Early Learning Apps for Young Kids

Smartphones and tablets are great for entertainment and web surfing but they can also be wonderful teaching aids for young children. The easy-to-hold shapes and sizes, the bright, colorful displays, and the intuitive touchscreen controls make them ideal for those small hands and inquisitive minds.

Early-learning apps have become one of the most successful app categories for mobile devices, as parents recognize the potential of digital teaching aids and seek to give their kids a head-start in basic math and reading skills. (They are also a great way to buy mom a little peace and quiet!)

We took a look at some of the more popular early-learning apps for young kids and here are 10 of our favorites:

  • Kids Numbers and Math

    kidsnumbersandmathKids Numbers and Math is part of a series of educational apps from Intellijoy that strike the perfect balance between learning and fun. The math app teaches counting, addition, subtraction and matching. Visual clues help younger kids find the right answer and an ‘advanced’ section encourages older kids to get there on their own. Customizable sounds reward kids every time a problem is successfully solved.

    Platform:iOS, Android
    Price: $2.99
  • Tracing ABC

    tracingabcA tracing app that teaches kids to write the traditional way! This colorful and easy-to-follow app includes upper- and lower-case letters, numbers, shapes and over 800 full words. Bright green stars put your child on the right path, and photos, and illustrations help your child become familiar with the sights and sounds of each letter or word.

    Platform:iOS, Android
    Price: $1.99
  • Grandma’s Garden

    GrandmaHelp grandma take care of her garden with this 6-games-in-I app from Fairlady Media. Kids can learn letters, numbers, colors and shapes, all through the healthy vegetables that grandma grows in her garden. A perfect app for preschoolers to get comfortable with all the basic learning concepts that they will come across in kindergarten.

    Platform:iOS, Android
    Price: $0.99
  • Reading Raven HD

    ReadingRavenAnother fun reading app that is fully customizable for different ages and learning levels. Eleven different games and activities take kids on fun-filled adventures, where they will encounter everything from fly-eating frogs to space robots to underwater sea creatures. A series of progression-based reading exercises include letter and word matching for younger kids and reading aloud and voice recording for older kids.

    Platform:iOS
    Price: Free
  • Preschool: 15 in 1 Kids Pack

    Preschool
    If you want a complete pre-K educational app, then the Preschool: 15 in 1 Kids Pack might be just what you’re looking for. Featuring alphabet games, numbers, animal sounds, sketching exercises, days of the week, 100+ words to learn, and more, the 15 in 1 Kids Pack is highly ranked by various children’s publications and recommended by numerous parents and teachers.

    Platform:iOS
    Price: $0.99
  • iStoryBooks

    istorybooksiStoryBooks is the storybook app that never gets old! Enjoy the many books that come with the free download, or sign up for the subscription service and get new books every 2 weeks, or just pay 99 cents for a new book whenever you need one. Books include classic children’s tales, popular folk stories, and all kinds of educational books. Each book comes with text and audio options, so kids can read with a parent or enjoy the books on their own.

    Platform:iOS, Android
    Price: Free, $0.99 in-app purchases
  • Kids ABC Phonics

    kidsabcphonics1Kids learn to recognize and repeat letter sounds through carefully constructed steps. This app isn’t designed to teach kids how to read but instead allows them to instantly recognize and form the sounds made by various letter combinations. This makes a later transition to full words and reading much easier. The app constantly provides positive reinforcement so kids want to continue to learn.

    Platform:Android
    Price: $3.99
  • Monkey Preschool Lunchbox

    monkeypreschoolMonkey Preschool Lunchbox consists of a series of different games, which teach kids how to recognize colors, letters, numbers and matching shapes. The little monkey helps the kids get though each exercise, and the voice recordings make sure that kids know the name and sound of each word, number or object. Every ‘win’ is rewarded with a sticker!

    Platform:iOS, Android
    Price: $0.99
  • Montessori Words for Kids

    montessoriwordsMontessori Words for Kids (or Montessori Crosswords for iOS) is another phonetically-enabled reading app, which is a fun and informative way to teach basic word recognition. The three different levels cater for beginners and more advanced readers, and the audio and touchscreen combinations make sure that the learning never gets dull. Kids can play alone or with a parent.

    Platform:iOS, Android
    Price: $2.99
  • Kindergarten Kids Math

    kindergartenkidsKindergarten Kids Math includes over 400 interactive exercises to help teach kids basic counting, number sequence, addition and subtraction. Easy-to-understand graphics illustrate the different concepts involved and hold kids’ attention, so the exercises never get boring. A great app for the back of the car or whenever your child needs a few minutes of healthy distraction!

    Platform:Android
    Price: $0.99

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