Apps for Back to School

There are so many apps out there – it’s overwhelming. How can you possibly find the best ones for your child? With this list, we have tried to do some of that work for you. Created by one of our star Information Assistants in the Central Children’s Department, this list includes apps for Pre-School / Kindergarten and Grade School. You can find them in the iTunes App Store and / or the Google Play Store, as specified. Enjoy!

Pre-School / Kindergarten

Talking ABC (iTunes)

A fun claymation alphabet app that will delight toddlers and preschoolers alike.  Along with claymation alphabet recognition, there are games and puzzles to extend learning.

iWriteWords (iTunes)

Teaches handwriting in a fun and easy way that’s completely portable!

AlphaTots (iTunes and Google Play)

Reinforces letter recognition with interactive elements that are fun to do.

Montessori Letter Sounds (iTunes and Google Play)

Letter recognition through sounds, tracing, drawing and speaking.  A large variety of levels to get kids ready for reading.

Montessori Crosswords or Montessori Word & Phonics (iTunes and Google Play)

Teaches phonics to beginning and emerging readers.  Drag and drop phonetically-enabled letters into blank squares that make up crossword grids along with pictures of the items and spoken audio of their names when tapped.

Starfall Learn to Read (iTunes and Google Play)

15 mini-books, each focusing on a specific vowel, along with videos and activities to enhance literacy learning.

Reading Raven (iTunes)

Practicing reading can be fun with this app that teaches early phonics awareness and reading skills using voice-over instructions and mini-games which parents can customize based on age.

Dr. Suess series (iTunes and Google Play)

These apps are a combination of stories and games based on Dr. Seuss books and characters.

PBS Parents Play and Learn (iTunes and Google Play)

More than a dozen mini games that teach math and literacy skills.

Park Math (iTunes)

Kids can learn to count, add, subtract, sort, and make patterns and sequences.

Bugs & Bubbles (iTunes)

Fun game to introduce and reinforce emerging math skills set in Uncle Bob’s Bubble Factory.

Love to Count by Pirate Trio (iTunes)

Teaches basic math concepts through hundreds of pirate-themed activities.

SlateMath (iTunes)

38 activities prepare kids for grade 1 by working on basic concepts such as numbers, digit writing, counting, adding, order relation, patterns, etc.

Splash Math series (iTunes and Google Play)

A wide ranging series of math review apps that cover math curriculum from Kindergarten through Grade 5, as well as individual concepts like telling time.

Motion Math series (iTunes and Google Play)

This series address a wide range of math concepts for 3-8 year olds.

Count TV (iTunes)

Sesame Street videos that teach counting.

Scout’s 123 Carnival (iTunes)

LeapFrog character, Leap, guides kids through learning numbers 1-20.

Elmo Loves 123s (iTunes)

Elmo helps kids learn their numbers.

Marble Math Junior (iTunes)

A read aloud marble math problem maze that teaches preschoolers shapes, sequencing, number values and other early math concepts.

Seasons & Weather (iTunes)

Educational app developed by PBS Kids that aims to teach young children and toddlers the difference between seasons and other weather information.

Bobo Explores Light (iTunes)

Bobo is a robot from outer space that travels through our solar system to explore the science behind light, astronomy and other related topics.  Great for young kids, but it will appeal to older siblings as well.

National Geographic series (iTunes and Google Play)

A large number of apps exploring wildlife and science.

 

Grade School

Chicktionary (iTunes and Google Play)

Word game that your kids will find so fun they forget they’re learning.  Use letters to spell as many words as you can before time runs out.

Duolingo (iTunes and Google Play)

Learn and practice six different languages, including French, with multiple levels of learning as well as the ability to translate real world text.

MathBoard (iTunes and Google Play)

Teaches addition, subtraction, multiplication and division through the use of custom quiz generators and problem solvers.

Math Guardians (iTunes)

Combines battle-style arcade gaming with math questions – fun and educational!

DragonBox Algebra (iTunes and Google Play)

Introduces fundamental algebraic equations through the use of matching rather than numbers.

Splash Math series (iTunes and Google Play)

A wide ranging series of math review apps that cover math curriculum from Kindergarten through Grade 5, as well as individual concepts like telling time.

Motion Math series (iTunes and Google Play)

This series address a wide range of math concepts for 3-8 year olds.

Marble Math (iTunes)

Solving math problems to move the marble around the maze helps to reinforce math skills.

Numbers League (iTunes)

Practice  basic math facts while helping superheroes fight evil villains.

iSolveIt: MathScaled and iSolveIt: MathSquared (iTunes)

Both apps promote logic and creative problem solving in a fun way for older grade school kids.    MathScaled is an app that has a scale at the top that the user must balance using the shapes that are offered at the bottom.  MathSquared, like Sudoku, is a game with a matrix that allows each number to be used only once in a row or column.

iTooch series (iTunes and coming soon to Google Play)

Large app covers math, language arts and science for grades 3-5, based on US curriculum standards.  Includes 18000 exercises as well as a built-in calculator and blackboard so you don’t have to leave the app to figure something out.

Dictionary.com (iTunes and Google Play)

Everyone needs a dictionary/thesaurus app and this is a good one for your kids.  It includes voice recognition, favourites and fun daily features.

World Atlas (iTunes and Google Play)

An interactive atlas app that every on the go student could probably use.

CIA World Factbook (iTunes and Google Play)

Lots of great country information for those school projects.

GeoWalk HD 3D World Factbook (iTunes and Google Play)

Information about 500 people, places, plants, and animal presented in easily digestible but fact-loaded bites with no description is more than a paragraph long.

National Geographic series (iTunes and Google Play)

A large number of apps exploring wildlife and science.

gFlash (iTunes and Google Play)

Custom flashcard preparation and test app.  There are others out there that are good too (Evernote, StudyBlue and Chegg Flashcards) but this is one of the few available for Android and Apple devices.

BrainPOP Featured Movie (iTunes and Google Play)

Each day, there is a new animated documentary, and it could be on just about any topic you can think of. Film topics have included the planet Mars, dogs, asthma, blogs, and Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. These films and the information within are geared toward older elementary school kids.

Sky Safari (iTunes and Google Play)

Planetarium app with a dynamic star chart that will help you identify stars, planets, nebulae and more, the supporting material is very detailed and in-depth.

World of Goo (iTunes and Google Play)

Physics puzzler that uses balls of goo that you link link together to form structures that are tested for stability and strength.

 

Other resources

Khan Academy (www.khanacademy.org)

This is an amazing educational video website for everyone from grade school kids to adults.  For grade school aged kids, the math and science videos are the most helpful.  The videos are also useful for parents to review if helping a child with their homework.

CommenSense Media (http://www.commonsensemedia.org/learning-ratings)

A website that provides ratings and reviews for apps.  This website can be search by app title as well as by age, subject and skill level.

KinderTown (http://www.kindertown.com/)

A website that provides reviews of apps for kids from 3-8 years that you can search by age, subject, device and price.  This site does an annual parent guide to the best apps for kids.

Geeks with Juniors (http://www.geekswithjuniors.com/)

A weblog about technology covering app reviews and tech tips for parents.

 

 


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