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8 Not-to-Miss iPhone Apps for Early Learning

8 Not-to-Miss iPhone Apps for Early Learning

Does your child use your iPhone on a daily basis? Are you constantly being asked, Mom, can I download a new app?

Apps are now a part of many kids' daily routines and a part of how they play. So why not mix a little learning into that playtime? Here are a few of my favorite early learning iPhone and iPad apps to add to your child’s digital toy box!

1. PLAY123: Fun and interactive learning activities for kids!  

Ages: 3-6   

For: iPhone & iPad

Why I Recommend It: This free app does an amazing job of encouraging creativity, imagination and exploration while modeling colors, shapes, numbers and even physics for children. The app is also easy to use with a vast amount of unstructured play, which is perfectly suited for young kids.      

Teaches: Math (Counting, Shapes, Logic Games), Art (Colors), Science (Investigation)

Available here, Free*

2. Splish Splash Inn 

Ages: 3-4     

For: iPhone & iPad 

Why I Recommend It: A delightful app for children to experience numbers and quantities 1 through 10. Lots of little details that you don’t want to miss include sending the sea creatures floating across the screen as children tilt and turn their device, making up silly songs, and the overall environment which uses color and music to enhance the learning experience. A great way for your child to learn their numbers and practice counting to 10.  

Teaches: Math (Counting, Number Recognition)

Available here, $.99*


3. Peek-a-Zoo - by Duck Duck Moose 

Ages: 3-5     

For: iPhone & iPad  

Why I Recommend It: Help your children to identify physical and social cues in this cute and entertaining game. The app looks like an animal learning game but is so much more! Your child will meet a variety of cartoon-style animals and be challenged to find the one who is having a birthday, who is crying, who is trying to hide, or who is wagging her tail.

Teaches: Language (Listening), Social Studies (Social Skills)

Available here, $.99*

4. Write My Name by Injini 

Ages: 3-6     

For: iPad 

Why I Recommend It: Fantastic for families with multiple children, your 3-year-old can practice writing their name (and if they share well) your 6-year-old can work on some of the 100 sight words. Kids love having their own name tags with personalized pictures. Handwriting can often be boring, but this app gives your kids extra motivation to practice letter writing.

Teaches: Language (Vocabulary, Letter Writing, Sight Words, Letter and Sound Recognition)

Available here, $1.99*


5. Awesome Eats 

Ages: 5 to adult     

For: Universal 

Why I Recommend It: Who knew sorting fruits and vegetables could be so interactive or exciting? Reinforcing healthy eating is a benefit of this game but the sorting experience is really the star here. There are plenty of levels and I hope you find yourself using this app along with your child.

Teaches: Math (Sorting)

Available here, Free*

6. Wee Sing & Learn ABC  

Ages: 3 - 6     

For: Universal 

Why I Recommend It: You might recognize the Wee Sing ABC books from when you were a kid. Strong letter knowledge is important for early reading and in this one app your child will be learning his ABCs along with musical instruments and animals. Children can control the pace, interact with the instruments or just sit back and listen to each short silly ABC song.

Teaches: Language (Letter and Sound Recognition), Art (Music)

Available here, $2.99*


7. Reading Raven For iPad  

Ages: 4 - 7     

For: iPad 

Why I Recommend It: I can not say enough WONDERFUL things about this app. The price is great when you are getting a self-paced, phonics-based reading instructional app for your beginning reader. An in-depth parent guide and a lot of in-app customization adds to the value. Videos and more information about this app are available at

Teaches: Language (Letter and Sound Recognition, Phonics, Reading, Spelling, Letter Writing)

Available here, $3.99*

8. Motion Math: Hungry Fish 

Ages: 5 and up     

For: Universal 

Why I Recommend It: One of the best math experiences for your child to start playing with building numbers. Addition is provided in this free version with options to buy additional levels of subtraction and negatives. Another app where multiple children can save their progress.

Teaches: Math (Addition and Subtraction)

Available here, Free*

*Prices current as of publishing

Carolina Nugent is an experienced educator and the Director of Education for KinderTown, an educational app store that helps busy parents find the best apps for young kids. Sometimes referred to as the "Chief Curation Officer," she's evaluated more than 1,000 apps for kids. See more of her reviews in the FREE KinderTown App, available for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, POPSUGAR.

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