Elementary & Middle School
If everyone spends so much time on their phones and tablets, why can’t that time be educational? Here are a few helpful apps that parents and students can download to help further their education on any phone or tablet.
The apps listed below are good for elementary and early middle school students. Many of these apps have different levels of difficulty and progress with your child’s learning process. Check back next week for apps developed for high school aged students.
All of these apps are free to download and play, but may contain items that can be purchased for real money. You can toggle these purchases on/off in the “Restrictions” menu on your device or from within the app. If your children have wandering fingers, disable ALL in-game purchases to avoid accidental surprises at the end of your monthly billing cycle!
Top 5 Educational Apps for Elementary & Middle School Students
- GoldieBlox and the Movie Machine
This movie machine app encourages children to learn the basics of animation and create their own one second long movies – better known in the digital world as GIFs, and is supplemental to a real life game. Using the physical board / building game component, help GoldieBlox build a zoetrope (movie reel) to view the moving pictures. The app allows users to learn the keys to digital animation and create 12-frame images that can be printed and used in the zoetrope or shared socially with friends and family. Other GoldieBlox adventures inspire girls to explore engineering by creating zip lines, spinning machines and even replicas of GoldieBlox’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade float.
- Animal Planet: Real Scary Spiders
If you can’t make it past the title of this app, skip to #3! However, for those that don’t mind creepy crawlers download this app to explore and learn more about our eight-legged friends. This app allows users to learn about spiders as they grow, what they eat, and collect exotic species. If the app wasn’t enough, this is another game with a real life component – remote control “Real Scary Spiders” that interact with the app are available for purchase in most toy stores – to scare all of the arachnophobes in your family.
- Habitat the Game & WilderQuest for Nature Discovery
For parents who might be anti-spider, Habitat the Game offers a friendly alternative with a similar goal. Players adopt an endangered polar bear they must keep healthy not only by feeding it, but by monitoring the environment where the polar bear lives and going green to keep its natural habitat intact. You can also enable location services in this app to find Habitat locations in the real world through Habitats partnership with WilderQuest. The WilderQuest app is designed by the Australian National Parks and Wildlife Service and encourages users to learn about the ecosystem through Australian forests and deserts. In this app you don’t get to adopt any furry friends, but players earn points, unlock stages and collect badges as they progress through the game and explore new places.
- Alien Assignment
Created by the Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children’s Media at Saint Vincent College, this app and its updates are frequently featured on top education lists. Alien Assignment sharpens problem-solving skills and parent interaction. The Gloop family gives your child clues to help them fix their alien space ship by taking photos of things they find in real life that match the descriptions in the game.
Duolingo (and its web-based counterpart) works for students at any level who want to learn a new language. This is a free app, so the possibilities aren’t endless, but it does offer a dozen or so of the world’s most popular languages. Beginners can start fresh at any age, or older users can take short quizzes to see what they already know. Advanced students can use the “Immersion” lessons to read articles and websites they frequently visit and those suggested by Duo the rare green owl, your language learning guide.
We would love for you to share your favorite educational apps with us.