Best Apps for Elementary Age Students

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Best Apps for Elementary Students

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.

 

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.

Awards:
• Best Kids App for iPad! -Best App Ever Awards
• Best Educational Game App – iEAR.org

In App Purchases: No
Supports Family Sharing: Yes

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!

Note: Registration is open for the 2019 National Geographic GeoBee!

Awards:
• MOBI Award Finalist- Best Mobile Game 2010

In App Purchases: No
Supports Family Sharing: Yes

iOS        Android 

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!

In App Purchases: No
Supports Family Sharing: Yes

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.

In App Purchases: No
Supports Family Sharing: Yes

iOS        Android        Kindle
Family Digital Media Agreement

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?!

In App Purchases: No
Supports Family Sharing: Yes

iOS        Kindle

#6 Vocabulary Spelling City

Recommended Ages: 7 & up
Vocabulary Spelling City is a companion app for the website www.spellingcity.com. 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.

In App Purchases: No
Supports Family Sharing: Yes

iOS        Android

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.

Awards:
• Editor’s Choice by Children’s Technology Review (A+)

In App Purchases: No
Supports Family Sharing: Yes

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.

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

In App Purchases: Yes
Supports Family Sharing: Yes

iOS        Android

Lightbot Coding Puzzles #1 app recommended on the 10 Best Apps for Coding list at leahnieman.com#9 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.

Awards:
• Best Kids App for iPad! -Best App Ever Awards
• Best Educational Game App – iEAR.org

In App Purchases: No
Supports Family Sharing: Yes

iOS        Android        Kindle

Monster-Math#10 MONSTER MATH

Recommended Ages: 6 to 10

Help your child learn and practice more than 67 math skills in a fun learning environment perfect for an elementary aged student. The app features fun games that focus on elementary-level math skills, including basic geometry, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, factors, prime numbers, fractions, multiples, and decimals. The free version of the game features four different worlds with more than 20 interesting characters and is fully customizable to meet the educational needs of your child. Each game is designed to test multiple math skills at once and help your child improve their abilities as they play. Each game uses common core standards in the following areas:

  • Basic geometry: identification of shapes and symmetry
  • Addition and subtraction: addition up to 20, subtraction up to 20, two-digit addition without carry over, and two-digit subtraction without borrowing
  • Multiplication and division: times tables from 1 to 12, divide numbers 1 to 12, and multiplication of single-digit numbers by multiples of 10
  • Primes, factors and multiples
  • Fractions: visual representations, equivalence, whole numbers as fractions, comparing fractions, and fraction additions
  • Decimals: decimal equivalents to given fractions

In App Purchases: Yes-in iOS only to purchase the full app
Supports Family Sharing: Yes

iOS      Android      Kindle

ToDo-Math#11 TODO MATH

Recommended Ages: 3 to 8

With more than 700 fun activities aimed at helping your elementary school student get better at math, Todo Math is an amazing educational app for a student at any level. The app features tons of great learning options, including daily math challenges, skill-based math missions, and comprehension quizzes. An OpenDyslexic font option is available for students with special needs and the app is available in eight different languages. The app covers a variety of math concepts in each of its activities, including:

  • County and cardinality: number tracing, counting, and tallies
  • Number operations: addition, subtraction, multiplication, and word problems
  • Mathematical reasoning: pattern recognition, math memory, and numerical ordering
  • Time and money: days and weeks, telling time, and differentiating between coins
  • Geometry: shape recognition, identification, and tracing

This app is great for young learners. It adheres to Children’s Online Privacy standards and does not contain any third party advertising.

Awards:

  • 2018 Parents’ Choice Gold Award
  • Ranked #1 in Education App Stores
  • Five-Star Quality Rating on Common Sense Media
  • 2016 SII CODie Award Finalist
  • Best Design Award Winner at Launch Education & Kids Conference

In App Purchases: Yes
Supports Family Sharing: Yes

iOS      Android

Grammaropolis#12 GRAMMAROPOLIS

Recommended Ages: 6 & up

Using the parts of speech as animated characters with personalities based on the roles they play in the part of a sentence, Grammaropolis makes learning grammar fun for elementary age students. The classroom-proven approach to teaching blends this character-based content with traditional assessment methods to give students an effective way to visualize the roles of each part of speech. The free version of this app includes access to the Noun neighborhood, which includes a curriculum map with one song, one book, and over 400 quiz questions. You can also upgrade the app through in-app purchases to add the other seven parts of speech (verbs, adjectives, pronouns, adverbs, conjunctions, interjections, and prepositions).

Awards:

  • National Parenting Center’s Seal of Approval
  • Parents’ Choice Approved Award
  • NAPPA Silver Award

In App Purchases: Yes
Supports Family Sharing: Yes

iOS      Android

Toca Lab-Elements#13 TOCA LAB

Recommended Ages: 6 to 10

Give your elementary schooler a chance to explore an electrifying world of science in Toca Labs, where they’ll get a chance to meet all 118 of the elements on the periodic table. This fun game-style app has tons of learning opportunities, all centered around chemistry concepts. Your child can spin an element in the centrifuge, warm it in a Bunsen burner, cool it with a cooling agent, mix elements using test tubes, or make them magnetic with an oscilloscope. This app gives kids a safe place to experiment and discover the various properties of the elements, which could be a jumping off point for further scientific exploration. Toca Lab is created by Toca Boca, an award-winning app developer which creates fun apps that spark kids’ imaginations while they learn.

In App Purchases: No
Supports Family Sharing: Yes

iOS      Android      Kindle

 

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

See my entire Best Apps Series for more apps suggestions!

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