Are you looking for fun but educational apps for kids to download for your iPhone or iPad? Here are 20 free educational apps and games for children reviewed by Mykidstime Parents and Kids.
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When you want something fun but educational for your child to try out online, then these apps have been tried and tested by families. And they are all free! From maths to spelling to origami, here is our list.
20 Free Educational Apps For Kids Reviewed By Families
#1. Monkey Maths
Beat the evil rogue, Mean Monkey, to Banana Cradle and return the stolen ancient treasures to their rightful place. Travel to the enchanted islands of arithmetics and test your skills in addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, with multiple levels on each island. Every equation you solve brings you closer to victory.
My 8 year old loved the game, but you have to be quick to answer. The next level unlocks as you complete each level. He sometimes got frustrated at speed, particularly as he progressed to more difficult levels, as he needed time to work out the answer. The equations repeat regularly throughout a level particularly if you got it wrong previously.
Personally, I think is a great game – an excellent way to get them to learn their tables and be able to deliver answers with speed. Would be nice to be able to slow down game for younger players, so they could progress through levels.
Reviewed by Marie.
Rating: I would give it 4 out of 5.
Available for iOS
#2. Funbrain Jr.
Funbrain Jr. is a collection of unique and vibrant games for preschoolers and kindergarteners that helps jumpstart their journey of learning.
Offering five separate fun and engaging games, Funbrain Jr. introduces little learners to several important skills while they play.
Kelly says, “I first tried it with my preschooler aged 4 he loved Shape Shack and Balloon Blow Up and was well able figure these out. He liked them enough to play them again and again. He struggled with the other 3 games. Flashy Cards used capital letters as did Heatwave so they were a bit tough for him and it even took me time to figure out how to play Mushroom Bounce! He gives the app around 3 out of 5 as some games were too difficult for him.
My 7 year old daughter really enjoyed all the games and they held her interest a little longer (she’s in 1st class) she gave it 4 out of 5 as she enjoyed it but she did find it a bit basic.
Reviewed by Kelly
Rating: We would rate this game between 3 and 4 out of 5.
Available for iOS
#3. Starfall ABCs
With the Starfall ABCs app, children learn to recognise letters. We’ve been using the Starfall ABC app to help with our homeschool studies and we have found the interactive program simple and easy to use, educational and very entertaining for children aged three, four and five.
They’ve loved bouncing between the phonics and games and now, we’re learning how to spell out our names using sign language.
Reviewed by Kellie
Rating: 4 out of 5
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Cúla4 is an app that offers a wide range of Irish language content for young people in the pre-school and primary school age groups, ideal for helping kids learn Irish.
The Cúla4 App enables younger viewers to access Cúla4 at any time of the day that suits them (or their parents). Up to 200 hours of top-quality Irish language content can be viewed, featuring series such as Dennis & Gnasher, Peg & Cat, and Masha agus an Béar.
It was really easy to set up and navigate through. The interface was very child-friendly and bright. My five year old really enjoyed it and found it easy to use on her own. She loved the cartoons.
The only thing that I didn’t like about it was that they didn’t do colours on their own, they put them with objects. Eg. Bád Buí. I do think this is a great app for kids and for adults wanting to learn a few words to help their children.
Reviewed by Grainne
Rating: 4 out of 5
#5. The Great Brain Experiment
This app has four games to test different elements of brain activity- memory, impulsiveness, attention and happiness. The results are stored anonymously in a database at UCL to gather data on how out brains work in different situations.
Reviewer Allison says “The instructions for each game were easy to understand for adults, but my children aged 5 and 7 needed me to explain the instructions verbally. The graphics were pleasant and attractive for children. We enjoyed the “attention” game the most, where a series of photographs were flashed into the screen and the player has to watch for a particular picture. Once I explained the rules my children could play this unaided.
The most frustrating game was the “impulsiveness” game. The idea was to tap on the screen as fruit was dropped from a tree, avoiding the occasional bad fruits. We all found that our reactions were too slow so that we rarely tapped at the right time.
The children agreed that the game was interesting but not something they would play again and again. I found it interesting as an experiment but not a game I would play for fun or relaxation as it is quite challenging.”
Reviewed by Allison
Rating: 3 out of 5
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#6. Chess Learn Chess
Learn Chess is described as “a short, fun, interactive e-book that teaches you the rules, terminology, essential strategies, and more.”
My son 12 took a look for me. He said it was suitable for complete beginners or amateurs and he would score it 5/5 for those people.
He would give it 3/5 himself as he knows a bit about chess. It did give him more information about chess coordinates which he found useful.
Not a lot of fun. A lot of reading he said!
Reviewed by Ruth
Rating: 5 out of 5 (for beginners) / 3 out of 5 (if you play chess already)
Available for iOS
#7. DK Quiz
My 6 year old played this but I had to help him big time.
It’s a quiz game with different topics. It’s definitely for an older child (or even an adult to be honest!), I’d say from 10+ as the English used is definitely for children who are used to reading.
There were plenty of topics – general knowledge, around the world, sport, nature, Best of British, culture and entertainment etc. It was a very easy app to use – very well designed. Plenty of questions, eg ones you wouldn’t normally have heard of, and some of the questions were actually hard enough.
There were 3 degrees of difficulty which is handy. It’s very much suitable for adults too (I REALLY enjoyed it). My only quibble with it was that if you entered into one of the quizzes, you had to keep going until all questions were answered (about 15). You couldn’t exit the game if you’d pressed into it accidentally.
Reviewed by Debbie
Rating: I would give this app 4 1/2 out of 5.
#8. Learn French Mind Snacks
Instead of snooze-worthy flashcards, there are fun games designed to help memorize words, practice verb conjugation, and learn word gender. There are also native speaker audio clips to help French pronunciations easier.
Having not done French since Secondary school I found it good for testing day-to-day words. Anything that helps improve even basic French is good and the pronunciation on the app is very clear which is great. My son enjoyed the app and has been trying out new words every day.
Reviewed by Susan
Rating: I would give this 4 out of 5
Available for iOS.
#9. Monster Math
Monster Math is an educational game that helps with 70 math skills including addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and fractions. The math games for kids are fully customisable to suit the learner’s aptitude, letting you move between advanced and basic math facts skills with a quick tap.
My daughter Eloise, aged 10, said “I liked that the game had a story and wasn’t just maths questions. It was fun to play and not very stressful. I thought my class level wasn’t too difficult. But when it showed the levels on islands the graphics did not match the other screens like the homepage. It was always night. It would be more fun if you could spend your points on stuff in the game.”
Things I liked about the app were that Eloise was excited to practice maths through a game, and it was nice that there was a story to follow along with and not simply maths questions. The game also provides a report for parents so I can see where Eloise excels and where she could use improvement. Things I didn’t like: the graphics lack polish, and are not consistent across screens. Not obvious how to move around in the game.
Reviewed by Donal
Rating: I would give this 3 out of 5
#10. Little Alchemy
Little Alchemy is an app and online game where you start with 4 basic elements and mix them to start creating more things. So it’s all about mixing elements to create interesting, fun and surprising items. Every combination is a little puzzle to solve.
The objective is to reach 510 elements at the end.
It’s a bit addictive. It’s really fun to experiment and see what each pair of elements makes. My daughter Fern (10) really enjoyed the app and she liked trying to reach the goal of 510 items. I also enjoyed using it, it’s really different and educational at the same time.
Reviewed by Jill
Rating: I would give this 5 out of 5
#11. Machinery – Physics Puzzle
There are only two basic shapes, a rectangle and a circle. But you can scale, rotate and combine them together to create any mechanism or apparatus. Hinges or motors are used to connect shapes. The early levels teach you how to play the game and go through some basic concepts.
It took a little bit of time for us to figure it out but when we did, we really enjoyed it. The girls played it for about 30 minutes but have gone back to it a few times to play it since. I’m actually playing it myself on my phone and it’s good fun. Definitely recommend it.
Reviewed by Davida
Rating: I’d give it a 4 out of 5. The girls gave it a 3 as they said it doesn’t keep their attention for very long.
#12. Long Division Touch
This app is designed to help you learn the mechanics of long division. It has a touch interface where you drag digits down, then slide the decimal into the correct position, and tap to identify repeating decimals.
So example, 8)256, you drag the 8 into ‘25’ and find the correct multiple. Then you drag the 6 down and finish the problem.
There are also lessons in topics such as Long Division Basics, Zero up top, Remainders, Decimals, Repeating Decimals and Decimals in the Divisor.
My daughter aged 11 tried the app out and felt it was more suitable to someone starting out with long division rather than for her class (5th) who have been doing it for 2 years.
Reviewed by Jill
Rating: 4 out of 5, point deducted due to it being more suited to 9-10 yrs
Available for iOS
Grammaropolis is a fun educational game with cute appealing characters and I think would be suitable from ages 6+.
Sentences are given and the game is to decide what kind of noun or verb etc out of a choice of 2.
There is also a story book with the cute characters such as Nelson the noun and his friends, introducing the art of grammar.
I actually enjoyed it and learnt a few things too!!!!
Reviewed by Tanya
Rating: 3 out of 5 as it’s fun but found my 5yr old lost interest fairly soon.
#14. Super Stretch Yoga
Both of my kids absolutely love the yoga app. The 3 year old uses it about 6 times a day. It is very easy to follow and remember. Even without the app she remembers the positions.
One negative point I could make is, each position is done just the once. I feel they should be repeated a few times. They would get more out it.
Age appropriate for both of my daughters, ages 3 and 6.
Reviewed by Adelle
Rating: 4 out of 5
#15. Spell It
Spell It helps kids to improve their spelling skills in an interactive and challenging way. They press the ‘Spell It’ button and the app will spell the word, your child listens to it and learns how to spell it. If your child doesn’t know what the word means, there’s a definition for them.
Both my kids thought it was very slow, for example, it doesn’t let you move on until the ‘voice’ has respelled the word. My 7 year old said, “I don’t like it. It’s very slow and no games.” while the 10 year old said “Not for me and a bit boring it’s just spellings”.
My own opinion was that it is not great, you might get a few minutes out of it with a younger child but that is it.
Reviewed by Caroline
Rating: 1 out of 5
Available for Android
#16. Pizza Factory For Kids
Both my kids enjoyed this so much I bought the full version for them. It’s a fairly simple game: cut up ingredients, roll out pizza, spread sauce on pizza and add ingredients according to a picture.
Then put pizza in oven remembering to take it out before it burns and them tap pizza to eat. There are also some “put objects in the correct bowl” levels etc.
I played it myself as well as the kids and I would give it a 5 out of 5.
Reviewed by Louise
Rating: Overall I would give the app 5 out of 5
Available for iOS
Hopscotch is programming designed for everyone. Kids can use simple, intuitive building blocks to create games, animations and apps in this colourful, interactive environment.
Program your characters to move, draw, and collide with each other, and use shaking, tilting, or even shouting at the iPad to control them.
My daughter (7) enjoyed the app, she liked the fact that she could shout at the iPad to get the characters to move.
Reviewed by Ciara
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Available for iOS
#18. Math Puppy Bingo Challenge
My 7 year loved Maths Puppy. It gives you three options: Maths Bingo, Maths Challenge and Maths Calculator.
Maths Bingo gives a grid of numbers with a sum asked and you have to select the answer in a grid. You then need to make a row like in regular bingo.
Maths Challenge gives you a sum to answer. The first runs gives 3 answers to choose from, the second 4, the third 6 and the fourth 9 and so on. My son loves maths so he really enjoyed this one. I found it very repetitive myself. But for a child with Aspergers it ticked all the boxes.
Reviewed by Louise
Rating: I would give it 4 out of 5
#19. NASA App
This App was developed by NASA Ames Research Centre, and invites you to come and explore with NASA.
I tried this out with my 7yr old son, and it held his attention for about 10mins flat! There are lots of nice pictures of Space and from Space, and the Featured section has lots of very good information, which would be ideal, if researching a project on Space/Solar System.
However if you/your kids are interested in Space and the work of NASA, then this app has lots of nice information about missions, videos and lots more. My main criticism is lack of any interactive section, which if present, might engage a younger audience for longer. Looks more like a website really.
Reviewed by Jennifer
Rating: I would give it 1 out of 5
#20. How to Make Origami
We tried two different shapes both of which were classified as medium ease.
First we tried a flower, we got half way through before the app told me we needed glue which we didn’t have – it would have been better to have known this before I started.
Then we tried a bird. The diagrams were quite easy to follow, (especially for someone who isn’t that creative like me). However, the end result didn’t really look much like a bird!
My kids are 6 & 4, but I’d suggest the app is better for slightly older kids – maybe 8 – 10 year olds.
There are only 7 shapes to make so I would say the app would suit a complete novice who just wants to try origami.
Reviewed by Dawn
Rating: I would give it 3 out of 5
Over to you now. If you have tried any free educational apps for kids that you liked, do let us know in the comments below!