Our favorite learning apps for kids details which apps we’ve loved and seen huge success with in teaching our boys while still providing a fun experience for them as well. While this list isn’t totally comprehensive, these apps are tried and true!
I’ll just start with this: yes, there is a huge debate about how much screen time kids should have. Where do we land with all of it? Honestly, we’re trying to find the balance just like the rest of the world. We really value hands-on outdoor activities and fun, but we’ve also see how beneficial the right screen time can be (as in our older son knew his alphabet, how to count to 20, and the basics of reading by the time he was 2-1/2 years old). So while I don’t feel equipped to speak into every individual kiddo’s life on the benefits of screen time, I do know that for us we let our boys play games for 30 minutes a day and watch 30 minutes or so of TV a night.
It’s a balancing act, you know? We’re not perfect, but we’re learning…and the good news is that they are too!
I say these apps are from a real mom because I’m getting paid nothing to share any of them with you guys. These are genuinely the apps and channels that have worked for us! So without further ado I’m going to jump right in to the apps (and I’ve included a few TV shows and YouTube channels) that we’ve seen success in with our boys and learning!
APPS (THESE ARE ALL WHAT WE USE ON OUR IPHONES)
- The entire suite from Originator, which includes Endless Alphabet, Endless Reader, Endless Word Play, Endless Spanish, Endless Numbers, and MathTango. Full disclosure here: these apps are pricey. BUT they are totally and completely worth the cost – our boys love them, they’re challenging, and the kids LEARN on them. Plus I love them too – they’re just fun to play with!
- PBS app. You can watch videos, play games, and have fun all in one place. If you love PBS shows (which we do), this is a great app to have on hand to both learn and help distract kids in those moments when you just need them to hold still.
- Bible app for kids. I love this one – it’s interactive and a great way to help kids feel involved in the Bible. Plus it gives me a chance to answer questions they might have about the stories as we go.
- Stack the States. Can I be real here and say this one was more fun for me than my older kiddo? It’s definitely an app for kids who can read, but I have been awful at geography for YEARS…until I started playing this with my son. Now I actually know where all the states are in relation to one another…do I get a gold star? Ha! In all seriousness though, this one is a really fun game and does a fantastic job of not just teaching geography, but of teaching little bits about all of the states as well.
- Duolingo/Tiny Cards. Pick a language, any language! This one is fun for kids and adults alike. Want to learn a new language? Why not learn it together! My older son loves them equally, although Duolingo is more for grown ups and Tiny Cards for kids. It’s all good clean fun, though, and I love getting to discuss cultures with him as well!
- ABCmouse. We were gifted a membership from my parents and have really loved the way that ABCmouse encourages learning in the basics, as well as things like economics. My boys still haven’t grasped why it’s important to save their tickets yet, but we’re working on it…and having fun in the process!
A FEW FAVORITES IN TV PROGRAMMING
- PBS. As I stated before, we really do love PBS. Daniel Tiger, Ready Jet Go!, Peg + Cat, Wild Kratts, Super Why – you name it, we’ve seen it! I love that there are increasingly cool things for my older boy to watch, and that it’s all good for my little guy too.
- Nick Jr. Honestly we got the app on our Roku and I wasn’t sure what to expect. Since we don’t have cable we don’t have the unlimited access to the app, but every week they update the app with a new free show to watch and that has been great for us! I’ve been impressed with the following shows for their focus on problem solving, math, science, engineering, and creativity: Paw Patrol, Blaze & the Monster Machines, Team Umizoomi, Rusty Rivets, and Bubble Guppies.
- Netflix Kids. We don’t frequent this one as much anymore, but there are some fun kids shows on Netflix, and I love the rotation of movies for movie night!
A FEW FAVORITE YOUTUBE CHANNELS
- Blippi. While I find Blippi kind of annoying, I do love the way he helps show kids how to discover things. It feels silly saying that since kids are experts at exploring, but something about Blippi just encourages them to do it more. My boys pretend to be Blippi and love all of the songs – which, by the way, are on Spotify!
- King of Random. ALLLLLL the science experiments, y’all! These are actually pretty fun videos and give great ideas for things to do with kids to discover how things work.
- Art for Kids Hub. Learn how to draw! I’m always pleasantly surprised with how well I can draw things with this one – and it teaches kids that art is fun. Highly recommend!
- Go Noodle. This channel is really fun and is all about getting kids MOVING. I know my boys have both done Go Noodle! in school, and it’s a great way to get goofy, learn, and get the wiggles out!
So tell me – what are some apps/channels that you love and use in your home? Why? I’m always up for finding new things to try!