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.
#1. Monkey Maths (iPhone, iPad & Android)
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 though levels.
Reviewed by Marie.
Rating: I would give it 4 out of 5.
#2. The Opposites (iPhone, iPad)
The app is a levels games which has children match opposite word pairs as the pairs come up the screen. My son (7) is at the lower age limit of the game and he did enjoy it but felt the game got difficult quite quickly.
He got frustrated as he couldn’t progress as couldn’t keep up with the speed required for the game despite being a good reader. I do think the game is attractive to children but perhaps a function to slow down the speed the words come up for children who are younger so they still feel like they are getting some right.
Reviewed by Aoife.
Rating: We would rate this game 3.5 of 5.
#3. 6 Numbers (iPhone, iPod touch & iPad)
My daughter downloaded the app on her ipad and is currently on level 12.
The app is about using calculations to make a big number on each level, it gets harder and harder.
She liked it because she likes using numbers and trying to figure out the maths.
Reviewed by Joy.
Rating: 5 out of 5
#4. Gaelic (Irish) Study Buddy (iPhone, iPod touch & iPad)
This is a game to test the users knowledge of Irish words. An Irish word is shown at the top of the screen and there are 4 English words shown below it – the player then selects one of the answers.
The children enjoyed the game but for children their age it was necessary to pronounce the Irish word so it would be good if the app read them out.
There were also some mistakes in the Irish Words. e.g “an leabh” which was translated as the child (should be “an leanabh”).
Reviewed by Olivia
Rating: 3 out of 5
#5. The Great Brain Experiment (iPhone, iPad & Android)
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.
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.
One criticism is that once I had registered myself on the game there was no option to add a second or third player. That meant that my children’s scores have gone onto the UCL database as my own scores. I imagine that this would give inaccurate data and is something the developers should be aware of. Parents often share devices with their children so this will occur regularly.
Reviewed by Allison
Rating: 3 out of 5
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#6. Chess Learn Chess (iPhone,iPad)
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)
#7. DK Quiz (iPhone, iPad & Android)
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. Oh No! Fractions (iPhone, iPad)
Unfortunately the appeal of this app to the children was zero! The graphics are basic with nothing to grab a young persons attention. I got both my 7 yr old and teenager to try it. The 7 yr old didn’t know what was being asked of him and the teenager found the selection of the answer difficult – sliding your finger up and down the screen to select an answer just didn’t seem to hit the spot with them! The 7 yr old tried a few times, with my guidance, but with no real appeal to kids he lost interest in no time. Maths can be challenging for kids so they should at least make it exciting!
When an answer is right there is no real praise or celebration – a “bing” and the word “correct” again did not excite the kids. As for what they may learn from it I would be unsure of how much benefit it would be in its present form. I tried to get the kids to see whose stats were better but it just wasn’t appealing at all.
It’s a shame as anything to do with maths that could help and build confidence would be wonderful.
Reviewed by Mary
Rating: would barely reach 1 I’m afraid!
#9. Fit Brains Trainers (iPhone, iPad)
Fit Brains is a brain trainer app. It suggests that using this app a few minutes a day will keep your brain sharp and healthy. It’s a free app but it is possible to upgrade to unlock some extra games.
Initial logging in is easy, you just need to input your email address, age and gender.
There are various different games which are all against the clock. Times are recorded so you can compare your progress and see which ones you are better or worse at or where you need practice. The games are easy to understand so can be done by young and old alike. My 6 year old enjoys it too. He likes to try to beat his scores from previous sessions. The app includes games that young children would love like matching pairs, memory games and visual problems.
The downside is that it can be repetitive, playing the same games all the time.It wouldn’t be what I would call an addictive app. However it is possible to upgrade the app to unlock extra training. This is done by paying a one off fee and then a monthly subscription. While I enjoyed playing it as did my son, we weren’t dying to get to play it every day and wouldn’t be interested in upgrading.
Reviewed by Sinéad
Rating: 3 out of 5
#10. Spelling Hero (Android)
In this app you take on 10 super villains in a spell contest to the finish! Spelling Heroes gamifies the process of learning to spell.
This is a great game – my son loved the fact that he could fight the villians – and he didn’t even really realise he was learning. The words are pronounced and you then spell them from a selection of letters. You can get them to repeat the word if required.
Reviewed by Mary
Rating: 5 out of 5
#11. Build a Bird (iPhone, iPod, iPad & Android)
The “Build A Bird” is an educational app aimed at teaching people more about birds, their bodies and functions and how they how they have had to adapt.
I found the app quite interesting as I knew very little about birds and their feeding habits, etc beforehand. You can choose which bird you would like to learn about such as the hummimgbird, peregrine falcon, pigeon to name but a few. You can then choose from round pulsating “hot spots” which tell you interesting facts or play videos of that particular bird. Once you have read through, you can then try to build this bird using your new bird knowledge. Choose which body shape they have, what type of beak, tail, wings and also what habitat they prefer. My son thought this was great fun.
The app would benefit children in school or at home who could then venture on a nature walk to see what birds in their habitat and compare and contrast their body shapes and size with those they read about on the app, but once you’ve gone through all types of birds then it’s not something you’d use regularly like other apps.
Reviewed by Fiona
Rating: I’d give this one 3/5
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#12. Long Division Touch (iPhone,iPad)
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
#13. Grammaropolis (iPhone, iPad & Android)
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( iPhone, iPod & iPad)
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. My Note Games (iPhone, iPod & iPad)
This app is to help a child practise an instrument. In the first section, sequences of notes are played & the child has to place the appropriate corresponding notes on the music sheet.
In the second section the app plays notes on the music sheet & the child has to press the corresponding notes underneath.
The next 3 sections are for the child to play his/her instrument along with the app. It will respond & reward when the correct notes are played. There is also a section where the child can tune their instrument to the app.
This is an excellent app for anyone with basic music playing/reading skills but not suitable for beginners. The instructions are not detailed enough so you need to figure out what to do in some sections.
You also need to have an instrument that you can tune to the app & need to be able to play notes/tunes on your choice of instrument. The good thing is there are plenty of different instruments included in the app.
The app is rated for ages 4+ but it would be more suitable for 6+
Reviewed by Karen
Rating: Overall I would give the app 4 out of 5
#16. Pizza Factory For Kids (iPhone, iPad)
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
#17. Motion Math: Hungry Fish (iPhone,iPad)
My daughter age 7 loved the hungry fish app. It is a mathematical app that helps with the logical and analytical thinking. The idea of the app is that the fish has a number on it and bubbles with different numbers pop up around the place and you have to combine bubbles with the correct numbers in them to match the number the fish carries. Once you feed the fish with the correct number it grows and if you get it wrong it shrinks.
She also loved the fact that you can change the color of the fish once you get to the next level.
There are plenty of levels in the game to challenge even the most mathematical minded children.
Reviewed by Bogna
Rating: 5 out of 5
#18. Math Puppy Bingo Challenge (iPhone, iPad & Android)
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 (iPhone, iPad & Android)
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 (iPhone, iPad & Android)
My kids are 6 & 4, but I’d suggest the app is better for slightly older kids – maybe 8 – 10 year olds.
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!
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
If you have a favourite free educational app that your kids love, let us know in the comments below!
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