Best Fun & Challenging Free to Play Educational Games [Updated for 2020]

Educational games enhance your child's learning

We Reviewed Dozens Of The Best Fun & Challenging Free to Play Educational Games So You Don’t Have To. Here Are Our Top Picks.

The app world is full of great ways to help your kids learn while they play. Check out these fun, game-like educational apps that won’t break your pocketbook.

For the Very Young

Fish School – 123 ABC for Kids

iOS App Store / Google Play Store

This developer is well-known for high-quality games and activities for the very young, and Fish School falls right in line with their other offerings. Little ones can play and learn about numbers, letters, colors and much more.

Children ages 2-5 will fall in love with the colorful characters and the engaging animations as they play and learn. This award-winning app will help them get ready for the learning challenges as they head to school in a few years. It is free to download and play.

 

Noggin Preschool Learning App

iOS App Store / Google Play Store

Noggin Preschool Learning App, from Nickelodeon, features all the characters that your kids know and love. There are ebooks, learning games, coloring books and more. Downloadable episodes mean that your children can play offline whenever they want.

The app is free to try for 7 days, then it costs $7.99 per month. It’s completely child-safe and ad free.

 

 

 

Endless Numbers

iOS App Store / Google Play Store

From the creators of the popular Endless Alphabet, this app offers preschoolers learning activities to help them get ready for math in the coming years. The app introduces concepts in number recognition, counting, sequence, and even simple addition.

Endless Numbers is free to download.  There are in-app purchases to open up more numbers from $6.99 to $14.99. This interactive app is perfect for free play. There are no scores, successes or failures, or time pressures. It’s an ideal way for kids to learn through playing at their own pace.

 

For Elementary Grades

Vocabulary Spelling City

iOS App Store / Google Play Store

Spelling City has been a favorite website of online users for years, and now the developers have created apps to extend their programming. Vocabulary Spelling City has 9 games in the free version that will help elementary kids practice reading and spelling important groups of words such as essential sight words and developmental spelling lists.

The app is free to download and try. The full version, available as an in-app purchase, adds over twenty additional games and gives users the capability to enter their own spelling lists. Kids in elementary grades will find the games engaging and fun, so they’ll actually want to play!

Fraction Mash

iOS App Store

This unique app allows children to create unique and unusual photo mash ups while learning fractions concepts. Start by breaking photos up into fractional parts, then mix and match the pieces until it’s looking just the way you want. The final pieces could be intriguing or downright silly, but they will appeal to elementary aged kids.

This app is free to download and play.

 

 

Scratch, Jr.

iOS App Store / Google Play Store

Kids of all ages benefit from learning a bit about computer coding. Besides the benefits of simply understanding a bit more about how computers work, these activities build logic skills, attention to detail, and more. The skills easily transfer to many other areas to give kids a leg up on learning.

Scratch, Jr. will have even young elementary kids writing code that animates favorite characters in no time. The app uses programming blocks that can be linked together to create fairly lengthy sets of movements and actions. It’s great fun!

Khan Academy

iOS App Store / Google Play Store

Khan Academy is one of the most comprehensive free apps around. It connects directly with Khan Academy online, and offers tutorials, lessons and activities on just about every subject and grade level from kindergarten skills to high school classes. It’s high quality, there’s an adult dashboard available, and it’s free.

 

 

 

Check out our review of Zap Zap Math for another freebie.

For the Middle and High Schoolers

Geometry Pad

iOS App Store / Google Play Store

Here’s an app that will help geometry students gain understanding of planar shapes. Create the shapes, explore them, and change their properties. A compass tool and a pencil tool give just about all the options you might need.

This app is free to download and use. A premium features pack is available as an in-app purchase for $6.99.

 

Quizlet Flashcards

iOS App Store / Google Play Store

Every student in middle and high school needs to learn to study effectively, and one part of that equation is learning to make and use flashcards to retain important information. Quizlet offers a handy digital flashcard system designed for phones and tablets.

With a range of learning and playing modes, students will be able to find just the right combination of activities to prepare for those tough tests. Also, they can share card sets with friends, and even access card sets for the subject at hand that has been shared by other users. The app is free and powerful.

Duolingo

iOS App Store / Google Play Store

Middle and high school are often times when kids need to explore foreign languages. Duolingo is a great way to supplement classroom learning as they tackle French, Spanish, German or another of the 23 languages offered.

The app encourages learning vocabulary and grammar in a natural way – through conversation. It’s easy enough for elementary kids to use, and comprehensive enough to help the older kids with their studies. The app is free to download and use. It offers an array of in-app purchases ranging from ninety-nine cents to $13.99.

 

Educational Puzzles

Flow Free

iOS App Store / Google Play Store

Here’s a fascinating puzzle that builds logic and visual skills. It’s great for ages 8 and up, and covers a wide range of challenges from fun free play to timed puzzles that will challenge adults. The app includes thousands of free puzzles as well as new free daily puzzles, so you’ll have more than enough content without dropping a dime if you wish.

The app has loads of options that can be customized, too, including board size, play mode, and timed or untimed play. Pull up a chair and plan to play a while-it’s addictive! The app is free and includes options for some in-app purchases to enhance game play.

2048

iOS App Store

This tile swipe game has a math twist. Get two tiles with the same numbers to touch, and they will combine. The goal is to get to the 2048 tile. It’s challenging and fun, and it will keep your elementary student hopping to achieve the goal.

The app is free to download and play. There is an in-app purchase of $2.99 to remove ads if you wish.

 

 

 

Mekorama

iOS App Store / Google Play Store

This unique puzzler lets you move through levels as a teensy tiny robot. There are 50 mechanical dioramas to solve, cards to collect, and levels to conquer. The app includes a physics engine, too, so you will know exactly what goes wrong or right.

The app is free to play. The developer seeks donations if you enjoy the app, with options between ninety-nine cents and $31.99.