10 Educational Apps to Get Your Kids Learning

10 Educational Apps to Get Your Kids Learning

In today’s world full of devices and gadgets, schools are incorporating online resources in their academic agenda. Apps are now the easiest way to learn a new language, practice math facts or review spelling and grammar lessons. Help your child succeed with these 10 educational apps:

1. Duolingo

In 2013, Apple chose Duolingo as its iPhone App of the Year, the first educational app to receive this award. With 500 million users, Duolingo is the language-learning app and website. Duolingo offers 106 language courses in 40 languages, including Spanish, French, Italian, and German. To get started, download the app (look for the green cartoon owl), and create an account. The app will ask which language you want to learn, why you are learning the language, how long you want to practice per, day, and if you already know the language or are just starting out. The app and website are free, although Duolingo offers a premium service (Duolingo Plus) that includes no ads, personalized lessons to correct mistakes, and progress quizzes to track how well you’ve mastered the language. Google Play, Apple, duolingo.com

2. Khan Academy Kids

Aimed towards children ages 2-8, Khan Academy Kids contains learning materials across math, language arts, and social-emotional learning. When creating an account, Khan Academy Kids will ask for your child’s name and age to curate the appropriate educational content. After an account is created, children can press ‘library’ to read books, watch videos, color pictures, practice their letters and play a variety of games. “This is a great all-around resource that teaches reading and math skills to kids from ages 2 through second grade,” Eric Hanshaw, subject department librarian at Cleveland Public Library says. “Features a wide variety of games and activities, attractive graphics, and even books to read!” Google Play, Apple, Amazon App Store, khanacademy.org

3. Photomath

Not a math whiz? Not a problem. Photomath is a free app that uses your phone camera to scan a math equation and then provides a step-by-step explanation on how to solve the problem. This app is great for kids who are struggling to solve a math problem and need a quick refresher on how to solve the equation. No equation is too big or small; just scan the equation and get ready to learn. Google Play, Apple, photomath.com

4. Play And Learn Science by PBS Kids

Recommended by Annisha Jeffries, Youth Services Manager at Cleveland Public Library, this app is a great way to introduce kids to the world of science. Kids can play a variety of games, such as ‘Exploring Shadows,’ which shows how shadows look depending on the location of the sun, or ‘Read the Temperature,’ which shows characters in different climates and the temperature of each location. The app includes 15 games covering earth science, physical science and life science, and is available in Spanish and English. With a variety of hands-on activities, your little scientist is sure to have a blast. Google Play, Apple, Amazon App Store, Windows, pbskids.org/apps/play-and-learn-science-.html

 

5. Seek by iNaturalist 

Ever wonder what the tall plants in your backyard are called? Seek’s camera allows users to identify plants, animals and fungi in any location. Users can also earn badges for observing different types of species. Seek will display the name of the species, a brief description about it, how many are in your area, the seasonality of the species and other similar species. Allow the app to access your location and learn more about the various plants and animals in your own backyard. “This app will bring out the naturalist in you and your child,” Jeffries says. “This is a great app for families who want to spend more time exploring nature together.” Google Play, Apple, inaturalist.org

6. Breathe, Think, Do with Sesame Street

Kids can help their monster friend solve five challenges using the Breathe, Think, Do strategy. The first activity depicts an impatient monster struggling to get his shoes on. Kids must tap on the monster’s belly to help him inhale and exhale and calm down. The monster then calmly thinks of a way to approach the difficult situation. “This is a cute, simple app from Sesame Street that focuses on teaching kids how to use calming breaths to handle frustrating and upsetting situations,” Hanshaw says. Find on Google Play, Apple.

7. Lexi’s World

Lexi’s World helps kids visualize the words they are spelling. When engaging with this app, kids can spell out a word, such as ‘yak,’ which Lexi will say, and then a yak will appear on the screen. If you spell ‘walk’ or ‘jump’, Lexi will perform those actions along with saying the words out loud. This app is perfect for visual learners just beginning to sound out their sight words. “Having children use language skills to play games isn’t new, but what makes this app great is Lexi gives kids a keyboard and makes the words they type come to life,” Jeffries says. Google Play, Apple, poppoppop.info

8. Droplets: Drops for kids

Similar to Duolingo, Droplets is a language-learning app specially designed for kids, with over 35 languages to choose from. The app will display a word, such as ‘bread,’ and then kids must drag the word to the picture of bread. Kids can also phonetically spell out each word to practice how to pronounce each word. The word and the picture of the word will pop up on the screen and kids must choose whether the image accurately depicts the word or not. By using graphics to help kids understand the words they are learning, five minutes a day can help children pick up a new language. Google Play, Apple, languagedrops.com/droplets

9. Epic

With over 40,000 books and videos to choose from, Epic is the perfect app for anyone who loves to read. Designed for babies to age 12 and older, the basic (free) plan allows users to read one book a day. The unlimited monthly plan ($9.99/month) offers access to over 40,000 books and videos, unlimited daily reading, up to four child profiles and offline reading. The app also features audiobooks and a ‘read to me’ option. To keep kids motivated, users have a ‘buddy’ that hatches after they read their first book and badges that kids can earn after reaching a reading goal. Epic offers an array of cookbooks, novels, comics, drawing books, and unexplained mysteries – you are sure to find something you like. Google Play, Apple, getepic.com

10. Quizlet

If your child uses flashcards to study, download Quizlet as a digital alternative. Founded in 2005 by Andrew Sutherland to help study for a French class, Quizlet (both a website and app) consists of digital flashcards, matching games, practice tests and live quizzes. Users can create their own deck of flash cards and post them online for other users to review. Quizlet’s website has over 350 million user-generated flashcard sets, 3 billion total study sessions, and more than 50 million active users. quizlet.com

 

Here are a few monthly subscriptions to help your child stay engaged and learn.

ABCmouse.com ($12.99 a month)

With ABCmouse.com Early Learning Academy, children ages 2-8 can engage in reading and language arts, math, science, health, social studies, music, and art content. The program contains more than 10,000 learning activities and 850 lessons across 10 levels to help your child succeed. The reading curriculum includes uppercase and lowercase letter recognition, phonics, rhyming words and word families, and more than 450 books, and the math curriculum includes recognizing and counting numbers 1–120, the base ten system, place value, addition and subtraction, and names and attributes of 2D and 3D shapes.
“ABCMouse offers a wide variety of educational activities framed as games for kids,” Hanshaw says. “The user can choose their age and receive age-appropriate activities.” abcmouse.com

OwlCrate Jr. ($29.99 a month, plus shipping)

Designed for ages  8-12, OwlCrate Jr. ships books right to your door each month. Each box contains a new middle-grade hardcover novel, an exclusive letter and signed bookplate from the author, a second book, an activity or game, and a collectible monthly sticker and magazine. Each month has a new theme. This subscription is perfect for any middle schooler looking to read something new. owlcrate.com

Little Passports (Starting at $16.95 a month)

Little Passports delivers monthly play-based science and geography kits to kids ages 3 and up. There are five boxes to choose from each month, such as ‘Early Explorers’ which explores music, oceans and dinosaurs for ages 3-5, and ‘Science Expeditions’ where kids ages 8 and up can perform science experiments and activities. There are two categories of boxes to choose from, one being the Culture and Geography theme where kids can learn about geography, travel, world cultures, the arts and more, and the other being STEM, where kids solve scientific mysteries every month. There is an adventure waiting in every box. littlepassports.com

Wiggle Worms Kits (Starting at $18.75 a month)

Wiggle Worms Kits are handcrafted and designed for preschoolers and kindergarteners. Each kit includes five to seven STEM activities and crafts, with the goal of encouraging fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, problem solving and creativity. October’s theme was harvest, so kids were able to create a scarecrow, build a corn maze, learn about the colors of leaves during this time of year and much more. Past boxes included themes of apples, dinosaurs, space, bugs and pirates. With new themes each month, there is something your child is sure to love. wigglewormskits.cratejoy.com

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