5 Must Have – FREE Back to School Apps

Image: Anton Repponen

Image: Anton Repponen

Every year TWA likes to highlight some of the great apps for the Back to School season, this year they happen to all be FREE and yes - they are all FABULOUS. We know, we've used these apps over and over! todomath

 Todo Math - Complete Curriculum

Free, available for iOS and Android

Students progress through the visual puzzles, starting with programming basics and moving onto procedures and Todo Math - Complete Curriculum is an outstanding app that is chock full of great math content! This app supports Pre-K through 2nd-grade math skills and is appropriate for older kiddos too that are struggling with their foundational math skills. Todo Math has two main areas: Mission and Free Choice to choose from. Thirty-one practice areas, each with 7mini-games. Your child/student will not run out of practice with approximately 50-100 math problems to solve! TWA Full Review HERE


Lightbot : Code Hour

Free, available for iOS and Android

Lightbot : Code Hour is an excellent introduction to drag and drop coding for middle and high school students, but students should be expected to outgrow the app relatively quickly, as it is designed to be mastered in an hour. Students progress through the visual puzzles, starting with programming basics and moving onto procedures and programming loops. The graphics are more appropriate for middle and high school students than the typical drag-and-drop introductory options, and the challenges require more logical reasoning with less explicit instruction. Students can visually see their correct or incorrect solutions based on how the robot moves and then make the appropriate changes. However, students who struggle with problem-solving skills might need adult support to understand how to take the visual feedback and adapt their "code" accordingly. Overall, a great introductory app for older students who need to conceptually understand the basics of computer programming. TWA Full Review HERE


gallery-1498139312-swift-playgroundsSwift Playgrounds

Free, available for iOS

Knowing how to code is as important as being fluent in a foreign language these days, and Swift Playgrounds is a great way to get started. This iOS-exclusive app enables users to learn coding basics with fun, but challenging, interactive puzzles. You solve interactive puzzles in the guided “Learn to Code” lessons to master the basics of coding, while additional challenges let you explore code and create programs that are engaging and unique. No coding knowledge is necessary for this engaging app. TWA Full Review HERE



Free with IAP, available for iOS and Android

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. TWA Full Review Here



Free, available for IOS

Sembl is for the older population and is also popular with adults. Players are presented with multicolored designs that differ in shape, the orientation of design, and coloring; and the task is to replicate it from the model. It sounds easy, but you’ll need to be fully aware and cognizant of how each feature is layered to be successful. It facilitates spatial awareness by challenging the spatial relations, the system as well as critical thinking and problem-solving. Both are necessary and work in tandem to learn the sequence of how things work. Through gameplay older children and adults learn to better navigate their environment, complete fine motor tasks, but most of all learn to wait to gather information before acting. TWA Full Review HERE

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