New Family iPad? 17 FREE Educational Apps to Share with Preschoolers

Six FREE science apps – PEEP and the Big Wide World apps from WGBH, the producers of the animated series of the same name. Major funding for these educational apps is provided by the National Science Foundation. These apps are designed to teach science to preschoolers (3 – 5 years) in a cute, fun way! The games begin simply but become more challenging as kids are successful. Each app also includes a “Try This Anywhere Activity” for you and your children to do together based on the lesson in the app. Your child will LOVE learning with Peep and friends. And you will too!

PEEP  - House Hunt

PEEP and the Big Wide World House Hunt: Kids turn over leaves to pair animals with their homes in a match game that demonstrates that some habitats are home to many different animals.

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PEEP  - Hide & peep

PEEP and the Big Wide World Hide and Peep: Peep and friends are hiding in the tool shed. This app helps kids practice their observation and memory skills.

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Peep - Paint Splat

PEEP and the Big Wide World Paint Splat: Kids join two quirky characters named Quack & Chirp to experiment with mixing colors in a fun, silly way!

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Peep - Sounds

PEEP and the Big Wide World Sounds Like Fun!: Kids explore music and sounds as they mix and match sounds with this app. The characters represent different musical rhythms.

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Peep - trash

PEEP and the Big Wide World Trash Stash: Kids practice their categorization skills by sorting objects using increasingly sophisticated criteria.

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Peep - Quack's Apples

PEEP and the Big Wide World Quack’s Apples: Kids roll Quack’s apples into a pond – testing and tweaking the design of their route as often as needed. As they play, they are practicing the engineering design process!

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Four FREE and fabulously creative apps from Lazoo – perfect for preschoolers. 🙂


Squiggles is a FREE educational app for the iPad and it is ADORABLE! Kids are encouraged to draw squiggles to create: rain clouds (to water flowers), waves (to help fish swim), wool (on sheep), cotton candy, etc. Once the squiggles are drawn, they press GO and the drawings come alive. The app includes an interactive storybook and an animated short which introduces the characters – Bobu, the monkey & Miku, the rabbit. It also includes 14 squiggle-ready drawing pages as well as a blank page for your child to create his/her own pictures. Tools included are stickers, markers, paint, chalk, a ketchup bottle, as well as 10 colors & a mystery color wheel. Work can be saved into the gallery of the parents’ section by pressing the piggy bank. This app is super cute!! It encourages children to be imaginative & creative – it’s one of my favorites! 🙂

Download link:!/id498599631?mt=8&uo=4

let's colorLet’s Color is another educational app from Lazoo that encourages creativity! The app includes an animated short in which the characters – Bobu, the monkey & Miku, the rabbit use their imaginations to turn triangles into a strawberry, a dog, a mountain, etc. Then kids are encouraged to color different things to complete a page: what is coming out of a hose, who is riding in the train, etc. Once the coloring is completed, they press GO and the drawings come alive. There are 17 coloring pages as well as a blank page for your child to create his/her own pictures. Additional coloring pages can be purchased within the app. Tools included are stickers, markers, paint, chalk, a ketchup bottle, as well as 10 colors & a mystery color wheel. Work can be saved into the gallery of the parents’ section by pressing the piggy bank. Another super cute app from Lazoo, a developer that encourages imagination and creativity.

Download link:!/id515438833?mt=8&uo=4

Miku's PicnicAlso FREE  – Miku’s Picnic, an adorable interactive story designed to support creative thinking. Kids join Bobu, the monkey & Miku, the rabbit on a chase after some jumping beans. The two need help capturing the beans before they bounce away! Along the way kids learn about using their imaginations and creative problem solving as the Bobu & Moku use “Squiggles” to… make a car go faster, make springs to get to the top of a tree, make binoculars to look for the beans, make a rocket zoom to the moon, and more. This educational app has 2 reading modes – “Read to Me” and “Read it Myself” as well as an option to record your own voice as the narrator. The story ends with a link to the FREE Squiggles app for kids so kids can “take a turn” drawing. I love the way Miku’s Picnic encourages kids to use their imaginations to solve problems!

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Lazoo ZooAnd last but not least from the developers of Squiggles – Lazoo Zoo, another fabulous educational appKIds help out with snack time at the zoo where there are 10 animals (lion, ape, chameleon, giraffe, hippo, whale, crocodile, crab, bird, & penguins) to feed. But Lazoo Zoo is not your ordinary zoo, so its animals react in extraordinary ways – the giraffe’s spots change according to what it’s fed, the ape tosses the food it doesn’t like to others, and more! Kids can even create their own foods to feed the animals. And, Lazoo Zoo has a photo booth where kids can snap their picture with their favorite animals. How cute is that?! 🙂 Check out the trailer at:

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a to zFREE – A to Z Music Videos. This app has 26 animated videos – one for each letter of the alphabet. As kids watch the videos, they earn tickets to unlock other videos. There is also an option to purchase tickets to unlock videos more quickly. The videos are top-notch! They help children learn letter names and sounds AND develop vocabulary. Every video is produced in a different musical style, so kids are also introduced to a wide variety of musical genres. This app is a must-have for preschool, kindergarten, and first grade teachers – a perfect introduction to the letters of the alphabet!

Common Core Standards met:

  • K. RF.3 – Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words. Demonstrate basic knowledge of one-to-one letter-sound correspondences by producing the primary sound or many of the most frequent sounds for each consonant. Associate the short sounds with common spellings (graphemes) for the five major vowels.

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Three for FREE from PBS. 🙂

PBS Parents Play & LearnPBS Parents Play & Learn is a great FREE educational app that encourages families to learn together. PBS has designed this app specifically for parents and it can be used in English or Spanish. The app uses familiar locations (in the bathtub, in the kitchen, at the zoo, etc.) as themes then provides parents with meaningful activities/games for their children. I LOVE that the app includes ideas for different ages (baby, toddler, preschooler) and provides information for parents about the math & literacy skills embedded in the games. The app supports the fact that a child’s parents are his/her first and most important teacher – LOVE it!

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word friends

Learn with WordFriends is a FREE educational game from WordWorld, PBS’s Emmy winning show. Kids build and discover words with Dog, Duck, Sheep, Ant, Bear, Pig and Frog. Animal characters and word objects are formed from the words’ letters – a very cool feature! There are 3 puzzles to play: WordRain – grab letters as they rain from the sky to build the word, WordScramble – rearrange the scrambled letters to form the word, and WordMatch – a tile memory game. There is also a WordFriend Farms where kids can interact with the different animal characters. Dog is included with the app and the other animals are available as in-app purchases. Very cute, happy app!

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play squareWordWorld’s Happy Birthday Dog (by PlaySquare) is another educational app featuring the same characters as Learn with WordFriends. Children (ages 3 – 6) play and learn words and letters as the play in Word World. In the first episode, Happy Birthday Dog, Dog thinks that everyone has forgotten his birthday. Kids are engaged in the story as they help gather things for a birthday party to surprise Dog.

There are so many wonderful things about this app. It is colorful and engaging. Early literacy skills (letter recognition, letter sound, word building, word recognition) are developed throughout the story. The characters are funny and lovable. But the best part is of the app is how the developers (media experts from Nickelodeon, Sesame Workshop, LeapFrog, and MIT) have used the letters of the word to form the object being spelled – very clever! I LOVE this app!!

Watch the video from the developers @

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caillouKids learn about going to the doctor’s office with Caillou Check Up – Doctor’s Office, an adorable app for toddlers/preschoolers. This educational app has 11 mini-games that will teach your child about his/her next check-up. Four of the activities (check height & weight, tonsil check, follow the stick, & eye check) are included for FREE. The other 7 activities (thermometer, ear check, stethoscope, blood pressure, reflex check, medicine shot, & applying ointment) are available as in-app purchases. The app utilizes a variety of mechanics as kids tap and drag their way through the interactive mini-games. After completing each task, kids are rewarded with a colorful celebration. The app is sure to take the stress out of your child’s next visit to the doctor. No wonder it’s featured by Apple as one of the “Best New Apps & Games.” 🙂

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Guess How Much I Love You

Guess How Much I Love You – Interactive Episodes is FREE. This wonderful educational app from Australia is based on the book Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney and inspired by the animated TV series created by SLR Productions Pty Ltd. Guess How Much I Love You is a beautiful story about the love between a parent and a child – one of my all time favorites. Originally published in the UK in 1994, it has sold more than 20 million copies in 37 languages. It was the first book I purchased for my granddaughter – truly a book not to be missed!! That being said, this app conveys the same sweetness that makes the original story so special.

Kids join Little Nutbrown Hare in 2 interactive episodes – “Can You Touch the Stars” and “Snow White Hare.” Designed for 3 – 5 year children to explore with their parents, the episodes are integrated with simple games & puzzles. At the end of each episode, Big NutBrown Hare and Little NutBrown Hare express their love for each other. Don’t miss this one – it is SO sweet!

Download link:

care bearsFrom American Greetings comes Care Bears Love to Learn, a FREE educational app for preschoolers. Kids join 7 of their favorite Care Bears to play a variety of games that are designed to help children count, build shapes, identify colors, learn beginning sounds, and more. After completing each activity, kids earn Care Bears stickers. These stickers can be saved and played with later. If you have a Care Bear fan in your house, check out this cute app!

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