** This post was written by Sara Routhier. Please message me if you’d like to write a guest post **
We all know that mobile devices can be a lifesaver. There’s a funny post that floats around: “Sure, I could parent without screen time. I could also churn my own butter, but let’s not get crazy here.”
Since you’re reading this, it’s safe to assume you have kids and your time to read is super limited. So, we’ll cut to the chase.
Here are the 20 Best Educational Apps for your kids that are available now (June 2019):
#1 – CodyCross
Have a love for crossword puzzles that you want to pass down to your kids? This app offers many exciting levels and categories. Your child will get hints to help them solve each puzzle. The alien, Cody, and colorful graphics keep it lively and entertaining.
#2 – Disney Story Realms
Disney doesn’t disappoint with this free app that is packed with realistic multidimensional graphics. Your child will use characters from favorite movies to walk around and solve number puzzles, complete word searches, design coloring pages, read interactive story books, and there are even more realms you can pay to unlock.
#3 – Dragonbox Numbers
This edition of Dragonbox brings numbers to life with cute, silly characters called “Nooms.” Your child will use number recognition, quantity comparisons, and simple addition as he/she works through puzzles and helps the Nooms get through various obstacles.
#4 – Duolingo
Your child can learn any one of over 30 languages with Duolingo. This app keeps users engaged with short lessons, awards, games, quizzes, and progress tracking.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Duolingo is “Far and away the best language-learning app,” and TIME Magazine thinks this app holds “the secret to the future of education.”
#5 – Elmo Loves 123s
Favorite characters are a big help in motivating young children to learn new things. If you have an Elmo fan at home, this app might be just what you need to keep their screen time educational. Elmo and friends will have your little ones tracing and learning numbers with puzzles, songs, games, video clips, and more.
#6 – Epic!
This subscription-model app makes reading exciting with over 35,000 chapter books, learning videos, read-along audio books, quizzes, and more. The endless selection can be customized to your child’s specific interests. It’s hard to beat a personalized digital library that children can access wherever they go.
#7 – Fish School
This app has received the Parents’ Choice Gold Award, thanks to all it teaches children including shapes, colors, numbers, letters, and their ABC—all with cute fish and peaceful classical music. It’s clear why this app has been a top pick for years.
#8 – Flow Free
This app isn’t going to teach your child educational facts, but it will keep their brain sharp while improving their hand-eye coordination. At varying levels of difficulty, your child will drag and match colors without overlapping the “pipes.”
Here’s part of an adult user’s review: “This was a brilliant game for calming my mind and improving problem solving and planning skills.”
#9 – My Molecularium
Although this game is rated for kids four and older, it was designed for high school students. This app makes chemistry fun as users have to quickly build over 30 molecules and can challenge friends to beat their high scores. It has been nominated for “Best Mobile Game App.”
#10 – Peekaboo Barn
Toddlers will love the surprise of finding out what animals are hiding in the barn, and as they get older they will be able to guess each animal before the door opens by its sound. This is a simple app that teaches what the animals look like, the sounds they make, and how their names are written.
#11 – Pet Bingo
Don’t be fooled by the young look of the cutesy animation, this app is packed full of common core math skills including addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and geometry. It’s clear this app was designed by a teacher with visual lessons, report cards based on their progress, and a speed that adapts to the child’s skill level.
#12 – Play and Learn Science
On this app from PBS Kids, your child will problem solve and learn about scientific topics including weather, light, shadows, weight, speed, and more. Children will recognize the characters from PBS Kids and will enjoy how they cheer them on and celebrate their accomplishments.
#13 – Sight Words
This app teaches kids 320 sight words across five levels starting with Pre-K up to third grade. Ten fun forest games featuring cute, furry friends will help kids read and spell words they will need to automatically recognize as their reading level progresses.
#14 – SkyView
CNET’s review: “If you’ve ever wanted to know what you’re looking at in the night sky, this app is the perfect stargazer’s companion.”
There’s a reason why SkyView has been downloaded over 1.7 million times and has been awarded “Best Education App.” Day or night (without WIFI) this impressive app will use your camera’s lens to identify galaxies, stars, constellations, planets, and satellites.
#15 – Socratic
This app may be a bigger blessing for parents than kids. Socratic is a homework helper for a wide range of subjects – Algebra, Calculus, Chemistry, Economics, English, History and more – that can magically read, answer, and explain a solution to tough questions the user uploads.
#16 – Sound Touch 2
This updated app was designed for toddlers just starting out on mobile devices as it only requires a simple tap, but kids up through kindergarten will love it. Sound Touch 2 has four categories with 240 realistic sounds and fives rotating images to teach the child about each sound.
#17 – Spelling Monster
The various monsters on this app all bring with them their own spelling challenges: word scrambles, missing letters, letter swaps, and there’s even “Ziggy” who has to dodge traffic like our old pal, Frogger. The best part about this application is that you can use your child’s school spelling list.
#18 – Stack the States 2
This improved second-edition app will inspire your (older) kids to learn all about America. In order to earn states and fill up their personalized map, they will learn each state’s location, capital, abbreviation, neighboring states, nicknames, flag, and more. As they complete levels, free bonus games are unlocked.
#19 – Tynker
This programming app for kids has earned eight unique awards including “Best for 8-14” by USA Today and the “Parents’ Choice Gold Award.” With Tynker, kids will not only learn how to use coding to create games, but they will even be able to control real-life drones.
Here’s what TechCrunch had to say about it: “Tynker makes programming more accessible and fun for kids, regardless of prior experience.”
#20 – VocabularySpellingCity
This app features 9 free phonics, reading, spelling, and vocabulary games, but there are over 35 full lessons for those who become members on their website.
The app has been awarded “Best Game-Based Curriculum Solution” and the website has earned a place in the “Top 100 Educational Websites” every year since 2009.
Have Fun Learning!
These twenty apps were listed in alphabetical order since there was already enough judgment involved in choosing 20 out of hundreds of great options. We also eliminated applications that didn’t have both iOS and Android versions.
With some trial and error, you can decide which are the best of the best. And as we all have learned with experience, every kid is motivated differently.
Sara Routhier is a Research Specialist and Staff Writer for Exercise.com. In addition to obtaining a degree in Elementary Education, being a public school teacher, family nanny, and tutor, she has over four years experience in content marketing. As a working mom, she knows for what she writes to deserve your read, it better be interesting and provide you with helpful, accurate facts. That’s the promise she delivers with her work.