It can be hard to keep kids occupied sometimes, especially in the time of online school. Oftentimes, we tend to reach for tablets, phones, and other electronic devices for our kids at the first sign of boredom. But it can be hard to figure out which apps are even worth downloading and buying, let alone which ones are kid-friendly and helpful. Here are our picks of fun, educational apps for your little one that will teach them something along the way (and give you a minute to breathe).
If your child loves to sprawl out on the floor and solve puzzles, then they’ll love this interactive touch- screen jigsaw puzzle. ShapeBuilder educates & entertains your little one with easy to move shapes that snap into place. An image is revealed along with a professional voice recording of the word spoken by a licensed speech therapist! ShapeBuilder encourages cognitive thinking & fine motor skills.
Help kids understand their world with the BrainPOP Featured Movie app. Their animated movies engage via narrative, humor, and characters who speak in a voice kids can relate to. They encourage self-directed learning and further exploration of the world within kids.
PBS has created hundreds of games based on their popular children’s shows. The games for each show fit in with their learning theme. Learn math with Peg + Cat. Explore creature powers with the Kratt Brothers. Or go on a space adventure with the kids from Ready, Jet Go! If your child loves PBS shows, they’re going to love learning with their favorite characters.
From the deepest depths of the ocean to the peak of Mt. Everest, National Geographic allows you to see and experience the world in new ways. The new National Geographic app now provides online and offline access to stories that reveal insights into cultures, ideas, and discoveries so kids can learn about their world.
Funbrain Jr. is a collection of unique and vibrant games for preschoolers and kindergarteners that helps jump start their journey of learning. Offering five separate fun and engaging games, this app introduces little learners to several important skills that they will need going forward while they play.
NASA Visualization Explorer is the coolest way to explore the latest news and stories about the Earth, the sun, and the universe. The app features stunning images and video from space and animations that can make challenging concepts easier to understand.
Toca Kitchen Monsters is the free version of the popular Toca Kitchen app. Cook up food for two hungry monsters using eight different ingredients combined in various ways. But be careful not to season the food too much, or the monsters just might spit it back at you! Like other Toca Boca games, the emphasis is on free, open play, where your child’s imagination can run wild.
Designed by researchers at Tufts University and MIT, Hopscotch was inspired by the Scratch programming language, redesigned for a younger audience. Your child can make the app’s adorable characters move, jump, and even dance and sing by snapping together different programming blocks. In addition to learning how to code, they’ll also be learning problem solving, design, and how to create their own story.
Set the stage for reading success with this delightfully interactive educational app. Kids will have a blast learning their ABC’s and building vocabulary with the adorable monsters in Endless Alphabet. Each word features an interactive puzzle game with talking letters and a short animation illustrating the definition. Before you know it, your child will be using words like gargantuan and cooperate!
This interactive app allows children to explore an enticing, spinning world packed with animated icons, an ever-changing soundscape and interactive quizzes. Barefoot World Atlas dives into world art, major cities and North America, and a new “surprise” option allows children to discover exciting new features and places on the globe just by shaking their device.
Educational apps are a great and fun way to keep your kids learning outside of the classroom, but we know it can be so hard to choose—and you feel guilty for letting your kid use them. Trying to figure out which apps will not just let your kid have fun but also encourage them to learn can be difficult. We hope these picks inspire you and your little one to explore!