Thursday, August 27, 2015

Apps and Resources for Pre-K and Kintergarten

I've had a few requests lately to know more about the apps and resources we use at home to aid in our kids' learning.  I decided to write them up in blog form so that I can just refer people here.

First of all, there is so much out there!  There are so many good apps, websites, books, etc. that can help you teach your children.  You may be a homeschooler (like us), doing a mommy-swap preschool (also us), or you may just want to have fun, educational ways to spend a few minutes with your toddler (you guessed it, us!).  You don't have to look far!  In reality, it can be a little overwhelming!

So, here are the apps and resources we like best.  Please share your favorites in the comments!  We love trying out new apps and games!


This is by far our favorite app out there.  We use it mainly as our math curriculum, but there is so much more!  Computer programming, art history, lots of fun stuff to learn!  Tony and I use it ourselves, but we also love that we can help Hyrum do it (math starts as simple as "How many rabbits do you see?").  You can do it all online or you can download their iPad app.  We love both!  FREE

  • My Little Phonics Speller Workbook - by Andrea Perrin
This is a letter tracing app that we use on the iPad.  It has both uppercase and lowercase.  There is a free version, but the ads are really annoying, so I gave in and paid the $1.99 to upgrade to the ad-free version.  Totally worth it.  Hyrum has used this app a bunch and Lindi tried it out for the first time today.  "I want to do it myself!"  FREE or $1.99 ad-free in-app purchase

  • Eggy 100 HD - by Blake eLearning
A fun sight word game for the iPad.  It's a great way to get your pre-reader familiar with common sight words.  FREE

  • MarcoPolo Weather - by MarcoPolo Learning
This one is just a fun, interactive game for kids to explore weather.  They can control things such as temperature and weather types.  Then they can dress the little character in appropriate clothing.  Hyum has learned little tidbits such as "Rainbows have seven colors!" from playing with this one.  FREE

  • Drawnimal - by Lucas Zanotto
Another fun one for kids to learn their letters.  Each letter has an animal associated with it.  Kids (or parents) draw the features of the animals (tails, ears, etc.) on a piece of paper that the phone is sitting on and then the animal does a funny animation.  Works best with iPhone, but can do on iPad.  $1.99

  • BrainPOP Jr. Movie of the Week - BrainPOP
The free version of this app has weekly videos that teach about different subjects (muscles, tsunamis, etc.).  There are also quizzes to see how well your child listens and retains subject material.  Hyrum is excited to see what the new video is each week.  I think you can pay for access to more videos.  FREE

  • JFK Challenge - by John F. Kenedy Library Foundation
If your kids are interested in the space race, the peace corp, or you just want them to learn more about a really neat guy, this is a great app.  It is very interactive and is a fun one do together.  FREE

  • PBS KIDS Video - by PBS KIDS
This might be Hyrum's favorite app.  He loves Wild Kratts.  Lindi loves Curious George.  There are plenty of kid friendly shows to choose from.  Kids are sponges, too.  Hyrum knows all about predators and other such things thanks to the time he spends on this app.  FREE


If you live in the Garland Independent School District, ask your library about this awesome "Kindergarten Ready" resource.  You can have free access!  It has an extensive library of videos that model different activities to help improve literacy and math skills.  Simple activities that take little or no prep time on your part!
Free online access to tons of children's books.  I have fallen away from using it much because I prefer to read from a physical book.  I think it engages my kids better.  However, this is still a great resource.

Sometimes Hyrum wants to play "games on the computer" and this is a great way to let him feel like he is getting play time while still helping him learn.

Not all the games and activities on PBSkids are educational, but it's a good, clean place for kids to play.

Don't forget the value of the public library!  We love going and getting new books, music, and movies each week.  Don't be afraid to branch out and look in different places.  We love finding kids' non-fiction books.  This week my kids are loving Hurricanes by Gail Gibbons.  Tony and I have learned some new facts from it too!  There are an almost unlimited supply of good non-fiction books that are great for even the youngest kids!  Check out the videos, too.  We've been learning a lot from the Magic School Bus series lately.  There are all sorts of movies that teach kids about different cultures, science, language, and more!

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