Recommendations for educational apps for a pre-schooler?
April 9, 2020 9:11 AM   Subscribe

I have a 3.5 year old pre-schooler. We have an iPad that he uses and I'm wondering if anyone has any recommendations for educational apps/games that he can play during the Coronavirus outbreak. We've tried some of the recommendations we found online but it seems like it's really hit or miss. Some of the apps seem absolutely terrible and some seem really amazing. Just wondering what iOS apps have worked for your pre-schooler. Thanks!
posted by NoneOfTheAbove to Computers & Internet (15 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Perhaps you could share the ones you’ve tried?Especially the ones you’ve liked!
posted by pairofshades at 9:20 AM on April 9, 2020

Sago Mini School was just launched for iOS and has a free 7 day trial. We've been using it with our kid and they have been enjoying it. There's a lot of problem solving. I paid for the year subscription because it helps me get through all my meetings.
posted by kendrak at 9:31 AM on April 9, 2020 [1 favorite]

Have you tried the PBS kids games? They are pretty good and free, same with their video player.
posted by SaltySalticid at 9:36 AM on April 9, 2020 [3 favorites]

Khan Academy has one for kids, it might be a bit advanced but it's free and seems to be pretty good (I've observed my niece using it).
posted by aramaic at 9:44 AM on April 9, 2020 [1 favorite]

Teach your monster to read!

It’s been great for my just-turned-4-year-old, though he did object to the British pronunciation of Zebra.
posted by lydhre at 10:06 AM on April 9, 2020 [1 favorite]

My kid enjoyed, and learned a lot from, the site and apps on ios. We paid for the subscription to get access to their wider offerings (mostly web based) and it was well worth it.
posted by merocet at 10:35 AM on April 9, 2020

Came in to say the Khan Academy Kids app. I think it adjusts to age and skill set level.
posted by bananacabana at 10:54 AM on April 9, 2020

Some of the favorites in our home at the moment on my 4-year-old's iPad: Endless ABC* (letter sounds, vocabulary, early reading), Alien Buddies* (shapes, colors, letters), Daniel Tiger Explore, ABC Mouse*, Tozzle* (short for "toddler puzzle"). We're also big fans of the Sago Mini and Toca Boca apps in general, though mostly those are more fun with not much direct educational value.

* indicates these probably have a cost, whether it's a subscription or just buying the app
posted by sleeping bear at 10:57 AM on April 9, 2020

My just-turned-4 year old loves Khan Academy kids (free) and ABC Mouse (paid subscription, though they have a 30 day free trial - not sure if we’ll pay for it after quarantine ends).

She likes Teach Your Monster To Read, but on the level she is, the academic part is pretty easy for her and the game part (move this object over here or whatever) is too hard, so it’s not a great fit - she wants a lot of help with the games.
posted by insectosaurus at 11:18 AM on April 9, 2020 [1 favorite]

Skybrary is a paid app that has a bunch of stories read out loud (most of which are read by Levar Burton) while the pages of the book flip. Very soothing!
posted by hungrytiger at 11:24 AM on April 9, 2020 [1 favorite]

Seconding the PBS Kids app. Some of the games are more educational than others but it’s been a good fit for us with an almost 4 year old.
posted by notheotherone at 11:38 AM on April 9, 2020

Not free, but my kid loved Endless Alphabet (and all the rest of the Endless series by Originator Inc).
posted by esmerelda_jenkins at 12:11 PM on April 9, 2020

Just sent you a MeMail.
posted by Winnie the Proust at 12:24 PM on April 9, 2020

Seconding, the paid version is reasonable and my 4 year old loves it. He’s also happily learning math from it. It seems like a good mix of educational and fun.
posted by Vatnesine at 9:12 PM on April 9, 2020

My kid loves the Toca Boca games — I don’t know if they count as educational, but they are pretty open-ended, which is what you want in a physical toy so maybe it counts? In particular, he’s a big fan of the cooking/feeding games. The monster cooking game is free if you want to try it out. If your kid likes that, they will probably also like the sushi game, which I think is the best and most absorbing of the cooking/eating games. Their pet hospital game is also a big hit.

Also notable: the Toca Boca games do not have pop up ads or require a subscription — just an occasional link to other games they sell.

Really, I don’t know how much education toddlers can really get out of iPad games in terms of ABCs, shapes, numbers, etc. but these pretend play games work pretty well as quasi speech therapy tools when I engage him and ask him questions and narrate his play. “Oooo, you made a fish and carrot roll! Oh, can you make rice shaped like stars! Look, the cat likes your sushi!” etc. etc. (My kid is just turning 3, so we still have to keep things pretty simple for him.)
posted by thewrongparty at 11:24 PM on April 9, 2020 [1 favorite]

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