Apps for young readers
September 26, 2014 7:54 AM   Subscribe

What are your favorite iPad apps for 4 - 7 year olds?

My almost-four-year-old son is an early reader. He can pick up adult books and read sentences out of them. It's hard for me to keep him from being bored. He loves his iPad mini, but tends to be most interested in games about characters and is easily swayed by in-game advertising. I'm not into either of those things.

I'd like to find some age-appropriate, awesome apps that will help him improve his reading and math skills, or teach him about science/the world, which he is very interested in.

I'm happy to pay for apps in exchange for no ads. (I'm tired of saying, "No, we are not buying extra widgets for twenty dollars!")

I'm looking for well-designed, educational apps like Leo's Pad, or actual books that have been app-ified. Googling gives me endless lists and no real sense of quality. Please tell me about your favorite iPad apps for 4 - 7 year olds.
posted by woodvine to Technology (8 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
My kids enjoyed Stack the States (and Stack the Countries) for the iPad.
posted by baseballpajamas at 8:02 AM on September 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

Puzzingo is pricey by app standards ($15 to unlock the whole thing), but I think it's worth it. Tons of replay value.

Also, can't say enough good things about Tumblebooks. Whether you'll be able to get them on your iPad depends on whether or not your public library has a subscription. (In our case, we pay an extra $5 a month to AT&T Uverse to get them through the cable box, and it's also very worth the money.)
posted by jbickers at 8:20 AM on September 26, 2014

I am going to recommend the most brilliant reading app that I credit for teaching my 5-year old to read:

Starfall Learn To Read

We started using it when he was 4 and now he is a fluent reader. The attention to detail that went into this app is just amazing. It's a shame that it costs as little as it does!

But, it may be too easy for your son. If he reads whole sentences out of adult books, he could very well be past Learn To Read. So in that case, I recommend the next great app:

Epic! Books For Kids

It's just like Netflix but for kids books, for $10/month. They didn't start out with a lot of choices but they are adding books constantly. I really like their filter-by-age feature, and I also like how some books are really activities, such as hidden-pictures or math books.

Another app that's a game but not really:

Minecraft Pocket Edition

I like this one because I think it's great prep for programming or engineering-type logic. But, you have to get a little bit involved and help him understand how to build things. For now, I am just letting him play but my long-term plan is this.
posted by rada at 8:36 AM on September 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

My daughter really liked Dragonbox, which is about algebra. She's in sixth grade now (we got the app when she was in third, maybe?) she's definitely had an easier time than her peers with certain types of math in the last year or so.
posted by MeghanC at 8:45 AM on September 26, 2014

Both my girls really enjoyed Bobo Explores Light. I really wish that this was a series.
posted by Ostara at 1:00 PM on September 26, 2014

Just sent you a MeMail!
posted by Hermione Granger at 3:52 PM on September 26, 2014

Anything by Toca Boca. They've got a starter bundle on the App Store.

Just buy them all. They're great. At this point, i buy whatever they release. My daughter suggests Toca doctor. And Toca Lab is fun.

Also, the TeachMe Series (TeachMe: Toddler, Kindergarten, First Grade, Second Grade) are very good
posted by leahwrenn at 7:57 PM on September 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

Oh, wow. Starfall Learn to read looks awesome. I'm hopeful this will help my beginning reader. So far I'm super-impressed!
posted by leahwrenn at 8:34 PM on September 26, 2014

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