We Reviewed Dozens Of The Best 1st Grade Apps So You Don’t Have To. Here Are Our Top Picks.
We’ve searched far and wide to find the top first grade apps for iphone and android. The good news is that there are plenty of fun and challenging first grade apps as well as some great teaching, reading and math apps too. Want the best first grade apps for kids? Start here.
Best Apps for Back to School – 1st Grade
First graders are learning loads about reading, writing and math skills. They also are discovering more about themselves and their world through science and social studies. School gives them great opportunities for learning, but sometimes their curiosity can take them even farther. They also need extra practice on the crucial skills they are developing so they can keep up with their peers.
These apps represent some of the best around for first graders. You’ll find a wide array of apps that are fun and practical. Here’s our reviewed and recommended apps for 1st grade develop literacy and numeracy skills, place value concepts, geometry, thinking and logic skills, cause and effect skills, and more.
ScratchJr is a hands-on learning environment that allows young children (ages 5 to 7) to learn the basics of programming with a visual interface. It encourages and builds a host of vital skills, including problem-solving, organization, sequencing, and self-expression, in addition to building creativity. It’s designed to introduce the very young to basic concepts in computer programming.
The app is completely free to download. It’s child-friendly and easy to use.
Each chapter of Inventioneers presents a clear problem, such as moving a cat from the tree into its owner’s basket. The interface is intuitive, allowing nearly anyone the ability to experiment and create until the problem is solved. A resource bank of invention parts and small “helper” characters is provided at the bottom of the screen, and users must arrange them to accomplish the given goal.
The app costs $4.99. There are 8 chapters with 120 inventions to puzzle out.
Programming for Kids is a great app that will nudge users along the path to better understanding how computers work and how to be meticulous in giving step-by-step instructions. The app sharpens logic and builds problem-solving skills through puzzles and play. Kids will learn about order of operations, functions, lists and more.
Kids interact with cute animated animals and learn all about what they eat, where they live, the sounds they make, and how to spell their names with Animani. There are 4 game modes and 22 animals to learn about. Kids can experiment with 12 different foods and 10 different homes, as well. It even includes 2 different languages.
The app is free and offers in-app purchases of ninety-nine cents each to unlock different animals or $1.99 to unlock the entire game.
Extend the classic story of The Gruffalo with Gruffalo: Puzzles, an app full of different puzzle games for kids. The app includes 6 character-led games with 18 levels. There are memory games, painting, mazes, and more. Join Gruffalo, Snake, Fox, Mouse, Owl and all of your favorite characters for fun and excitement in this app.
Inspire kids to cherish the world they live in by reading and interacting with Care for Our World, a beautiful narrated ebook for kids. Kids will discover diverse environments and learn about the animals that call them home. There are loads of interactions, and even some spots where kids can color. Kids can also create custom habitats with selected backgrounds and animals, then save their creations to the photo stream.
The app costs $2.99 and makes a great supplement to teaching about ecology.
Help kids learn to code and encourage them to create their own games with Fregger’s Play: Learn to Code in 3D. They can tell stories, build or make games. There are three different types of backgrounds, 5 types of pets, and loads of characters to get creative with. The free version includes 4 complete sets with unlimited figures and items.
The app is free to download. There are in-app purchase options to get additional sets for $1.99 each.
Kids can learn French through fun games and an immersive language approach with Pili Pop Francais. The short, 2-minute activities fit into any child’s schedule. They are designed to motivate kids to speak French on a daily basis. Subscribers also get new activities monthly. There are two free themes included with the app.
This app is free to download. Additional content is available through a subscription. A monthly plan is $9.99, a six-month plan is $39.99, and an annual subscription is $59.99.
Story Starters offers a nearly limitless supply of stimulating prompts to set writing off on the right foot. Everyone from students of all ages to professional writers will benefit. There are 23 different types of activities, 50 detailed and intriguing photographic images, and more. Try your hand at making a Story Mountain, or take up the challenge of a 60 second story. There are also 80 different chapter titles and even more newspaper headlines to spark the imagination.
The app costs ninety-nine cents, and is a sure-fire cure for writers block for almost anyone.
Let kids explore the mall on their own along with a host of different characters in Pepi Super Stores. Kids can check out the juice maker by tossing in fruits for the expected outcome. They’ll be surprised when they try to toss in other things- the results range from ridiculous to amazing. Each store and service in the mall has an opportunity to try a new activity. There are 34 playable characters, too.
Travel down the river with Lex the hippo and her froggy friends in Let’s Go Lex!, an animated story app for kids. This ebook features animations and interactions that will delight your child. The story of the three unlikely friends is delightful and entertaining, and even after the story is done, there’s more to do. Try the puzzle at the end and get a wonderful surprise when it’s done.
Kids will always have new content with a monthly subscription to KidsCast, an app full of games, books, and shows. It’s like having a library in your pocket. Kids can watch television shows, color pictures, read books, and play games. There’s something here for nearly everyone, and best of all, it’s kid-safe and easy to use.
This app from Great Britain offers one week free as a trial, then you’ll need to subscribe.
Learning sight words, those common first reading words that don’t usually follow the phonics rules, is a big part of first grade reading. Help kids learn sight words through a series of six fun games with Sight Words Learning Games & Reading Flashcards. The app includes 6 engaging games, and covers 220 words from the popular Dolch List.
The app is free, and a $2.99 in-app purchase will unlock all the rest of the games.
Here’s a great app to reinforce counting and simple addition. The app offers 6 addition games and 6 subtraction games. It uses manipulatives to help children gain a true understanding of the math concepts. It includes a two-player mode, and also introduces children to terms like half and double.
Math Bakery 2 – Continue Counting is a fun app that does a fine job of introducing and providing practice with larger addition and subtraction problems that require regrouping. The app shows kids how to use column addition and subtraction to work with numbers up above 100. There are 14 games, and the numbers go up to 999.
Poppetto Costumes is a challenging and entertaining collect and match game that will sharpen players’ grasp of strategy, their observation skills, their memory, and their logic. It’s fun! There are 2 theme sets: costume and party with 16 sets of clothes in each theme. The app’s games have 3 levels, too, so there’s a lot to see and do.
Help kids learn to spell 400 new words with Super Spelling, a fun spelling game for kids. The app includes 9 levels that start out easy and gradually become more difficult. The app also has some built-in help and hints that make it useful for children with special needs, like dyslexia or autism spectrum disorder.
Tongo Music-for kids and families is a shining example of a high-quality, valuable app that is both beneficial and fun. It’s suitable for the whole family (including the very young). There are 12 animated musical instrument movies and 15 high quality samples from classical pieces by famous composers. Kids can try out percussion instruments and an interactive piano keyboard. They’ll even learn a bit about music notation, such as recognizing notes and the treble clef.
Tales of Aarchie tells a humorous story about an armadillo while helping kids learn some of the intricacies of the English language. The app focuses on homophones- those words that sound the same but are spelled differently and have different meanings. Each interactive scene moves from one meaning to the next. Kids will learn the differences between words like “horse” and “hoarse,” and “stairs” and “stares.” It also covers some commonly confused sets of words that aren’t really homophones, like “sore” and “saw.”
Interact with shapes and build logic and visual-spatial skills with RelationShapes, a creative shapes app for kids. They will do matching puzzles, make shape pictures, and work their way through 8 levels of increasing shape challenges. The app will accommodate 4 user profiles and includes a parent area where progress can be monitored.
It’s free to download and use, and will help build a foundation for understanding of geometry.
Read a story in a new way with Tara’s Locket, a virtual reality app, which allows children to tag along with Tara on her journey to find her family. The app is set on the Atlantic coast of Ireland and includes some beautiful scenery. Along her quest, Tara learns some important lessons about believing in herself.
This app is free and is best with Google Cardboard or other mobile virtual reality headset. It does, however, include an option to play without a VR headset at all.
The Tune Zoo is a fantastic music app that is highly versatile and enjoyable. It allows users to design and even record unique musical creations across a wide range of styles and types. Magical creatures teach the fundamentals of music in a delightful hands-on style that kids will love. It’s got tons of powerful tools, like loops and key changes, and even allows for multiple players.
An Adventure of Our Own offers a unique adventure story that encourages kids to communicate with one another. This ebook needs a partner: parent or other mentor. The two players will create an interactive adventure together. They can choose the elements, backgrounds and more. It even features a photo op where you can costume yourselves. Add sounds, props and more to make a unique story each and every time.
The app costs ninety-nine cents and has a solid rating on the App Store.
Kids are in charge of the hair salon in Toca Hair Salon 3. What crazy hairstyles will they create? This app features hair that moves and looks like real hair. It even has an option for kinky hair that can be made into ‘fros and other styles. There are styling tools galore, too. The characters can change clothes and styles as often as your child wants.
Learn to count from 1 to 20 with Numbers Learning for Kids. Lio, Emma, and David find a mysterious egg in the park and set out on a counting adventure to get it back where it belongs. They’ll climb a tree with 10 branches and feed Mr. Frog 14 treats. There are mazes and puzzles along the way, too. Kids can trace numbers to get rewards and explore loads of animations.
Build your child’s spelling and vocabulary skills through fun games and silly animations with Wonster Words. This phonics game covers the basics of the ABCs as well as blends, vowel teams, and more. Silly animations and puzzles bring home the meaning of each word. This app is great for first graders, and also very useful for children who need a bit of extra practice with language skills or those who have special needs.
The app is free to download and try for 7 days. After that, you’ll need a subscription that costs $7.99 per month.
Fight crime in the city and find lost objects with your favorite PJ Masks heroes in PJ Masks: Super City Run. Choose your favorite hero and get started finding all of the stolen items that have been hidden around the city. The game changes each time you play, so kids will never get tired of playing with these popular characters.
Pocket Sight Words provides a simple and effective way to practice recognition of 220 sight words from the Dolch List. Short sentences, appropriate for beginning readers, provide context and practice for each word. There are also over 500 sounds and narrations to help kids learn on their own. They’ll also enjoy the built-in minigame that adds interest and fun.
This app is free to download and try. An in-app purchase of $1.99 will unlock all of the levels.
Animalia Education – Libraries
iOS App Store
Kids learn a lesson by reading through the story and playing the games in Animalia Education – Libraries. The app is based on Graeme Base’s amazing print book Animalia. Kids can enjoy the fabulous artwork and some mini games to bring the story to life. It even includes a new animated story called “The ABCs of Flying” that is a real treat.
Kids get to run the farm any way they choose with Toca Life: Farm. They can gather eggs, milk the cow, and raise the crops. They can even tinker with the tractor to make it better and use the machine to turn the crops into food. There’s an in-app recording feature, so kids can make a video of the story each time they play.
MeteoHeroes is a fun app that features child characters that discover they have weather-related super powers as they train and prepare to take on world-wide meteorology problems. The six learn to master their newfound powers and turn into super heroes with the power to do things like fling lightning, puff up clouds, or make it rain or snow. Together they discover how to create and maintain beautiful natural environments. Once training is over, the kids will take on some real challenges!
This app is free to download and to play. Kids will learn tons about weather related phenomena and find out how weather works.
Let kids watch fun and educational videos in a safe environment with Kidjo. Parents can set up a maximum of three different profiles with specific limits and guidelines on each. They can limit screen time, too. There are over 1500 videos, sing-alongs, tutorials, cartoons and more on Kidjo, all carefully curated to make sure everything is child-friendly and safe. It’s a good option if you want to allow children to watch on a mobile device on their own. It’s even got an easy-to-use offline mode where content can be downloaded in advance for later viewing.
Kidjo is free to download, but it does require a subscription to use after the trial period.
This app is great for getting kids to practice their weekly spelling lists from school. Parents or teachers can enter words, record their pronunciation, and even add a sentence if they wish. Kids choose their car parts in the factory, and at every step along the assembly line, they have to go practice the words. There are three levels – putting letters in place with hints, putting letters in place without hints, and spelling the word from memory. The game is adaptive, so it will only advance when your child has demonstrated skill at each level. Once the car rolls off the assembly line, there is a cool race to enjoy before making the next car.
Gone are the days when learning to count and add and subtract were the hardest things about first grade math. Today’s standards require that kids begin to learn algebraic skills in early elementary school. This app will help them lay a foundation for these important understandings in an age-appropriate and fun way. The app uses discovery and experimentation to instill basic algebraic concepts in ways that are understandable for six-year-olds.
The app costs $4.99. It includes 10 progressive chapters and 200 puzzles.
HOMER is a fun and interactive reading app that will help first graders with early literacy skills such as phonics, sight words, and comprehension. There are thousands of lessons and over 150 printable worksheets. The app is perfect for preschoolers through grade 2, so it can grow with your child.
The app is free to download and requires a subscription of $7.99 per month to keep up to four separate profiles.
This app features a multi-lingual talking clock that will help first graders learn to tell time. There are three modes- a practice clock, a standard clock and a classical clock with Roman numerals. The clock hands move realistically so kids can set the clock just like they would on a real timepiece. There are tutorials for beginners and multiple levels, including problems with two clocks to calculate elapsed time.
Learning to see and duplicate patterns is a critical readiness skill that is important for math understanding and even for learning to read. This app helps kids practice. This codebreaker game is in the tradition of Mastermind, the classic board game. It has a range of configurable difficulty levels, so you can set things up to be at just the right level of challenge.
This app has loads of features that make it ideal for emergent readers. Kids can build their own words using letters as they experiment with phonics- the app will pronounce anything pronounceable. It offers both capital and lower case letters, as well as digraphs and other advanced tools. There are 3 levels of spelling activities using 200 word lists (around 2000 words all together). Word lists include the Dolch words and the Fry Instant Words.
This app costs $8.99 on the App Store and is free to download on Google Play. The Android version offers in-app purchases ranging from ninety-nine cents to $224.99 per item.
This app is a kid-friendly timer, but it’s also so much more. The app is designed to help children learn to understand the passage of time. The main character, a Husky named Kazu, will help kids see, hear and feel time passing in an intuitive way. There are rewards for finishing tasks on time, too.
This app costs $1.99. There are optional in-app purchases of ninety-nine cents each to add new themes to the app.
Sentence Builder for iPad teaches children how to construct grammatically sound sentences as they speak and write. It features 100 different pictures to stimulate sentence construction and 60 reward interactions and animations to help kids stay motivated. It keeps records of children’s performance, too. This app is great for young children just starting to work with words, and it’s very helpful for children with special needs.
The app costs $5.99 and has optional in-app purchases of teen modules for $4.99 each if you wish to use it with older students.
Here’s a coding app that has players teach a robot how to move crates. It sounds simple, but the puzzles are absolutely fiendish. The app teaches logical thinking, coding skills, and problem solving. It will challenge kids’ brains while keeping them engaged and learning.
Brainzy offers 600+ learning games that cover skills in reading, writing, math and more at the kindergarten through fifth grade levels. This app is one that will make screen time into productive learning time for your first grader. The wide array of games and activities means that there’s something here for everyone!
This app is free to download. After a short trial, you will need to subscribe for $12.99 monthly or $119.99 annually.
This gorgeous app will intrigue and invite children to learn about the countries and cultures around the world. They can listen to facts and learn about the way people live in other places. It also includes information about physical features, like oceans and mountains. It’s a great resource that will grow with your child for years to come.
This award-winner offers 32 background scenes to start the story off, and over 190 stickers, characters, and objects to add to the scene as the story progresses. Kids can even make the characters’ mouths move by tapping on them. There are dozens of crayons and colored pencils to add unique creative touches, too. Kids can narrate their stories using the self-record feature, and best of all, the app has ANIMATED SPARKLES!!
This app is free from Duck Duck Moose, so you know it’s high quality.
This children’s diary gives kids everything they need to tell their own story in words, pictures, recordings, and more. It’s designed with young children in mind, and there are features that will appeal to first graders as well as older kids. The app allows kids to create a personalized avatar, record their feelings, and even use pictures from the photo stream. It has all the tools needed for self-expression and then some.
First graders will have a ball with Lola on this math train. The activities will help children build important math skills like counting, addition, and subtraction. There are 19 exciting games and a parent progress tracker so you can see what your child has been up to. There are also several levels of difficulty, and the app will advance automatically when your child is ready.
Lola’s Math Train costs $2.99 on the App Store, and $4.49 on Google Play.
Here is a collection of 18 games that teach lessons across the first grade curriculum. Kids will be reading, spelling, doing math, and more in no time with this app. They can explore patterns, categorization, and other preacademics while they work on the school skills at the same time. They can play Bingo and other traditional games or try something totally new.
The app is free to download and includes 2 games unlocked. An in-app purchase of $3.99 will unlock the rest.
This award-winner contains 6 multi-level mini games designed to help first graders learn all about telling time. It covers all aspects, from the days of the week and months of the year to how to use the hour hand and minute hand to calculating elapsed time. They can set clocks, read them, and solve time problems.
The app costs $4.99 and is a very thorough look at all aspects of telling time.
Kids will learn to identify coins, match them to their values, and count them in this beginning app. The app has four modes, so you can adjust it to suit your child’s current needs. It’s from the publishers at K12, so it’s comprehensive and no nonsense. It’s a great review or practice app for kids who are learning to work with money.
This cute app offers practice with identifying coins and counting them at three different levels. It even has a level where kids can tell which amount of coins is greater. It also teaches concepts about saving money, so kids will be learning a positive lesson along the way. Each quick and correct completion of a game “pays off” in virtual currency that kids can use to buy accessories and background scenes for Peter.