Just for kids: Educational & fun apps, a librarian-curated list

By Children’s Librarian Eileen Saam

During winter break, parents and caregivers may find themselves stressing about the amount of time that their kids are spending on a screen. While it’s surely important to set limits, time spent playing educational apps can offer kids fun and valuable learning experiences.

But with so many games and apps to choose from, it can take considerable time to find the best educational apps for kids. The good news? I’ve done the research and compiled a list of app recommendations for elementary school-aged children.

The curated list below has several free and paid app recommendations for educational and fun apps—including:

  • Art apps like Loopimal where kids can make their own musical compositions;
  • Coding app recommendations such as Lightbot Hour and Cargo-Bot, which introduce kids to coding through puzzles;
  • Logic and puzzle apps like Monument Valley 1 & 2, both set in a visually stunning world with optical illusions and hidden paths;
  • Various exploration apps such as Human Body by Tinybop where kids can discover what’s going on inside the human body.

App recommendations for grade schoolers

Check out the apps, sorted by category, with brief descriptions below. Looking for fun and educational apps for preschoolers? Explore this librarian-curated list of apps and tools for kindergarten readiness »


Easy Stop Motion Studio by Edoki

$3.99 | iOS, Android, Kindle Fire
Beginning animation app with tutorials and easy-mode lessons

Faces iMake – Right Brain Creativity

$2.99 | iOS
Open-ended collage maker that allows kids to be creative using pictures of everyday objects

Green Screen by Do Ink

$4.99 | iOS
Easily create videos, images, and GIFs by combining visual elements

Loopimal by Yayatoy

$3.99 | iOS
Easy-to-use, drag-and-drop music app 


AlgoRun: Learn to Code

Free | iOS, Android 
Puzzle game for learning, practicing, and improving algorithmic thinking and teaching the basics of coding


Free | iOS
Puzzle game that helps teach programming concepts

Everything Machine by Tinybop

$3.99 | iOS
Easy, creative introduction to programming

Lightbot: Code Hour 

Free | iOS, Android
Programming puzzle game that introduces kids to coding with puzzles

Scratch Jr.

Free | iOS, Android, Kindle Fire
Create interactive stories and games with code

Logic & Puzzle

Aquavias: Water Connect Puzzle

Free | iOS, Android
Puzzle game in which the task is to prevent drought in the city

Crazy Gears by Edoki Academy

$2.99 | iOS, Android
Problem-solving puzzle game designed with a real mechanical engine 


$4.49 | iOS, Android
Unique puzzle game comprised of beautifully hand-drawn illustrations

Lumino City

$4.99 | iOS, Android
Clever puzzle adventure game made entirely by hand 

Monument Valley 1 & 2 

$3.99 | iOS, Android
Logic game with mysterious monuments, hidden paths, and optical illusions set in a visually stunning world

Thinkrolls 2: Puzzles for Kids

$0.99: iOS, Android
Fun logic puzzle game with science-filled mazes


Coral Reef by Tinybop

$3.99 | iOS
Play and discover sea creatures while keeping the ecosystem healthy in this virtual aquarium 

Earth by Tinybop

$3.99 | iOS
“Dig” inside to discover the planet along with the forces that shape it

Homes by Tinybop

$2.99 | iOS, Android
Explore and play in unique homes around the world

The Human Body by Tinybop

$3.99 | iOS, Android
Discover the human body by diving into the skeletal, muscular, nervous, circulatory, respiratory, and digestive systems

Mammals by Tinybop

$3.99 | iOS, Android
Explore the wonders of the animal world, and play and learn about animal anatomy

Stack the States

$2.99 | iOS, Android
Play and learn all about the 50 states including the state capitals, shapes, geographic locations, and more

New! Tablet Time

For kids and families interested in trying out some of these apps, check out Tablet Time: a new program happening in the Main Library Children’s Services area twice a month! At Tablet Time, kids can have fun with the apps plus others that are loaded onto iPads. Bring a friend or two or meet someone new while having fun playing some new apps! Register now to secure your spot or drop in »


About Eileen

Eileen Saam is a children’s digital learning librarian who loves discovering new things, learning from others, and sharing with children the joy and wonder of books. One of her favorite things to do at the library is to help children, families, and teachers find books and digital resources that delight and inspire them.