The hunt for kids learning apps and educational screen time solutions can be hard – you need that balance of quality and fun that the kids will really enjoy! The goal of this post is not necessarily to name exact apps (one kid might like robots, the next one princesses) but to give you the resources to find them on your own. Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links.
Educational screen time can be a sanity-saver for moms.
Granted, we try to limit it in our home too, but there are those times when you just need a break, and you know that the kids are simply pulled toward the screen.
Kids learning apps and other digital educational resources are a perfect way to upgrade screen time. I hope you enjoy these fun ideas – I know your kids will!
One thing I’ve found with quality kids’ apps – they’re not usually free. Looking at the App Store and Google Play, I was always frustrated that all the free apps were rated 3 stars or under, had poor graphics, were too device-heavy, etc. And there’s no way to “Try” an app on one of these websites.
That’s why I specifically looked for a solution to that problem, by pinpointing those that offer free trials (such as ABCmouse.com) , or that I have tried myself and can vouch for (such as the Little Scholar tablet below).
Tip: when you see the word “trial” it usually means that it auto-renews. Set an alarm for when you want to re-evaluate if it’s worth paying for to know if you should continue with it.
Below, you’ll find resources for kids of all ages – literally ages two to 18! Just choose what’s best for your kid…
Kids Learning Apps and Websites:
- An Online Curriculum that’s actually fun: ABCmouse.com – This early education website was something we fell in love with at the library near my parents. It includes a full curriculum for ages 2-8 – but it’s all fun! Your kids almost won’t realize they’re learning (well, the little ones at least).
- A Loaded Kid-Friendly Tablet: Little Scholar tablet – This kid-friendly device was a lifesaver for me postpartum. We gifted it to M as a big sibling gift when Baby Y was born. It comes loaded with plenty of apps – all educational – but some of them more so than others. It’s split into levels: Pre-k, Kindergarten, and 1st grade.
- Kids Learning Apps for Phones and Tablets: I put together this amazing list last year – I hope you enjoy!
- Ebooks: Download the free Amazon Kindle Reading app – because for some reason, reading on a screen is THAT much more exciting for kids. And reading is almost ALWAYS educational. Obviously, supervise this for young kids – you want to make sure they’re reading the right books! Try out Amazon Kindle Unlmited so that you have plenty of material. Another great resource for books and audibooks is Scribd – they have a section for kids and YA readers.
- You can also try audio books: Audible – Yes, they might not be AS educational as the written word, but they can still expand horizons and build vocabulary. Build your library and keep the books your get forever, even if you cancel your trial. If your kid loves to plug in the headphones, give these a go!
- Zap Zap Math: I was really impressed with this phone app – I collaborated with them on a post right over here, so you can check it out for more information.
- Amazon’s Actually Free Apps: Amazon Underground offers a huge selection of paid apps for free! You can start with The Boynton Collection – featuring some of Sandra Boynton’s top picks. Honestly, I wish these were less resource-heavy, but you’ll still find these apps take up plenty of space on your phone…
Regular Entertainment you can make educational!
If your kid isn’t about to play math games, these fun ideas can be turned educational… if you do it right! Make sure to be on top of your kids when using these apps, as they also contain non-kid-friendly content.
- Online Craft Lessons: Never underestimate the value of learning a new skill! Craftsy and CreativeBug are two of my favorite options for online craft classes and are perfect boredom busters. The online video format of classes make it more enticing for kids.
- Educational TV Shows: Apps and services such as Hulu or Amazon Prime give you a large enough selection of shows to watch – you’re sure to find something educational. We’ve always used Hulu to show M episodes of Sesame Street.
- Educational Magazines: Texture gives you access to loads of magazines – encourage those like National Geographic and Popular Science for an educational screen-time activity for kids.
Do you know of any kids learning apps that are totally awesome?! Do you also believe in a moderate amount of educational screen time below? I’d love to hear your tips, advice, ideas below!