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9 Educational iPad Apps Your Kids Will Love

A while ago, I had written two blog posts about mobile apps for iPhone and Android, but I was recently presented with the idea for writing specifically about iPad apps. For those of you out there who own an iPad, there are a lot of great iPad-optimized apps that are both educational and fun.

Below I’ve put together a list of some of the latest and greatest iPad apps, many of which are great ways for your children to practice basic concepts like spelling or math, all while being entertained. This mixture of education and entertainment (edutainment) is a great way to overcome some obstacles that your child might struggle with in school.

Remember, this is just a small selection of the iPad-optimized apps out there. Share your thoughts in the comments if you know of other great educational apps, or if you want to learn more about apps that cover specific subject areas.

Disclaimer: As always, please read and understand an app’s descriptions, reviews and permissions before downloading. We cannot be held responsible for any apps downloaded from other developers in iTunes, so please exercise caution when installing new software on your phone or other device. Also, review the content of each app to ensure it’s appropriate for your child’s age. 

All links below will launch an iTunes preview. 

Freefall Spelling ($0.99)

Freefall Spelling is a highly interactive spelling game designed to enhance motor skills and spelling aptitude. Although the app mostly contains basic words for kids starting at age 4, one reviewer states “Works for my 4-year old with the hints on and for my 7-year old with hints off.

This is a great app for anyone with a child who needs additional practice learning basic spelling.

NxtApp 4 Kids ($1.99)

This app is designed to help kids practice basic math in the form of number sequences. Great artwork optimized in HD for the iPad brings an interactive math experience set on a farm, with animations and sounds designed to keep kids engaged. Through five different stages with varying difficulties, NxtApp 4 Kids is great for all kids ages 4 and up who need a little extra help practicing their math skills.

Using Apple’s GameCenter, your child can submit their scores and see how they’re doing on the global leaderboard.

Numbers League ($3.99)

Numbers League is one of the better animated apps in the iTunes App Store, but it isn’t just good looks that make the app so great. Edutopia describes it best by stating “This phenomenal math app invites students into a comic book world that uses super heroes to fight evil number villains.

Numbers League contains multiple ability levels spanning from simple addition to multiplication, so all children ages four and up will be able to play at a level appropriate for them.

Using game mechanics and a comic book-style superhero storyline, Numbers League contains fun and challenging game play, Numbers League may just have your child begging to practice math. With support for up to four players on a single iPad, this unique learning game experience can be enjoyed by the whole family.

WeirdButTrue ($1.99)

Did you know that girls have more taste buds than boys do? Or that slugs have 3,000 teeth and 4 noses? And who knew that gorillas burp when they’re happy?

These are the types of “weird” facts that are brought to you by National Geographic’s new iPad app “WeirdButTrue”. This app is great for both entertainment and education (edutainment) while piquing the interest of curious children of all ages!

Spelling for iPad ($0.99)

Another great spelling app for children who need additional practice trouble words. Parents, you can enter your own spelling lists, or let your child create them. There are two modes: Practice and Test. In Test Mode, the results can be emailed to you so you can review the results and a list of troublesome words.

World Atlas HD – National Geographic Society ($1.99)

National Geographic provides a wonderful atlas experience which includes high-resolution maps, world flags and facts about the world’s nations. For only $1.99, World Atlas HD provides a wonderful interactive experience that is in many ways a modern improvement over the atlases that we are all used to.

Star Walk for iPad ($ 4.99)

Star Walk is a great app for people of all ages who are interested in astronomy. This app uses your device’s camera (iPad 2 or iPhone only) to look at the sky and see what objects you’re looking at in real-time. Point your device upward to identify stars, planets, constellations or satellites right through your device’s screen using augmented reality.

Augmented reality is a concept which enables a user to use a device’s camera to view computer-generated data laid over the physical world, and Star Walk for iPad is one of the best implementations I’ve ever seen. In another post I wrote about Android apps, I shared my love for Google Sky Map. Although the concept here is similar, Star Walk provides much better artwork and is a pleasure to use!

This app is also available for the iPhone for $2 less.

Frog Dissection ($3.99)

No longer does one need to acquire a real frog to perform a dissection, now you can do it on your iPad! Frog Dissection is great for the Biology lover, and provides a humane way for students to learn about organs and organ systems without getting their hands dirty.

Beautiful 3D artwork and step-by-step instructions recreate the dissection process and brings the lab experience home to students. Additionally, interactive quizzes test students’ knowledge about frog Biology, creating a great introductory Biology experience on the iPad.

BrainPOP Featured Movie (Free)

I had previously included this app as a recommendation in my Educational Apps for iPhone earlier this year, but I had to point it out specifically for the iPad as well. BrainPOP has so many great educational videos that I wanted to recommend the Featured Movie app again.

The best part is, the is one of only a few great iPad optimized educational apps that is available for free. Over 750 topics are covered spanning subjects from Science, Math and English to Engineering/Technology, Arts & Music and Health.

Although the app is free, you can opt for an Explorer subscription ($1.99/month) or a Full Access subscription ($6.99/month) to access additional content, unlimited access and more.

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Photo by flickeringbrad / CC BY 2.0

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Scott Holm

Scott Holm

Scott Holm is a contributing writer for Learning Liftoff. Scott has more than 14 years of experience managing websites and publishing web content. As a tech-enthusiast, Scott enjoys writing about science and technology. Born and raised in the Portland, Oregon area, Scott is an avid outdoorsman who enjoys all kinds of outdoor activities, including hiking, snowboarding, wakeboarding, and summiting some of the tallest peaks in the Pacific Northwest. Scott is married to his high school sweetheart, Jennifer, and has two loving kids, a dog (Nemo), and a cat (Gizmo).

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