We purchased refurbished iPads for my husband’s business and while initially reluctant to let my kids start playing with apps on the iPad (we don’t have iPhones), I have been pleasantly surprised by the apps I found. These fun, educational, and cheap apps were more than enough to keep both kids happy on a summer road trip. And they use them on other occasions, too. (Sometimes mama needs a mental break to read her own book in a waiting room.)

Used sparingly, playing these games is a special treat for my kids!

Fun and Educational Apps for School-Aged Kids

My son is eight years old and here are a few apps that he plays. He started playing some of these when he was around 6 years old, but they could be enjoyed by kids a few years younger.

Math Bingo

mathbingoMy son got to play this game as a treat in his first grade class and it made such an impression on him that he BEGGED me to get it. 🙂 How could I say no to a game where you do math?

Game Play: Math equations pop up on the top of the screen and you have to find the answer in the bingo squares. This is a timed game so speed is always on your mind. Once you get enough squares to make a bingo (up, down, or diagonally) the timer stops. Based on your time, you get …………bingo bugs. This is pretty exciting, apparently.

Pros: Adjustable difficulty levels as well as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division makes this a game that is for any ability and grows as your child’s math skills grow. Such a fun way to practice math skills that they barely know they are learning. It’s so much fun!

Cons: None that I can think of.

Bottom Line: I highly recommend this game for school aged children! (It says it’s for kids ages 6-8.)

Get it: Math Bingo – ABCya.com

Where’s My Water?

WaterOn the recommended app list from his Kindergarten teacher, we tried out the free version of this game and quickly decided to purchase the paid version. Paid is worth it! There is now a second version with new challenges. My 4 year old loves this game as well!

Game Play: Make a path for the water to get to the desired location by clearing away the dirt (sweeping your finger on the screen). It is really life like water physics! You may have to start over if the path you made doesn’t get the water to go in the right direction. Additional components are added with new “rules” to discover. (Steam rises, slime destroys certain things, etc.)

Pros: There are so many games with increasing challenges. The water flows like real water and it  makes you think ahead of time to plan your strategy.

Cons: None that I can think of.

Get it: Where’s My Water? – Disney

Rush Hour

RushHourI purchased the actual board game version of this years ago for a friend’s son. I was excited to see it in an app game version. And I like it as as an app game. Same game but with no “stuff” to store and move around the house.

The free version has 35 games. I paid the couple dollars (I think $2.99) for the full version and its 2500 games. Well worth it! There are four difficulty levels: Easy, Medium, Hard, Expert.

Game Play: Cars and trucks are arranged on a grid and can only move forward and backward in the spaces that are open. You need to move them so the red car can exit the grid on the right. There are hints if you are stuck and even a “Solve” button to help you.

Pros: Great game for strategic thinking. Game play gets more complex with increasing difficulty, so this is a great game that grows with your child. Which means it’s great for adults, too! I enjoy the challenge of a game every now and then.

Cons: None that I can think of.

Get it: Rush Hour – ThinkFun, Inc.


2048Game Play: Combine two 2s and it makes 4. Combine two 4s and it makes 8. Play goes fast because more 2s keep popping up and you want to try to combine numbers to get to 2048.

Pros: Simple game for kids to learn. Reinforces number values with quick thinking.

Cons: Noisy. (Turn down the volume.)

Get it: 2048 – Ketchapp

Dream League Soccer

dreamleaguesoccerSo maybe this one isn’t educational, but it’s fun so I”m including it. Play by yourself against the system or against another person. If playing against another person, they need their own device. Create your team name and colors. Players can get penalties and be out of the game.

Game Play: Just like a game of soccer. Need to learn how the controls work for which types of moves, but it’s fun!

Pros: Super fun for my little soccer player.

Cons: Need to set up Bluetooth. Not that big of a deal, but it took us awhile to figure it out.

Get it: Dream League Soccer – First Touch Games Ltd.

What fun and educational apps do your kids like to play? Leave a comment and share!

Stay tuned for another article on some fun apps for toddlers!

Wendy – AwakeningWillow.com

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