10 Great Educational Preschool Apps

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Oh, screen time. We have a love/hate relationship with you. Phones and tablets provide the time necessary to do laundry, dishes, or complete a road trip without losing our minds. And it is very similar to watching TV, only more interactive. Yet, there is still a little guilt. Should we be playing “I Spy” again instead of letting them zone out on the road trip?  There is a lot of research on both sides, but the reality is that screens aren’t going away and kids love them. So, that said, I thought it would be helpful to begin a series of educational apps to provide screen time that is beneficial.  Specifically, they reinforce reading and math skills, sorting, classifying, and problem-solving. Enjoy!

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Educational Preschool Apps

  • Monkey Preschool Lunchbox ($1.99) This app is perfect for basic skills like matching, puzzles, counting, and colors. All of these are pre-kindergarten skills, and this app would be appropriate for younger learners or those who need to fill in a few missing concepts.
  • Bugs and Bubbles ($2.99) This adaptable app gets more challenging as your child masters skills like matching, patterning, and even letter formation. And the bubble-popping feature is extra fun!  The visuals are very enticing, and you can see that kids are fascinated from the first time you download it. I liked the little hints that pop up to help them understand the expectation so that they can eventually do it on their own and understand the concept.
  • Intro to Letters Montessorium ($4.99) This isn’t the most exciting app, but very solid for integrating letter sound and formation. Kids watch a demo of formation, then try it themselves, while the app says the letter name aloud. This might be one for “homework time” that you’d play with them and then allow them to play something more fun afterward. Using a stylus would be even better for kindergarten-readiness.
  • A Story Before Bed ($10/month) Just watch the video and you will see the why this app costs a bit more than most; it is amazing! There are over 300 stories in the library for an interactive reading experience, including recording a video of you reading it together. Kids will want to hear “their stories” over and over!
  • TouchyBooks (each book $2-$3) Kids create their own bookshelf full of stories they can experience in 3 ways: Autoplay, Read to me, or Read by Myself. Each page has interactive illustrations, and they get to rate the books at the end, which is a reflective skill they will need for school.bugsandbubblesapp
  • Starfall ABCs (free) This is the number one app and website I have used with my children and my students for years. It is just simple, catchy, and repetitive enough that it really helps kids enjoy and remember letter sounds (which is more relevant to reading than the “ABC song” or even knowing the names of the letters!)
  • Tally Tots (2.99) This is a family favorite of ours! I bought it when my daughter was 3, and we both loved the 20 mini games inside. The games themselves to not require math skills, but to get to each new number, you have to listen to the count sequence each time (which kids eventually memorize). Now, my 2-year-old knows how to count to 20!
  • Hungry Guppy (2.99) Quick recognition of dot arrangements (subitization) is a huge pre-kindergarten skill. Kids match the dots on the guppy to the dots on the fish food, and it gets progressively more difficult by having them add the dots. As a kindergarten teacher, I love this one!
  • Quick Math Jr. (2.99) If your child is ready for adding and subtracting, try this app, which is a fun way to begin those concepts. What makes it more challenging is that kids don’t just select the number, they sometimes have to write it. So, it is good for number-writing as well
  • Moose Math (1.99) With bright and fun characters, this math app has 5 games that teach geometry, sorting, counting by multiples and more. It also lets parents view a progress report, so you can see how they are performing. Though I don’t want toput too much emphasis on that, it might be nice to know if my child is successful with the game or not.

Do you have your own favorite preschool apps to share? And what do you think about using technology for learning?

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Stacie is a Columbus native, not moving very far from home, but loving every bit that Cbus has to offer. She works full time as a teacher during the week and enjoys weekend adventuring with her preschool daughter and toddler son. She blogs at www.littleadventuresawait.com, which introduces parents to the highest quality activities and restaurants in Columbus. She lives for party planning, road trips, and photographing everything along the way. She is active in the Columbus food scene, and (gasp!) she Instagrams her meals to encourage friends and followers to try something new every time they get the chance. She loves collaborating with local makers and her passion is writing and photography. She is excited to bring unique experiences to the parents of Columbus! You can follow her at @littleAdvCbus on Instagram.