20+ Apps That Can Help KIDS Gear Up for a NEW School Year
Jump on these apps to regroup and refresh for a NEW school year
We all know the toll that summer slide has on kids and how many of the educational gains they make during the school year lapse. It’s particularly prevalent in low-income households but can occur whenever kids lack suitable mental and physical activities to keep them occupied. These apps are exemplary examples of technology that help kids maintain and reinforce learned skills all year long.
1. ABC Go
This app for iOS is especially appropriate for kids who are learning the alphabet and going on vacation with their families. It features over 60 vehicle-related vocabulary words and teaches kids their ABCs while associating letters with full words by tapping on the letters and seeing the words appear.
There are also over 100 videos about vehicles, all screened by parents before getting included in the app ($2.99)
2. Sushi Monster
This math app is one of the best education apps available because it features 12 levels of gameplay with content that meets Common Core state standards. Kids create addition and multiplication equations correctly and accurately to feed the hungry sushi monster. While working through this iOS app, kids also earn stars and trophies while getting encouraged to beat their best scores (Free)
3. Curiscope Virtuali-Tee
Sometimes satisfying a kid’s curiosity about the human body with a model skeleton or a thoroughly illustrated book just doesn’t cut it. Curiscope Virtuali-Tee is an augmented reality (AR) app for iOS and Android that works with a specially designed t-shirt.
A child dons the piece of clothing first; then another person aims a smartphone at the garment to see how parts of the body — from blood vessels to the heart — work together to keep people alive and healthy. The app also includes expert insights on anatomy and physiology, giving kids the context they need to maximize their learning. (The app is free, and the shirt is $29.95) Watch new video of Virtuali-Tee in ACTION HERE!
4. Star Chart
Due to its characteristic warm nights, the summer is an ideal season for stargazing. This is another AR app that works for both Android and iOS and helps people gain a more comprehensive understanding of the night sky just by aiming a smartphone up to focus on at least one star.
Star Chart has data about approximately 120,000 stars and all 88 constellations. It also features a manual location mode that lets users see what the sky looks like in other parts of the world. (Free with in-app purchases starting at $2.99)
5. Mind Snacks
This iOS app makes learning a foreign language fun and accessible. Because kids typically have more free time in the summer than usual, putting effort into foreign language learning makes sense. And this is one of the best apps to help kids do that.
Besides apps that let kids learn languages like Japanese or Spanish, Mind Snacks provides dedicated content for English-language vocabulary. (Free with in-app purchases starting at $4.99)
6. WWF Together
By using this app for iOS and Android kids can learn about endangered species without going to the zoo. The content of this excellent educational app focuses on 16 creatures and lets kids explore their habitats with 360-degree views. There’s also an arts and crafts element to the app because it teaches children to make origami versions of the animals. (Free)
7. BrainPOP Featured Movie
Available for Android and iOS, the BrainPOP Featured Movie app lets kids watch a different animated movie every day that teaches them something new. Closed-captioning encourages kids to read along with the dialogue. Plus, an interactive quiz at the end of each film lets children put their newly learned knowledge to the test after using this notable education app. (Free with in-app purchases starting at $2.99)
As soon as they understand letters and words, most kids learn Hangman, too. This app, which was chosen as an outstanding pick in 2016, urges kids to play the game in ultra-interactive ways on Android or iOS devices.
The content features 200 sight words and helps users commit them to memory through three types of activities. Once kids draw pictures in the app, they can animate them and play them back later. ($1.99)
9. Handwriting Heroes
This is an iOS app created by an occupational therapist to teach the essential skill of handwriting in ways that are fun and memorable. The highly recommended content helps kids understand that letters are more similar than they seem by grouping together based on the appearance of the first pen stroke. ($2.99)
10. Fetch! Lunch Rush
Note: When searching for the link with the tool, this one only came up as an iPhone app and not an iPad app, so this is the iPhone badge and not the iPad one.
Made for iOS and created by PBS Kids, Fetch! Lunch Rush stars canine host Ruff Ruffman. He asks kids to help him deal with the lunchtime needs of his movie crew by keeping track of how much food people want. It’s great for first and second-grade math students and uses AR technology for excellent interactivity. (Free)
11. codeSpark Academy With the Foos — Coding For Kids
Note: I had originally included a different app here but I was not able to find it through the Link Maker app, so I included another one that was also listed on the Teachers With Apps site.
Millions of kids in over 200 countries have downloaded this app to grasp the basics of computer coding. It’s appropriate for kids ages 4-9 and works on the iOS and Android platforms.
It’s a fun and well-reviewed way to introduce kids to coding concepts and perhaps set the stage for them to enter IT careers later in life. (Free with an available subscription for $7.99 per month)
12. Social Detective Intermediate
When kids know how to notice and interpret social cues, they’ll be well equipped to excel in social situations. Social Detective Intermediate teaches kids how to decode the thoughts and feelings of others, then make intelligent guesses about what those individuals might do. It’s available for iOS and was a top pick among educational apps for 2017. ($24.99)
13. Camping With Grandpa
The summer is a popular time of year for kids to go on family camping trips, and the Camping with Grandpa iOS app gets 6-8-year-olds acquainted with the aspects of successful excursions, whether exploring the natural surroundings or putting out the campfire before packing up and going home.
This worthy educational app helps kids appreciate the outdoors even before going camping ($2.99)
14. Dino On My Desk AR
Designed for Android and iOS, this AR game stars Plunkett the Protoceratops. It teaches kids about dinosaurs in an exciting way that involves interacting with Plunkett in space, including feeding the creature food or letting it sniff a user’s hand. (Free with in-app purchases priced at $1.99)
15. Best Books for Tweens
This app for iOS helps parents of fifth and sixth graders determine which books are best for their kids to read, whether they’re at the library or a bookstore. There’s a handy list-making feature inside this great app, plus the option to sort books by name, category or star rating. (Free)
16. Understanding Math — Telling Time
Kids who use this iOS app can realize that the concepts they learn in math class have real-life applications. In this case, knowing math principles makes it easier to tell time. The engaging and educational app works well for children who are just beginning to learn about reading and setting clocks but is appropriate for older students, too. ($2.99)
17. Busy Water
When playing Busy Water, iOS and Android users combine water-related physics concepts with critical thinking skills. The goal is to help Archie the Fish get back to his tank, and this notable app features over 100 puzzles to solve while working towards that objective ($3.99)
LetterSchool teaches little learners to write the alphabet while using iOS or Android devices. Kids get taught about upper and lowercase letters and go through four levels for each letter, ensuring a complete educational process. There’s also a component of the app about writing numbers. (Free with in-app purchases starting at $2.99)
This iOS app features over 80 science videos of experiments that kids can easily recreate at home even without the resources provided by a school science classroom or laboratory. A social sharing option in this low-cost, interesting app lets people highlight the most interesting content with their friends via Twitter or Facebook, too ($0.99)
20. Ink Blott Underground
Note: For some reason, the iOS link does not include the word “underground” in the title, but according to the developer’s site, Ink Blott Underground is the official name, which is why it’s used here.
Middle schoolers bring language arts to life in this fun game that involves exploring a mysterious world while using parts of words to create sentences. It educates people about prefixes, suffixes and root words as they use an iOS device. (Free with an available subscription for $4.99 per month)
21. Avokiddo ABC Ride
This well-made ABC-teaching app features characters named Beck and Bo riding bicycles through beautiful collage-style landscapes. Along the way, kids have to complete tasks as they learn vocabulary words, find hidden letters and more. ($2.99)
22. Bel Math Apps
Bel Math Apps offers 8 educational math applications and one bundle. These math apps are excellent because the gameplay meets Common Core state standards. Kids practice addition, subtraction and multiplication, fractions and more! Mathematical operations offered by Bel Math Apps cover all arithmetic operations with whole numbers, fractions, decimals, and integers.
Learning Through Summer and Beyond
These apps give parents and kids as well as teachers the tools they need to maintain skills all year round! Plus, most of them are free or reasonably priced, making them even more appealing for all.