14 Best Educational Apps For Kids and Students (2021)

Thanks to today’s best educational apps for kids, you can leverage technology to help your children or students learn new things in a fun, engaging, and highly effective manner.

The fast-paced technology has made it pretty easy for today’s children to adapt to technological innovations. We all have seen toddlers and adolescents having a knack for iPads and smartphones, and it’s understandable why parents despise the idea of too much screen time at this age.

Screen time is inevitable. Kids spend most of their days using their gadgets. The good news is you can put that screen time to good use with educational apps.

With the boom in online learning, it may be a sensible idea to introduce your kid to online education outside classrooms. Educational apps not only offer a personalized learning plan but may also help parents conquer their kid’s strengths and weaknesses.

Teachers can also utilize learning apps for kids as a supplement to further aid their students’ development, particularly in virtual learning environments.

Also, interactive visuals coupled with practice lessons enhance cognitive skills and seem quite interesting rather than traditional book learning.

Here, we have compiled the best educational apps for kids, spanning different age groups, subjects, and purposes.

Without further ado, let’s dive in…

Disclosure: Some of the links in this article are affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost for you, we might get a commission if you click the link and purchase.

 

What are the Best Kids Learning Apps?

Here are our picks for the best educational apps for kids available today:

1. Best Overall: HOMER Learning

Best Overall
HOMER - The Essential Early Learning Program and App for Kids 2-8 HOMER - The Essential Early Learning Program and App for Kids 2-8

HOMER is a personalized learning app designed to help kids fall in love with learning. There are over 1,000 learning activities across all subjects, and the content is tailored to your child's age and interests.

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From toddlers to second-graders, this educational app is a fit for every eager kid ready to learn something new.

HOMER is an early learning software designed to help children develop their critical thinking skills. It helps them build their confidence for the future by leading them on their customized educational journey.

It features a variety of interactive lessons, stories, and activities that are tailored according to the student’s individual skills, age, and interests. Because the lessons are tailored to your child’s interests and abilities, not to mention they’re fun and entertaining, the app keeps their attention and ensures their screen time is productive.

The personalization is what really sets HOMER apart from other kids educational apps, and it’s why this is our favorite app for keeping children of various ages and skills engaged and learning.

Key Features & Benefits

  • Wide range of informative games and stories available.
  • Provides with fun learning activities for different subjects like math, reading, creativity, and
    thinking skills.
  • Library is enriched with a wide variety of genres.
  • Stories, games, lessons, and songs are very interactive and interesting for kids.
  • App is kid-friendly and a child can easily touch, hold or drag objects with a
    simple tap.
  • Hassle-free app with no advertisements.
  • Printable, videos and expert tips are the resources available for parents.

Pricing

homer price

HOMER pricing across its 3 plans is as follows:

  • Monthly Plan: $9.99 per month
  • Annually Plan: $59.99 per year
  • Annual Digital Plan + Hands-On Bundle: $99.99 per year

HOMER offers a 30 days full access free trial.

2. Also Great for Kids 8 & Under: ABCmouse

Great Choice
ABCmouse ABCmouse

ABCmouse is one of most popular learning apps for little kids ages 2-8. It includes educational games, books, puzzles, and more to help kids learn in a fun, effective manner.

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ABCmouse is one of the best kids learning apps out there. It was created for educating younger children from ages 2 to 8, helping them learn and master everything from letter recognition to reading to math and more.

The curriculum involves story videos, puzzles, engaging activities, songs, and a lot more in the field of math, science, art, and reading. Parents can always change the level of learning to ensure that the kid is not playing around with the same skills.

ABCmouse offers a fun bonus that will make your kids love every bit of it. They will get a ticket reward on every completed lesson to purchase items for decorating their virtual classroom.

Also, there is a child-friendly environment at ABC Mouse so you don’t need to worry about the appearance of pop-ups or advertisements leading to dangerous content.

Key Features & Benefits

  • Designed for two to eight years of children
  • Curriculum planned by teaching experts
  • Offers learning in various range of subjects
  • Fun educational games and activities
  • Different learning programs for different skill levels
  • Safe to use with COPPA-verification
  • Offers free tickets to kids upon completion of the lesson
  • Assessment center to check the progress of the child
  • Up to three kids registration allowed per account 
  • Available in the form of app and website
  • 30-day free trial

Pricing

ABCmouse pricing is as follows:

  • Monthly: $12.99 per month
  • Short-Term: $29.99 every 6 months
  • Annually: $59.99 per year (up to 60% off the regular price)

Click here to check out the 30-day free trial.

3. Best For Online Reading: EPIC!

Great Reading App for Kids
Epic Epic

Want your kids to fall in love with reading? Epic includes a huge library of 40,000+ books and helps kids progress in their reading, making it fun and exciting.

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This incredible kids learning app contains over 40,000 books, audiobooks, and videos for children that can be accessed from several devices like computers, laptops, mobile phones, and others. It is a great platform for educators and homeschooling parents to encourage kids for interactive reading.

Simply put, Epic is one of the most popular learn to read apps for kids.

You’ll be impressed by how user-friendly and easy to navigate Epic is. Kids can sort the library with the help of refined search options like age, reading level, interests, and so on.

Also, those who want to learn a second language can look for multilingual content. These options induce a feeling of personalization and make your kids enthusiastic readers.

Due to the downloading feature provided by Epic, the problem with portability is not a thing anymore. The badges awarded to readers serve as a motivational incentive and make them want to read more and accomplish more.

Also, the parents can track the progress of your children and have an insight into how far their reading interest has developed.

Key Features & Benefits

  • Stores 40000+ library
  • Designed for two to twelve years old children
  • Great for school and home use
  • Easy navigation options
  • Kid-friendly application
  • Reading incentives like badges and awards
  • Offline accessibility with download option
  • Collaboration with many renowned academic platforms
  • Compatible with most android and apple devices
  • Up to 4 person accounts can be registered 

Pricing

EPIC has 2 paid plans:

  • $7.99 monthly payment
  • $71.99 annual prepayment

Epic gives access to a one-month free trial for new users. It is completely free for teachers and librarians.

4. Best For Phonics Learning: Starfall

starfall logo

Starfall is a digital learning app for kids that teaches letters, words, and sounds to children in an animated language. Thumbs up, the free version of this app is quite remarkable with access to a number of useful resources!

However, the paid version involves premium access to arts curriculum that helps children in mastering math and social science skills.

From allowing your kids great memorization to having fun while learning, Starfall knows how to make the most of their screen time

This app uses a fantasy-based approach to learning for creating curiosity in children to get more knowledge. Children bond with the Starfall characters in their virtual classroom through games, stories, songs, and other fun activities. All of these activities are built on the same concept and introduce a new challenge and excitement as you move on to the next level.  Parents can monitor the pace of progress simultaneously.

Starfall’s teaching method focuses on the development of phonemic recognition, systematic phonics, words, communication, and comprehension. It is a great way to homeschool kids and make them learn without supervision.

The entertaining graphics and vibrant colors of the website ensure that children stay engaged throughout the lessons and learn to navigate the site.

Key Features & Benefits

  • Made for children of 2-5 years
  • Offers interactive learning program
  • Easy to filter through content
  • Ideal for home and classroom use
  • Supported by android and apple devices

Pricing

Starfall offers free service to users. However, it can be upgraded to one-year membership costing $35 per year for accessing premium features.

5. Best For Language Learning: Duolingo

duolingo logo

Are you contemplating getting your child to learn a new language? Well, it may seem a daunting task at first, but the advent of online kids learning apps such as Duolingo has made it easier.

Duolingo is one of the most raved about free language learning apps. It is great for kids who have just started speaking or may have a language deficiency. All preschoolers and school-aged children can benefit from this app’s seamless learning approach.

Duolingo consists of more than 34 languages! And for now, we’re just counting the ones that use English as the base language. They are plenty of other base languages along with their subsequent language courses. Overall, it’s like an enormous library!

The best part is Duolingo’s well-targeted and organized lesson plans. Each course has a set of modules, which includes lessons for each level. Once you pass a certain number of modules, the other module will be unlocked.

At first, kids will have to attempt a placement test to gauge their current understanding. Next, the app will devise appropriate lessons based on the user’s skillset.

Also, the lessons progress in chronological order, but kids have full liberty to go back and revise a particular lesson if they want.

Key Features & Benefits

  • Each lesson takes three to four minutes to complete
  • 20-minute podcasts available to listen and learn from native speakers
  • Strengthens reading, writing and speaking skills
  • Option to access regular practice exercises
  • Ability to track daily progress
  • Sleek, easy to use interface

Pricing

Although Duolingo is free for everyone, it offers one paid plan if you want more advanced features

  • Duolingo Plus: $12.99 per month


6. Best Coding App for Kids: codeSpark

Best Coding App for Kids
codeSpark Academy codeSpark Academy

codeSpark is a fun, engaging coding app that teaches kids basic problem solving, critical thinking skills, creativity, and a host of other valuable skills. Kids will enjoy playing on the app, not even realizing how much they're learning along the way as they get prepared for the world of tomorrow.

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Want your kids to be prepared for the world of tomorrow? Want them to improve their problem solving skills?

codeSpark is a popular coding app for kids that includes exciting games and challenges designed to teach children basic coding skills in a fun way that doesn’t even feel like learning.

With an intuitive, word-free interface, kids can learn to code before they even know how to read — talk about getting a head start!

The app is also designed to appeal to both girls and boys with the goal of helping close the gender gap in STEM.

Here are some compelling facts and figures showing just how effective this app is:

  • Used by over 62,000 educators worldwide
  • Used in over 35,000 schools worldwide
  • After 90 minutes of coding with codeSpark Academy, 55% showed increased confidence in problem-solving abilities.
  • After 90 minutes of coding with codeSpark Academy, 22% showed an increase in accuracy with moderate sequencing tasks.
  • In 2020, kids created 11 million games and stories on codeSpark Academy

Key Features & Benefits

  • Teaches kids to code before they even know how to read
  • Promotes problem solving and critical thinking skills
  • Unlimited coding challenges
  • Fun, engaging games and activities makes learning exciting
  • Tons of creativity-inspiring activities
  • Great for kids 5 and up
  • Teaches valuable coding skills that prepare kids for the world of tomorrow

Pricing

Start with a free 7-day trial. Pricing is then either $79.99 billed annually ($6.67 a month) or $9.99 on a monthly basis.

 

7. Also Great For Learning Coding: Hopscotch

hopscotch logo

We all know how difficult it is to learn programming, right? And when we are talking about programming for kids, it is no easy task for sure!

However, with the great user-friendly interface provided by Hopscotch, it makes coding far easier to learn for kids than generally assumed.

It is based on open-ended learning to stimulate the logical thinking ability of children. They are completely independent to experiment with and personalize their program or even formulate their own projects.

The animation and gaming options are a great way to keep children engaged while learning. The rich range of avatars is another entertaining thing about this app. And you know what’s more? Kids can also interact with their friends and the whole Hopscotch community by sharing their programs.

Key Features & Benefits

  • Great programming app for beginners
  • Specifically for children of 10 to 16 years
  • Encourages to think intellectually
  • Designed to be an open-ended platform 
  • Easy to navigate the site
  • Variety of avatars to choose from 
  • Allows kids to personalize their program
  • Promotes interaction with fellow users
  • Compatible with only Apple mobile devices

Pricing

Hopscotch gives free access to all users. However, there are many in-app purchases available to make programming even more fun for children.

8. Best For Learning Mathematical Skills: DragonBox Math

dragonbox math logo

Mathematics is a difficult subject to both learn and teach.

But it is now absolutely fun to learn with DragonBox as it teaches kids with the help of games and exciting activities. There are no quizzes and assessments so they don’t even realize that they are being taught. They just keep enjoying their screen time while their mind grasps mathematical skills and the concepts stay there lifelong.

This innovative math app for kids has the most eye-pleasing graphics and motivating techniques to keep the children hooked throughout the lesson. A couple of simple directions are given to learners on each level for their better understanding of the game. They can delve deeper into the basic and advanced concepts and explore as much as they want.

Key Features & Benefits

  • For children of four to nine years old 
  • Five geometric and algebraic learning apps
  • Award-winning teaching platform
  • Easy to follow instructions at every step
  • Level-based and age-based learning
  • Allows for creativity and experimentation
  • Captivating graphics for an interesting experience

Pricing

DragonBox offers four paid plans:

  • Basic Version: Free for all
  • Home version: $5 per month and $60 per year 
  • Family version 33.33% discount on $7.5 per month and $90 per year 
  • Premier Version: $15 per month and $180 per year

9. Best For Behavior Management: ClassDojo

classdojo logo

Class Dojo is an online classroom teaching app and supports positive student behavior and classroom culture like no other. With COPPA and FERPA verification, it ensures a safe learning environment for children. It is operational on almost all devices such as computers, laptops, tablets, and mobile devices.

It offers plenty of innovative resources to educators in the form of video lectures and tutorials. Each instructor can customize class values based on a particular classroom’s needs. The students are awarded dojo points by their teachers based on their performance which encourages them to work hard and get more appreciation.

Class Dojo is uniquely designed with immense ease of communication and receiving notifications. Students can connect to their instructors in case of academic-related problems. Parents can get timely feedback about their child’s progress and interact with the teachers to discuss his/her behavioral development.

Key Features & Benefits

  • Promotes a positive student culture
  • Verified by COPPA and FERPA
  • Encourages communication between parents and teachers
  • Allows to track the progress of children
  • Customizable class values for teachers
  • Offers performance appraisal in the form of points
  • Accessible on most Android and Apple devices

Pricing

ClassDojo is an all-free teaching program for educators, administration, and parents.

10. Best For Personalized Learning: Khan Academy

khan academy logo

An all-in-one educational app for kids of all ages. Khan Academy provides all the resources for free and is successful in providing every person with their in-depth study material.

Khan Academy provides practice problems, instructional videos, and a personalized learning dashboard, allowing students to study at their own speed. It has a library of thousands of educational videos on hundreds of topics and additional resources like practice questions etc.

Khan Academy consists of a variety of subjects at different levels like math, science, arts, and humanities as well as AP courses. Test Preparation like SAT, GMAT, and IELTS are also inclusive of their study material.

Key Features & Benefits

  • Provides thousands of videos and explanations for different courses.
  • Uses high-quality images, videos, and other illustrations, making the learning journey easier
    and interesting.
  • From core courses like math, science, economics, and history to different languages, many
    courses are offered for free.
  • Over 50,000 practice questions provided with step-by-step guidelines and instant feedback.
  • Download all the study material, from videos to entire topics, and access it easily any time
    and anywhere.
  • Keeps track of student work and lets you pick up from where you left off.
  • Easy to set up and use.

Pricing

Khan Academy is free for all and does not need the creation of an account as well.

11. Best For Toddlers: Busy Shapes

busyshapes logo

Busy Shapes is a smart learning app designed to assist toddlers and preschoolers. The app uses AI to strengthen child’s intelligence and their cognitive skills.

It features a digital playground full of geometric shapes in different colors and sizes that toddlers can explore and match into their corresponding holes. It is a clever method that encourages the kids to start thinking logically instead of rote learning.

The challenges presented before the toddlers evolves with each level through the use of AI and the screen offers a simple and clean ground with no instructions to let the child explore.

Key Features & Benefits

  • Progress is tracked and can be picked up right from where they left off
  • Most difficult stages also demand some problem-solving.
  • Helps kid develop their cognitive skills and not just memorize shapes and colors.
  • Screen determines when a child’s finger contacts the block even if there are other
    fingers touching the screen.
  • App is child-friendly and ad-free keeping the child hooked.
  • Parents can set up accounts as many as 40 for several kids.

Pricing

Busy Shapes offers a standardized plan of $1.99 at the time of download only (Apple, Android).

12. Best For Elementary School Kids: Prodigy

prodigy logo

Prodigy is an online interactive mathematics game designed for elementary and middle school students. It assesses students’ proficiency in mathematics while they are immersed in a different fantasy world full of battles, treasures, and characters.

In order to proceed in-game, the student needs to answer the mathematical questions that are aligned with the concepts they are learning.

Key Features & Benefits

  • Students are immersed in a fascinating fantasy world where success is based on their
    mathematical skills.
  • Students are motivated to study more via in-game questions that are targeted to them and
    the questions can be customized to their needs.
  • Keeps the kids engaged with their different characters, items, quests, and battles.
  • Progress can be tracked easily by the teacher or parents.
  • In-game support like a pen tool to show their working
  • Provides immediate feedback which clarifies their misconceptions and encourages students
    to learn independently and try again.

Pricing

Prodigy is a free game where all the educational content is free of cost. However, it provides a premium subscription that gives access to in-app features such as more characters, items, treasure chests, and pets.

  • Premium monthly plan: $8.95 per month
  • Premium Annual plan: %59.88 per year.

13. Best For Teenagers: Quizlet

quizlet logo

Quizlet is a study tool that enables you to create your own flashcards and features high-quality graphics, diagrams, several languages, and text-to-speech audio uploads.

Students can discover a variety of pre-made study sets made by instructors and other students on many topics. It provides them with options of flashcards, games, adaptive questions, and quizzes to learn, revise and review their practice in a timely manner.

It has a website as well as mobile apps for both iOS and Android, which enables mobile learning and ease of accessibility.

Key Features & Benefits

  • Create your own set of flashcards.
  • Perfect for independent rote learning.
  • Tests your memory and lets you race against the clock through different study activities.
  • Allows your flashcards and notes to be shared with others.
  • Uses graphics and audio to assist in effective learning.
  • Automatic pronunciation available in 18 languages.
  • Offline support is available through offline downloading.

Pricing

Quizlet is a free tool, however, it features an optional upgrade for more advanced features for both students and teachers.

  • Teacher: $35.99 per year
  • Go: $11.99 per year
  • Plus: $19.99 per year

All the plans offer a 7-day free trial.

14. Best For Science: Science 360

science 360 logo

Science 360 is a perfect learning and discovery platform for all science geeks. It provides quick and effortless access to intriguing engineering and science videos, images as well as providing all-time access to the latest scientific news and discovery from NSF-funded organizations.

This app is developed by the science360 knowledge network and is funded by the National Science Foundation.

All the data collected is provided by the NSF or from renowned scientists or various educational institutions like colleges and universities as well as science and engineering centers. Any amateur can use it to his own benefit easily as it is intuitive and very user-friendly.

Key Features & Benefits

  • A thorough explanation appears when you tap the image.
  • Provides fun and engaging images, texts, and videos on a wide range of scientific topics.
  • Access to high-quality images from NSF-funded organization which are also available for
    download.
  • Download and view any image or video within the app with a simple tap.
  • Explore interesting content through keywords or navigate in an engaging 360 view.
  • Provides up to date information on the latest scientific discoveries using the in-app
    newsfeed feature

Pricing

Science 360 is a free educational app available for download on iPad and Android devices

 

Why Are Educational Apps Important?

Educational apps now serve as an enhanced caregiver to kids. Children now resort to gadgets and internet for answers instead of reaching out to adults.

These applications have the most recent and updated information, in comparison to different channels. No longer do you have to keep on buying new books for kids to help them gain more knowledge, everything is under one application now.

Learning on educational applications is personalized for every student.

Unlike in a classroom, where you have one teacher for 30+ students, the applications create a one-on-one learning environment. All progress is kept private to ensure no student is embarrassed by poor progress. Students who have social anxiety find such an environment beneficial for their learning.

Educational applications promote literacy in areas where there is no education. It is unfortunate but real that global literacy rate is still 86%, according to statistics. Third world countries are underdeveloped and rural regions still do not have access to education, especially girls.

Educational applications require no infrastructure such as teachers, a good building, power, running water, and so on but only a smartphone and access to the internet.

When the kids learn in a comfortable environment, they enjoy it.

And education experts also advocate for apps since they have shown improved test scores. They can even be used in certain moments to keep kids from getting bored in online class.

 

Features To Look For In Educational Apps

Parents need to ensure that the application they select and download for their kids is actually beneficial. They may use a few tips to ensure that kids will be learning and using their time efficiently. Below are some of the features parents should look for in educational applications:

Customizable Settings

They are a very important feature to ensure that learning is according to students’ standards. A grade two student would neither be interested nor comprehend the content for a grade eight student.

Speech and pronunciation

Such speaking tools for young kids are essential to building up their pronunciation skills and also to keep them engaged since they aren’t proficient at reading.

Parental control

Option for parental control should be present in the application, to control whatever the parents want. It could be something as small as the music of the game or something like preventing the kids from opening the lessons of higher levels.

Systematic learning

An application should have a plethora of information, but nothing too overwhelming for kids. It should be organized and categorized into a systematic learning procedure combining live and recorded sessions.

Assessments and Feedback

It should have an option to test information. For young kids, it could be as simple as a question, whereas for older students it could be quizzes or mock tests. This provides quantitative feedback to parents and show them the improvement in learning.

Base Language

To ensure inclusivity, the application should have an option to choose languages the student is comfortable in. In underdeveloped countries, English language is not very common to students. They usually are fluent in their native languages and mother tongue.

Visual Enhancement Tools

Video-based content and gamified version of activities keep the kids engaged which is why parents should also try to find such apps. However, it should be noted that advertisements should be kept to a minimum, especially advertisements of other games and TV show promotions since they can be distracting for the student and negatively impact their learning.

 

Benefits of Kids Learning Apps

Why should you be convinced that educational applications are important? Why should you place your trust in an application?

Here is why:

  • These applications are more motivating than physical classrooms. Students find it taxing to get up, get dressed, and travel to school. Getting onto an educational application is easier and from the comfort of their bed
  • Learning has no geographical or political boundaries. They can be learning any language or any kind of information that is inaccessible in physical learning spaces.
  • Applications, unlike teachers, are available 24/7 to students. Students can open them in the middle of the night, or early morning for learning, whatever fits their schedule.
  • Educational applications are environmentally friendly since they save on the papers used for printing the books, and also the learning material used for writing.
  • Kids learning apps are constantly updated for new research and errors. While humans can miscommunicate or teach a wrong fact sometimes, the applications have the latest and the correct information
  • Unlike teachers who may communicate different things to different students, an application provides a systematic way of informed learning.
  • Learning apps for kids are highly engaging and interactive, more than books which is why they are more efficient and give a better learning experience

 

A Final Word

No doubt, traditional learning methods linger a feeling of boredom. Monotonous learning patterns restrict children’s creativity and critical thinking skills.

With the best educational apps for kids, it’s the other way round!

Novel learning methods incorporating the element of fun and engagement are best to amp up your child’s confidence and improve their learning habits.

Have any questions about the best learning apps for kids? Comment below and we’ll help.

Fatima Mansoor

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