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13 Educational Apps for the New School Year

Learning shouldn't feel like a chore! Beyond textbooks and homework, the right app can be a game changer. Dive into the world of digital education with us and jumpstart your kid’s new school year with enthusiasm. These 13 educational apps transform learning into an exciting journey!

Stefanie Parth
9/7/2023 • 5 min
Little girl is doing her homework with the help of a smartphone

Want to supercharge your kid's learning journey this school year? The digital world offers more than just distractions; it's brimming with educational treasures. Don't just settle for any app - choose the ones that amplify understanding, spark curiosity, and make learning a breeze. We've handpicked for you the apps that genuinely deliver: they're educationally enriching, user-friendly, and incredibly enjoyable. And when it's time for a break, we've got you covered too: 10 Best Mobile Games for Kids: Ohana's Top Picks of 2022.

Now, let’s explore these 13 educational apps that promise to educate, inspire, and motivate.

1. PBS Kids Games

Dive into an ocean of interactive games with PBS Kids Games, where every click and touch leads to a new learning experience. Featuring characters your kid already loves, these games are perfectly calibrated for little learners, introducing core concepts in a way that feels like playtime. And when it's showtime? The PBS Kids Video app offers a parade of educational videos to switch things up.

Age recommendation: 2-8 years
Cost: Free (no ads, no in-app purchases)
Available on: Android and iOS

2. HOMER Learn & Grow

No two kids learn the same way, and HOMER knows that. By crafting a learning journey that adjusts to your kid's unique strengths and interests, it makes sure every session is time well spent. Covering everything from reading to math, and even delving into emotions, it promises holistic growth in the funniest way possible.

Age recommendation: 2-8 years
Cost: $9.99/month or $59.99/year
Available on: Android and iOS

3. ABCmouse.com

ABCmouse turns screen time into school time, without the dull parts. This vibrant platform offers over 10,000 activities. Reading, math, science – you name it. The best part? It's structured, meaning your kid follows a learning path that grows with them, all in an ad-free space.

Age recommendation: 2-8 years
Cost: $12.99/month or $59.99/year
Available on: Android and iOS

4. Epic!

Imagine a library that never closes. With Epic!, that's exactly what you get. A vast, colorful digital universe full of books, videos, and quizzes tailored for young minds. Whether it's a bedtime story or a midday reading break, this platform not only sharpens literacy skills but also ignites a love for reading that can last a lifetime.

Age recommendation: 2-12 years
Cost: $11.99/month or $79.99/year
Available on: Android and iOS

5. Teach Your Monster to Read

Reading is a journey, and what better guide than a lovable monster? This app takes your kid through phonics, word recognition, and other literacy cornerstones, all while navigating vivid landscapes and stories. By the end, not only will they be better readers, but they'll also have a monster buddy to show for it.

Age recommendation: 3-7 years
Cost: $4.99 (Android) and $6.99 (iOS)
Available on: Android and iOS

(Source: The Usborne Foundation)

6. BrainPOP

Get ready to pop those brain bubbles of curiosity! BrainPOP makes the tough stuff easy and fun for your little learners. Whether it's dinosaurs, space adventures, or tales from history, each lesson is crafted to feed young minds with knowledge, all while making them giggle and smile. It's a colorful classroom that fits right into your kid's pocket!

Age recommendation: 3-8 years
Cost: Free (with in-app purchases)
Available on: iOS

BrainPOP is currently not available for Android. We will update this article as soon as it is available again.

7. Quick Math Jr.

Who said math has to be boring? Quick Math Jr. packages math fundamentals into a series of vibrant, engaging games. This isn't just about numbers – it's about developing critical thinking and problem-solving skills in the early years, making math a friend, not a foe.

Age recommendation: 4-8 years
Cost: Free (with in-app purchases)
Available on: iOS

8. Khan Academy

Khan Academy is where your kid's questions get answered. With lessons spanning from history to calculus, every topic is broken down, making it digestible for young minds. The self-paced approach ensures your kid learns comfortably, turning every challenge into an achievable goal.

Age recommendation: 5+ years
Cost: Free (no ads, no in-app purchases)
Available on: Android and iOS

9. Star Walk Kids

The universe is a grand puzzle, and Star Walk Kids is your kid’s interactive guide. Whether it’s tracing constellations or identifying planets, this app turns the night sky into an astronomical playground. It’s not just stargazing, it’s a hands-on experience that feeds curiosity.

Age recommendation: 6-12 years
Cost: Free with in-app purchases (iOS) & $0.99 (Android)
Available on: Android and iOS

(Source: Vito Technology)

10. Kahoot!

Kahoot! makes acquiring knowledge a joyride. Whether in a classroom or the living room, this platform transforms quizzes into energetic challenges. And if you can't find the perfect quiz? Make one yourself! This is learning tailored to your kid, with a world of other tools under the same roof.

Age recommendation: 6+ years
Cost: Free (with in-app purchases)
Available on: Android and iOS

11. NASA Visualization Explorer

Space is the last frontier, but with NASA's app, it feels within arm's reach. Packed with high-definition visuals and detailed explanations, this app is a space shuttle for young astronauts. It’s not just about gazing at stars but understanding the science that makes them shine.

Age recommendation: 7+ years
Cost: Free (no ads, no in-app purchases)
Available on: Android and iOS

12. Duolingo

Languages open doors, and Duolingo hands over the keys. Breaking down languages into bite-sized, game-like sessions, every lesson feels like a mini-adventure. And while there are ads, they’re placed so subtly that the learning journey remains smooth and enjoyable.

Age recommendation: 10+ years
Cost: Free (with in-app purchases)
Available on: Android and iOS

13. Google Arts & Culture

Museums, art galleries, historical sites – welcome to the world's grandest virtual tour. Google Arts & Culture is a cultural passport, allowing your kid to walk the corridors of far-off museums or dive deep into historical events. It's not just about looking; it's about learning and appreciating the vastness of human achievements.

Age recommendation: 10+ years
Cost: Free (no ads, no in-app purchases)
Available on: Android and iOS

Tips for Choosing Educational Apps

Be skeptical of reviews: While feedback and ratings can be informative, it's important to bear in mind that some might be fabricated. Don't just rely on a high star rating, delve a little deeper into your research.

Prioritize data privacy: Many apps collect user data. Take a close look at the privacy policies and decide whether you're comfortable with them. Also, ponder if the app truly requires all the permissions it requests.

Interactivity and engagement: A standout learning app should actively engage your kid in the learning process rather than just having them passively consume content. Whether through quizzes, captivating animations, or imaginative tasks, the goal is to stimulate thought and interaction, thereby enriching the learning journey.

Test, test, test: Before allowing your kid to use an app, give it a try yourself. Trust your parental sixth sense—you know your kid best. Experiment with the app to gauge if it aligns with your kid’s learning pace and style.

Monitor screen time: Just because an app is educational doesn't mean it should monopolize your kid’s leisure time. Balance is key! Set time limits with Ohana and encourage off-screen activities.

Beware of hidden costs: Numerous apps offer in-app purchases, which can quickly lead to unexpected costs. Utilize Ohana and your app store's settings to prevent unauthorized purchases.

The right educational app can substantially bolster your kid’s learning journey while keeping it fun. With these recommendations and tips, your kid is set for an enlightening and thrilling academic year. Best of luck!

Disclaimer: The brand names and images used in this post, including screenshots from mobile games and promotional materials, are intended for informational and illustrative purposes only. All copyrights, trademarks, and other intellectual property rights for these images are the sole property of their respective owners. We do not claim any ownership over these images, nor does our use of them imply any form of endorsement or sponsorship by the respective game developers or publishers. If you are the copyright owner of any of the brand names and images used and would like them to be removed, please contact us and we will do so immediately.