So rather than playing purely entertaining games for hours on end, why not help your kid’s development by engaging them with some of these educational apps for kids instead?
1. Best Reading App for Kids: Hooked on Phonics
There’s no shortage of high-quality reading apps and websites for kids. With a bit of digging, you can find something that perfectly matches your child’s interests and abilities.
An excellent all-around app for young learners is Hooked on Phonics. It’s aimed at kids between the ages of three and seven. It uses interactive learn-to-read tools developed in conjunction with the US Children’s Reading Foundation.
The 200 songs, games, ebooks, and lessons correspond with federal reading proficiency standards, so you’ll be able to make sure your child is on track.
Download: Hooked on Phonics for Android | iOS (Free, subscription available)
2. Best Math App for Kids: DragonBox Algebra 5+
The ultimate goal of these apps is to teach a child new concepts without them realizing it. If an app is too educational, kids are likely to lose interest sooner.
DragonBox Algebra meets those requirements. It teaches kids aged five and older the basics of addition, subtraction, division, and multiplication.
The app makes players manipulate on-screen cards to complete puzzles. As the game progresses, the app slowly reveals the operators needed to isolate the board’s “Dragon Box.”
Download: DragonBox Algebra 5+ for Android | iOS ($5)
3. Best Science App for Kids: My Incredible Body
An educational app should be both informative and visually stunning. My Incredible Body meets these requirements.
You can take a rocket ride around the body to see how everything works. All videos and images are medically accurate. At any time, you can stop the ride and watch the body in action. For example, you can see a video of what happens to the lungs while breathing or how the heart functions while you’re exercising.
Questions on specific topics are available through in-app purchases, thus letting your kid test themselves on what they’ve learned. There are nine topics to choose from, including Brain and Nerves, Lungs and Air, Kidneys and Urine, and Puberty and Human Reproduction.
Download: My Incredible Body for Android | iOS ($25)
Lots of history apps focus on specific eras such as the Roman Empire, Medieval Europe, or the two World Wars.
However, if you want an all-around app that deals with the entirety of history, grab Timeline Eons. It’s impossible to convey how much information is included—it deals with all natural and human history since the very beginning.
You can zoom in and out of the timeline for more detailed breakdowns of particular times. At its most zoomed in, the scrollable timeline is longer than the circumference of the Earth.
You can even use the data to create your own timelines; it’s useful if you’re trying to engage your kids with a specific topic or age.
GeoBee Challenge is developed by the National Geographic Society and is based on its National Geographic Bee competition. The competition is open to kids in grades four to eight, but the questions are challenging for older kids too.
There are two rounds of gameplay: multiple-choice and map challenge. The app offers more than 1,300 multiple choice questions, all featured at some point in the National Geographic Bee. In the map round, kids need to identify locations.
Download: GeoBee Challenge for Android | iOS (Free)
7. Best Spanish App for Kids: Spanish School Bus
Spanish is arguably the most practical language for English-speaking westerners to learn. It’s the second most widely-spoken language in the world after Mandarin, and more than a sixth of the people in the United States are now fluent in it.
If you want to give your kid a head start, download Spanish School Bus. It uses the Montessori-based learning approach to introduce children to 300 common Spanish words across topics such as colors, animals, food, and travel.
There’s also a healthy dose of Spanish and Latin culture, with introductory information about historical figures, landmarks, music, and art.
Download: Spanish School Bus for Android | iOS (Free, premium version available)
For a drawing app that’s specifically geared towards kids, check out Art of Glow. It lets kids create brightly-colored neon artwork using finger swipes. You can also make art into a short video. Your kid’s creations will instantly come to life.
The moving, vivid colors on the black background are guaranteed to keep a child entertained for hours.
codeSpark Academy is for children between the ages of four and nine. The app introduces kids to the fundamental principles of coding, then lets them practice what they’ve learned. The practice takes place across drag-and-drop games, puzzles, game design, creative projects, and even offline printables.
The entire app was developed in conjunction with experts from MIT, Princeton, and Carnegie Mellon, so you know you’re using a quality piece of software.
Download: codeSpark Academy for Android | iOS (Free trial, $8/month subscription required)
10. Best Finance App for Kids: FamZoo
Another glaring omission from the core curriculum is finance and money management. It’s never too early to establish the basics of saving with your kids, and you can introduce more complex financial principles as they get older.
FamZoo is the solution. It acts as a centralized, parent-run bank for kids. You can assign monetary values to chores, add pocket money to kids’ accounts, instigate financial penalties, and pay interest.
As your kid becomes older, you can add a pre-paid card to the account. You can load the money onto the card, then keep track of which stores your child is spending it in. You can even block certain stores and merchants.
Mobile apps are just one part of a parent’s educational armory; you should not exclusively rely on them. Make sure you take your kids outdoors, into museums, and on trips—they’ll all help to give your child a balanced education.