navigate—your toddler can use it almost immediately. This app is perfect for parents who want a tool that helps their young child develop essential skills but isn’t one of those free play apps that offer no particular learning objective.
Your toddler can manipulate the shapes by moving them around with their finger or swiping them across the screen. They can also pop any of the figures through an appropriately-colored hole in the background, which gives your child further practice with object recognition.
The forms will disappear when they fall through the hole. The animations are clear and understandable and offer many opportunities for delicate motor stimulation. Even though there aren’t many interactions possible on this screen, your child’s attention should be held for a reasonable amount of time (limited only by how interested they are in moving things around).
Even if your toddler isn’t school-age, they can still have fun with Busy Shapes. This is the perfect app for older toddlers still learning to read—it exposes them to basic letters and numbers while letting them tap on things they already know by sight. It’s also great for younger toddlers who are just learning how to use touchscreens—they can drag things around all they want without getting frustrated with figuring out how to make them work. It’s intuitive but straightforward enough that it doesn’t seem boring or babyish for older kids.
3. Best for Math: Moose Math
Why We Recommend It: The design of Moose Math is largely kid-friendly; vibrant colors, amusing sounds, and whimsical characters make learning fun. The app is simple for young users and includes a simple sorting game that teaches kids how to arrange objects according to size—a helpful skill when organizing their toys.
- Multi-level learning
- Adaptive learning path
- Rewards and motivating feedback
- Fun animated characters
- Whimsical music and sound effects
- Contextual, real-life situations
- The game also teaches geometry and includes plenty of opportunities for pattern recognition.
We are big fans of educational apps, but we can’t always find entertaining and educational ones. On the other hand, Moose Math has been designed with both preschoolers and parents in mind. The app is straightforward to navigate and has much exciting content for kids. In this app, kids will learn to count numbers from 0 to 20, practice addition and subtraction with numbers up to 5, and use geometric shapes to find differences between sets of forms.
Additionally, Moose Math contains a collection of songs and rhymes, most of which are fun for kids to sing along with.
Moose Math’s colorful interface is very user-friendly: kids can easily access all the games through the main menu bar on top and can switch between the different activities by tapping on the little moose icon in the bottom left corner. Kids love tapping on the moose’s tongue (which acts as an interactive button), so this feature will entertain them for hours!
This app includes over 50 counting lessons, 20 addition/subtraction lessons, 15 songs/rhymes with lyrics on top of beautiful background images, and 30 animal cards that your child can use when playing memory games or sporting activities. Moose Math’s creators claim it.
4. Best for Elementary School Kids: Prodigy
Why We Recommend It: Prodigy creates engaging learning experiences with information from leading educators, laying the groundwork for future academic achievement. Every parent of a young child who wants to give their child a head start in arithmetic instruction should download this app.
With the help of beautiful characters and vibrant images, Prodigy’s extensive lesson plan teaches your youngster everything from counting to addition and subtraction. Your child will be able to unlock achievements as they move through the stages, which will help them develop their skills and build their self-esteem.
- Features math curriculum standards for grades 1–8
- Play online or via app
- The goal of the game is to collect pets, master spells, and explore new lands with your wizarding avatar.
- There are more than 1000 quests in Prodigy, each with several games included.
- Can be used for practice or initial learning
- Fantasy theme might not be for everyone
The easiest way to explain Prodigy is to describe what it does: instead of just giving kids flashcards, it provides an adaptive curriculum that teaches them at their own pace, reinforces concepts as they learn them, and tests them when they’re ready. It’s essentially replacing the teacher in the classroom, which is important because research shows customized learning can help students get better results than traditional instruction.
The program is divided into lessons based on a schedule you choose—the default is every other day in elementary school or every day in preschool. The classes work the same way each time: you select a subject (math or science) that your child will learn about in the lesson, choose an activity or game that aligns with that subject, and then play the game.
5. Best for Tweens: Google Arts and Culture
Why We Recommend It: Kids can learn a lot about art, history, geography, and civilizations worldwide by using the Google Arts & Culture app. They can watch videos showing how other cuisines are prepared, tour museums and art collections, and learn about different cultures through their food. The program also provides a wide range of other features that aid in teaching kids of all ages about historical personalities, their contributions to society, and the civilizations.
- Google Arts and Culture is a free app that showcases museum collections and artwork.
- Users can explore content from different cultures, ranging from art and history to world wonders and cultural heritage.
- The app has virtual tours of museums worldwide, including the British Museum in London, the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City, Guggenheim Bilbao, the Museum of Islamic Art in Qatar and many others.
- Through its high-quality images, users can zoom in on details of paintings or blown-up pictures of artifacts back to their original sizes.
- With over 2000 exhibitions and collections spanning thousands of years, there’s really something for everyone.
For starters, it gives them access to much information about art. By tapping on an image from a museum, kids can see related works by the same artist or learn how long a particular painting style has been widespread. This makes it great for learning about different artistic types and reinforcing visual literacy skills. In addition, kids can find out interesting facts about artists and their works.
The app also helps children learn more about our global history and culture. From exploring ancient artifacts to learning about different cuisines and dance styles, they’ll discover so much more than they ever did in school. For example, they can look up which countries have won Nobel Prizes in literature and where those countries are located on a map. Is this important? It might be surprised how much of an impact learning geography has on a child’s long-term success in school.
6. Best for Teens: Quizlet
Why We Recommend It: Quizlet’s most obvious advantage is that it makes it simple to study for exams by allowing you to construct as many flashcard sets on your phone or computer as you’d like. In addition, it features millions of groups that students have already created and offers several assessment methodologies.
- The flashcard sets are created by other users, which means that the content is not vetted by anyone.
- Users can choose between seven study modes. In some modes, students have to match terms and definitions, while in others they will have to type them out.
- Users can choose between five different game modes
- Teachers can create their own classes and send invitations to their students to log in and join the class.
- Students can also create their own classes and invite friends and classmates to join.
- Some users complain that they had difficulty editing their flashcard sets and found it hard to organize their account interface
It provides you with more options than a straightforward multiple-choice test to see whether your kid understands the topic is another fantastic feature. Matching and multiple-choice questions are good starters, but you can also use audio questions to have students listen to an audio sample and then record what they heard.
Quizlet is particularly good at letting you make connections between different subjects by building sets that mix multiple topics. This means your preschooler can study vocabulary words, sight words, and math facts all at once—essential if they’re looking forward to kindergarten! We like many of the other features too, but the ability to connect different subjects makes us love this app so much.
7. Best for Teaching Kids Coding: Hopscotch
Why We Recommend It: Kids between the ages of 6 and 10 will love the app Hopscotch. Children learn to code as well as problem-solving techniques, logical reasoning, and mathematical abilities. Everyone with a creative mind can enjoy using this app, not just programmers!
- Lessons and tutorials in the pre-K to the 8th-grade range and advanced classes for older children.
- Hopscotch’s activities, designed by teachers, range from beginner coding tutorials to advanced programming projects.
- Most of Hopscotch’s coding lessons are organized by grade level.
- The activities and lessons on Hopscotch are designed to be completed offline and without any help from an adult.
- Hopscotch has several Playgrounds that don’t include instructions; instead, they let kids build their projects using the skills they’ve learned in other lessons.
- The app includes activities for creating stories and art projects.
- You can find age-appropriate games and activities for your child on this app.
Hopscotch has always placed a high priority on teaching young people how to code. They’re working to close the “digital divide,” where children with access to computers and other technology frequently learn how to use them and program and code, allowing them to use technology to express their creativity and create cutting-edge “apps.”
Hopscotch offers an interface that resembles some of the most well-known video games, such as Pacman, and provides an introduction to coding through brief lectures with entertaining animations and interactive challenges.
8. Best for Creative Exploration: Toca Nature
Why We Recommend It: Children can playfully interact with “Toca Nature,” an app full of vibrant illustrations and animations. It brings the outdoors to your iPad or iPhone, and kids of all ages—even adults—will enjoy it! And, after playing with it for some time, you’ll realize that it’s actually teaching you about various things related to nature.
It’s a lot like the Toca Town app in that you’re presented with different characters, each with a specific role within the ecosystem. The difference here is that you’re in charge of an entire nature preserve and have to take care of everything from grass to birds to mushrooms.
You can be as hands-on or hands-off as you want, but either way, it’s a great new way for kids to get acquainted with all things green—and animals too! Every interaction your little one has with this app is in the service of making something grow or happen—and they’ll see how what they do will make a difference in the end.
There are so many fun things going on here that your kids won’t even realize how much they’re learning about nature—and taking on the responsibility themselves. They might end up tending to their garden or their forest with more dedication than they do their back yard!
9. Best for Reading: Homer Reading Learn to Read
Why We Recommend It: We’ve seen a lot of apps for kids, but this is one of our favorites. Not only does it have some fun interactive elements, but it also helps develop reading comprehension skills.
The Learn to Read app is a step-by-step pathway designed by educators and child development experts to help preschoolers confidently learn the reading basics they need to succeed in school. The five early literacy tools have been designed to make learning fun while building confidence and laying the groundwork for continued success later on. The app encourages reading comprehension through a growing library of over 2,000 books with “Read it myself” and “Let me read it” modes. For the more advanced reader, there’s also the option for “Move it” mode, which highlights word sounds and letters as the book is read aloud.
The app also helps children develop math skills with number identification, counting, simple addition and subtraction, money recognition, and problem-solving. Social & Emotional Learning skills build confidence through a reward system that helps children understand how their behavior affects others around them. The Creativity section provides brain games to keep young minds active to improve memory, visual perception, and creativity.