If your kids are anything like mine, they’re always begging for more screen time. We have rules about how much they get, and which tv shows are acceptable, but I also love it when they choose to spend some time “playing a game” instead of watching tv. Because what they don’t know is that there are a ton of educational apps that are great, and so that while they’re having fun, they’re also learning. Here are some of the best learning apps for preschoolers and kindergarteners.
Monkey Preschool Lunchbox is one of the first apps I ever downloaded when I got a smartphone. It teaches math – including, counting, shapes, and pattern recognition – with funny little monkey noises that my 2 year old loves.
Monkey Math School Sunshine is one step up from Monkey Preschool Lunchbox, with slightly harder concepts, but still lots of fun.
Dora’s ABCs Vol 1: Letters and Letter Sounds This is a nice simple app that encourages kids (in Dora’s slightly annoying voice) to match items with their starting letter, and more. Allows kids to practice tracing their letters by flying an airplane through the sky to make cloud letters.
Dora’s ABCs Vol 2: Rhyming Words A little harder than volume 1, encourages kids to match pictures of things that rhyme (like a picture of a cat with a bat).
Super Why! Be warned: the theme music on this one can be overpowering. I often make my kids use headphones! But, it’s a GREAT app with all of the things featured on the tv show. My 2 year old can easily match letters with Alpha Pig, and even do rhyming words with Wonder Red, although some of the other games are a little too hard for her to do (since she can’t actually read), she’ll happily pick the wrong words to get the little buzzing sound, until she accidentally lands on the right word.
Phone4Kids This one has a bunch of mini games within the app – teaching kids letters, seasons, weather, and allowing them to make musical instruments and write fake texts. Particularly useful for occupying preschoolers who like to hit the letters on your phone and accidentally text people!
Doodle Buddy Perfect for coloring, distorting pictures, or practicing ABC writing, doodle buddy is basically an open canvas app with lots of stamps and colors available for personalizing.
Toontales Huckle, Caillou, and other familiar characters will help kids problem solve and read stories.
Word Wagon A small kangaroo and his bird friend will help kids learn letters, phonics, and spelling. With adjustable levels, making it perfect for ages 2-6, it’s based on common core standards.
Duck Duck Moose Reading Similar to Word Wagon, but a little harder, DDM Reading lets kids read words and level up, making things harder as they go.
Old Macdonald Encouraging musical and cognitive development, this Old Macdonald app will help young learners match animals and their noises, and play along to the familiar song.
Hooked on Phonics The hefty price to unlock this whole app ($49) is a testament to its power. It’s a really wonderful app for emerging readers, offering them simple books to read and games to play, and then building level after level to help them become proficient readers. You can buy the games and books within the levels individually too, if you don’t want to pay the $49 upfront.
Classify It Your budding scientist will love this app. Its interface is simple, but it teaches kids a ton of useful information about plants and animals.
Interactive Telling Time Maybe in this world of iPhones and other such devices, kids will mostly use digital clocks, but they still need to learn to read analog clocks! This app is a super fun way to do so.
What apps do YOUR kids love?