It’s great to be a parent in the 21st century. Although parenting, itself, is still hard work, our load became a little bit lighter because of learning apps for kids. Doing things like teaching our children how to read, doing simple math, and even performing science experiments are less challenging because of modern smartphone applications that are right at our finger tips.
Of course, as responsible parents, we shouldn’t be dependent on smartphones and tablets to do all of the teaching for us. Rather, we should view them as helpful tools that can help our kids learn in a new way.
List of the Best Learning Apps for Kids to Enjoy
Now that you have learned the PROs and CONs of using the best learning apps for kids, it’s time to get to the list. We have included a variety of learning apps that dabble with language, science, math, memory and the like:
DuoLingo is one of the highest rated learning apps on the internet. It’s going to help your kids (or even you) learn a new language through games. When you make a mistake you lose a life, just like how it is when you’re playing a video game. There are so many languages to choose from: English, Arabic, Czech, Dutch, French, German, Greek, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, and more. On top of that, DuoLingo is going to teach your kids how to read, write, listen, and speak the language you want them to learn.
Yes, NASA has an app and it is, perhaps, one of the best apps out there that can help foster a child’s love for the great beyond. It has over 17,000 images (and growing everyday) and kids can even watch live NASA TV. You and your kids can learn about the latest news and featured stories, plus you get 360° and 4K videos provided by the agency.
Epic! is the app that you should be downloading when you have a reader on your hands. It’s designed for kids who are 12 and under, allowing them to access over 40,000 resources including books, learning videos, and more. Think of the Epic! app as a library app that you can take anywhere and access anytime.
If you really think about it, it’s awkward for your kids to learn a musical instrument or even to learn how to sing properly with just an app. Usually, you would think that you need a real teacher present so your kids know that they are doing something correctly. But, Yousician takes away the difficulties.
This is an app for Singers, Pianists, Guitarists, Bass & Ukulele players, from the beginner to the advanced level. It has over 1,500 missions and exercises with hundreds of videos covering the skill that one needs to learn an instrument.
My Very Hungry Caterpillar
Do you remember that 90’s game that allowed you to take care of a virtual pet? Well, this app is similar. It is designed for younger kids, and it focuses on developing nurturing skills as well as a child’s love for nature as you have to take care of and play with the caterpillar. Kids will, of course, have to start at the beginning (when the caterpillar is just an egg). The more they play with the hungry caterpillar, the more they uncover new activities.
Lightbot: Code Hour
Lightbot is a great app for your kids to learn programming logic. You’re probably thinking that this subject matter isn’t really essential, but it is the future! Programming sounds complicated, but through this app, learning the fundamentals of sequencing, overloading, procedures, recursive loops, and conditionals, is easier and done through gameplay.
This app doesn’t really need an introduction. If we adults have the regular YouTube app, the younger ones have YouTube kids which provide them with controlled and filtered content. Guardians and parents can keep track of what their children can watch and they can even customize what appears in the kids’ feeds; for example, parents can choose from “Preschool”, “Younger”, or “Older” settings.
Prodigy: Kids Math Game
What’s interesting about Prodigy is that it disguises itself as a gaming app – kids can make their characters, have their own pets, and even do epic battles. What they don’t know is that they can build math skills by answering questions. Fit for kids who are on grade 1 all the way to grade 8, there are 1400 skills to be learned.
Stack the States
Do you want to teach your kids about the different states? Well, using this app may be the best way to do it. It is fun, and your kids can learn different things like the capitals of each states, the shapes of the states, their location on the map, and even their nicknames.
There are hundreds of unique questions. The more correct answers you get or the more wins you get gives you a chance to play free bonus games.
If you’re into Homeschooling, you will live TinyTap. It’s doesn’t just have a dashboard for parents to track the progress of their kids, it also has tons of interactive learning games that were made by teachers. Navigation will be easy even for young kids, and it also has an offline feature that still allows games to be played even without internet connection.
Kahoot! Play & Create Quizzes
Kahoot! is just the app you need if you like to answer quizzes and make them for your kids at the same time. When you have this app on your phone, you can also join live quizzes, answer quizzes that other people have made, and, the best part, it can even be used by teachers to upload their homework questions and send it to kids.
Brainpop Jr Movie of the Week
This app will deliver different animated movies every week. Ideal for kids in kindergarten through Grade 3, the movies will touch on Science, Social Studies, Reading, Writing, Math, Health, Arts, and Technology. After, the app will have educational activities and quizzes that will help kids retain the information they’ve just learned through the movie.
Toca Life World
Simulating daily life can be a great way to spark kids’ imagination and allow them to experience different things like going to the hospital or eating at a restaurant. Toca Life World may be the game that you’re looking for if it’s simulation you want. It’s kid-friendly, and using the app is a great opportunity for you to be in “playmode” with your child.
HOMER Reading: Learn to Read
Kids from ages 2 to 8 years old will have an easier time learning and practicing how to read with the HOMER Reading App. It was proven to increase early reading scores by 74% with just 15 minutes a day. Think about what the app can do with your guidance and with one hour of learning per day.
What’s interesting about this app is that it was featured in numerous publications like the New York Times, USA Today, Forbes, and Parents Magazine. And it has even won the prestigious Teachers’ Choice and Mom’s Choice Awards.
Nick Jr is app that very similar to YouTube Kids. It play original content – as in full episode and videos of shows on the Nikc Jr channel, but with the added feature of learning games and alphabet buttons that allow kid-friendly exploration on the app.
Star Walk 2 Ads+: Sky Map AR
Have you ever wondered why Mars is red? Or, if the tiny speck you see on the sky is a star or a planet? Star Walk 2 will have the answers for you. It’s more than just a space app because it allows your entire family to explore the night sky through a screen. In 2014, it was awarded as one of the BEST apps on the AppStore and won the Apple Design Award.
Are you having trouble explaining specific mathematical formulas to your kids? This is the app for you. It lets you and your children learn math, check homework, and even study for the ACTs or SATs. From basic arithmetic to advanced calculus and geometry, you’ll be able to understand formulas with simple and step-by-step explanations to every solution.
Socratic by Google
Socratic by Google is an app designed to answer questions that are commonly asked of students from the highschool and university level. Powered by Google’s AI, it can help you understand school work by finding the best resources online that can help you understand the concept. There are also expert-created study guides available to bring students visual explanations.
Tinycards – Fun Flash
So, remember the DuoLingo app? Its developers made Tinycards which allows you to review lessons and improve your kids’ memories with digital flash cards. If your children are doing a DuoLingo course, you can review their lessons with flashcards on this app. But, if not, you can review thousands of other topics in biology, chemistry, geography, history, and more. You can even make your own (customize your own deck of flashcards), so it’s more convenient for you to prepare your kids for their next exam.
Lingokids is a playlearning app in English that teaches kids, from ages 2 to 8, essential skills through games. Its content was approved by partners from the Oxford University Press. Kids can learn vocabulary, numbers, the alphabet, colors, shapes, food, and 72 other topics to teach young children to learn English. On top of that, Parents also have an area of their own where they can track their child’s progress.
Little ones who are curious about what is beyond Earth will appreciate the Skyview Lite app. It brings stargazing to a totally different level! In 2011, it was nominated as the Best Education App on the internet. It is fun and totally easy to use – just point your device to the sky to identify galaxies, stars, constellations and satellites.
Quizlet is another app which uses digital flashcards for learning. Put your memory to the test with Write, play a matching game, share your flashcards with others, and you can even review lessons from learning a foreign language. There are millions of available flashcards you can choose from, which were made by other users.
There are a good number of people who don’t like to learn math. Number give them a headache! Naturally, for the same people, it is harder when they have to teach their kids something that’s causing their migraine. Enter QuickMaths which is one of the best learning apps for kids who want to improve their all-around Math ability. Perfect for students in the 2nd to 6th grade, QuickMaths can help with practicing mental calculations, developing arithmetic fluency, and improving mental strategies, to name a few.
One of the fastest way for kids to learn how to play the piano is to follow virtual instructions that show how to play popular songs. Do you know why your kids will love this app? Because it contains some of their favorite pop songs! Yes, the app doesn’t really teach the fundamentals like reading notes, but think of it as a gateway app to get your kids interested in learning how to play the piano formally.
Skybrary is an app for a child that goes on adventures while sitting in a corner and reading. Books can be great, but for younger kids, they need more stimulation. With your supervision and guidance, you make using the app even more interactive. Your child can read quality books, discover educational video field trips, hear award-winning narrators tell stories, and more. The app is totally ad-free and kid-friendly.
Before Diving In
It’s natural to go through the list and feel excited. You may want to see what apps can best fit the learning set up you have with your kids, but here are a few more tips about screen time based on the 2016 guidelines provided by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP):
- Avoid use of screen media, with the exception of video-chatting, for children younger than 18 months (1 year and 6 mos).
- For children 18-24 months of age, you have to find high-quality programming. Remember to co-view and co-play, as in you supervise what they are watching and you interact with them while they’re on an app or watching videos.
- Screen time should be limited to 1 hour per day for children ages 2 to 5 years old.
- The entire family has to chip in! There should be a set of rules for both the younger kids, the older kids, as well as the adults.
Remember that your kids will be looking up to you, so if you’re on your phone most of the time, then it just defeats the purpose of kids learning through apps. You have to curb your need to check social media or be online.
Don’t rely too much on apps because they should only enhance your interaction with your children. You should be a major part of your child’s learning process (especially when you have younger children).
Most of all, learning should be multi-dimensional so it shouldn’t just be apps that you are using as educational tools. Try to change it up from time to time! Allow your kids to go out, go on playdates, interact with the rest of the family, and so on.
Allow them, too, to play outdoors and use their other senses to learn about the world around them. Apps just focus on our sense of sight, but for kids to learn more and retain more, they have to learn through experiences while using their other senses.
Are Learning Apps for Kids Good for my Children?
Do you know the saying, having too much of anything is not good for anyone? Well, this is the case when we’re talking about tablets and smartphones. Although these can be great tools for learning and having a good time, they can also be detrimental to our children’s development in the following ways:
1. It changes the parent-child relationship.
At 0 to 2 years old, a child’s brain triples in size. As their brain develops, their interactions and activities allow pathways to form. In turn, these pathways enable children to bond with others emotionally. If the interaction isn’t there, pathways won’t be formed and different bonds will be made.
2. It is a child’s first addition.
With technology or with apps, there is always something new. As humans, it’s difficult for us to give up something that’s new and pleasurable. Every time we play a new game or even access a new level on the game we’re playing, we get hooked. We don’t practice moderation or impulse-control, all the characteristics of an addictive personality.
3. It can cause temper tantrums.
We may not like to hear it, but many of us parents resort to just giving our children tablets or smartphones whenever they’re having a tantrum. Yes, that solves the problem; they don’t cry anymore. However, if this becomes the norm for them, they may have trouble developing internal mechanism to regulate themselves.
4. It encourages social anxiety.
Interacting with others is really important in our development because we learn certain skills from it. From a young age, we learn these skills as we interact with our parents, siblings, or caregivers. So, if children spend more time with technology – playing with tablets and smartphones – no interactions take place for them to develop the necessary interpersonal skills required for a rewarding life.
5. It can affect kids sleeping pattern.
It is believed that gadget screens keep people awake at night because the blue light emitted from these screens restrain the production of melatonin – a hormone that controls a person’s sleep-wake cycle. Once there is less melatonin in the body, it is harder to stay and fall asleep.
On the other hand, if learning apps for kids are used the right way, real learning can take place. There are so many advantages when parents use different apps that can help their kids learn different subjects or topics better:
1. The interaction is enhanced.
You have to admit, using learning apps can really promote better engagement between the parent and the child. Learning apps are designed to incite a reaction in children. A parent who knows what to do with the reaction can make every lesson a bonding moment. The parent just has to remember that the app isn’t the “star of the show”. It’s simply there to be a tool.
2. No more traditional learning techniques.
Plenty of children don’t like the traditional way of teaching because it is boring. But, when you tell them that you’re going to use an app to teach them a lesson about math today, their mood will change as well as their perspectives. They’ll be more interested in the lesson you’re going to teach.
3. More online resources through learning apps.
The best learning apps of today will most likely have other resources on its official website. For example, it could have printable exercise sheets or even books available for its users to download.
4. Learning apps are entertaining.
When used right, learning can become entertaining through apps. And that’s because smartphone applications can provide stunning visual aids, enhanced with different audio cues.
5. A learning app is available 24/7.
Anything online can practically be accessed anytime. If your child wants to learn something specific, you can simply browse through the apps available for your phone, download it, and you can start learning instantly.
Do You Have a Favorite Learning App?
If we missed one of your favorite learning apps, don’t worry. We can add it to the list! Send us a message with the link to the app so we can review it and add it in.