I love my Android devices. And, there are a number of great educational apps for Android. So if you want to set up parental controls on an Android device for your child, you’ll find lots of great options for apps in the Google Play Store. I typically like to feature apps available for all devices, but I thought it might be fun to recommend my favorite apps for each platform.
Here are the 10 best apps for Android on my list of favorite educational apps for kids:
#1 Dragon Box Algebra 5+
Recommended Ages: 5-9
With Dragon Box Algebra 5+, kids as young as five can easily begin to grasp the processes of solving linear equations. Best of all, they don’t even realize they are learning. Dragon Box Algebra 5+ is intuitive and fun.
Players learn how to solve equations in a game environment where they are encouraged to experiment and be creative. By manipulating cards and trying to isolate the Dragon Box on one side of the game board, the player gradually learns the operations required to isolate X on one side of an equation. Over time, the cards are replaced with numbers and variables, revealing the addition, division, and multiplication operators the player has been learning throughout the game. Kids can play this game on their own; however, this is a game you can play along with your kids. You might be surprised to find yourself brushing up on some valuable math skills in the process.
- Gold Medal – 2012 International Serious Play Awards
- Best Educational Game – 2012 Fun and Serious Games Festival
- App of the Year – GullTasten 2012
Get Dragon Box Algebra 5+ in the Google Play Store
#2 Stack the States
Recommended Ages: 8 & up
Stack the States is a great app for history that makes learning about the 50 states fun for kids and adults! Kids won’t grow tired of this app as they learn about the states with 5 colorful and interactive game options. They’ll learn state capitals, shapes, geographic locations, flags, and more. Game options include:
Stack The States: Build tall piles with states and try to reach the checkered line.
Map It: Tap the location of the selected state on the map. Try to complete the whole country.
Pile Up: The states are piling up! Tap them quickly to get rid of them before they pile too high.
Puzzler: Sit back and relax as you slide the states around and put them together like a jigsaw puzzle.
Capital Drop: Match states with their capitals in this fast-paced bonus game. Don’t let a state fall!
There are no 3rd party ads or in-app purchases.
- Best Kids App for iPad! – Best App Ever Awards
- Best Educational Game App – iEAR.org
Get Stack the States in the Google Play Store
#3 Squeebles Spelling Test
Recommended Ages: 6-8
Squeebles makes learning fun. Squeebles Math Bingo made my list of 10 Best Apps for Math, so I was happy to see the same level of education and fun in their spelling app. In Squeebles Spelling Test, kids rescue Squeebles. They win stars to trade for better squeeberangs to use in the game by spelling words correctly.
Parents or teachers can set up personalized spelling tests for kids, using words you want them to learn. The app lets you set up tests, enter words, and then record audio versions of those words for kids to listen to before they spell them. You can also select one of the 150 pre-recorded tests available within the app. (These were originally created to fit with the UK National Curriculum, but they are completely customizable. Spellings or recordings can be changed to suit US English or regional accents.) Unlimited players can be registered. This makes Squeebles ideal for families with kids of multiple ages or for classroom use.
While kids earn stars and have fun playing with Squeebles, parents and teachers can view stats on each kid. This lets you know how your child (or individual kids) are doing and which words they’re struggling with so you’ll better be able to assist them. One of my favorite features is the ability to set a personalized congratulations message when your child scores full marks. This means your own rewards can be worked into the test.
There are no in-app purchases, advertisements, or links to the Internet.
Notes: For optimal audio recording functionality, Android version 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) or above is recommended. This app does not work with Fuhu’s Nabi 2 device. The app requires that your device has a built-in microphone as it relies on recording audio.
Get Squeebles Spelling Test in the Google Play Store
#4 Thinkrolls 2
Recommended Ages: 3-9
Thinkrolls 2 is a clever game of logic that keeps kids on their toes. Players navigate through 235 levels of increasingly complex mazes. Along the way they’ll meet 28 spunky characters and use properties of matter and basic physics to make their Thinkrolls roll, float, glide, and teleport through a series of themed chapters. Each chapter gradually introduces a new scientific concept in a way that’s kid friendly and easy to understand. Thinkrolls 2 is COPPA compliant.
There are no 3rd party ads and no in-app billing.
- Editor’s Choice – Children’s Technology Review (A+)
Get Thinkrolls 2 in the Google Play Store
Recommended Ages: 4-11
The Kodable app can be used alone, but you’ll get the most from it when you pair it with the award-winning Kodable Curriculum. This curriculum is designed to teach computer science to elementary students in grades K-5. And, best of all, it’s FREE! Visit Kodable for more information about the complete Kodable Curriculum.
Kids can learn concepts from an early age. Many of today’s best programmers fell in love with coding at a young age by experimenting with the very concepts taught in Kodable. Understanding computer science not only empowers your child for the jobs of tomorrow, it expands their mind to solve problems in more intelligent ways.
Kids learn the fundamentals of every modern programming language in a fun and inviting way. Kodable introduces computer science to kids using fun, furry aliens called Fuzzes. The naturally curious fuzzes need kids to program them to explore all the colorful Technomazes on the planet’s surface. Along the way kids learn:
- Sequence/Order of operations
- Algorithmic operations
- Conditional logic statements
- Problem solving skills
- Higher level thinking skills
- Collaboration skills
- Communication skills
- Critical thinking skills
The are in-app purchases available.
- Editor’s Choice Award! – Children’s Technology Review
Get Kodable in the Google Play Store
#6 Endless Alphabet
Recommended Ages: Under 5
Originator, Inc. is another company that makes great educational apps. (I included apps from them on my list of best apps for reading.)
Get your child ready for reading success with Endless Alphabet. Preschoolers will love learning their ABCs and building vocabulary with this interactive app. Each word features a puzzle with talking letters and a short animation illustrating the definition. The adorable monsters make learning fun. What I love most about Endless Alphabet is the fact that it was designed specifically with young children in mind. There is no high score or sounds for failures. There are also no time limits which can cause stress for young children. Do note the free app comes with 7 word puzzles and animations. A one-time in-app purchase will unlock the additional 93 puzzles, giving your child a total of 100 words to explore and learn.
If your child loves this app, and you want to continue the series, you can move on to Endless Reader after completing Endless Alphabet.
Get Endless Alphabet in the Google Play Store
#7 Writing Wizard – Kids Learn to Write Letters & Words
Recommended Ages: 5 & under
Oh, how I wish Writing Wizard was available when my son was in preschool. I would have saved a fortune on shaving cream (and that sensory table we used for letter practice couldn’t be transported everywhere). Not to mention, many days we had a huge mess to clean up. I’m not saying get rid of sensory tables, but this is a great app to add to your handy bag of learning options.
Writing Wizard is designed to help children learn how to trace letters and words. Kids can trace letters using 26 animated stickers complete with sound effects. Once they’ve completed their tracing, kids can go on to play 4 games that reinforce the letter they just traced.
What I love most about Writing Wizard is that it is customizable. You can tailor it to fit the needs of your child and you can even add your own word lists. You can see how your child is progressing because there is a detailed report with information on what your child has done, including the ability to replay and export the tracings to view your child’s progress. Once your child begins to gain skills, you can set the app for 5-Stars play mode. Worried that your child’s fine motor skills won’t translate to paper? Create PDF worksheets from your word lists when it’s time to practice on real paper. Then you can directly print them from the app or email them.
I rarely include videos in my reviews. But I’m doing so here because I really feel this is a must-see-to-believe case.
There are no 3rd party ads or in-app purchases.
Get Writing Wizard in the Google Play Store
#8 Thomas Edison’s Secret Lab
Recommended Ages: 5-9
We know Thomas Edison as one of the greatest inventors of all time. In this app, kids explore a secret lab and play games. But, they learn a great deal about Thomas Edison and his contributions to science. Kids are also introduced to many other great scientists including Benjamin Franklin, Marie Curie, and Sir Isaac Newton. For each scientist, players will learn about inventions and discoveries, their biography, a fun fact, and a famous quote. There’s plenty to keep kids engaged in this app.
Some of the fun features you’ll find are:
- Games: Play wacky games such as Honey Bee Spree, Kafloooey Ka-Splat, Von Bolt’s Circuit Switch
- The Secret Lab: Play with interactive laboratory equipment and discover amazing science experiments and projects you can do at home!
- Library: Learn about scientists and inventors–their work, biography, discoveries, and inventions. You’ll also find an interactive animated gallery of famous scientists and inventors here.
- Theater: View videos starring Thomas Edison and the Secret Lab Kids
Thomas Edison’s Secret Lab is safe for young learners! There are no social media sharing options, no in-app purchases, and no 3rd party ads.
Get Thomas Edison’s Secret Lab in the Google Play Store
#9 My Incredible Body
Recommended Ages: 9-11
Children and adults will have fun learning all the pieces and parts of human anatomy with medically accurate 3D models and animations of anatomical structures. Learn the location of body parts and how they function as you zoom inside the skeleton, muscles, organs, nerves, and blood vessels. Take rocket rides through the human body to experience how blood flows, what lungs look like when breathing, and how the body does its swallowing and digesting. Watch short movies that show you how your brain works, how your muscles work together, and how your heart functions!
Note: An in-app purchase gives you the option to purchase a bank of quizzes to test your kids (or yourself) on what they’ve learned. The Reproductive System is also an in-app purchase. It shows basic male and female anatomy and introduces the concepts of puberty and human reproduction at just the appropriate level.
- Parents’ Choice Silver Honor Award
- Best App for Teaching & Learning – The American Association of School Librarians
Get My Incredible Body in the Google Play Store
#10 Reading Trainer
Recommended Ages: 13 & up
Reading Trainer improves your reading speed and retention rate with 12 challenging and fun exercises. This reading app is for anyone reading more than half an hour a day. So, it’s perfect for your high school student who might need a brush up on reading skills as they prep for the ACT or SAT. Heck, it’s perfect for college students and adults who struggle with finding themselves rereading passages because something was not clear. Or, find themselves easily distracted while reading. Reading Trainer can help.
A few things I love about Reading Trainer:
- The eye exercises are said to boost your mental capacity. I’m sure that’s true. What I notice is that for those of us working in front of a screen for long periods, eye exercises are a needed daily exercise to avoid eye strain and fatigue.
- The app takes around 15-20 minutes to go through a full cycle. It then lets you know it’s time to rest and gives you a countdown before you begin again.
- Questions about the text are used as a secondary test to assess your retention ability. So, it’s not checking to see if you can read quickly but if you can read and comprehend the material. That’s important!
- The software immediately recognizes your strengths and weaknesses and begins giving exercises based on your needs.
- You always know your progress. The statistics function lets you see and track your progress. And, the results of each training exercise are charted.
Get Reading Trainer in the Google Play Store
If you love Android devices, don’t fall for the “there are no parental control options” myth. There are parental controls options for parents who want to use Android tablets and cell phones with their kids. And, there are a number of great educational apps for Android.
Do you have a favorite educational app for Android devices? I’d love to know about it. Share it with me in the comment section.
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