Back to school tech: Educational apps for kids

Numbers League app | Cool Mom Tech

Getting my kids to do a few math or grammar workbook pages is not easy. But getting them to play an educational app on my iPad? Piece of cake.

But not all educational apps are equal. And some are just so great, we sifted through a bunch and put together our favorite educational apps for grade schoolers and tweens.

Superheroes battle bad guys…with math equations? Numbers League (above) is a total win from the comically awesome characters to the brain challenge it’ll provide everyone from beginners to super-scholars. ($3.99 for the iPad)

BrainPop featured movie | Cool Mom Tech

The much-loved Brain Pop website comes to your iPhone or iPad with a free educational movie every single day. Our kids love following the adventures of Tim and his robot Moby from the Civil War to Mars, and, truth be told, we’ve learned quite a bit from them as well. (free for iPad and iPhone; the free Featured Movie of the Day can be viewed directly from the Brain Pop website with the Flash-supporting Android)

Rocket Math app | Cool Mom Tech

Outer-space loving kids will flip for Rocket Math, where they can build their own space crafts and then see if they’ll fly. Kids need to answer math questions to earn all the parts to bling out their rockets, but, funny, they don’t seem to mind. ($.99 for iPhone and iPad)

Go Car Go app | Cool Mom Tech

Sneak some physics into their daily diet with Go Car Go, an innocent little car-building game that actually gets kids thinking about some pretty advanced concepts in order to make their creation go farther. ($.99 for iPhone or iPad)

Stack the States app | Cool Mom Tech

How does your kid’s geography knowledge stack up? It’ll definitely get stronger after some time playing the most excellent Stack the States and Stack the Countries games. ($.99 and $1.99 at iTunes)

Motion Math Zoom | Cool Mom Tech

Boring old number lines become, dare I say, fun with Motion Math Zoom for the iPad. Such a simple game but gets tricky! (Lite version is free; upgrade to all levels for $3.99)

Presidents vs. Aliens app | Cool Mom Tech

Your kids can keep the aliens away with some strategically tossed presidential noggins in the oddball but brainy trivia app, Presidents vs. Aliens. Watch as you create a brand new history buff. ($.99 at iTunes)

SpellBoard app | Cool Mom Tech

The start of school means the weekly spelling test isn’t far behind, and we like the looks of SpellBoard for the iPad to help our kids masters those tricky words. ($4.99 at iTunes)

Please add your favorite educational apps for your grade schooler or tween to our list!

Other back to school tech picks: Smart gadgets for parents

Cool Mom Staff

We spend our time looking for cool stuff so you don't have to. Hope this one fits the bill.


  • Reply September 1, 2011


    We have already downloaded & tried the educational movie app & my boys (& I) love it! We watched the movie on the start of WWII, took the quiz, and watched it again! And I only have an iPhone for their viewing pleasure. Lol. ;) Thank you for the tip.

  • Reply September 5, 2011


    If you’re looking for apps for a younger crowd, Starfall ABCs (from and Interactive Alphabet from Pikea are both excellent. They cost a little more, around $3, but because each letter is interactive, it’s worth it. It’s much more than a set of flash cards.

  • Reply September 7, 2011


    We just reviewed BrainPop and Presidents vs Aliens, too — with video to show how, thx to PvA, my six-year-old “can now identify all the U.S. presidents by sight (or official portrait), the order in which they held office, and their political party. Plus she now refers to Nixon as “Tricky Dick!””

    Will have to try Rocket Math, she’s getting grumpy about that subject (though it might just be the bak to school blues).

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