Common Sense


Excellent Early Childhood Education Resources

We've handpicked our favorite top-rated, seriously fun early learning apps, games, and websites. Each offers the engaging and well-scaffolded experiences that kids need as they start learning. On this list, you'll find tools to help the youngest kids master the fundamentals of ordering, counting, and reading. Plus, there are apps and sites to introduce them to broader STEM concepts and social and emotional learning skills. Older students will engage more in complex problem-solving and decision-making. So whether you're teaching preschool, kindergarten, first grade, or second, we're confident something on this list will suit your needs.

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ELA Apps, Games, and Websites for Early Learners

Endless Wordplay: School Edition

Rhymes, phonetic approach, silly animations help kids construct words

Bottom line: Good, holistic approach to the nitty gritty of constructing words.

Name Play: a name reading and writing practice kit

Simple but fun games cleverly let prereaders explore familiar names

Bottom line: This collection of name-based mini-games offers a targeted and clever introduction to literacy.

Reading is Fundamental

Teachers and kids explore the wonderful world of reading together

Bottom line: This delightful collection of online books, activities, games, and songs for the preschool set works best when shared with a grown-up.

Montessori Letter Sounds - Phonics in English, Spanish, French & Italian

Thoughtfully designed, self-paced games bring letters, sounds to life

Bottom line: A warm, wonderful tool for teaching pre-readers and young language learners solid literacy skills.

Montessorium: Intro to Words

Well-crafted app lets emerging readers and writers develop reading skills through word building

Bottom line: Basic reading skills are developed through word building, word play, and letter-sound recognition.

Writing Wizard for Kids

Vibrant, playful tracing practice offers unique rewards, fab support

Bottom line: Writing Wizard offers fantastic, customizable tracing practice with interactive rewards.

Common Sense Selection

HOMER Learn & Grow

Early learners follow an individualized path of skills and interests to gain literacy skills and more

Bottom line: Top-notch phonics program effectively balances and guides students, but isn't as strong in non-literacy-related topics.

Common Sense Selection

Khan Academy Kids

Creative, smart mix of activities for pre-K to 2 is a breath of fresh air

Bottom line: This early-learning standout offers scaffolded, creative learning of foundational skills.


Subscribe for access to quality kids' podcasts, audiobooks, and shows

Bottom line: For engaging, thought-provoking, ad-free content, it's tough to beat Pinna's classroom-friendly offerings for the price.

Common Sense Selection


K–2 literacy program offers comprehensive, adaptive activities

Bottom line: An easy-to-recommend tool thanks to its broad coverage of key skills and nice balance of student-driven and teacher-differentiated learning.

Skybrary – Kids Books & Videos

Kids can "go anywhere, be anything" with vast book and video library

Bottom line: Wonderful and practical way to get kids excited about learning and reading -- the greatness of the classic TV series, updated for the 21st century.

Toontastic 3D

Flexible tool hands kids the reins for creative animated storytelling

Bottom line: Despite some lack of variety and simple drawing tools, Toontastic 3D remains a terrific, versatile storytelling tool.

News-O-Matic EDU

Daily news stories and supplements keep elementary schoolers current

Bottom line: This highly useful current events platform can be a daily fixture of elementary school classrooms.

Math Apps, Games, and Websites for Early Learners

Elmo Loves 123s

Sesame Street sets the standard for teaching numbers

Bottom line: Elmo Loves 123s takes kids on a learning romp from writing numbers to addition and subtraction.

Gracie & Friends Lemonade Stand

Interactive games thoroughly address small, focused learning goal

Bottom line: Games do a nice job of providing practice with a very specific early math principle; they work even better as part of a whole teaching unit.

Kahoot! Numbers by DragonBox

Explore the concept of numbers through puzzles and fun gameplay

Bottom line: Though there are a few kinks, kids experience fun gameplay while internalizing fundamental number concepts.

Math Shelf: Early Math Mastery

Adaptive math app reinforces foundational skills

Bottom line: While it's not as polished as other apps, Math Shelf has a steady and thorough approach to exploring foundational math skills.

Montessori 1st Operations

Montessori tools and fun rewards help kids learn math concepts

Bottom line: Montessori 1st Operations helps kids learn math concepts by blending Montessori principles with points, rewards, and fun monsters.

Quick Math Jr.

Cute and clever games teach young learners fundamental skills

Bottom line: A fun way for young kids to learn and build a conceptual understanding of fundamental math skills.


Building blocks form solid math concepts one brick at a time

Bottom line: Strong tool for independent use without forfeiting conceptual understanding.

Todo Math

One arithmetic app fulfills the needs of many learners

Bottom line: A variety of strategies and accommodations make this app classroom-ready for a variety of levels and abilities.

Pattern Shapes, by the Math Learning Center

Virtual pattern blocks with some extra useful teaching tools

Bottom line: If you don't already have a bucket of pattern blocks, or you want a more portable option, this free version may be a great fit for your classroom.

Cyberchase Shape Quest!

AR adds unique twist to geometry, spatial reasoning games

Bottom line: Once kids get a hang of things, this app's puzzles will get them thinking creatively about shapes and spatial reasoning.

Happy Numbers

Carefully scaffolded lessons build a strong math foundation

Bottom line: Depth of concepts covered and expertly paced lessons are sure to develop mathematical thinkers.

ST Math: K-6

Game-based, visual activities get below the surface for deep learning

Bottom line: Great tool for differentiating in-class and at-home math practice.

Common Sense Selection

DreamBox Learning Math

Individualized, game-based math adapts to kids' needs

Bottom line: It's an excellent all-in-one solution for extra math support and practice with solid adaptive tech.

Character & SEL Apps, Games, and Websites for Early Learners

Daniel Tiger's Grr-ific Feelings

Songs and activities help kids express, recognize, understand emotions

Bottom line: Daniel Tiger and his friends present excellent examples for kids who are just learning healthy emotional expression.

Breathe, Think, Do with Sesame

Sesame Street winner teaches kids how to keep calm and carry on

Bottom line: Highly effective tool for whole-class instruction or one-on-one intervention.

Toca Tea Party

Pretend play meets social skills at this cute interactive gathering

Bottom line: Beautiful, imagination-provoking app is so easy to use, kids will likely want to return for many more parties.

Super Stretch Yoga HD

Appealing videos inspire kids to move their bodies in new ways

Bottom line: No-stress introduction to 12 yoga poses and the importance of good breathing captures kids' attention and gets them moving.


Complete SEL units in a neat and tidy package

Bottom line: Detailed social and emotional learning lessons provide teachers with almost everything they'll need to spark positive character development and reflection in their students.


Shake up SEL lessons with music and movement

Bottom line: Fun for students, easy for teachers, QuaverSEL uses the power of music to boost social and emotional learning.

Emotional ABCs Classroom

Strong learning approach to mastering SEL competencies

Bottom line: Excellent program for teaching young kids emotion identification, regulation, and social relationships.

STEAM Apps, Games, and Websites for Early Learners

Bugs and Bubbles

Fascinating graphics engage as kids practice pre-reading, STEM skills

Bottom line: Great bang for the buck with all the content and stages included.

Peep and the Big Wide World

Pre-K science games, videos shine; related curriculum truly sparkles

Bottom line: Let students dabble with games and videos; be sure to dive all-in to the science curriculum and teacher support.

Mac, Izzy & Friends

Engaging stories, prompts, tools encourage exploration and creation

Bottom line: An engaging assortment of activities encourages creative exploration and expression.

Common Sense Selection

Nico & Nor Wonder Farm

Fun and engaging app will help basic plant growth concepts take root

Bottom line: There's little doubt that this app will help students understand the basics of plant growth, especially if the included lessons are used.


Fun physics platformer teaches, engages young elementary students

Bottom line: Highly engaging game packs in physics learning and puzzling fun.

Faces iMake - Right Brain Creativity

Open-ended collage maker teaches symbolism and revs up creativity

Bottom line: Faces iMake - Right Brain Creativity is a don't-miss art app that encourages creativity at the same time as modeling it.

Easy Stop Motion studio: Introduction to animation

Ideal, easy-to-use way to help kids learn basic animation

Bottom line: This introduction to digital animation offers lots of opportunities for creativity for young students.


Drag-and-drop programming is an effective intro for budding coders

Bottom line: With a little adult help, this is a rich platform for getting kids into programming and digital creation.

Codeable Crafts

Animate stories with accessible drawing tools and coding blocks

Bottom line: Kids get a simple peek at computer programming principles by animating stories using their own creations.

Crazy Gears

Highly applicable STEM-themed free play; easy appeal for wide audience

Bottom line: A clear, simple, and fun introduction to science and engineering topics that may otherwise feel unapproachable for some kids.

Simple Machines by Tinybop

Excellent elementary NGSS engineering practices embedded in fun games

Bottom line: Fun gameplay lets kids explore important physics concepts in a solid standards-aligned context.

Life Skills Apps, Games, and Websites for Early Learners

Peg + Cat: The Tree Problem

Fun games require spatial reasoning to help Cat jump out of a tree

Bottom line: Get kids problem-solving and thinking about basic spatial reasoning in a fun, welcoming setting.

Handwriting Without Tears: Wet-Dry-Try Suite for Capitals, Numbers & Lowercase

Classic method offers three-step, low-stress learning approach

Bottom line: Kids get systematic letter- and number-tracing practice, and teachers get lots of data and support.


Explore outstanding new math and language additions to PBS KIDS family

Bottom line: With PBS-pedigree content that's up to its usual standards of excellence, this is a great, fun resource that ensures high learning potential.

Skill Champ

Foundational-skills-practice tool supports specific learning needs

Bottom line: Well-designed tool for targeted foundational skills practice.

Common Sense Selection

BrainPOP Jr.

Original videos and activities a treasure trove for teachers and students

Bottom line: A unique, video-driven learning platform with tons of topics and resources.


Brief bursts of physical exercise add classroom fun, build brainpower

Bottom line: In a genre of its own, GoNoodle is a ready-to-go, classroom-friendly exercise program that challenges students to get moving.

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