50 Great Learning Apps for Kids

Your children will probably learn sooner rather than later about all the entertainment options technology can bring to their lives. But why not teach them from an early age that gadgets can be useful learning tools as well?

Here are 50 educational apps that you can try using with your baby, toddler or elementary school-aged child in order to teach them more about language, math, science, music and more. Click through to hitch a ride on this virtual school bus.

Words

Read Me Stories

This app is free, but it’s a library containing dozens of sample books that you can try with your child before you buy the full stories. The different books are categorized according to theme and touching the characters expands the storyline.
Price: Free
Developer: 8Interactive Limited
Download: App Store

First Letters and Phonics

Featuring sleek graphics as well as two original renditions of the alphabet song by popular children’s musician Debi Derryberry, First Letters and Phonics will have kids singing about letters and their shapes, the sounds of letters, and words that begin with each letter. Each letter is complemented by a beautiful illustration and a friendly narrator.
Price: $1.99
Developer: Learning Touch
Download: App Store

Alpha Writer

The innovative and gorgeous Alpha Writer app from Montessorium teaches children to read, write and spell phonetically while composing words and creating stories. In addition to establishing the basics of language, kids can also work up to identifying consonants and vowels as well as other challenges. Check out the developer’s Intro to Letters app for even more practice.
Price: $4.99
Developer: Montessorium
Download: App Store

iWriteWords

iWriteWords teaches your child how to write numbers, uppercase and lowercase letters, and ultimately, entire words, via tracing exercises and games. Parents can even play back their child’s own handwriting to monitor progress and share with their little one. The app is also available in Spanish.
Price: $2.99
Developer: gdiplus
Download: App Store

Signing Time ASL

Scientific studies suggest that the earlier a child is able to communicate, the more easily he or she will adjust to the world around him or her, and ultimately, perform better in school and so on. Use this sign language dictionary containing 145 flash cards to jumpstart the learning process for you and your baby.
Price: $2.99
Developer: CMGDev
Download: App Store

Bumblebee Touchbook

With the Bumblebee Touchbook, your child can touch any word to animate it and hear it spoken, or can touch the narration bee in order to hear the entire page read. The story is set to classical music, and the app is designed to enhance your child’s word recognition.
Price: $0.99
Developer: 3DAL
Download: App Store

My Smart Hands Baby Sign Language Dictionary

This baby sign language app contains instructions for more than 300 ASL signs and more than 45 minutes of instructional video. Search according to the already sorted categories for convenience, and keep track of the signs you want to work on in your Favorites list. There’s even a quiz option so that you can test your (and your baby’s) progress.
Price: $4.99
Developer: My Smart Hands
Download: App Store

Interactive Alphabet

These sleek and brightly colored flashcards will probably have your kid reciting the alphabet in no time. Animations, upbeat music and sound effects capture a child’s attention while simultaneously teaching phonic sounds and upper and lowercase letters. Plus, there’s a special mode which will auto advance cards every 15 seconds.
Price: $2.99
Developer: Piikea St.
Download: App Store

Free Books

For roughly the cost of a cup of coffee, you could buy your child access to more than 23,000 classic books. Perfect for voracious and ambitious readers, this app features stunning book cover art and easily legible text. Free Books will probably delight your child just as much as it delights you.
Price: $1.99
Developer: Spreadsong
Download: App Store

Numbers

TimesTables

This app includes flashcards, an apple orchard that visually demonstrates skip-counting, and a variety of timed and scored drills for multiple players. Also included is the ability to read your child’s handwriting as they input answers, and you can print multiplication tables worksheets.
Price: $0.99
Developer: 24x7digital
Download: App Store

Times Tables

A visually clean app, this Times Tables program includes timed quizzes, high score records, multiple levels and multiplayer competitions. The progress-tracking feature also allows you to check on how your child is doing on each table and which questions he or she is having trouble with.
Price: $0.99
Developer: Rob Clarke
Download: App Store

Telling Time – Photo Touch Game

There are several different apps out there designed to help your child practice telling time, but this is one of the better ones. Visually streamlined and straightforward, the graphics make the learning process as simple as possible for the child. You can even record your own voice or take a snapshot of your child’s own clock to personalize the experience.
Price: $0.99
Developer: GrasshopperApps.com
Download: App Store

Park Math

The very cute Park Math app will help your child learn how to count up to 50 as a rabbit swings, how to add up ducks as they climb to the top of a slide, how to balance a see-saw by adding and subtracting mice, how to subtract as apples fall from a tree, how to order numbered dogs in sequence, and more.
Price: $1.99
Developer: Duck Duck Moose
Download: App Store

Motion Math

Visually clean and elegantly simple, Motion Math turns fractions into a game for your kids. Players move fractions to their correct places on the number line in order to return a star that has fallen from space to its rightful spot in the sky. The app is designed to help children further grasp the concept of fractions and estimate fractions in multiple forms.
Price: $0.99
Developer: Motion Math
Download: App Store

Intro to Math

The Intro to Math app is almost distractingly beautiful, with each graphic looking like a work of art (probably one of the reasons it was featured in a recent Apple commercial). It’s intended, however, to be much more than that. Your child will learn how to read and write numbers 0 through 9, to sequence numbers, to tell odds from evens, to solve problems and more.
Price: $4.99
Developer: Montessorium
Download: App Store

Math Drills

Up to 10 different profiles can be made in Math Drills, so if you have quite a few math-ready youngsters at home, let them each try their hand at basic operations such as addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Each will have personalized settings, scores and test history, and you can track progress with speed and accuracy graphs.
Price: $1.99
Developer: Instant Interactive
Download: App Store

Kids Money

Now here’s an app that will allow your children to see the practical application of mastering math and numbers. Kids can make a list of things they want and how much the things will cost. Then they can enter their weekly allowance or gift money amount in order to determine when they will have enough money for the things they want.
Price: Free
Developer: Apps Rocket
Download: App Store

Science

Zoola

Teach your child the names of farm animals, safari animals, forest animals, water animals and dogs in English, Spanish, French, German, Russian, Japanese or Korean. There’s also a three-level memory match game to go with the 300-plus photos and accompanying classical music.
Price: $2.99
Developer: Best kids Apps
Download: App Store

Britannica Kids: Dinosaurs

Your kids will flip for this app, with which they can learn about dozens of different dinosaurs, including their evolution and ultimate extinction via memory matching games, puzzles, and others. The developer, the acclaimed Encyclopedia Britannica, says that their educational children’s apps, which cover a slew of other subjects (such as Ancient Rome), are based on school curriculum.
Price: $4.99
Developer: Encyclopaedia Britannica
Download: App Store

Britannica Kids: Solar System

Just like the other Britannica app mentioned above, this one covers all aspects of the solar system by way of games, mesmerizing graphics and videos featuring the sun, planets, moon, asteroids and comets, gravity and more. A timed quiz tests your child’s knowledge.
Price: $4.99
Developer: Encyclopaedia Britannica
Download: App Store

Peekaboo Wild

Like a beautiful picture book for children, the Peekaboo Wild app introduces children to the wildlife of the African Savannah. Tap the grasses to uncover elephants, lions, zebras, hippos and more, and have their names said aloud in both English and Spanish. As children’s recognition improves, they can eventually identify the animal from the sound it makes, or by seeing its name in print.
Price: $1.99
Developer: Night & Day Studios
Download: App Store

SkyView – Explore the Universe

Ambitious youngsters will appreciate the SkyView app. The user points the phone’s camera toward the sky and the app introduces 3-D graphics of the celestial bodies the phone is aimed at. From there, simply tap on an object to learn more about it. Man-made satellites are also included, and the “search and locate” feature is pretty cool, too.
Price: $1.99
Developer: Terminal Eleven
Download: App Store

I Learn With Poko: Seasons and Weather

This app teaches children about the weather and the seasons, including what to wear in different kinds of weather and which activities are appropriate during different weather conditions. And your kids will even learn the days of the week and the months of the year, in accordance with what “Poko” does and when.
Price: $2.99
Developer: Tribal Nova
Download: App Store

Ansel and Clair’s Adventures in Africa

Kids follow the adventures of characters Ansel and Clair in this app, which takes users to the African continent with great graphics representing the Nile Valley, Sahara Desert and Serengeti Plains. Children will learn about animal-related concepts such as camouflage, migration, nocturnal, herbivore, predator, vertebrate and cold-blooded, among others.
Price: $4.99
Developer: Cognitive Kid
Download: App Store

The Deep Blue Kingdom

Older science-minded kids might love reading this app to themselves and flipping through the pictures of underwater animals and fish. Or, young children might be spellbound as the provided narrator (or mom or dad!) points out sea turtles and whales and delivers interesting facts. A “Day at the Zoo” version is also available from the developer.
Price: $2.99
Developer: Imaginatronics
Download: App Store

Project Noah

Do you have a little Charles Darwin at home? Let your little one explore and document wildlife by photographing a plant or animal. Then select the appropriate category within the app, confirm your location and submit the photo to the project. If you’re looking to identify the species, just select a box and the Noah community will help you ID your mystery species!
Price: Free
Developer: Networked Organisms
Download: App Store

The Elementals

The highly creative The Elementals app introduces children to the different elements of the periodic table. Each element has its own unique “personality,” if you will, which will help your child remember it. Users can see an element’s place on the table, its atomic weight and electrons and protons.
Price: Free
Developer: The Angry Robot Zombie Factory
Download: App Store

Moon

For kids who can’t seem to stop gazing at the night sky, the Moon app will unlock the mysteries of everyone’s favorite celestial body. Introduce children to such concepts as the lunar phase (with beautiful corresponding imagery), moonrise and moonset, lunar illumination, lunar altitude and more.
Price: Free
Developer: CDV Concepts
Download: App Store

Music

Musical Me!

In Musical Me!, Mozzarella the Mouse guides kids through learning about instruments, rhythm, notes and pitch. Children can listen to notes and copy the pattern, touch birds to play long and short notes, make little monsters dance to the beat and more, plus learn to read notes and create their own music.
Price: $1.99
Developer: Duck Duck Moose
Download: App Store

Kids Song Machine

Learning traditional children’s songs is a crucial part of a child’s early education, and Kids Song Machine is specially designed to help in this area. Kids can learn the lyrics to 10 classic songs, each with interactive animations. Teach your kids “Old MacDonald,” “I’m a Little Teapot,” “The Wheels on the Bus” and others.
Price: $1.99
Developer: Genera Interactive
Download: App Store

Baby Piano

Build an appreciation for music at an early age with Baby Piano. Your child will have fun exploring the colorful eight-key piano with animated characters, as well as the various playing modes such as free play, or automatically highlighted keys to play along to 10 different songs. There is also an animal sound mode, and a playback feature.
Price: $1.99
Developer: Dream Cortex
Download: App Store

Preschool Music

Preschool Music contains four engaging musical activities that will teach kids about different musical components such as rhythm, beats, harmony and more. Children can play with a virtual piano and create their own melodies, as well as interact with animated musical birds. Super-cute graphics are a bonus.
Price: $0.99
Developer: 3DAL
Download: App Store

Colors

Abby’s Train – Learn Colors!

Utilizing a vibrant palette, Abby’s Train – Learn Colors! draws children into a world of adorable characters and interesting challenges. Adults can modify the number of colored objects (up to 10) that a child has to choose from, as well as the particular colors the child will be learning. Kids focus on placing toys of a particular color into Abby’s train in order to earn stickers as rewards.
Price: $1.99
Developer: 22learn
Download: App Store

Eric Carle’s My Very First App

Based on the internationally acclaimed illustrations of Eric Carle (the man who brought us “The Very Hungry Caterpillar”), this app is visually stunning and a joy to use. There are three levels of game play, appropriate for different age groups, in which children can match images and concepts, as well as tap images to hear related sounds. Multiple languages are available.
Price: $1.99
Developer: Night & Day Studios
Download: App Store

Geography

Stack the States

Children will have fun dragging, dropping and interacting with friendly-looking states as they learn about capitals, state shapes, abbreviations for the states, state location on a map and more. There are 50 state flash cards and photos of famous U.S. landmarks for further exploration, and a Stack the Countries app is also available.
Price: $0.99
Developer: Dan Russell-Pinson
Download: App Store

Moatkin Systems

Bright and clean-cut lines make it easy for children to distinguish the different states, plus this app introduces them to each state’s capital, their geographic locations, and their sizes in relation to one another. State names are narrated, too, so that your child can recognize state names visually and audibly.
Price: $0.99
Developer: Moatkin Systems
Download: App Store

Multiple Subjects

Bugsy Pre-K

With the very friendly hamster named Bugsy, children will work on learning colors, shapes, uppercase and lowercase letters, phonics (matching sounds and letter sounds), and numbers and counting. You control which subjects your child learns, and also the level of difficulty. There are even performance graphs for each subject, so you can chart your child’s progress.
Price: $2.99
Developer: Peapod Labs
Download: App Store

Zoo Train

Kids can match letters to create words and use pitch recognition to play songs on the train whistles. Problem-solving games include re-ordering missing train track pieces and putting together puzzle pieces to hear the picture identified and earn rewards.
Price: $1.99
Developer: Busy Bee Studios
Download: App Store

Scout’s ABC Garden

Your child’s puppy pal will teach him or her letter names and sounds, the differences between uppercase and lowercase letters, how to put letters together to spell words, counting, colors and music. Special features include a Parent Zone, where you can see the letters your child has learned and an email option so you can receive updates on all your child’s learning achievements.
Price: $3.99
Developer: LeapFrog Enterprises
Download: App Store

Preschool Arcade

Lots of stimulating colors and shapes in the Preschool Arcade app encourage your child to learn the letters of the alphabet, to recognize numbers and practice counting, to work on matching objects and to refine his or her fine motor skills. The four games include ABC Invasion, Pinball 123, Claw-Crane Matching and the Whack-A-Mole Colors Game.
Price: $0.99
Developer: 3DAL
Download: App Store

Kid Genius: 13 in 1

Just like it sounds, this app features 13 different learning games, including ABCs, Flash Math, Sight Words, Math Whiz, Musical Instruments, Around the House and more. All the while your child will be learning about food, animals, plants, music, common words and numbers.
Price: $0.99
Developer: Pilot Fish Media
Download: App Store

Fish School

By Duck Duck Moose, this beautiful app teaches children letters, shapes, numbers, colors, matching and more via a school of fish which takes on the different shapes and forms. Children are rewarded with free play with the fish after they’ve mastered a subject, and the whole program is so cute and visually pleasing you might even find yourself wanting to play.
Price: $1.99
Developer: Duck Duck Moose
Download: App Store

Foreign Languages

Toddler Flashcards

If you’re hoping to teach your child the words for common things in Spanish, French or Chinese, in addition to English, these Toddler Flashcards are delightfully simple and easy to use. Study right along with your kid to learn the names of numbers, letters, colors, shapes, animals, food and other things.
Price: $1.99
Developer: iTot Apps
Download: App Store

(Spanish) Speech With Milo: Verbs

Developed by Doonan Speech Therapy, the adorable Milo the mouse will introduce Spanish verbs to your child via animations and sounds. (It’s better if you are already familiar with Spanish before using the app.) The developer also has other apps, in both English and Spanish, designed to help your child learn prepositions, work on storytelling, sequencing and vocabulary.
Price: $2.99
Developer: Doonan Speech Therapy
Download: App Store

FirstWords: Spanish

Here’s another app focused on teaching toddlers basic Spanish words, although this one is designed to teach children how to spell the words as well. A great app with a clean design and vivid colors, FirstWords: Spanish covers more than 100 words describing colors, animals, shapes, vehicles and household items.
Price: $4.99
Developer: Learning Touch
Download: App Store

123 Color HD

Complete with English, Spanish, French and German voice-overs, this coloring book is the perfect stress-free way to introduce a second language to your child. As he or she finger-paints with the 30-color palette, your child will hear sound effects voice-overs based on their actions. Parents can select up to two voice-overs with preference over which language they want spoken first, as well as similar preferences for words that are displayed.
Price: $1.99
Developer: Steve Glinberg
Download: App Store

Critical Thinking

Little Patterns Toys

Encourage development of your child’s critical thinking and problem-solving skills with the “Little Patterns” apps. The interactive games teach children how to recognize and complete patterns while enhancing their mental reasoning.
Price: $0.99
Developer: GrasshopperApps.com
Download: App Store

EZ Tangram

Let your child play this classic thinking game consisting of seven flat shapes that have to be arranged to form specific shapes. None of the pieces can overlap, and more than 150 puzzles are available for practice. Kids will learn how to recognize shapes, solve problems and grasp spatial concepts.
Price: $0.99
Developer: Jiuzhang Tech
Download: App Store

Analogy

In a very straightforward manner, this app presents your child with things that are different and then challenges him or her to point out the relationship between those things. This kind of practice can enhance skills such as analytical thinking, problem-solving, perception, spatial skills, memory and creativity, which is why these kinds of puzzles are often seen on IQ and placement tests.
Price: $0.99
Developer: Nth Fusion
Download: App Store

Moofy Recognizing Patterns Games

Centered on the graphic of a very friendly-looking caterpillar, this app teaches kids how to recognize patterns in sequences comprised of things such as shapes, letters, numbers and colors, while making it more like a game than a test. There are three levels of difficulty, plus a basic Ordering level, and a Challenge level.
Price: $1.99
Developer: PlaySmart-Kids
Download: App Store

Have any other learning apps you would like to recommend? Let us know in the comments!


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