Best educational iPad apps for elementary school aged kids by OHmommy PDF Print E-mail
Written by OHmommy   
Friday, 17 February 2012 00:00

Like I mentioned in my "Best educational iPad apps for preschoolers" post, I've spent countless hours researching reviews and reading comments in regards to educational apps. However there's nothing like good old fashioned word of mouth - which the list below precisely is. I have two elementary students that are as different as night and day, so our family iPad is filled with a wide range of supplemental education apps. I'm ashamed to admit how many apps we have purchased this year but happy to list the most well used ones in our family.


Below is a list of our most beloved educational iPad apps for elementary school age kids. From our house to yours.



1. Pearl Diver, Free

Developed by a university this math app is free and by far my third-graders most favorite. It is geared for 3rd through 8th grade but my second-grader does great with it. The app is colorful, not cheesy, there are no ads and it does an excellent job of teaching the number line. Children dive for hidden pearls within the number line and the difficulty increases after every successful dive. I can not get past the fraction number line. I highly recommend this app.


2.  Brains Quest: Blast Off, $2.99

This app is no longer available in the US itunes store but apparently people outside of the US can still purchase it. Had I known, I would have purchased all the levels - as they are separated by grade levels. Similar to the BrainQuest workbooks, the app is organized by subjects. Each subject offers four games that model a traditional assessment test but in a much colorful and fun way. My children adore this "trivia" like app.


3. Analogies 4 Kids, $0.99

This app is perfect for the logic lover kid of yours. The analogies presented are similar to those on a SAT but presented in an easy to follow way that even a young kid can figure out. Analogies are often used in gifted programs and seen on IQ tests - this app offers 70 questions and is fun practice. I have yet to see another analogy app for young kids that is this easy to use and enjoyable.


4.  Rocket Math, $0.99

Do math, earn money, build a rocket and watch it fly in outer-space. There are 56 math missions ranging from simple addition to square roots and everything in between (double digit division, decimals, fractions, multiplication, money counting, etc.). For under a dollar this app can take you from kindergarten to high school. I find my little mathematician on this app often, testing his knowledge and pushing himself on more difficult missions.


5. Jungle Time, $2.99

This is a simple but effective app for teaching your child to tell time. It's perfect for the early elementary school age kid because of it's jungle theme where animals are displayed in clocks. This app allows you to tell time, set time and identify time elapsed. You are able to change the clock style from standard to roman numerals. There are 5 levels and parents can monitor progress.


6.  Stack the States, Free & $0.99

This is one of those apps that we downloaded for free and quickly updated to the full app. I wasn't so sure if my children would be interested in identifying states and capitols but they were frustrated with the limitations of the free version and have been eagerly playing the full app ever since. Because they've enjoyed it so much we also purchased "Presidents vs. Aliens" by the same developer, which is equally as entertaining. They willingly play both because the apps are quite fun to play. Bonus points for retaining the information they get from identifying states and presidents.


7. Starfall ABCs, $2.99

Perfect for kindergartners, this app was used by my two children in their school's iPad lab. They talked about it so much while in kinder that I purchased it for our family. There are hundreds of ABC apps out there but this one is no nonsense, easy to use, fun and effective. Children can choose from puzzles, mazes, flash cards and more to gain a well rounded knowledge of the alphabet.


8. Mad Libs, Free & $3.99

Another one of those apps that we upgraded to the full version after checking out the lite edition. Just like the traditional paper Mad Libs (which we have spent a fortune on), children type in parts of speech to create a silly story. For those who are having trouble finding a part of speech to fill in there's a "Hints" button that offers a scroll of words below. For my third-grader who struggles with comprehension this is a fun app to develop those early parts of speech skills, not to mention we all get a good giggle at the end when reading their stories.


9.  Casey's Contraptions, $2.99

One of the greatest apps I have ever purchased. This is a "thinking" app that requires children to build contraptions out of toys and everyday items that solve puzzles. You can also create your own contraptions with slingshots, darts, ropes, balloons and more. It's adorable! There are over 70 levels and my children have been found creating similar contraptions in real life.


10.  Math Bingo, $0.99

This app is a perfect way to practice math skills. Children select a game (add, subtract, multiply, divide) and the difficulty (easy, medium, hard) and play traditional bingo. They are given a problem and need to find the numerical answer on the bingo chart. When they get a "bingo" they earn a "bingo bug" and collect them - the bugs are quirky and fun, which is why I believe my children love this app so much. They adore collecting the bugs.


11. Unblock Me, Free

My entire family of five is addicted to this game and the amount of puzzles offered in the free version is amazing. It's a puzzle app which requires some great critical thinking and perceptual ability. With 4,200 puzzles offered in this free app what do you have to lose, but time? From our four-year-old to my thirty-six-year-old husband, this app manages to captivate us all while strengthening our problem solving skills. A must have!


12. Hangman, Free

The banner ad bothers me but for a free app that offers the traditional hangman game, this app captivates my accelerated reader. You can choose from a number of categories like fruit, vegetable, family, food, drink, clothes, color, body parts, countries and more. The game is timed while you guess what letters are used to figure out the word before your time is up.


13. SpellBoard, $4.99

One of the most expensive apps I've ever purchased but well worth the money for the child who struggles with their weekly spelling tests in elementary school. I use this app weekly by recording my child's spelling list in my own voice, recording a sentence using the word in my own voice, and generating a quiz. Children can study the quiz before taking it by completing puzzles and/or writing the word on a realistic notepad. They can ask to repeat the word (in your own recorded voice) or ask to speak the phrase (in your own recorded voice). Best of all parents can check in to see the history of the tests to see the percentage and where they need additional help.


14. Fractions, $0.99

Children have two options "Learn" or "Test". The learn option goes through a series of flashcards (easily read with bright images). The test option gives you three categories (Identify, Equality, Arithmetic) and three levels of difficulty for each. Easily the best app out there for fractions. It starts with elementary fraction lessons of a pizza cut in half and continues with the "hard" level of "arithmetic".  Examples of difficult problems that make my head spin: 14/21 + 14/21 = ____ and 9/21 x 9/21 = ______ and I haven't even reached the expert level. My husband is at the expert level and said, "Wow, this is actually pretty hard." Another app that starts in kinder and takes you up to high school.


15. Frog Dissection, $3.99

Need I say more? The greener alternative to dissection and so much fun.



In our family we view the iPad as a luxury, just like television. The rule of thumb is that if you want to use the iPad, you need to complete an equal time of educational material before playing. Homework comes before tv time as do educational apps before fun apps. Below is a list of fun apps that my children adore. All are highly recommended & most come in "lite" (free).

Fruit Ninja


Zoo Rescue

Cut the rope


Temple Run


Have I missed any must have educational elementary school apps that your family loves? Please list them in the comments below - I'd love to try them out.  Apps are just like chips, you can't stop at just one.

Last Updated on Friday, 17 February 2012 00:03


# Rachel Stafeil 2012-02-17 06:29
If you like stack the states (or if your kids finish it), you should also get Stack the Countries. Same game, but world geography.
# Pauline 2012-02-17 11:01
Thanks Rachel, adding it to my list.
# Amy 2012-02-17 07:27
Great list thanks. We also like Stack the countries and PresidEnts vs Aliens.
# Tara R. 2012-02-17 08:34
When my kids were younger, they loved the Brain Quest flash card games. They were great for long car trips.
# Rachel Matthews 2012-02-17 10:21
My kids love Starfall! They use it on their class iPads and computers. Thanks for this list!
# Brenda 2012-02-17 11:35
We LOVE Cut the Rope! And we also just found Egg Punch, worth checking out.
# Tamara 2012-02-20 00:23
We just love All About Me has helped our son learn all of his personal information, like his full name, full address, all his family members names and a lot more. We added pictures to make it fun and we read it like a book. LOVE IT!!!!
# Maxence TAIEB 2012-02-21 06:46
# naomi 2012-02-22 02:25
This list is awesome!! You rock!
# Damocles 2012-03-28 06:52
Check out Alphabet Runner HD for pre-school children:
# Matt Burgess 2012-05-30 02:09
Great List. StarFall ABC is a big favourite for my kids. I'm adding some of these to my own list at
# Olivia V. Patino 2012-07-05 17:51
Thank you for this list! It is a great one!
# Donna 2012-10-20 22:38
Read On Site is a wonderful app, bought the full version for 2.99 after we tried the free one. Both my 5 and 7 year old love it, check it out.
# Lana May 2013-01-25 11:41
Please check out a new iPad app aimed at teaching K-1 students how to handwrite.
There are videos, testimmonials, etc. at Hopefully, you will add the app to your list. Thanks!
# Ceret Mail 2013-11-11 11:08

We would like to submit our app Vizulator – the Visual Calculator for review.

itunes link:

Demonstration Video

Made for Ages 6 to 11 (Kids Section 9 to11 in itunes store)
Apple ID 499285179
Price $2.99

We would be delighted to send a voucher code on request.

Vizulator is the first ever children’s software which makes instant diagrams of any quantity or operation. These diagrams show both the actual quantities involved and the impact upon those quantities of the operation.

An adjustable grid sizing system enables operations to be arranged in any of all possible spatial configurations including arrays and number lines. Groupings of quantities can be achieved by both colour-coding and by spatial arrangement.

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Pauline Karwowski.

Is a self proclaimed globe trotting, minivan driving, SAHM stiletto ho.

Happily married mother to 3 Cleveland natives: Jay the son, Lola the daughter, and Fifi the banshee.

Now in Chicago, IL.

The content on this blog is the opinion of the blogger.


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