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10 Best Apps for Elementary Age Students

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10 Best Apps for Elementary Age Students

Our kids have definite ideas about what they like and don’t like when it comes to apps for elementary age students. But, it’s important as parents to help our kids avoid apps that offer no educational value.

In other words, we don’t want them using apps as a way to zone out and escape life. Rather, we want the apps they use to offer value.

Apps should engage our kids. Help them think critically, create, connect to something they are reading or learning about, or understand how things fit into the world. The ratings for apps can make selecting apps tough. But, understanding the 4 C’s of great educational apps, and knowing your child, can help you select the right app for your budding learner. Here are my favorite apps for elementary age students.

10 Best Apps for Elementary Age Students

10 Best Apps for Elementary Students

Stack the States app #2 on the list of 10 Best Apps for Android#1 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 –

iOS        Android        Kindle

Other apps from Dan Russel-Pinson are fabulous as well.

GeoBee Challenge#2 GeoBee Challenge

Recommended Ages: 8-13
GeoBee Challenge is a great app for kids in grades 4-8. It’s a great app for history that will prepare kids for the National Geographic Bee. (Most adults could even use a good challenge.) And, you’ll find beautiful maps from National Geographic so you can explore the world while testing your smarts. The question is, “Are you smarter than a 4th grader?” Play GeoBee Challenge with your kids and find out!

There are three types of game play. Kids won’t get bored and best of all they have lots of chances to learn and absorb new facts.

Game options include:

  • Multiple Choice: In the multiple choice round, answers come from a library of more than 1,000 National Geographic Bee questions.
  • Map Challenge: In the map challenge round, you zoom, pinch, and tap your way to find spots on an interactive map from a catalog of 1,000+ locations.
  • Bonus Round: For an added challenge, bonus rounds include compelling National Geographic photographs where you have to locate what’s in the photo on the interactive map…only you’re not told where the photo was taken or what is in the picture!

• MOBI Award Finalist- Best Mobile Game 2010

iOS        Android        Kindle

DragonBox Elements#3 DragonBox Elements

Recommended Ages: 8 & up
DragonBox Elements takes the same approach to geometry as DragonBox Algebra 5 and 12 – allowing kids to learn advanced math concepts through fun, interactive games. This really is an app for the entire family. That’s the strength of DragonBox, it encourages parent/child interaction.

By playing the 100+ puzzles in DragonBox Elements, kids (and adults, too) will gain a deep understanding of the logic of geometry. You’ll explore the properties of geometric shapes through Euclidian proof: triangles, circles, quadrilaterals, right angles, line segments, parallel and transversal lines, vertical angles, corresponding angles, corresponding angles converse, and more. Players use shapes and their properties to create mathematical proofs, all through fun exploration and discovery.

Family learning in such a fun way easily gets this DragonBox Elements on my best apps for math list!

iOS        Android        Kindle

Squeebles Maths Bingo#4 Squeebles Maths Bingo

Recommended Ages: 5-11
The Maths Monster has been at it again! This time he’s frightened all of Ruby’s customers away from her ice cream and bingo parlour and has stolen all the ice cream ingredients. Kids help Ruby get her ingredients back and convince customers to return by answering addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division problems in a fun bingo card game.

Unlimited player profiles can be registered, making this app ideal for classroom use as well as for using at home. Stats are available for each player so parents and teachers can see how they’re doing. Parents don’t have to worry about 3rd party ads or in-app purchases.

iOS        Android        Kindle

Word_Ball#5 Word Ball

Recommended Ages: 9 & up
Word Ball is a word-building game. Learning to build words is part of learning to read. So, Word Ball is both a reading app and a spelling app. Best of all, this is one of those apps where the entire family can play together. I can’t stress enough the value of playing educational games with your kids.

In Word Ball, players build as many words as they can with colorful balls that have individual letters on them–all as the balls bounce around and disappear. I’ve already said it, but what I love about this reading app is that it’s a game the entire family can play. The words need only be three letters long. This means younger kids who are just gaining spelling skills can enjoy play with their family. Some words earn more points, depending upon length of word and letters used. The game organizes all of the words a player has spelled at the end of each round by alphabetical order.

This game is useful in helping kids practice word building while having lots of arcade-style fun. Once kids get the hang of this game, they’ll be sucked into the action and hardly notice real learning is taking place. And, isn’t that the best kind of learning?!

iOS        Kindle

#6 Vocabulary Spelling City

Recommended Ages: 7 & up
Vocabulary Spelling City is a companion app for the website With this app, you can bring all the games your kids use at school right to their mobile device at home. Teachers and parents can create customized word lists to help kids improve spelling, vocabulary, and grammar. It’s most helpful when kids can access a web-based Spelling City word list customized by a parent or teacher in order to practice words they’re studying at home or school.

There is lots of flexibility, making this app a great fit for kids who need alternative ways to learn how to spell. It also has an audio component that’s perfect for helping kids who have difficulty comprehending words and spoken language.

There is a free and premium version of this app available. The premium version is needed to add custom word lists. The free version includes ten learning activities and word lists.

The ten learning activities included in the free version are:

  • Spelling TestMe – This activity is an actual spelling test. The words are read aloud, and used in a sentence.
  • HangMouse – In this game, kids play a traditional game of Hangman to decode a word. The goal is to figure out the word before the cat catches the mouse.
  • Missing Letter – In this game, kids practice letter recognition by trying to find the missing letter that completes each spelling or vocabulary word. This is a fun game that even young kids can enjoy.
  • Alphabetize – This is an essential early literacy skill. There are lots of fun ABC order activities and games in this app for spelling.
  • Spelling TeachMe – Introduces new word lists to students. Here each new word is read aloud, spelled letter-by-letter, and used in a context-rich sentence.
  • Sentence Unscramble – Kids aren’t just unscrambling words in this activity. They practice sentence structure as well. In this activity, kids use words in context by unscrambling them to form a complete sentence.
  • Word Unscramble – Kids love this popular activity. It’s not just a basic word unscramble. Instead it’s a variation of other word games such as text twists, jumbles, and anagrams.
  • Read-A-Word – Here kids practice recognizing new words by finding words they hear.
  • Test-N-Teach – Build a monument to good spelling! Here kids can practice what they’ve learned. The better they spell, the better their monument!

Note: Premium members have access to many more additional premium vocabulary, phonics, spelling, language arts, and writing activities as well as student records and assignments. The cost of the Premium membership is $29.99/year per family for up to 5 students.

iOS        Android        Kindle

ThinkRolls 2 #10 on my list of 10 Best Apps for iOS#7 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 by Children’s Technology Review (A+)

iOS        Android        Kindle

Solar Walk App#8 Solar Walk

Recommended Ages: 8 and up
Solar Walk is a 3D solar system model that allows you to navigate between planets, see their positions on a specific date, and explore how they move and why. Zoom in to study planets and satellites close up. You’ll find extensive information on every planet including its size, mass, orbital velocity, exploratory missions, thickness of structural layers, and composition of atmosphere. There are in-app purchases which normally I’m not a fan of; but the in-app purchases here are to add additional features and enhancements to Solar Walk.

• National Parenting Publications Awards (NAPPA) – GOLD winner in the Educational Tools for Parents and Children category
• Parents’ Choice Gold Award Winner

iOS        Android

Lightbot Coding Puzzles #1 app recommended on the 10 Best Apps for Coding list at Lightbot: Coding Puzzles

Recommended Ages: 9-11
Lightbot is a programming puzzle game. Users gain a practical understanding of basic control-flow concepts like procedures, loops, and conditionals as they guide a robot with commands to light up tiles and solve levels. It’s so much fun, users don’t realize how much they’re learning!

Lightbot has 50 levels and 20 challenge stars to collect. There are multiple save slots and separate progress tracking for multiple players. So, families can play Lightbot on the same device. Multiple players can advance at their own pace in their own save slot. Players are also able to compete on number of levels finished, number of stars collected, and number of overall commands used to complete the game.

Lightbot lets you play in English, French, Russian, Brazilian Portuguese, Spanish, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Norwegian, Slovenian, Romanian, Indonesian, German, Polish, Danish, Croatian, Dutch, Slovak, Czech, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Thai, Hindi, or Swedish! To change the language simply hit the associated flag icon on the main screen.

There are no in-app purchases.

• Best Kids App for iPad! -Best App Ever Awards
• Best Educational Game App –

iOS        Android        Kindle

Book Creator #6 app recommended on the 10 Best Apps for Music and Art list at Book Creator

Recommended Ages: 4+
Book Creator is a beautiful app that will allow your child to write and illustrate their own book! Create with over 50 fonts to choose from, stickers, comic strips, different layouts, audio clips, and more! You can even share or publish your books on iBooks with a single click! Winner of a Parent’s Choice Award, this app is loved by parents everywhere!

• Voted Best Educational App in the 2015 BETT Awards
• Winner of a Parents’ Choice Gold Award

iOS      Android

Do you have a favorite app for elementary age students? Share it with us by leaving a comment.

See my entire 10 Best Apps Series for more apps suggestions!

10 Best_Apps_Elementary_Age_Students

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