Whether you want your kids to learn phonics, memorize state capitals, or brush up on fractions, there are buckets of educational apps to choose from.
But for every learning app with that elusive kid appeal, there are hundreds without it.
How will you find the best ones? Elementary!
When it comes to staying home from school sick, my kids are absolute maestros. They know instinctively which symptoms can’t be empirically authenticated and which days are least convenient for me. Looking for the best apps for kids on a sick day? Here are a few they can mess around with while coughing on the couch.
An animated working model of home sweet home.
iPhone, iPad | Age: 4+ | Price: $2.99
The Human Body takes a very fun and basic look at the working parts of the human body. It’s a colorful, interesting, and fun introduction to physiology. Kids can send food through the digestive system, tickle the human with a feather to see the nervous system in action, and browse through a brain.
It’s animated, so don’t worry about graphic photos — there aren’t any. Also, the urogenital system is available as an in-app purchase (which you can obviously skip if you’d rather not have your children poring over that particular bit of the body).
Cure toys of funny, made-up maladies.
iPhone, iPad | Age: 3+ | Price: $3.99
Going to the doctor can be scary for little people. Yes, it’s fun to have your reflexes tested with a rubber hammer, but there’s always the threat of a shot. Kids can role play doctor visits with this sweet app. Dolls and toys come down with such maladies as “mixupitis” and “driedout-a-tosis” and it’s up to your kids to cure them.
Smash burgers, sodas, and pizza and find what kind of nutrition lurks inside.
iPad | Age: 3+ | Price: $1.99
Ah, the lifelong challenge of teaching kids to make better food choices (especially when parents aren’t always taking their own advice). Still, good nutrition is foundational to good health, so we have to keep trying.
This fun app has kids set up a profile based on gender, age, and activity level. Then they analyze foods (using nutrition labels) and smash them in a crazy machine to see if the amount of sugar, salt, and oil is more or less than what they should be getting. A perfect mix of health, math, and fun!
iPhone, iPad | Age: 3+ | Price: $2.99
Avoiding germs to stay healthy is one of those things that’s easier said than done — especially for children who play together all day. This interactive story book reinforces the message while gently moving kids forward in early literacy. Will the little bears apply what they learn and avoid getting sick at school? I won’t ruin the ending for you.
Did we miss any best apps for kids that teach about health, nutrition, germs, and hygiene? Tell us about your favorites in the comments below.
Toonstastic Jr. Pirates is a storytelling app that allows young kids to make their own pirate-themed animated movies.
Kids choose the beginning, middle, and end of their stories by scrolling through sets of scene starters. The characters act out the beginning of a scene, such as “Love at First Catch”, then kids finish the story. They record their own narration (with funny voices, matey) as they move the characters through the scenes.
Why we love it:
The original Toontastic app is one of the best free creative apps for school-aged kids. Teachers use it because it teaches storytelling concepts through imaginative play. This junior version simplifies the process for preschoolers.
Watch out for:
It’s difficult to scroll through the scenes when they move at the speed of a slot machine, so slow it down by tapping the screen gently. The app also doesn’t give kids much time to think of the narration as it counts down quickly to record. To get the perfect movie, kids will need to use the redo button a lot.
Fraction Math is an educational app that helps students kick their math homework blues away.
Can’t figure out the lowest common denominator? No problem. The app guides kids step by step as they work out the fraction problem and offers tips if they get stuck. Kids can solve random fraction operations or input their own custom problems.
Why we like it:
This tutorial app is a lifesaver for students who cringe at the sight of improper fractions. The app will help kids get the right answer, but they have to do the work themselves to get it. There are over 20 similar math apps by iDevsBooks, everything from long division to rounding decimals, that are worth checking out.
Watch out for:
This is not a game app. The fun part of this app is that it helps kids learn how to solve the math problem. Hard to believe, but not all kids will see the fun in that.
Like this? Get our App of the Week newsletter.