Best Apps for Kids 2023: Top 5 Educational Apps Recommended by Experts
Apps here, apps there, tons of apps everywhere! Apps for children are not hard to find, but which ones really add value to a child’s learning and development? To find out, we referred to the top five consensus best apps for kids, recommended by 15 experts.
Navigating kids and technology can be challenging. According to a recent survey of American parents, 58 percent of parents believe that the rise of technology is making parenting more difficult than it was for their own parents. The majority of parents (68%) are concerned about how much they rely on an iPad or other device, and 72% value time spent with their child without electronics the most.
Balancing screen time with playtime and outdoor games can help offset the harmful effects. Research in Japan shows that spending time outdoors improves daily living and socialization skills in young children, and that sending children outside to play can even reduce the negative effects of screen time. Of course, there is a need to limit screen time, especially for young children whose brains are rapidly developing the skills needed for lifelong functions.
Education and learning applications strike a good compromise. Another study found that three-quarters of parents of three- to seven-year-olds use technology to help their child learn and prepare for school. In fact, 71 percent of parents surveyed have used a learning app with their child, and 79 percent are using technology to teach their child something new. There are many apps that offer learning resources to accelerate children to success in school. According to the experts, StudyFinds has found the five best apps for kids to help you get started! If we missed your child’s favorite, let us know in the comments!
The list: The best apps for kids recommended by experts
1. Khan Academy Kids
Khan Academy Kids appears on most top app lists and for good reason. This is a great opportunity with lots of educational activities for the kids. Care.com gushes, “This award-winning app offers thousands of free books, games and lessons to help develop early childhood skills. There are also music, dance and yoga videos to help kids burn off energy.”
“A cast of adorable animal characters guides kids through the lessons, and our adaptive learning path personalizes their experience to help them master different skills,” says Today’s Parent.
WFAA says, “It’s completely free. It’s extremely thoughtfully produced with expert input and has tons of literacy and STEM content for really young kids.”
2. ABC mouse
Another one that appears on most lists is ABCmouse! “This choice is the overwhelming favorite of all our testers. ABCmouse.com is available as an app and website. It uses fun story-based videos, quizzes and activities – there’s even a virtual map that outlines your child’s learning journey to engage babies and toddlers. Our parent testers said they loved ABCmouse.com even before we started testing the best apps for kids!” passionate about Good Housekeeping.
Verywell Family ranks it as one of the best for kids and toddlers and says it’s great for having multiple ages at home. “Do you have a bunch of little ones? You can add up to three siblings to your subscription for the same monthly fee. You can easily switch between users so all your children can participate in the learning activity. The content becomes more difficult as your child enters school and moves through the early elementary grades.”
ABCmouse also has a special reward system! My eLearning World writes: “ABCmouse offers a fun bonus that kids will love every part of. After each completed lesson, they are rewarded with tickets to purchase items to decorate their virtual classroom.”
3. ABC Kids
MomJunction credits this app for preschool readiness: “We’re starting with an app that has a simple function—teach your child to write the letters of the alphabet. The ABC Kids app teaches your child to write the alphabet and learn to pronounce them. The app is delightful with colorful pictures and fun sounds that your child will love. Get this app when your child starts kindergarten. Help.”
“ABC Kids has no in-app purchases, no ads and is free to download. It’s one of the best kids apps for younger kids,” adds Android Authority.
Visartech loves that it offers more than one way for children to learn, from hearing to touch and more. “Educational games allow children to practice recognizing letter shapes by drawing them with their fingers along with arrows on the screen, learning sounds and doing lots of matching exercises.”
4. Toca Boca
Toca Boca creates a world of educational apps for kids that range from cooking in the kitchen to helping in the hospital, working with horses in the barn, building worlds with blocks, styling hair in the barbershop and more. Choose your favorite or try them all!
Bark says, “If you’re looking for safe apps for kids, Toca Life World is a great choice. It’s not quite a game – it’s more a way for kids to use their imaginations to create characters and bring the environment to life. Almost everything in the game is customizable as you create settings, characters, clothes and more. You can record it on screen and add voiceover narration that describes the world you build from scratch, just like you’re directing a movie!”
GoldieBlox recommends Toca Builder for younger kids: “Toca Builder is a great app for younger kids who like to build but aren’t quite ready for Minecraft. This brand creates digital toys and everyday products that are filled with fun and silliness that kids can relate to. Taking rules, boundaries, and the notion of ‘good’ or ‘bad’ out of the equation, the creators of Toca Builder just want you to play.”
ListsForAll likes Toca Kitchen 2: “Better than ever, Toca Kitchen 2 lets kids get creative in the virtual kitchen. They can use all the ingredients and tools in the kitchen to create their masterpieces. The creations can even be fed with characters (complete with reactions). So if you have a kid who loves to be a chef, this app is for them.”
5. PBS Kids Games/Videos
PBS Kids offers a Games app and a Video app, both of which appear on several expert-recommended lists. Try one or both for fun, period entertainment!
The Educational App Store likes the Games app, highlighting its safety and educational benefits: “The app provides a safe, kid-friendly gaming experience for all ages. Children can learn about math, creativity, weather, sea creatures, patterns, shapes, painting and tools, among other things. They can practice strategy, improve reading skills, and test their theories. The purpose of the application is to be dynamic, it will be supplemented with new games, so the amount of things to learn will increase over time.”
“PBS has produced hundreds of games based on their popular children’s shows. Each show’s games match their learning theme. Learn math with Peg + Cat. Discover creature powers with the Kratt Brothers. Or go on a space adventure with Ready, Jet Go kids! If your child loves PBS shows, they will love learning with their favorite characters,” adds Family Education.
And Parenting loves the video version: “If your preschooler is going to watch a show, they’re probably more comfortable with a PBS show, and this app lets them watch clips of their favorites — ‘Curious George,’ ‘Super Why ! , “The Cat and the Hat Knows a Lot About That” and many more – anywhere with 3G or WiFi.”
Have another idea for a noteworthy app? Let us know in the comments!
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