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9 Best Kindergarten Apps (Great for Preschool, Too!)

June 23, 2015

Posted by Sarah Guckert

Envisioning iPads in the hands of your district’s youngest learners? Not sure how to make an early childhood initiative possible—or more importantly, successful? At first glance, the Apple App Store can be an overwhelming place for educators to find the best content for young learners. With 100,000+ educational iOS apps on the market, it would take a significant chunk of time out of each week to identify those "needle in a haystack" apps that will be most effective and age appropriate for preschool and kindergarten students.

Best Kindergarten Apps and Best Preschool Apps

To help narrow your focus, start your search by looking for the following characteristics as you hunt for the best kindergarten apps as well as the best preschool apps: 

  • Audio functionalities are key as most early childhood students cannot read yet; it’s important to select apps that will allow them to hear the content aloud. According to a white paper studying Student Engagement in Educational Apps, "Apps that are silent or have a bare-bones interface are predicted to have significantly lower ratings than average apps."

  • Apps that are simplistic in nature and focus on one objective at a time will help to retain students’ attention.

  • An engaging interface that isn’t distracting—we all know what happens to students when there is too much going on in the classroom. It’s the same way inside an app! We want students to learn how to focus in on what they are learning during their screen time.

  • Sticky songs or memorable characters are great app components to help young children remember what they learned during iPad instruction.

As school budgets are always tight, apps that are free also hold high appeal for educators, especially as you first begin building and testing an iPad initiative. Our Learning Design experts at eSpark have shared a list of the 9 best kindergarten apps for both reading and math practice. Visit the App Store, download these free recommendations, and feel confident that your students are learning with highly engaging, age-appropriate content that's helping to build strong foundational skills necessary for future academic success.

9 BEST APPS FOR KINDERGARTEN & PRESCHOOL 

Gracie & Friends Treasure Bubbles

Gracie-Treasure-Bubbles

Developer: First 8 Studios at WGBH, Price: Free

  • Pre-K
  • Math Counting
  • Age-appropriate, relatable content for young children

Gracie & Friends Birthday Cafe

Gracie-Birthday-Cafe

Developer: First 8 Studios at WGBH, Price: Free

  • Pre-K
  • Math Counting
  • Age-appropriate, relatable content for young children

The Three Little Pigs presented by Dog and Cat

Three-Little-Pigs

Developer: Busythings Ltd, Price: Free

  • Pre-K
  • Reading Literacy
  • Great audio that highlights each word as it is read

Alphabet Blizzard

Alphabet-Blizzard

Developer: Red Seat Media, LLC, Price: Free

  • Pre-K
  • Reading Literacy
  • Brings characters to life with "the Plow family"

Pete and the secret of flying

Pete

Developer: Apps4kids games, Price: Free

  • Kindergarten
  • Reading Literacy
  • Beautiful illustrations that students won't be able to take their eyes off

Stumpy's Alphabet Dinner

Stumpys-Alphabet-Dinner

Developer: Roo Roo, Price: Free

  • Kindergarten
  • Reading Foundations
  • A story about monsters who eat letters for dinner—what could be more engaging to a 5 year old?

Montessori - Rhyme Time Learning Games for Kids

Rhyme-Time

Developer: Innovative Mobile Apps, Price: Free

  • Kindergarten
  • Reading Foundations
  • Very simple yet colorful app; simplicity is key here as rhymes can be difficult to learn

Math for Kids: teach numbers

Math-for-Kids

Developer: Pavel Ryzhikov, Price: Free

  • Kindergarten
  • Math Operations and Algebraic Thinking
  • Great scaffolding in teaching addition, plus it exposes different math symbols

Geoboard, by the Math Learning Center

Geoboard

Developer: Clarity Innovations, Price: Free

  • Kindergarten
  • Geometry
  • Allows interaction with shapes that would be tricky to manipulate without an iPad

As you seek the best kindergarten apps or best preschool apps for your young learners, start by exploring this list highlighting our chart-topping favorites. For more tips on supporting teachers as they develop time effective, developmentally appropriate methods of utilizing iPads in Early Elementary classrooms, explore a recorded webinar on 7 Tips for Success with iPads in Early Childhood:

Watch 7 Tips for Success with iPads in Early Childhood
This post has been updated on October 8, 2015.

Topics: Elementary Education  App Recommendations

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