Popular Apps for Elementary School Children Ages 5-8

Elementary school kids learn quickly — boost their confidence with these apps

Kids using mobile apps

Kidstock / Getty Images

By the time our children start elementary school, the cat is usually out of the bag when it comes to mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. Even if we've done a great job of limiting screen time, many schools have adopted iPads and other tablets as great learning devices. They can be of course. They can also be a lot of fun and, at the best of times, are often a mixture of both.

We've chosen some of the most popular apps from different categories ranging from continuing education to reading storybooks to simply having fun.

Great Apps for Learning Math

Monster Math Game
Makkajai Edu Tech Private Limited

Monster Math

What We Like
  • Set grade level for difficulty.

  • Fun animation for kids.

  • Arcade style game play.

What We Don't Like
  • Rules aren't clear.

  • Answer choices are confusing.

Math can be a struggle for kids and parents alike, especially for kids that get easily frustrated with it. Monster Math turns it into a fun and light-hearted game while teaching some of the basics that will go hand-in-hand with what kids are learning in the early grades of elementary school. The characters are cute and the games are simple enough and engaging enough to make it fun.

DragonBox Algebra 5+

What We Like
  • Very addictive game.

  • Kids learn algebra at their pace.

  • Cute graphics.

What We Don't Like
  • Game length is very short.

  • No tutorial.

This might be one of the most ingenious apps available. It takes some of the basic concepts of math and algebra such as canceling out numbers and variables on both sides of the equal signs and turns it into a game. The early games concentrate more on canceling out rather than the math itself, and as the child continues through the missions, the math side of it is inserted. And by then, the child is already used to some of these basic concepts.

The Best Reading Apps

Reading app screenshot
MeeGenius, Inc.


What We Like
  • App is free.

  • Colorful graphics.

  • Large book selection.

What We Don't Like
  • Books are not free.

  • Some books are poorly written.

Similar to Epic, MeeGenius works on a monthly subscription. But MeeGenius is focused mainly on younger readers and includes books with great illustrations and has an excellent read-to-me feature that highlights the words. MeeGenius also includes a free book of the day, so you can enjoy it without subscribing. This is a great way to check it out to see if it is right for your kid and a feature we wish Epic! had as well.


What We Like
  • Books focused on child's interests.

  • Great for multiple age groups.

  • Books have colorful and fun graphics.

What We Don't Like
  • Requires monthly subscription.

  • Thousands of available books.

This great app is basically Netflix for children's books. While it has a monthly subscription, kids get access to a large library of popular books that cross multiple genres and range from books for pre-schoolers to those aimed at pre-teens. You can also track your kid's progress and little readers can earn badges by both reading books and taking quizzes.

  • Best for Ages — 5 to 8
  • Price — $4.99 per month
  • Available on  iPhone/iPad and Android

The Best Educational Apps

Illustrated mouse next to abcmouse.com

Age of Learning, Inc.


What We Like
  • Age appropriate graphics.

  • Interactive learning.

  • Kids earn rewards.

What We Don't Like
  • Monthly subscription.

  • App may feel cluttered and confusing.

Perhaps the most popular educational app and the one most likely to be used by your kiddo's school, ABCMouse features dozens of educational games and exercises. It also has a collection of read-to-me books and sing-along songs, which makes it great for a younger audience and perfect for families with toddlers, preschoolers, and elementary students. The monthly subscription grants access to apps on smartphones and tablets as well as the website itself.

Khan Academy

What We Like
  • Free to download and use.

  • Covers multiple subjects.

  • Volumes of educational material.

What We Don't Like
  • Much of the content is video.

  • No tutorials.

This free educational app is slowly becoming one of the more popular resources on the Internet. The lessons with Khan Academy range from excellent math courses from K-8th as well as science classes, economics, finance, computer science, and many others. This may be the one app that both parents and kids can use to continue their education. 

The Safest Apps for Streaming Video

Disney Movies Anywhere
Google, Inc.

Disney Movies Anywhere

What We Like
  • Large variety of movies.

  • Synopsis for every movie.

  • Create a library of favorites.

What We Don't Like
  • Must pay for movies.

  • Limited selection.

  • Not available for Android.

Here's proof that Disney is the coolest company on the planet: They've forced providers like Apple. Google and Amazon to participate in their movie-sharing Disney Anywhere program, which allows you to buy a video on one service and stream it from any of those services. You can also download the Disney Movies Anywhere app to stream them, which gives you an app limited to only your Disney movie collection. This is a great way to create a curated list for your kid.

  • Best for Ages — 5 to 8
  • Price — The app is free, the movies must be purchased separately.
  • Available on iPhone/iPad and Android

YouTube Kids

What We Like
  • Safe videos for kids.

  • Strong parental controls.

  • Great selection of videos for kids.

What We Don't Like
  • Possiblity of inappropriate videos.

  • Many videos have ads.

Kids are fascinated by YouTube, but there is a lot of content that simply isn't appropriate. How do you solve the problem? YouTube Kids. This curated list of YouTube videos allows your kid to safely browse age-appropriate videos on YouTube. And younger kids will enjoy the voice recognition search options. It should be noted that while videos are appropriate for kids, they aren't necessarily educational and the curated list includes "unboxing" and "let's play" videos that mainly feature kids unboxing and/or playing with toys. 

Fun Games for Kids

LEGO: Creator Islands
Lego Systems, Inc.

LEGO: Creator Islands

What We Like
  • Well made game.

  • Cute animation.

  • Easy to play.

What We Don't Like
  • No tutorials.

  • Small glitches throughout game.

The LEGO games are great, but they aren't exactly LEGO. Creator Islands gets closer to the core concept of building things with LEGOs and is a great way to get your kid into LEGOs. Creator Islands presents puzzles to the kids in the form of vehicles and buildings that must be built out of LEGOs, allowing your child to experiment as they figure out how to build it. Perhaps even better, its absolutely free with no in-app purchases.

  • Best for Ages — 5 to 6
  • Price — Free
  • Available on  iPhone/iPad and Android

Disney Crossy Road

What We Like
  • Great block graphics.

  • Suitable skill level for young kids.

  • Addictive and fun.

What We Don't Like
  • Game play can get tedious.

  • Not as educational as other apps.

If you haven't heard of Crossy Road yet, it's like an endless version of the old Frogger game. The Disney version adds Disney characters to the mix, making it a great game for the younger audience or anyone who loves Micky, Donald, and the gang.