Great Educational Apps for Young Children

Anyone with young children and a tablet will know how much the kids enjoy playing with technology, and how quickly they get used to using it. Parents rightfully worry about the amount of ‘screen time’ their child gets, but whilst it’s important to engage in other activities, an iPad or other tablet is also a great way of educating your child in some of their most fundamental life skills. Here we look at some of the best apps to achieve this, split into two categories: children under 5, and children between the ages of 6 and 8.

Kids 5 and under

Pick a Pair Home Edition – Free on the App Store (£1.49 for the full version)

This animal-focused game helps with both vocabulary and problem solving by engaging children in a variety of tasks, most of which are designed around taking various fragments of animals and combining them to create a full picture.

North Pole – Animal Adventures for Kids – £2.49 on the App Store

This cute app shows children over thirty arctic animals in an interactive picture book, and also comes with a full audible encyclopedia on the animals and plants of the region in twelve languages.

Science Museum Splash! – £0.99 on the App Store and Google Play

A motion-reactive game from the Science Museum which simulates dropping various objects into a bath in order to work out which float and which sink, encouraging children to become curious about the world around them.

Drawnimal – £1.99 on the App Store

This clever app will show children part of an animal on the screen, and encourage them to draw the rest of the animal on a piece of paper underneath the tablet, before naming it as well. It comes with five European languages for those who are teaching their children to be bilingual.

EduGuru Maths – Free on the App Store and Google Play (£1.99 for the full version)

A large game designed specifically for the UK curriculum, EduGuru Maths has 8 different games that each support a different aspect of the early years maths curriculum, including telling the time, number recognition and shapes & sequences.

Intro to Colors – £3.99 on the App Store

This app may be on the more expensive side, and use American spelling (so be careful that your child learns ‘grey’ not ‘gray’!), but as a visual medium for exploring different shades of colours and learning different mixes, it can’t be beat.

Kids 6-8

Teachley: Addimal Adventure – £2.99 on the App Store

This American game uses cute animals and an engaging story to teach single-digit addition, promoting conceptual understanding and a strong base from which to work with.

Professor Astro Cat’s Solar System – £0.79 on the App Store and Google Play

This engaging app uses true or false questions about space travel and the solar system to promote scientific knowledge, whilst also having very deep yet easy to understand diagrams about each of the planets in our solar system.

Bee Bot – Free on the App Store

A short but engaging game that shows children the basics of coding through asking them to move a bee from one side of the garden to the other.

Motion Math: Hungry Fish – £2.29 on the App Store, £2.54 on Google Play

This fast-paced game encourages mental addition and subtraction by asking children to combine the correct digits in order to feed the fish that is hungry for a specific number.

First Step Country – Free on the App Store (£1.49 for the full version)

This simple quiz game has tons of information concerning countries, flags, currencies and monuments in order to help children learn about the wider world.

Forest Phonics – £2.29 on the App Store, £1.90 on Google Play

A well-designed game that asks children to choose a spelling pattern (e.g. ‘sh’) and then prompts them to spell ten words using that pattern, whilst also combining several animals into the background animation.

Dinosaur Book HD – Free on the App Store (£2.29 for the full version)

This simple but well-designed app shows kids almost everything there is to know about dinosaurs – one of the most popular subjects for young children – and tests them on their knowledge.

Who am I? Discover Wildlife – £2.29 on the App Store

An unconventional but effective animal-focused app that gets kids to learn more about the various creatures by showing them things such as silhouettes and paw prints, before asking them to identify which animal they belong to.