Select Page
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Recommended Apps for Kids Ages 5-12

During the year, YDL librarians carefully review apps that promote learning for our school-aged patrons, so we can recommend them to parents.

We maintain another list of apps for kids ages 5 and under.

Criteria we look for in educational apps:

  • Have high-quality, age-appropriate educational content
  • Do not have in-app purchases (or that feature can be turned off)
  • Do not have links outside the app
  • Do have age-appropriate content
  • Do have opportunities for creation and safe sharing
  • Do encourage or inspire activity beyond the device
  • Accommodate different languages and abilities
  • Available for both Android and Apple devices

The Apps

Free Apps
  • Cut the Rope ages 5-8 Innovative game demonstrating basic physics
  • Inventioneers ages 9-11 An outstanding tool for learning about real-time physics
  • Kodable ages 6-8 Introduction to programming concepts and problem solving.
  • MiniPiano ages 4-10 Two octaves, many instrument effects, learn standard tunes
  • Pocket Zoo ages 3-12 Information on animals, live zoo cams and educational videos
  • Ripped Apart: A Civil War Mystery ages 8-12 Solve puzzles to unlock clues as a Smithsonian intern
  • Shadow Puppet ages 7+ Create custom videos
  • Toontastic ages 6-8 Teaches storytelling principles and animation
$1.99 Apps
  • Weigh the World ages 9-11 Weigh different objects and learn about estimation
$2.99 Apps
  • Gro Recycling ages 5-10 Feed the recycling bins and make new stuff out of garbage
  • iBomes: Wetland ages 8-11 Explore three different wetland biomes.
  • Lightbot ages 9-11 Use programming logic to solve levels in the game
  • Piiig Labs ages 6-8 Explore science concepts through hands-on project building
  • Rom and the Whale of Dreams ages 6-8 An interactive book app
  • Stack the Countries ages 6-12 Learn capitals, landmarks, geographic locations
  • Starwalk Kids ages 6-8 Astronomy guide designed just for children
$3.99 Apps
  • Monument Valley ages 6+ Guide princess Ida through hidden monuments and paths
  • Numbers League ages 6-8 Superheroes defeat villains in original, creative math game
  • Toca Band ages 5-10 Put “band members” on stage and create original music or use beats
  • Toca Builder ages 6-12 If you can imagine it, you can build it with the Toca blocks
  • Toca Lab ages 6-8 Learn the elements from the periodic table from monsters
$4.99 Apps
  • Adventures of Captain Underpants ages 7-10 An interactive book app
  • Algodoo ages 8-13 Experiment with physics concepts and build in 2D
  • Book Creator ages 8+ Kids easily create their own books
  • DragonBox Algebra 5+ ages 8-12 Games that teach concepts relating to solving algebraic equations
  • Loose Strands ages 8-10 An interactive book app for fans of the Choose Your Own Adventure series



Black & White logo that shows a young child and the words The American Academy of Pediatrics

In addition, remember these recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics:

  • For children ages 6 and older, place consistent limits on the time spent using media, and the types of media, and make sure media does not take the place of adequate sleep, physical activity and other behaviors essential to health. 
  • Designate media-free times together, such as dinner or driving, as well as media-free locations at home, such as bedrooms.
  • Have ongoing communication about online citizenship and safety, including treating others with respect online and offline.
  • Read more about media use for school-aged children and teens