With many parents stuck at home, being productive and keeping kids occupied can be a struggle. On top of this, many children are switching to virtual or homeschooling. To make sure your child doesn’t fall behind, you can actually kill two birds with one stone: turn screen-time educational!
Apps can be an excellent educational tool for children. They help children develop skills in a fun and interactive format while children think they are just playing games. Not only do many of today’s apps teach valuable lessons in math, reading, and science, but they can also help boost creativity and logic. There are numerous educational apps available, both for free and at a cost. You can find apps for nearly every subject and interest. How do you choose quality educational apps for kids and not break the bank? We’ve put together a list of 10 free educational apps recommended by parents, educational leaders, and other experts for you and your child to explore!
1. Fish School by Duck Duck Moose (2-5 yrs)
This app has won both a Parents’ Choice Gold Award and a Children’s Technology Review Editor’s Choice Award. Created for ages 2-5, this app teaches children letters, numbers, shapes, and colors through a fun underwater experience featuring fish and other creatures of the sea. The app includes 8 different educational activities to keep your child engaged and entertained during their screen time.
2. PBS Kids Games (2-8 yrs)
PBS has a well-respected history of providing educational content to children. You can expect nothing less from their app. This app includes free games for kids 2-8 featuring characters from popular PBS shows like Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Wild Kratts, Super Why, Dinosaur Train and more. The app encourages creativity and teaches valuable math and science skills. This is a must if your child is a fan of PBS shows. Allow them to interact with their favorite characters and get some quality educational time.
3. Nick Jr. (all ages)
The Nick Jr. app is another popular choice for preschoolers. Children can explore learning through games starring their favorite Nick Jr. characters. Games on the app help children learn to count, identify shapes and patterns, recognize letters and words and practice drawing skills. Kids love it because it is easy for them to use and navigate on their own.
4. YouTube Kids (all ages)
The YouTube Kids library is filled with family-friendly videos on various topics, giving your child the opportunity to explore a variety of interests through educational and entertaining videos. The great thing about the YouTube Kids app is it gives children the opportunity to learn more about a wide range of topics. For instance, if your child is really interested in dinosaurs, they can find many different videos on dinosaurs and similar topics that might interest them. If your child likes to draw, there are several instructional videos on drawing. Let them explore new interests in an environment created exclusively for children and closely monitored for safety and age-appropriate content.
5. Brainpop Jr Movie of the Week (5-8 yrs)
Created for children 5-8, Brainpop Jr Movie of the Week app provides a free animated movie each week covering topics in science, social studies, reading, writing, math, health, arts, and technology. This app encourages discussion after the video to help parents and educators engage in the lesson with the child. Children are encouraged to make connections and use critical thinking skills when reviewing weekly movies.
6. Khan Academy Kids (2-6 yrs)
Khan Academy is a non-profit, open-source educational website which provides free world-class education. They have developed the app Khan Academy Kids for ages 2-6 and it is an excellent tool for helping your child learn through diverse learning methods. The app is personalized to allow your child to learn a robust curriculum through a variety of videos, games, books, and lessons all at their own pace.
7. GoNoodle (grades K-5)
GoNoodle’s overall concept is to help improve academic success by encouraging physical activity and mindfulness in children of all ages. The app inspires kids to move their bodies while they develop academic, social and emotional skills. The app features short videos where they may learn dance, yoga, aerobics, and more. This app is great for providing limited screen time and exercise at the same time. Kids love the fun activities and opportunity to burn off some stress and energy, helping them stay focused on the next task at hand.
8. Splash Math (grades K-5)
Splash Math app helps children K-5 practice their math skills in a fun, interactive and rewarding learning format. Games are divided into grades so children can practice what they are learning in their current grade level, review past skills, or help them prepare for the next grade level. Grade content is based on the typical math curriculum used in schools. Parents love that this app helps children improve their math scores and excel at this important academic subject.
9. Science360 (8+ yrs)
Who better for your child to learn science from than the National Science Foundation? Science360 is the award-winning app they have created offering the latest science and engineering news, images, and videos from scientists and universities around the world. New content is added weekly keeping your child informed, educated, and engaged in fascinating scientific facts. The app is recommended for ages 8 and up. Parents might even find it interesting!
10. Duolingo (10+ yrs)
Duolingo is a language learning app that offers practice in over 30 languages. Recommended for ages 10 and up, Duolingo is a popular choice for high schoolers and even adults who want to learn a second language. The award-winning app makes learning a new language fun by using audio, word identification, and oral exercises to help teach and practice the language of choice.