The Best Learning Apps and Sites for KidsMay 21st, 2020
To weary parents everywhere: we know you’re in need of new resources to keep family life humming along while school is closed. Whether you’re practicing tummy time with infants, entertaining toddlers, or managing virtual classroom sessions for older children, tackle online learning for kids with ease using these trusty and inspiring resources.
Best Reading Apps for Kids
Engage young readers with apps designed to foster a love of language, build fine motor skills, and boost memory.
Homer is a phonics and research-based app designed to help kids ages 2 through 8 learn to read. Each child customizes a character (called a “Wickle”) and uses it to navigate through “Pickle Wickle Park,” where users earn points for reading, playing educational games, and listening to books. One downside? It’s only compatible with iPhones.
Cost: $7.95/month after free trial
If you have fond childhood memories of watching LeVar Burton take you on Reading Rainbow adventures, you’ll love this app for your own family. Kids can enjoy a library of interactive digital books—all free for Android, iPhone, and Kindle users. Plus, Burton himself hosts video field trips to foster critical thinking and global citizenship.
Cost: $4.99/month after 30-day free trial
Created for ages 4 and up, this app helps kids learn words by sight. Fun animation and music keeps them engaged while digital flashcards pop up on screen for kids to assemble or match words.
Cost: Free; in-app purchases
Affiliated with Common Core, SNAP’s library features 500 English and Spanish books for ages K-12. Choose from fiction or nonfiction, and peruse the guided reading lessons too. There are several apps to choose from, so pick the option that matches up with your child’s age.
Fun Math Apps for Kids
Get those brains working with math and science apps that help make learning extra fun.
Great for all ages, kids can do a variety of exercises such as subtracting, measuring, adding, and basic geometry. Parents can also receive progress reports, if desired!
Inspired by Montessori founder Maria Montessori, this app uses guided activities (like associating quantities with numerals and introducing addition) to help children gain confidence and reinforce skills. Ideal for kids ages 3 to 7.
Here’s a fun game led by a friendly monster named Maxx. He’ll help teach students (grades 1 to 3) all the basics: subtraction, addition, multiplication, and division. You can play solo or compete in “multiplayer mode” with others online.
Cost: Free; in-app purchases
Movement and Mindfulness
Anyone need to shake out the wiggles? That’s what we thought.
Since 2012, Cosmic Kids has been teaching yoga and mindfulness to children around the world. Themes run the gamut from Alice and Wonderland to under the sea—and host Jamie designs fun adventures every time. You can watch select videos for free on YouTube, or download the app to access every video.
Cost: Free on YouTube; $10/month for the app
Let’s get moving! Using the computer camera, kids can watch themselves and engage with a variety of games. Flo Yo’s Bubble Pop encourages kids to avoid sharks by waving their hands, Zapp Von Doubler’s Space Race has a fancy jetpack to help you steer through space and collect stars, and Squatchy Berger’s Rock and Roll is a musical party filled with lots of twisting.
Cost: Free, in-app purchases
Art and Music
Looking for a fun app for kids to enjoy music or art? Look no further. Your budding Beethoven or mini Monet will be entertained for hours.
Everything on this app is kid-friendly. You can find classic Disney hits, engaging podcast-style stories, and more. It’s part of the Premium Family Plan, making it easy for parents to curate a custom playlist, or older kids can explore all the options on their own.
Cost: Included with Premium Family Plan: $14.99/month
Science and art collide in this cute-as-a-button app that lets artists design a bug and transform it into an animated insect with ease. Kids can also hone their skills using interactive drawing templates.
This top-rated app is like a mobile art studio. Kids of all ages can create their own designs using photo-realistic crayons, colored pencils, markers, stickers, and more.
Cost: $5.99; in-app purchases