We’re new iPad owners and I have been so impressed by all that we’ve found in the way of fun and educational iPad apps for kids. I decided when we got the iPad to only put educational apps and games on it because I knew if there were other just for fun apps on there my kids would gravitate towards those. I’m guessing there has to be a way to lock certain apps so the kids can’t use them without a password, but I haven’t figured that out yet.
We’ve also been trying to be good about setting time limits for how long the kids are on the iPad. Usually if my daughter uses it at all, it’s during her quiet rest time in the afternoon. I have her read for at least 30 min-1 hr first, and then I give her a little iPad time.
My son is the one we really have to watch, because I’ve already noticed he has a tendency to get sucked in and it becomes really hard to pull him away. We try to remember to set a timer for 15 min. so that he can actually hear it go off and that’s his signal that it’s time to stop. I’ll admit though, that we’re not always on top of this as much as we could be.
Here are the apps we’ve found so far that we love.
Apps for Preschoolers:
Endless Alphabet: This has got to be one of my favorites. Cute little monsters come along and mess up words, scattering the letters all over the screen. Then, as you drag each letter back to its place in the word, the letter/monster makes the sound that corresponds with its letter. It’s adorable, plus teaches letter sounds and new vocabulary!
Monkey Preschool LunchBox: This app uses a cute little monkey to teach kids basic counting, shape identification, matching, size identification (smallest, largest), colors, and some basic letter identification.
Funbrain Jr.: This app is a little more advanced than the other two. It has several different games. * Free
- Balloon Blowup: The player has to identify which balloon has the most items in it and pop that balloon.
- Flashy Cards: The player has to match picture cards with the letter the picture starts with.
- Heat Wave: The player has to connect letters in alphabetical order.
- Mushrooom Bounce: The player has to jump from mushroom to mushroom in number order.
- Shape Shack: Player is given a pattern and has to choose which shape comes next in the pattern.
Grandma’s Garden: I love this one because it teaches kids colors, counting, letter identification, shapes, sizes, and matching and also includes educational videos all about gardening, planting, and vegetables. Plus Grandma sometimes dances when you get the right answers! And kids are learning all about vegetables too.
Grandpa’s Workshop: This app has the player help Grandpa in his workshop with different projects like painting (color identification), measuring, “cutting” boards into fractional pieces, number identification, and contains educational videos all about tools. As the player progresses they get to “build” a clubhouse.
Grandma Loves Bugs: Grandma is back and in this fun app uses cute little bugs to teach counting, letters, colors, matching lower and upper case letters, identifying the one that is different, matching, and has a fun magnifying glass to look up close at different bugs. Plus they learn about different bugs and how to identify them and Grandma does her crazy dancing again!
A-Z Music Videos from ABC.mouse: There’s a catchy song and music video for each letter of the alphabet. And by catchy, I mean…after I hear one of the songs it’s stuck in my head all day! But my 4 year old really loves these and they help him learn his letters, so it’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make! *Free
Apps for Grade Schoolers:
Stack the States: This is my daughter’s favorite app and it has definitely improved her knowledge of states, capitals, and location of states. The player has to answer questions about which cities are in which states, capitals, state flags, identifying states, etc. and when they get a question right, they get to drop the states into a stack until the stack reaches a certain height. They earn states until they get the whole US Map filled in.
MoMA Art Lab: This app allows kids to create their own art masterpieces including sound compositions, shape poems, collages, and more. There’s also a section that teaches specific drawing techniques step by step. They can save all their masterpieces in their own Art Gallery. *Free
Grandma’s Kitchen: This is similar to Grandma’s Garden and Grandpa’s Kitchen, except with a kitchen theme. Players add ingredients to the bowl to make a cake, practice patterns with kitchen utensils, identify first two letters of words, identify equal parts, practice telling time, make compound words, counting practice, learn poems, put spices in alphabetical order, count and add by 10′s, There are also videos about different baking techniques and healthy eating.
Sushi Monster: This is one of my personal favorites! You get to practice addition and multiplication by feeding sushi to the different sushi monsters. *Free
Bible for Kids: This app is a favorite with my 4 year old. It reads various Bible stories aloud and the kids can interact with the pictures. They also ask questions to check for understanding. *Free
BrainPOP Jr. and BrainPOP: These are a couple of our favorite learning websites filled with videos for kids on all kinds of educational topics. You can check these out online or put the app on your iPad/iPhone.
WWF Together: This app from World Wildlife Fund features interactive information on endangered animals, including amazing videos, animal facts, image galleries, and a 3D globe that shows you how far away you are from different animals around the world. *Free
Nighty Night: This is an adorable interactive bedtime story where you turn off the light throughout the farm and say goodnight to all the animals. The thing I love about this app is that you can choose from all kinds of different languages to listen to the story in.
Like I said, we’re new to the iPad world, and I would love to hear of any educational apps you’ve found that your kids love!