Spring break can be challenging for work-at-home parents. Our spring break is this week, and while my kids have time off, my workload remains the same. Sophia’s attending camp this week, but my preschooler Jaxson and I will have plenty of bonding time. How will I meet my deadlines and still stay sane? First, I’m moving more of my work hours in the evening after bedtime. Second, I have an arsenal of educational preschool apps downloaded to our iPad and Jaxson’s Kurio 7S tablet. The third and hardest for me is to give myself permission to relax a little this week.
Whether you work outside the home or in your kitchen office, definitely give these educational apps for preschoolers a try. They are geared towards kids ages 2-5, but you might find yourself playing them too.
Most of the Android versions of the following apps are available in Google Play and Amazon Appstore. You don’t need a Kindle to download from the Appstore. Learn how to download the Amazon Appstore to your Android device.
Free Educational Preschool Apps
Note: Free apps are a great way to try new games before you purchase the full version. Some free apps offer in-app purchasing, but just make sure you set up your in-app purchasing restrictions so your kids don’t accidentally rack up a huge credit card bill. Instructions on how to do this for iOS, Google Play, Amazon Apps.
1. Doctor X & Urban Heroes (iOS, Android) My kids love playing doctor games. This game has a fun twist: all the patients are superheroes!
2. Dr. Panda Day Care (iOS, Android) Dr. Panda needs help taking care of young animals whose parents have dropped them off for daycare. Entertain, feed, and put them down for naps.
3. Dr. Panda’s Restaurant (iOS, Android) Dr. Panda is very entrepreneurial. He’s opened a restaurant for all of his Panda friends! Kids will cook, serve, and clean for some hungry animal friends.
4. Dr.Panda, Teach Me! (iOS, Android) Preschoolers can learn to count, play matching games, and do jigsaw puzzles. Bonus: the game can be played in different languages, perfect for bilingual learning.
5. Fun Preschool Creativity from I Learn With (iOS, Android) Creativity is just as important as learning math and letters. I Learn With offers an entire line of apps that are fun and engaging for preschoolers. This one focuses on creativity: painting, photography, etc.
6. Kids Connect the Dots Lite (iOS, Android) Did you love connect the dots as a kid? This one kept my kids busy while waiting in long grocery lines. You can choose whether the dots are numerical or alphabetical.
7. Kids Preschool Learning Game from I Learn With (iOS, Android) Another fun app from I Learn With. This one offers 3 games that encourage language development with the help of cute sea animals.
8. PBS Play and Learn (iOS, Android)
Since we saw The Lego Movie, my kids love playing with their Lego bricks even more! What’s great about these official Lego apps that they are 100% free, with no in-app purchasing.
9. Lego Duplo Food (iOS, Android) Create ice cream, cakes and burgers for customers and get rewards for making them happy!
10. Lego Duplo Train (iOS, Android) Build bridges, load wagons, drive trains and lay tracks in the bright Lego countryside.
11. Lego Duplo Zoo (iOS, Android) Join Rabbit and Giraffe on their cross country adventures to celebrate Lion’s birthday!
12. Lego Junior Quest (iOS, Android) A mini-figure adventure involving a missing cat and a dangerous robber? Can your kid help solve the case?
13. Lego Juniors Create & Cruise (iOS, Android) Build your own virtual Lego creation and see it in action.
The Toontastic Jr. series is well designed animated movie making app that has intuitive navigation, even those who can’t read. Jaxson loves making his own movies with the included characters and music. If you have older kids, I recommend Toontastic, the version for old kids. Just a note that these apps take up a lot of storage space.
14. Toontastic Jr Kung Fu Panda (iOS) Create your own animated movies with your favorite Kung Fu Panda characters.
15. Toontastic Jr Pirate Puppet Theater (iOS) Who doesn’t like pirates? Comes with treasure chests, dangerous sharks, and of course, pirates.
16. Toontastic Jr Shrek (iOS) Make your own Shrek movies. Need I say more?
Paid Educational Preschool Apps
These paid apps are some of my kids favorites. If you’re on a budget, you can look for the Free App of the Week cards in your Starbucks or check Amazon’s daily free app (a new one each day). Pricing is current as my writing this post but can change without notice.
PBS Kids are set the bar when it comes to educational apps for preschoolers and elementary aged students. Their team works carefully to make sure their television shows and games teach kids age appropriate concepts and skills. (Disclosure: I am a PBS Kids ambassador but we were fans before I became one.)
17. All Aboard the Dinosaur Train! (1.99; iOS) Build tracks and pick up dinosaur passengers but makes sure they fit in the right cars!
18. Daniel Tiger’s Day and Night (1.99, iOS, Android) Kids can practice their morning and bedtime routine by helping Daniel Tiger with his.
19. Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood (1.99, iOS, Android) Help Daniel Tiger throughout his day by playing doctor, practicing bathroom hygiene and create scenes in the sticker book.
20.Dinosaur Train A-Z (ON SALE 0.99, iOS) Perfect for the dinosaur lover, this app has a different dino for every letter of the alphabet. Even Q & Z.
21. Dinosaur Train Mesozoic Math (2.99, iOS) Play fun games with Buddy and the gang while learning early math and science skills.
22. Dinosaur Train Math (1.99, Android) The Android version of Dinosaur Train Mesozoic Math
23. Peg + Cat Big Gig (1.99, iOS, Android) Learn how to play your favorite songs from this adorable math show for preschoolers.
24. Sid’s Science Fair (2.99, iOS, Android) Perfect for your preschool scientist by playing sorting and sequencing games with Sid and his friends.
25. Super Why! ABC (3.99, iOS, Android) Complete the story by practicing spelling, writing and rhyming with the Super Why! gang.
Another favorite in our family are apps from Toca Boca. We’ve purchased every one of their apps and they’re totally worth it. Beautifully designed with bright colors and fun music, the apps appeal to kids and adults.
26. Toca Builders (2.99, iOS, Android) Build a world using colorful blocks and help your unique Toca characters navigate through the world using their special skills.
27. Toca Kitchen (2.99, iOS, Android) What do monsters like to eat? Take charge of the kitchen and cook a special meal for Toca characters.
28. Toca Lab (2.99, iOS, Android) Create your own experiments with Toca Boca’s own periodic table of elements. What silly reactions can you make?
29. Toca Pet Doctor (0.99, iOS, Android) Pets get sick too. Play doctor and help them feel better.
30. Toca Store (2.99, iOS) This is one of Jaxson’s favorite. Stock your store, go shopping, ring up the items, and count out coins. Play solo or with friends.
I originally learned about the Monkey Preschool series from THUP games as an Amazon daily deal. They’re fun and kids are rewarded with virtual stickers. Both Sophia (when she was younger) and Jaxson loved these. While there’s some reading, the app actually reads the instructions out loud as well. Bonus: these versions have no in-app purchasing.
31. Monkey Math School Surprise Sunshine (1.99, iOS, Android) Hangout with the cute monkey on the beach while playing games to learn preschool math skills.
32. Monkey Preschool Fix-It (1.99, iOS, Android) Play mechanic and fix cars by playing games of letter recognition, color and shape identification.
33. Monkey Preschool Lunchbox (1.99, iOS, Android) Learn letters and numbers by playing games with different fruits.
Hopefully these apps will keep your preschooler busy when you need some down time during spring break (or any other time). You can relax because your kid will be entertained and learn new skills at the same time!