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Best Free Online Resources & Educational Apps for Kids of All Ages: Preschoolers and Older Kids

best educational apps kids
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Over 30 free online educational resources and the best educational apps for kids, from preschoolers to older kids

We are all for raising low media kids so we mostly reserve screen time for travel or weekends. But if the kids are stuck at home for long periods due to the coronavirus and social distancing, you’ll want to know about these free online educational resources plus all the best educational apps for kids!

If you’re looking to support your child with education at home, check out these free educational resources and ways to keep the kids busy but learning!

Free online educational resources for kids
Best educational Apps for kids of all ages

Free online educational resources for kids

If your family enjoys audiobooks, Audible (which is usually a paid app) has made its stories for kids of all ages FREE for anyone at the moment.

Until the end of April, Geniebook will be providing free online live stream lessons from Primary 3 to Secondary 2 levels in English, Math and Science (with other lessons added later). In line with the MOE syllabus and topics currently taught in schools, each video will be about an hour long, and will be accompanied by one standardised worksheet. Each student will also be entitled to 10 free smart worksheets for the whole month – these worksheets utilise Geniebook’s unique AI technology to personalise questions according to the student’s strengths and weaknesses.

Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden
Home to the famous Fiona the Hippo, the Cincinnati Zoo (which is currently closed) is putting a Home Safari on Facebook Live each day at 3pm EDT, highlighting one of their amazing animals and including an activity kids can do from home.

Sesame Workshop’s Caring for Each Other
Sesame Workshop
, the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street, is offering a variety of free resources through a new Caring for Each Other initiative. The resources aim to help parents manage anxiety, as well as help with fostering playful learning at home. Look out for brand new content featuring the Sesame Street Muppets sharing messages of love and kindness, playful learning activities, and virtual play dates launching soon.

30 Virtual Field Trips
While we can’t travel at the moment your kids can still explore with this roundup of over 30 Virtual Field Trips from Yellowstone Natural Park in USA to Mars!

Free online virtual Museum visits 
Take a free virtual tour of the some of the world’s greatest museums and heritage sites thanks to Google Arts & Culture.

Cambridge Publishing UK
Cambridge Publishing UK offers 700 online reading editions of their books with a free reading period until the end of May.

Marshall Cavendish Education
Marshall Cavendish Education is allowing all Singapore children access to the Maths curriculum via Math Buddies app for free till 31 May. math Buddies was developed using the Concrete-Pictorial-Abstract(CPA) approach that is synonymous with Singapore Math®, For free access click here.

BBC Learning
An oldie (no longer updated with new material) but goodie, BBC offers language learning as well as BBC Bitesize for different age groups from primary to secondary and beyond. No TV licence required except for content on BBC iPlayer.

Khan Academy
This acclaimed non-profit – which was originally designed to provide high-quality distance learning to kids with limited educational opportunities – offers free, personalized learning content for students ages 4-16. Subjects include Math, Science & Technology, Arts & Humanities and more.

Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems
Each day at 1pm EDT the beloved children’s author Mo Willems (we’re longtime fans!) leads kids through free drawing and writing sessions to learn how to illustrate some of his classic characters, such as that silly Pigeon, and Elephant and Piggie. Videos come with downloadable companion activities, too. We’ve seen lots of friends having a blast with this on Instagram.

Science Centre Singapore
Join the Science Educators at Science Centre Singapore every Friday in their Astronomy 102 Live Vodcast and Stargazing series on the SCS Observatory Facebook as they explore topics such as Living in Space, Asteroids and Exploring the Universe.

Scholastic Learn at Home
Drawing on Scholastic’s sizable back library of children’s books, Learn at Home provides a huge variety of activities and free resources segmented into different grades/age groups, from Pre-K up through Grade 9. There are also free teachable worksheets and activities for kids of all ages, including lots of opportunities to read the e-book versions of Scholastic classics. We like that new content is being introduced on a weekly basis, too.

A free online resource partly owned by The Open University offering free to access lots of courses. There is a fee involved if you need a named certificate after completing a course. Younger learners need to use a parent account.

Best for older kids revising at GCSE or A level. Seneca offers free revision content (paid access needed for higher level material).

Free taster courses aimed at those considering Open University but everyone can access it. Adult level, but some e.g. nature and environment courses could well be of interest to young people.

To support parents and caregivers of children with special needs, the Lien Foundation and Superhero Me (a non-profit inclusive arts movement seeded by the Lien Foundation in 2014) launch TAKEAWAY LIVE, a month-long series of 30-minute free online sessions that help parents and special needs kids better adjust to home based learning (HBL) and Covid19 circuit breakers. Sundays 4-430pm see Ask the Experts while on Thursdays 4-4:30pm there’s a creative session for kids 4yrs + on Zoom (register beforehand). Materials for parents to prep children will be made available before the session.

Educational Videos and Radio online:
Cbeebies Radio
Crash Course Kids

More free learning websites resources and games:

Maths Learning Online resources:

Literacy Learning Online resources:

Science & Geography Learning Online resources:

Online learning and award schemes:
Pawprint Family

Best educational Apps for kids of all ages

Here’s our list of the best (mostly educational) apps for kids, categorised appropriately from toddlers to preschoolers to older kids too – and why we love them as parents.

Educational apps for Toddlers

Breathe, Think, Do with Sesame
Age appropriate: 3 and up
Why my kids like it: My littlest kid loves helping the monster take deep breaths, and problem solve plus there are calm breathing techniques and other encouraging ways to destress.
Why this parent likes it: We love this gentle app which gives kids tools to cope with problems. There’s even a parent section, with free resources for further advice.
Cost: FREE
– Amy

The Very Hungry Caterpillar & Friends First Words
Age appropriate: 1 and up (although 2 if you’re super strict about screen time!)
Why my kids like it: Any child who loves the Eric Carle classic will get something out of this app; from the time our daughter could point and swipe she enjoyed looking at the different animals (when you touch each one they make their respective sound). As she’s gotten older she’s been able to respond to the instructions (“Touch here”, “Turn the page”, etc.)
Why this parent likes it: With calming music in the background and bright illustrations that bring the book to life, it’s as book-like and low-tech as apps can get.
Cost: US$3.99
– Kate

Monkey Math School Sunshine
Age appropriate: 3 and up
Why my kids like it:
 Very interactive and varied games covering topics such as shapes, number recognition, counting, patterns, addition, subtraction, comparisons, writing numbers, and recognizing sets. For the prize when your kids answers something correctly they can choose a prize (fish, plants, and decorations) for their aquarium.
Why this parent likes it: Kids learn Maths while having fun!
Cost: $2.98
– Gemma

The Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Collection (4 apps in one bundle)
Age appropriate: 
3 and up
Why my kids like it: 
My daughter loves any and all things Daniel Tiger, and these four apps cover every facet of the emotionally intelligent tiger’s life, whether she’s helping him go potty or brush his teeth, singing along to her favorite songs from the show, or exploring his extensive neighborhood.
Why this parent likes it: 
Daniel Tiger is just about the only TV show we allow our daughter to watch, as it teaches amazing life skills in a thoughtful and respectful way that little kids can totally relate to. There’s seriously a jingle or little song that helps toddlers manage any number of challenging times, from picking out appropriate clothes, to going potty, to dealing with angry feelings. These apps just take it a step further and if they keep our daughter happy, we’re happy, too!
Cost: $8.99
– Kate

Dr Panda Series 
Age appropriate: 3 and up
Why my kids like it: Dr. Panda has so many games, from the airport game to the kitchen game but my daughter’s fave is the vet of course. And the daycare. She loves it cos she gets to do all the different steps to “achieve” the goal and then go to the next step. It’s just simple good fun!
Why this parent likes it: This app keeps my daughter engaged while I read a book on the plane. You can turn the music and sound effects off in the settings menu too for quiet play.
Cost: FREE
– Nadia

Toca Train
Age appropriate: 3 and up
Why my kids like it:
 Your kid gets to play train driver in this fun and friendly train simulator. The controls are intuitive and there are no written instructions to encourage kids to explore themselves. Just pull the levers, push the buttons and start exploring the island with your train!
Why this parent likes it: Cute game from award-winning play studio Toca Boca – check out their other games too.
Cost: US$3.99
– Emilie

Build a Truck – by Duck Duck Moose
Age appropriate: 
3 and up
Why my kids like it:
  Kids get to design their own truck by selecting inventive parts with which to construct trucks, spray-paint and decorate and then they choose a race course, complete with obstacles.
Why this parent likes it: Great for strategic thinking and creativity.
Cost: FREE
– Emilie

Where’s My Water?
Age appropriate: 4 and up
Why my kids like it:
 This is a very clever game for little ones. The purpose of the game is to guide water to a shower by navigating through dirt through increasingly challenging scenarios!
Why this parent likes it: It’s fun plus each level is a challenging physics-based puzzle so I like that it’s educational too.
Cost: FREE
– Emilie

Educational apps for Preschoolers

Age appropriate: 4 and up
Why my kids like it:
 This app has a great interface and really cute characters. Plus it’s easy to navigate and is a great puzzle game.
Why this parent likes it: Thinkrolls are the 26 smart characters in this award-winning app that is part physics platformer, part puzzle game for logical thinking.
Cost: $5.99

Khan Academy Kids
Age appropriate: 2 to 7
Why my kids like it: The activities are fun and engaging — and seemingly endless. One minute she’s having a story read to her, the next she’s tracing letters, the next she’s practicing sounds. And we’ve barely even scraped the surface on the math side of things!
Why this parent likes it: The curriculum seems thorough and covers topics including Math, Reading and Social-Emotional Learning.
Cost: Free!

Cut the Rope
Age appropriate: 5 and up
Why my kids like it: The games are problem-solving and challenging yet fun to play. Plus the little frog eating candies is super cute.
Why this parent likes it: If a game has an educational aim I feel better letting my kid have screen time. Cut the rope is a series of physics-based puzzle video games so that gets the green light from me.
Cost: FREE
– Gemma

Age appropriate: 4 and up
Why my kids like it:
They love the idea of learning a few words of a new language.
Why this parent likes it: 
This is a great vocab language app from basic to advanced level and keeps the kids hooked on something educational and useful.
– Andrea

Want to get your kids into coding? Scratch (and Scratch Jr.) are a great resource to get creative with computer programming. These free games are so much fun for kids, they don’t even realize how much they’re learning and building up skills.

Educational apps for Older Kids 

Age appropriate: 8 and up
Why my kids like it:
Tinkercad offers kids a way into the editing world of 3D design, electronics, and coding.
Why this parent likes it: Tinkercad is a kid-friendly online computer-aided design (CAD) app that gets kids interested in CAD and engineering. Kids learn how to design, modify, and print 3D objects. 

Math Slide
Age appropriate: 6-12
Why my kids like it: This app makes Maths fun for kids and there are lots of. different games for them to choose.
Why this parent likes it:
 Math Slide is a fave – it offers four different apps that focus on place value and basic math concepts with different games that focus on a specific skill.
Cost: FREE
– Su

Typing Club
Age appropriate: 7 and up
Why my kids like it: This website teaches kids how to type using all fingers but also how to type faster. It is a gradual approach and has games too in between levels to make it more fun.
Why this parent likes it: Free, easy to follow and teaches kids a skill they’ll all need.
Cost: FREE
– Emilie

Old fashioned games turned into Apps like Chess & Scrabble
Age appropriate: 7 +
Why my kids like it: These are great travel games for the whole family. We play the board games at home so the versions on the Apps just make it easy and portable. The App versions have options to play with another family member or solo versing the App.
Why this parent likes it: These are games I used to play with my brother or sister growing up. Just good old fashioned games that mum and dad can play too.
Cost: FREE
– Andrea

Age appropriate: 9+
Why my kids like it: My son in particular loves this and tends to only play it when he goes on holiday as it can get quite addictive. He loves building his worlds using building blocks and resources. He is forever building houses and terrains for the family to live in. We each have our own room and pet!
Why this parent likes it: It doesn’t come with instructions, kids need to just figure out what to do by themselves. It encourages creativity in building, exploring and problem-solving. Much better than those mindless shooting and racing apps that are out there for this age. I would recommend being careful allowing kids using a public server (as other players can create something potentially offensive that younger kids might come across online), but the game can be played solo too.
Cost: Various options from $10.49
– Andrea

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