The educational landscape is changing. Do you want your child to be left behind?
The pandemic in 2020 signaled a major educational paradigm shift as most children pivoted to learning online. During this time, teachers discovered many new websites and educational apps for kids that challenged, inspired, and engaged their students. As children return to the classroom, technology is returning, too.
Children who understand how to use technology effectively and independently will have an advantage in the twenty-first-century classroom. They will be able to harness tools that make it easy to demonstrate mastery and understanding. Most important of all, they will be able to apply these valuable skills as they navigate the world beyond the classroom.
This all begins with play. Play is how children experiment, grow, and develop life skills. The best educational apps for kids will ensure that their screen time is meaningful in multiple ways.
We’ve created this guide to introduce you to some of the best free educational apps for kids. Keep reading to get started enriching your child’s life with technology.
The Best App for New Readers: Teach Your Monster to Read
Teach Your Monster to Read has been inspiring new readers since 2012, and has only improved since then! This app is part of The Usborne Foundations, the same folks who publish Usborne Books. The app has the same friendly graphics and aesthetic, but contains addictively fun mini-games that make reading an adventure!
Children create a monster avatar and progress through various “worlds” as they learn and practice reading skills. The app is fully interactive, with tangible and intangible awards that will keep your learner going. It will even email you letters “from your monster” that you can print and read together!
This fun app is just right for kindergarten and first-grade students but has enough engaging gameplay for second and third graders with learning delays. You can also find Monster games that teach number skills.
Even reluctant readers will be begging to log on and level up their monster!
The Best App for Seasoned Readers: Epic!
What if you could go to the library without leaving home? The Epic! app makes that possible. It’s an interactive children’s book library full of new, full-color texts in fiction and non-fiction categories.
The app has a functionality that will read books to your child. If they are struggling with a single word, they can click on it to hear it pronounced or get a definition. It also hosts audiobooks, stories, and a video library full of vetted, educational content.
As the parent, you will have access to a report that tells you what your child explored on the app. There are also quizzes at the end of most of the books. Children can test their comprehension and receive a bonus on the gamified console.
The books on this app aren’t duds, either. Many of them are the same books that you can find in bookstores or your local library. It’s a great way to explore new titles and authors without spending hours pouring over the shelves.
You can even choose and assign books to your child, then monitor whether or not your child has finished them. The app will tell you exactly how long your child spent with each text, so you can ensure there’s no cheating.
The Best App for Older Kids: Quizlet
Even middle and high school kids appreciate learning through play, and competitive kids love Quizlet! It’s a virtual tool full of quizzes, games, and review activities that can make studying much more fun. They offer games for every learning style, from visual questions to fill-in-the-blank vocabulary quizzes.
The most popular function on the app are the digital flashcards, which cover any academic subject you can think of, from algebra to foreign languages. They have Quizlet sets on specific novels, mathematical formulas, and complex science concepts. If your child needs to study something, there is probably curated material already there for them.
They won’t be stuck drilling flashcards, however. Students can access each set of cards in different modes, including a guided learning mode. It will even randomly generate a practice test for your child.
If your child needs something a little more playful and engaging, they might like the popular Quizlet game “gravity.” The space-themed game combines play and urgency to help with recall.
The Best App for Early Childhood: Baby Games
The best educational apps for toddlers have a few things in common. They are simple, they are age-appropriate, and they don’t allow for any in-app purchases! Once you’ve set up something like totspots, hotspots for students, even the youngest learners can learn through play with technology.
One free, simple app for toddlers and young preschoolers is Baby Games. The beauty of this app is its simplicity. It only offers five developmentally appropriate games, but they’re all wonderful.
It helps children to learn and practice very basic vocabulary skills, like color and animal names. It also has a game that allows children to play with sound and practice “composing” music! The simple interface makes it easy for little guys to develop their vocabularies through active engagement with the interactive tools.
Young children tend to do better when supervised while using technology. Baby Games is a great app to use with your child as they learn tech skills through hands-on observation.
Download These Educational Apps for Kids
Even if you limit screen time in your household, why not make sure that the time your kids do get counts? Educational apps for kids allow children to learn how to engage meaningfully with technology. Their time spent “playing” on these apps might be the thing that prepares them for a lucrative future!
What are you doing with your own limited screen time? Why not check out the rest of the blog for more posts that can help you enrich your child’s world.