Best educational apps 2023 for preschool children
Do you have a little one who is eager to learn and likes technology? Apps can improve skills in fine motor skills, reading, phonics, maths, problem-solving and more. Research suggests that after age two, children may benefit from some types of screen time, such as programming with music, movement and stories. We’ve compiled a list of what we think are some of the best educational apps for children aged three to five years.
Daniel Tiger’s Day & Night
Pre-school aged children can learn about morning and bedtime routines with PBS KIDS’ Daniel Tiger. Help Daniel Tiger get ready for school in the morning and for bed at night through imaginative play and songs.
We like it because there are sing-along songs that make routines fun and a musical timer to keep routines such as teeth-brushing on track.
Pros: Simple, age-appropriate for toddlers.
Cons: There’s no order required for following the routines, and it’s limited to morning and evening routines only.
Hopster Coding Safari for Kids
Pre-coding logic game for kids
Why? We think introducing children to coding early is gives children a head start in learning how to code with Hopster Coding Safari. This animal themed pre-coding logic game to help little ones learn the fundamentals of coding. Children are presented with a series of logic problems to solve, getting different animals to where they need to be.
Children learn: The fundamentals of computational thinking
- Foundations of coding
- Problem solving
This game will engage young children in computational thinking – the fundamental techniques needed to understand coding – without them realising they are learning!
Pros: Wide range of activities, links to early years learning objectives.
Cons: Paid subscription based and not a lot offered without paying.
Available on the App store
Shape-sorting puzzles great for fine motor skill development
What makes Busy Shapes so clever is the way the puzzles gently gets more challenging, motivating little ones to find solutions to each puzzle through experimentation. From shape-changing to colour-mixing to hidden holes, we’re impressed with how the game spurs out-of-the-box thinking, stimulating curious young minds. The app’s designers say it’s inspired by the pioneering works of child theorist Jean Piaget (1896-1980), who believed that “children are little scientists” and that a child’s thoughts are built through experiences that encourage him or her to engage in the reasoning process.
Pros: Free version includes a lot of activities. The challenge increases, with multiple objects and holes of different shapes, moving objects, obstacles to get around or to move, and finally the need to use tools to move the objects. There’s no direction and no help. Children must explore and discover on their own how to get the objects into the holes.
Cons: Doesn’t seem to be a way to get to earlier levels.
Khan Academy Kids
Khan Academy Kids is a free, fun, educational program with thousands of activities and books that will inspire a lifetime of learning and discovery for children ages two+.
The app is designed by experts in early childhood education to guide young learners on a delightful journey through key skills in maths, reading, phonics, writing, social-emotional development, and more. It includes thousands of lessons, activities, books, and games that are age-appropriate for preschool through year two. With catchy songs and yoga videos, little ones will also have fun moving, dancing, and getting the wiggles out.
Pros: The variety of learning topics and the creative approach to activities offer breadth and depth without it feeling overwhelming.
Cons: Animations could use more captioning; written instruction and language options.
Moose Math takes children on a mathematical adventure. Through fun multi-level activities, little ones will be engaged in counting, addition, subtraction, sorting, and geometry!
We like Moose Math because it engages small children in a mathematical adventure and teaches counting, addition, subtraction, sorting, geometry and more.
Pros: Great for families with more than one child – multiple users and levels make for easy differentiation.
Cons: Children may wish there were more parts of the town to build.
ABC Animal Toddler Adventures
This app aims to strengthen children’s cognitive skills, concentration and memory with activities such as tracing letters, spelling with an A-Z of animals, counting, jigsaw puzzles, spot the difference, pet salon, feed the animals and more. Your toddler will really enjoy playing this game as every little action has been thoughtfully designed for an effortless gameplay.
Pros: Fun cheerful characters, good for young learners working on fine motor skills, problem-solving skills, spelling, and language acquisition.
Cons: Limited activities and full screen ads in free version, some complaints about price of full version.
Available on the App Store
This app for toddlers has more than 1000+ fun and educational activities and games! This delightfully interactive smart app helps children learn ABCs, numbers, colours, shapes, and more. Children can skip, sing, and dance to popular nursery rhymes with Moolingo the monkey.
Pros: The amount of activities.
Cons: Paid subscription service.
Thoughtfully-made educational games for children aged two to eight, including early literacy skills using a comprehensive program full of interesting activities, building blocks for maths confidence, and tools for navigating social skills, empathy, and confidence.
Pros: Personalised to children’s interests across subjects, learning grows with child.
Cons: Paid subscription service.
ABC Preschool Kids Tracing
Features letters and word learning games to help children learn basic tracing of alphabet, letters, words and numbers one to 10.
Pros: Full app is free.
Cons: Some complaints on sound issues.
The Toca Boca suite of apps for children is an interactive way to explore the world by cooking, cutting hair, building a neighborhood, and taking care of pets. For the youngest users, try a role-playing app like Toca Doctor or a simple app like hairstyling (children love the hairdryer!). And as they grow, children can design and build their own city with the Toca Life apps.
Pros: Dozens of games to choose, including some free, and ome games can be purchased as a bundle for discounted pricing. Variety of games for beginners, animal lovers, budding engineers, and more.
Cons: Not all apps will be of interest to all.