Best Learning Apps For Kids

As a parent, it can be hard to know how your child is getting on at school and what help or support they might need with their learning. As technology becomes more integrated into education, it can be harder to help children with their homework and reading. 

When your kids aren’t in school they are probably nagging you to watch tv or play games  on a tablet/device. But how much screen time should they have? Which games are good for them to play and which ones could be harmful? 

Don’t worry we are here to help! We have put together a list of the best educational apps for children which will help them with their learning, engage them in fun games, and allow you to track their progress.

We have also gathered some information on how to choose the best learning app for your child, and answered some common questions. Keep reading to find out more. 

OUR TOP PICK

  • Age: Suitable for children aged 2 to 7 
  • Cost: All content is free

Khan Academy For Kids is an app that was developed by experts in education at Stanford University. It is free to download, with no in app purchases, subscriptions or apps. 

This app has plenty of interactive videos, games, books and lessons to keep your children engaged.

With a variety of fun characters to get to know, they will love playing on this app. It is suitable for children aged 2 to 7 years old, and tackles core subjects like literacy, reading, writing, math, and languages. 

Not only does this app cover school topics, it also stimulates creativity and helps children to develop social and emotional skills. There are virtual coloring books and printable educational material and activities to continue the learning when screen time is over.  

If you have older children as well, there is a separate app for children aged 7 and over.  

EDITORS CHOICE

  • Age: Suitable for Toddlers and Preschoolers
  • Cost: Free to download. Offers in-app purchases.

Busy Shapes & Colors is a learning app from Edoki Academy which is available in 15 languages. It is free to download but does offer in-app purchases. 

This app is designed to teach toddlers and preschoolers to identify 11 colors and 11 shapes in 121 different combinations. The shapes move around and disappear which helps your child to improve their fine motor skills and dexterity through multitouch play. 

The adorable penguin animations make this app fun and interesting for young children. The progressive levels will keep them engaged and challenged. The downside to this product is that not all the levels are free. 

BEST VALUE

  • Age: Suitable for ages 2 to 8
  • Cost: Free to download. Offers in app purchases. Monthly subscription for access to all content

ABCmouse.com is an educational app that covers a variety of topics like math, reading, science, social studies, art, music, and languages. It is free to download, but does offer in-app purchases. To have full access to all content there is an option to pay a monthly subscription. 

This app was created by teachers and educational experts and is used in classrooms and libraries across the United States. The wide range of activities, books, puzzles, videos, songs, games, and animations help children to prepare for school.

They will develop their math and literacy skills and build confidence. There are also printable activities so they can carry on learning when their screen time is over. 

This app provides the option for a personalized learning path or independent learning, depending on what suits your children’s needs.

The customizable avatar keeps the kids engaged and makes the content more relatable. There are lots of virtual locations to explore whilst they are learning. 

This app also allows parents to easily track their child’s progress. The only issue with this app is it is not as simple to use as some of the other products available on the market.

This won’t be an issue if your kid is a whizz at apps and technology and is already confident using a tablet or phone.  

RUNNER UP

  • Age: Suitable for older children already in school
  • Cost: All content is free. Monthly subscription provides access to VIP area & games

The Prodigy Math Game is a unique app that tests your child’s knowledge and targets their weakest areas with games and challenges for a truly personalized learning experience.

It is more suited to children already in school to support their learning. The app is free to download and all levels of the game are free to play. If you pay a monthly subscription you can gain access to a VIP area with additional games and support. 

The game is set in a fantasy world with lots to explore and quests to take on. Your child will be able to challenge or play alongside their friends who also have the app. The engaging learning style is designed to encourage and motivate your child to make math more fun and build their confidence. 

The math content on this app is In line with the core curriculum in the United States. Parents are able to monitor their child’s progress and can even set goals and give rewards through the game. 

The only real downside to this game is that it only covers math and no other topics.

RUNNER UP

  • Age: Suitable for ages 5 to 8
  • Cost: Free to download with optional subscription for access to more content.

BrainPOP Jr is a simple app that provides a weekly animated video with a quiz related to that particular topic. Each week will teach your child something new and improve their knowledge of  reading, writing, maths, science, health, social studies, art, and technology.

It is suitable for children aged between 5 and 8 and encourages them to engage in critical thinking, prompting them to make connections between different pieces of information and formulate questions. 

This app is straightforward and easy to use, but is not as interactive as other apps. The free content is only available once a week, but the optional monthly subscription provides access to more content at any time. 

RUNNER UP

  • Age: Suitable for ages 2 to 7
  • Cost: All content is free

Moose Math is a learning app developed by educational experts at Stanford University. All of the content is free of charge and is suitable for children aged 2 to 7.

The app teaches kids algebraic thinking, number pattern recognition, counting, shape recognition and other skills through 5 different activities. 

The fun characters help to keep the children engaged in their learning while they practice counting in multiples, adding and subtracting up to 20 and counting up to 100. 

The report card feature allows parents to track their child’s progress and monitor their learning. The only issue with this app is that it only covers math and no other topics.

RUNNER UP

  • Age: Suitable for ages 5 to 8
  • Cost: One off purchase for access to all content

Tic Toc Time is a fun app that teaches children how to tell the time using familiar concepts like the sun, shadows, night and day.

There is a one off purchase fee which gives you access to all of the content on the app, but you are able to set up multiple profiles so you can pay for it once and use it for multiple children in the household. It is suitable for children aged between 5 and 8.

The content of this app meets the Common Core State Standards for mathematics  and covers what children learn in grades 1, 2 and 3 about telling the time. It is so fun they won’t even realize they are learning. Whilst the app only teaches children one specific thing, it teaches it very well.

RUNNER UP

  • Age: Suitable for ages 2 to 8 
  • Cost: Free to download. Offers in app purchases. Monthly subscription for access to all content

HOMER Learn & Grow is a fun learning app that covers topics like reading and math. It is free to download, but offers in-app purchases and an optional monthly subscription gives you access to all of the content.

With the subscription, you can create 4 individual learning profiles and use the app for the whole family. 

The interactive songs, games, stories and lessons will not only improve your child’s reading and math, but will help their social & emotional learning, encourage creativity, and develop their thinking skills.

There are also additional printable activities to complete and a section which provides tips to parents on how to engage with and improve their children’s education. 

The personalized learning journey that this app provides is designed to boost your child’s confidence and is proven to improve their early reading levels. There are lots of characters for them to interact with, ensuring they have fun while they learn! 

RUNNER UP

  • Age: Suitable for ages 5 to 7
  • Cost: All content is free

Scratch Jr is a unique app that teaches children the foundations of coding whilst supporting their cognitive, social and social and emotional development. It was created with the help of Kindergarten experts at Tufts University. 

The app is completely free and is suitable for children aged 5 to 7. They can design and programme their own interactive stories, making characters move, dance and sing by snapping together color coded programming blocks. This app encourages problem solving, creative design and expression. 

RUNNER UP

  • Age: Suitable for ages 2 to 8 
  • Cost: All content is free

PBS Kids Play & Learn Science is an app that provides Interactive games which cover topics of Earth science, physical science and life science. All the content is free and is suitable for children aged 2 to 8. 

Children can engage with controls on the screen and see the result of their actions, helping them to learn about the world. 

They can roll different objects down a ramp to understand physics, adjust the weather conditions to see how it impacts living things, and play with sun and shadows to learn about different times of day. 

The sticker reward system provides motivation and there are handy tips for parents on how to engage in their child’s education. The app also suggests activities to go alongside the lessons which encourage you to get outside together and take part in hands-on learning. 

The incredible thing about this is that it also operates in Spanish and switching between the two languages is as simple as a push of a button. You can use this app for bilingual children or to help with language skills.

Best Learning Apps For Kids Buying Guide

Now that we have looked at the best learning apps available on the market, how do you choose which one is best for you and your children? 

The first thing to consider is the age group. To ensure your child is engaged in the content, it needs to be age appropriate. Be sure to check the target audience before downloading the app, especially if there is a purchase fee!

These age ranges are a guide only - you will also need to consider the individual learning needs of your child. More advanced children may be able to use apps designed for an older age group.

If your child is struggling with a particular subject, you may want to start them off with something designed for a younger age and see how they get on.

The next thing to consider is the cost of the app. Most of them are free to download but some offer in-app purchases for access to all content.

If you have multiple children of different ages, it might be better to choose an app with a monthly subscription that allows you to set up multiple profiles. You will get more value for your money this way.

There are also some excellent apps with completely free content if you would rather not spend any money. 

Think about which skills you would like to encourage and develop in your child. A lot of the apps will cover the core subjects taught in school, but some will provide additional learning support by building social and emotional skills, critical thinking and problem solving. You know your child best, and what would benefit them. 

When looking for a learning app for your child, we recommend choosing one with fun and engaging characters and lots of interactive activities to ensure your child doesn’t get bored. 

To help you engage with their learning, find an app with a built in progress monitor. You can also create a reward system outside of the app, such as pocket money or fun treats for spending a certain amount of time a day on their learning app. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can learning apps improve my child’s performance at school?

Learning apps are a great way to prepare your child for school by teaching them key skills and building their confidence. They can also help to support their learning once they begin school, by reinforcing what they are learning in the classroom in a fun and alternative way.

However, learning apps are not a substitute for person to person learning. It is still important for you to engage in your child’s education. Try sitting beside them as they use the app and speak to them about what they are doing. 

Will learning apps give my child too much screen time?

Parents are often worried about their children having too much screen time as this can overstimulate them. Like any apps and games, time spent on a learning app should be limited. Up to an hour a day should help to support their learning without causing any issues. Consider how much time they spend on other screens like smartphones, televisions and game consoles. 

How can I make sure my child is safe Online?

Online safety is a big concern for many parents. Some apps have built-in parental controls. You can also download specific parental control apps to your child’s device. They allow parents to see what their children are doing on their devices, set screen time limits and block certain apps from being downloaded.

It is also important to teach your child about how to stay safe online. There are useful resources available on Youtube and you can speak to your child’s school to see what they recommend.