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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, as well as those that introduce them to STEM and social and emotional learning concepts. 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.

Khan Academy Kids

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

Bottom line: It's tough to stand out in the crowded early learning space, but this collection does just that, offering a one-stop shop for creative learning of foundational skills.

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.

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.

HOMER Reading: Learn to Read

Interactive app engages beginning readers of diverse learning styles

Bottom line: Top-notch phonics program effectively balances and guides students through stories, activities, and games.

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 prereaders and young language learners solid literacy skills.

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.

Pinna

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.

Lalilo

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.

VocabularySpellingCity

Subscription-based, student-facing app fine for independent practice

Bottom line: A potentially more engaging -- although uneven -- option for your students, if you've got a Premium membership.

News-O-Matic EDU

Flexible, interactive daily stories for elementary school students

Bottom line: Engaging, high-quality news stories help students learn about the world.

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.

PBS KIDS Measure Up!

Fun mixes with learning in adventure-themed measurement activities

Bottom line: Games and videos give kids great exposure to and practice with a variety of measurement topics.

DragonBox Numbers

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.

Love to Count by Pirate Trio

Hundreds of tasks and swashbuckling fun for new math learners

Bottom line: By blending simple math skills into pirate games, Love to Count by Pirate Trio helps kids understand why math matters.

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.

MathBRIX

Building blocks form solid math concepts one brick at a time

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

Todo Math: School Edition

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.

Motion Math: Hungry Fish

Six games build mental math skills and promote fact fluency

Bottom line: Excellent tool to improve mental math, memorization, speed and acuity.

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.

DreamBox Learning Math

Individualized game-based math adapts to kids' needs

Bottom line: Excellent all-in-one solution for extra math support and practice, with solid adaptive tech that supplements but doesn't replace curriculum.

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.

Kid in Story Book Maker

Easy-to-make personalized stories can help boost social skills

Bottom line: A must-have story creation tool for teachers in special-needs settings.

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.

Peekapak

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.

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.

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.

Thinkrolls

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.

ScratchJr

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 code blocks.

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

Cookie Monster's Challenge

Unique games help young kids build essential school-readiness skills

Bottom line: Creative and clever approach helps kids practice important school-readiness skills.

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.

Thinking Time Pro - Cognitive Skills for Early Learning

Challenging games stress memory, logic, impulse control, flexibility

Bottom line: Effective and engaging way to address foundational cognitive skills; most kids will need adult support.

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.

Todo Telling Time

Top-notch tool for teaching time, from minutes to months

Bottom line: Well-rounded, fun learning game that's ALL about time.

PBS KIDS Lab

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.

BrainPOP Jr.

Top-notch videos and activities a boon for elementary school teachers

Bottom line: BrainPOP Jr. sets the bar for top-quality online learning supplements.

Fizzy's Lunch Lab

Professor Fizzy and crew make it fun to be healthy

Bottom line: Fun games and informative videos get kids excited about nutritious eating and healthy lifestyle habits.

One Globe Kids - All Friends

Engaging stories, activities introduce kids to peers around the world

Bottom line: A smart, thoughtful way to learn about the lives of kids around the world.

GoNoodle

Brief bursts of physical exercise add classroom fun, build brainpower

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

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