Last year I published a blog post looking at apps that help encourage development of critical literacy skills for early learners. It was a great opportunity to try out and explore different apps for As this year comes to a close, I'd like to expand upon that list by looking at the developers behind some of those apps, and take a look at even more app options that continued to challenge and inspire young minds in 2015.

 

Flickr Photo by Traci Lawson

One of the apps included in last year's blog post was Endless Reader,  which was just one of the many amazing apps for kids and families released by app developer Originator. In addition to Endless Reader, Originator is also behind Endless Learning Academy, Endless Spanish, Endless Wordplay, Endless Numbers, and Endless Alphabet  (only available on the App Store). They also have an adorable puzzle app called BeBop Blox which, despite being a bit more limited than the 'Endless' app series, combines cute creatures, musical blocks, and creative shapes all into interactive puzzles. Visit their website for more about Originator, and their other fun and educational apps for kids.

Another app developer behind a long list of challenging apps for early learners is Kids Academy Company. Of their extensive list of apps for kids, one of the most successful has been the free, award-winning Preschool and Kindergarten Early Learning Games: Math, Reading, Educational Puzzles and Free Children's Books app (App Store and Google Play).This app offers multiple ways to learn including counting, sorting, and tracing. All of problem solving in this game is rewarded with free printable worksheets, and videos so little ones can continue learning. In addition to their options of both free and paid apps, the Kids Academy Company website offers great resources, skill development activities, suggestions for creative play, and critical thinking projects for parents and caregivers to use as a way to engage with their child and participate in their learning.You can also download free worksheets that span a wide selection of subjects including nursery rhymes, math, and books. Kids Academy Company is the app developer that keeps on giving!

 

Flickr Photo by Venturist

If you are looking for a simplistic, yet engaging, app for your toddler, Learn o'Polis has a selection of apps that teach basic skills in a fun, interactive way. The apps they have developed for kids 5 and under focus on Colors, Numbersand Fruits. All three of these apps are available through the App Store or Google Play. Learn o'Polis is also in the process of developing apps for kids 6-8, and kids 9-12. To check out the apps for your early learner, or to keep up on the progress of the apps in development, check out their website.

Last, but certainly not least, of some of my favorite app developers for kids is 22Learn. This creative app developer has released a number of engaging and educational apps for early learners, including the 2012 Parent's Choice Award app Abby's Basic Skills, recommended for kids 2-5. This app covers learning activities for your preschool to practice basic skills such as patterns, matching, and shadows! 22Learn also has apps that assist with Sight Words, musical puzzles, and phonics fun. Another crowd-favorite by 22Learn is Kids Vehicles 1, which allows the kids to not only learn the different components of a fire truck, but lets them drive the truck and extinguish fires!

With so many options of both free and paid apps, finding an app that is right for you and your child isn't always easy. These are just a few suggestions for interactive and creative apps that are available to get your little one excited about learning, but there are even more out there to explore in 2016. I would love to hear if any of these apps were successful for you, and other suggestions for apps that you have found to be a great fit for your early leaner. Wishing you all a very 'app-y New Year!

 

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