Here are some STELLAR apps that are available FREE or give an option to try for free before you buy. We wanted to highlight some winners in that category.
Normally TWA doesn’t go looking for FREE apps and we don’t promote Free Friday as we know first hand how much blood, sweat, and tears, not to mention dollars go into making an exemplary educational app. The prices are seriously still less than a Starbucks. Recently we were asked to contribute to a story about screen time for toddlers and the author wanted to know if I could send her a list of great apps, sure I can do that. The caveat, she wanted a list of free apps for toddlers and that’s when the going got difficult. I did send the author several app lists for the younger set but as the prices of apps can change daily I told them our policy here that since we review so many apps we rarely include a sticker price as we don’t want to mislead our audience. Here are five BEST – Free Try before you buy – Educational Apps.
Lipa Theater: Story Maker
This puppet theater app is an easy way for children to get creative and use their imaginations to construct their own stories by choosing which characters, what setting, and the accessories in the prop box to make it all happen. A great way to teach story elements and support students who struggle with writing. It is particularly helpful for visual-spatial learners and anyone who needs a little extra motivation for the written word.
Lights, Camera, ACTION! You’re the director: make the stories you want to tell come to life!
● Set the scene: control the time of day, weather, and background music
● Embellish your production with dozens of props and diverse animals
● Invent storylines and animate your puppets with a touch
● Take a snapshot or draw a picture and create your own backdrop
● Record the action and playback for endless fun & learning!
● Enjoy voiceovers in your native language: available in German, Spanish, Mexican Spanish, French, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, Czech and Turkish
Lipa Learning has an extensive suite of educational apps, some free and some try and buy. Their MANTRA For Parents, For Kids, For a Better Future.They may be considered the “New Kid on the Block” but watch out we are sure you’ll be hearing more and more about the innovative projects this company has in store for you.
Lipa Learnings Tag-line: Digital & Physical Harmony ~ Use the device to get out of the device
Who doesn’t remember these wonderful books from long ago? I sure do, my own childhood and my children’s lives were full of this FUN and creative word game. This classic game that never gets old and never repeats always guarantees lots of laughs and pure silliness.
History has it, that Mad Libs was co-created in 1953 by friends, but couldn’t agree on a name for their invention for a full five years. In 1958 as the story goes the two overheard an argument at a neighboring table in a restaurant between a talent agent and an actor.discussing the concept of doing an “ad-lib” for an interview was “mad”. Gotta love that trivia!
• 21 free Mad Libs stories with new free content added all the time
• New swipe gestures make creating stories faster and easier
• Interactive hints provide inspiration and speed your play along
• Save your stories and share with friends
• Earn stickers and badges every time you play
• Brand-new Game Center rewards
• Replay stories as many times as you want
• Play solo or with friends and family
• Bright, engaging color palette and all-new typography
• Custom illustrations for every book
• Explore optional in-app purchases for loads more stories
• Kid-friendly interface
• No 3rd party advertising
This game makes you seriously smart—you’ll learn how to make great, fun word choices! Don’t forget to read these surreal, nonsensical & completely comically stories aloud, LOL!
FREE with in-app purchases
HIGHLIGHTS (Yes that same Highlights Magazine that has been around for 70 some odd years that we all know and love) has five free apps and if you want to splurge for their Highlights Everday there is a nominal subscription fee. All of their apps are made with the same integrity they have maintained over the last seven decades. Their motto: Fun With a Purpose has been with them since their inception and sounds as fresh as ever. Highlights for Children has been dedicated to helping families raise creative, curious, caring, and confident kids. Check out their suite of growing apps, you won’t be disappointed!
Epic! is the preeminent all-you-can-read eBook library for children which allows access to over 20,000 high-quality children’s books, now including thousands of read-to-me, Audiobooks, and educational videos. Epic!’s service starts out with a free trial for one month and includes an assortment of both fiction and non-fiction books from prominent publishers such as Scholastic, National Geographic, HarperCollins, and more. There are 2 versions of Epic!, both accessible through one app:
1. EPIC! FOR THE HOME – Epic! costs only $4.99/month with the first month FREE and supports up to 4 individual child profiles per account. Each child receives personalized recommendations based on their reading level and interests, helping them discover new books they will love. No commitments or hassles. You can easily cancel at any time.
2. EPIC! FOR EDUCATORS – Epic! is absolutely free to elementary school teachers and school librarians in the US and Canada. A favorite with teachers and students around the country, Epic! brings access to unlimited children’s literature into every classroom. Epic! encourages young readers with badges and rewards, while letting teachers assign books and track individual reading progress.
Epic! has been called the “Netflix of kids’ books” – it’s an unlimited library your kids can take anywhere!
BrainPop Featured Movie
Besides, their flagship app BrainPop Featured Movie, BrainPop offers a total of five free educational apps, the playful robot Moby along with his sidekick Tim make any topic entertaining and pull the kids into the content. The movie format is simple and the stimulating stories are followed by interactive quizzes to check for understanding. BrainPop has been a mainstay of many an educator and offers a vast selection of all imaginable core content and essential topics to be introduced in a video format, the addition to the app series makes BrainPop all the easier to share. BrainPop Jr. is a great alternative for the budding younger set getting them acquainted with the format and characters while having FUN and of course learning. All of BrainPop’s content has all kinds of supplemental materials to assist teachers/parents and unfortunately, this feature is often overlooked.
The more you know, the more you know! ®