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5 best learning apps for children

By Atom | Jun 21, 2023, 8:49 AM

Boy playing on tablet and smiling


Smartphone and tablet apps can be great learning tools for kids. While it's important to set screen time boundaries, fun educational apps can play an important role in child development. Parents can also have the peace of mind that their child's screen time has a positive outcome!

Digital resources have had a field day since the start of the pandemic. With so many to choose from, it can be difficult to identify the best educational apps on the market. We've rounded up our favourite learning apps – find out how they keep kids engaged and how they complement the Key Stage 2 curriculum.

The following apps are compatible with most Android and IOS mobile devices. All are available to download from Google Play and the Apple Store. All have a free version available, with some adding extra features for paid subscribers.

Learn a new language with Duolingo

Learning a new language improves social skills, empathy and academic performance. It's also beneficial for your child to develop language skills at a younger age before they become compulsory at Key Stage 3.

There are plenty of foreign language apps available, but we think Duolingo is the best. Fun, reward-based learning helps children stay motivated and you only need to spend 20 minutes on the app each day to begin making progress towards a new language. Young learners will love the virtual coins, quirky characters and Duo owl mascot!

With access to multiple languages (nearly 40 and counting), this is the best language app for kids on the market.


Get outside with Seek by iNaturalist

Your child doesn't need to stay indoors to learn new skills. Seek by iNaturalist is an interactive outdoor educational app that can also double up as a great bonding activity for parents and kids (win-win!).

Seek by iNaturalist supports your child's understanding of living things and their habitats (a key topic in KS2 science). Using the device's camera, the app uses image recognition technology to identify plants and animals. Users can identify and understand more about different wildlife, plants and fungi.

The app has a fun interactive rewards system with badges available for identifying different species.

Seek app

Improve cognition with Elevate – Brain Training

Elevate – Brain Training is an award-winning learning app that was recently selected by Apple as the Best App of the Year in the US!

The app offers more than 40 fun interactive activities. Critical cognition skills are the focus, including memory, processing, maths, precision and comprehension. One study showed an improvement in the cognitive performance of 69% of its users, compared to non-users.

The app offers detailed performance tracking, personalised daily workouts and adaptive difficulty progression. Users can practise mental maths, learn new words and engage in reading lessons to improve comprehension.

This is an all-rounder for Key Stage 2 and is accessible for most ages (although the interface is better suited for older kids). As 11 plus verbal and non-verbal reasoning exams test cognitive skills, add this to your list for 11 plus prep!

Elevate brain training

Get coding with codeSpark Academy

codeSpark Academy is one of the most successful kids' coding apps around! Children learn basic problem-solving and logical thinking (great for 11 plus exams). The interface is fun, playful and accessible.

While coding lessons aren't part of the KS2 curriculum, learning code is a brilliant way to complement your child’s learning. In a world that is reliant on technology, coding skills are becoming more valuable. Learning this skill is especially important for girls as it's a step to closing the gender gap in STEM!

This great educational app is ideal for younger kids (age 5-9). It improves skills such as maths, reading, logic, problem-solving, creativity, empathy and pattern recognition.

Codespark academy

Learn the periodic table with Toca Lab: Elements

Gaining experimental skills is central to learning science at Key Stage 2. Toca Lab: Elements allows your child to interact with all 118 elements from the periodic table and use them in fun experiments with lab tools!

This fun app captures the power of play and involves children in the design and testing process. This means that you can be sure the app is age-appropriate – and fun – for younger kids.

Download Toca Lab: Elements to help your child prepare for secondary school science.

Toca Lab Elements

Looking for a specialised Key Stage 2 learning app?

Atom Nucleus is an interactive learning app for Key Stage 2 English, maths and science. With Atom, young learners can enjoy a personalised learning experience at their own pace. Your child can access over 70,000 engaging questions, helpsheets and videos, created by teachers and designed to keep them motivated.

A learning journey on Atom Nucleus

Meanwhile, everything is automatically marked and you get clear data on their progress. Our algorithm targets your child's areas for improvement and suggests tasks to fill any knowledge gaps.

Start learning with a 5-day free trial of Atom Nucleus today. Watch your child reach their potential in the classroom, entrance exams and beyond!

5 day free trial button


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