Best for Young Children
ABCMouse.com: This app is a favorite of parents and kids alike. It’s designed for ages 2-8 and teaches numbers, letters, shapes, addition, subtraction, and reading skills. The app uses storyline based videos, quizzes, and engaging activities that make learning fun. You can get a one-month free trial and then subscribe for $10 a month if you like what you see.
PBS Kids Games: This free app designed for ages 2-7 allows kids to learn important skills while spending time with their favorite PBS TV characters. Besides basic reading and arithmetic, the app offers games that teach kids about music theory, Spanish, and science. You don’t have to download an app; you can also go to PBSkids.org/games on any computer. For educational TV shows that go with the games, try the PBS Videos app (also free). Kids can watch Daniel Tiger, Arthur, and other favorites anytime.
Best Reading Apps
Epic!: The apps listed above work on reading skills, but if you want your child to have access to tons of children’s books (over 35,000 to be exact) anytime, anywhere, then Epic! is the app for you. The best way for kids to learn how to read is practice, practice, practice. Epic! allows you and your child to effortlessly find great books that they will be excited about reading. It includes a read-to-me feature for little ones who can’t read yet, or for young readers who need to hear words pronounced. The app also features videos, quizzes, personalized book recommendations and motivational badges and awards. You can try Epic! free for one month, it costs $8 a month after that.
Homer: Homer is a great tool for all readers because it creates a personalized reading program for your child based on their interests and current skill levels. This app is free for educators and $7.99 per month for everyone else after a free 30-day trial. Your membership includes access to over 200 animated stories (including a whole section dedicated to Sesame Street characters).
Best for Older Kids
DuoLingo: This app is great for anyone who’s trying to learn a second language. It’s suggested for ages 10 and up and would be great for a middle or high school student who needs extra help with their foreign language class. DuoLingo uses quick, fun exercises to teach grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation, and has over 30 languages in its database. It’s free with ads or ad-free for $6.99 a month.
Swift Playgrounds: This beautiful app is perfect for kids ages 9 and older who want to learn about coding. Apple designed it to encourage kids to learn coding skills (now essential for many types of jobs). It uses dynamic visuals, puzzles, and targeted lessons to keep kids engaged and having fun while learning. Swift Playgrounds is only available for ios, but it is free.