Weeks of homeschooling had us searching for the best learning and play apps to help keep our kids engaged and learning. We have researched almost 100 learning and play apps for graces K to 6th. We have narrowed down to our favorite apps that continue to keep our kids learning. Some of these are free; some are paid. But they are our recommend best learning. None of the recommendations below are sponsored; they are our favorite learning and play apps.
Best Learning and Play Apps (Grades K -6th)
Duolingo (learn 30 different languages; free for Ad serving version; 9.99 USD per/month for non-Ad version)
This is a great App for kids to adults to learn a new language. 36 different languages are offered, including; Japanese, Spanish, Dutch, Danish, French, German, Italian, Irish, and even English. Choose a language and then take a quick placement test to set the start level. We enjoyed the daily goals that motivate us all to return each day to continue—a great free app for the entire family. If you are a Japanese language learner, this is also a good option for home learning.
Adventure Academy – 9.99 USD per month, or 79.99 for 12 months
My seven-year-old daughter loves this app. The app is set up as an academy with grounds and learning areas. The Adventure Academy covers all area of study English, Math, Science and more. Set your child’s learning level and let them go to it. Kids will create their character and earn rewards as they progress through learning activities.
GoNoodle (Fun entertainment for free when you kids need a physical break from home study)
Housebound for weeks? Never thought I would envy people with a big yard so much. We have found this GoNoodle app a lifesaver for getting to the kids to dance and get some exercise in the house. GoNoodle has short videos with a massive variety of music to get your kids’ feet moving. House Party gets them moving, and Flow will help calm them down.
Cool Math 4 Kids – Free
We love this free app with math games. Choose the lesson tab to pick the right level for your elementary school child. There are explantations for new math concepts and games to challenge kids along the way.
DragonBox (download games to iPads or mobile from 7.99 USD)
DragonBox is a great app for math lovers and strugglers. They offer a variety of apps by age and ability. If your seven-year-old has mastered addition and subtraction, power them up to multiplication or even beginning algebra or geometry. The DragonBox series does a great job making Math fundamentals fun and interesting. There are 5 learning apps for learning Math in total, including algebra and geometry. All games in the app require up-front payment, but don’t have in-app purchases charges.
Brain Pop (free download to view featured, 450 yen per month for four videos and quizzes per day, 1,080 yen per month for over 800 videos and quizzes)
Kids and Parents will love Brain Pop Videos, which cover topics on history, science, health, art, and more. The character explains in very clear English about topics that kids will find fascinating. Watch together and then have a discussion with your children about the topics—family sharing app.
Spelling Stage (free for base functionality, then 1.99 USD per month, or 7.99 USD annually)
This cute app allows kids to spell preset words or practice their own spelling lists. The character can be customized for your child. A solid app for kids who need a little support with spelling. This is a sharing app so multiple family members can use.
NSF: National Science Foundation Zone App – Ok, I have to admit we are addicted to the NSF app for iPads. You can view hundreds of science videos on over a dozen topics, from biology to Nanoscience. A great way for kids to understand the many areas of science and find an area they may be interested in digging deeper. Free for all to download. Family sharing enabled.
The International Children’s Digital Library was created in 2020 by a team at the University of Maryland and the US Gov to give children access to free online books. Presently there are over 4,500 books in the database in over 50 languages. Our favorite part of the library is accessing children’s books from the library of congress from the early 1900s. So much great literature and fun for free. You can read on your PC or mobile device.
YouTube Kids – Free
YouTube has created this space specifically for kids. Download the app to your mobile drive and create a learning and healthy experience of viewing with curated kid-friendly content. No more going down the rabbit hole into undesirable content. YouTube Kids offers educational videos and entertainment content, which will keep your kids learning. We recently research Martin Luther King after reading a related history chapter book.
Highlights Kids – Free
National Geographic Kids – Free
We love getting the National Geographic Kids paper magazine each month, but the online service is just as good. An excellent service if your child has a particular interest that they want to learn more about – history, science, art, and more. Great free content.
Brighten up your Inbox with the Best Living Japan newsletter and never miss any great info. It is easy to sign-up. Just click here, and enter your email.