Keep kids learning with these fun Apple apps

Screen time can mean a new way of learning with these educational apps for kids on iPhone and iPad.

While having open access to technology and the internet can be scary for parents, it can be a beneficial tool when you know where to look! Whether you are getting ready for summer, a homeschool parent, or just want something educational for your kids to play in their downtime, there are also many great educational apps to use for all ages.

There are a few things to keep in mind when considering any of these apps. First, you'll want to check the description to make sure the device you're using is supported by the app. The iPad Air 5 is a more affordable option with all the benefits of performance of an Apple product. Second, while many of these apps are free to download, a few of them will require you to purchase a membership to access all the activities.

Well-rounded curriculum


Staff Pick

If you have a child aged five or under, ABCmouse is a good educational program that keeps track of how your kids do from session to session. There are more than 10,000 activities to choose from so your little ones won't get bored doing the same ones over and over. While it's free to download the app, to access the lessons you will need to purchase a membership.

Free at App Store

Support public education resources


If your kids love the shows on PBS KIDS, they're sure to love this app too! Users will find new games every week that feature characters they will recognize like Cat in the Hat, Daniel Tiger, Curious George, and others. These games focus on helping kids learn STEM, routines, creativity, and more.

Free at App Store

A storybook favorite

The Very Hungry Caterpillar ~ Play & Explore

Eric Carle fans will love the 3D storybook affect these games have. Enjoy various learning activities with all of Eric Carle's best characters from Brown Bear and the Mixed Chameleon to the Very Hungry Caterpillar himself. To have access to everything you will have to pay $5 in the app.

Free at App Store

Music lessons


If your kids want to get into music, Yousician can help teach guitar, bass, or singing. You can start a free trial and go through the games and step-by-step videos that give you real feedback on how you're doing. As you play, the app listens to how you do and keeps track of your progress.

Free at App Store

Extra learning for older kids

Khan Academy

Practice for the SATs or ACTS or simply expand on your knowledge of topics of your choice. This app is completely free, made for kids from kindergarten on up through high school, and can even be a way to learn some new things as an adult. The app keeps track of where you're at with your learning and helps to recommend the next lessons, skills, and videos to help your progress.

Free at App Store

Elementary math


If your K-5th grade kid loves math or maybe needs a little extra help, MathTango teaches kids math through a combination of puzzles and "world-building" activities. But note that the game uses the Common Core approach, which may be difficult for parents to help with if they are unfamiliar with this newer style of teaching math.

Free at App Store

Pick up a new language

Duolingo - Language Lessons

Good for kids and adults alike to learn a new language! There is a paid membership option but the free membership has plenty to offer as well. You can learn one language at a time or multiple languages at once. Right now there are more than 35 languages available on the app with more added in all the time. There are quick lessons, pairing words with images, and switching between your primary language and your learning language to help you pick it up quickly.

Free at App Store

Learning through games

MentalUP Educational Games

If you don't want to have to go through a bunch of setup, this is the one for you. This app was developed by scientists to help kids build their cognitive skills, improve focus and memory, and learn how to problem-solve and apply logic. Unlike many educational apps built for a wide range of ages, this one is easy to just download and play and it will apply to all.

Free at App Store

Science class

Tappity: K-5 Science for Kids

Science lessons, activities, videos, and discussion questions to help you get involved! Tappity is a science app that covers it all from space to life on earth and even physics. This is a completely interactive experience for children and even includes a science journal for your kids to keep track of their questions, discoveries, and progress.

Free at App Store

Kid programming

Coding For Kids: Learn To Code

With technology changing and becoming more of a part of our daily lives, some kids get very interested in how it all works behind the scenes. With Coding For Kids, players will learn programming including sequences, loops, functions, debugging, arrays, coordinate, and advanced skills all in a way that is broken down and simple and fun for kids to understand. To get all the content you will have to pay $5/month or $40/year but this gives you access to more than 1000 coding activities.

Free at App Store

Using tech for good

One of the benefits of having access to so much technology and having a large amount of options is there's a seemingly endless number of activities your child can do to learn and grow while they play, sneaking learning time into screen time. Among the best games on iPhone are also great learning tools. For younger kids ABCmouse is a great way to offer all around curriculum for them to play with. If you have kids who are preparing for those important college tests, Khan Academy is a completely free app to help anyone of any age with special lessons for testing. From younger, to older, to special interests, there are tons of options for free or inexpensive ways to learn through apps. If you want to learn it, there's probably an app for that.