Kindergarten and 1st Grade Learning Apps

We have always used our iPads for learning in our homeschool.  Currently we are at the end of Ladybug’s Kindergarten year and have been enjoying some specific learning apps recently.1st Grade and Kindergarten Learning Apps

Note ~ we only have Apple products so that is the focus of what I am showing, but I have included Android links when available!

I have a folder on my iPad with her school apps and she sits with me as we work with these.  This isn’t the time I let her go and learn on her own, although she does that sometimes too.  I have specifically chosen these apps to help her practice basic reading and math skills she is currently learning, and to review skills she has already learned.

This is a screenshot from the page in this folder of the apps she currently uses the most right now.

{disclaimer ~ affiliate links used}

Learning App Folder on the iPad


Math BINGO ~ works on basic math facts, will grow with her since it has 3 levels and 4 operations.  Right now she is only using the easy level of addition. {Android}

Word BINGO ~ works on sight words, again with 3 levels.

Teach Me Kindergarten, 1st Grade ~ she calls this one “Teacher Mouse” and moved up to the 1st grade level recently. We both love it.

Splash Math 1st Grade ~ we both love this math app, and use it together to work through 1st grade skills.  She just started using this one.

Bob Books ~ I love these and so does she!  {Android}

Gappy Learns Reading ~ this one is just about too easy for her now but has been such a great fit for her all year.  It is an awesome early reading app. {Android}

Short Vowel Word Study ~ created by my friend Becky from This Reading Mama, this is an awesome word study app that is right at her level currently. {Android}

Montessori Crosswords ~ she doesn’t choose this one on her own but I choose it for her.  It’s great spelling practice. {Android}

Bugsy K Math & Bugsy K Reading ~ these aren’t my favorites, {they are good, just not as good as the ones above in my opinion} but she loves them. 


~The Visual Version ~

Short Vowel Word Study  Bob Books 1  Bob Books 2

Math BINGO  Splash Math 1st Grade  Montessori Crosswords

Teach Me Toddler  Word BINGO  Gappy's Words

Apps she used earlier in her Kindergarten year but aren’t used much now since she has progressed.

Great Kindergarten Learning Apps

Letter School ~ our favorite letter writing app {Android}

ABCs of God ~ just a beautifully done Bible based letter app, we love it

Gappy Learns Writing ~ Gappy is a favorite around here, this one is awesome {Android}

Starfall ABCs ~ we all love this one, right? {Android}

More App Collection Posts…

Alphabet Apps  Favorite Apps

What are YOUR favorite Kindergarten and 1st grade apps?

Apple App Freebies

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Apple App Freebies Emails

* if you don’t have an i device yet but plan to get one, you can create an iTunes account now and begin stocking up the freebies.

I am introducing a new email only subscription for my readers who are interested in grabbing the temporarily reduced Apple Apps I normally share on my Facebook page. Facebook doesn’t cooperate nicely and many of you never see those posts, or miss the time frame to grab the freebies. In order to solve this issue, I am setting up an email subscription so you can subscribe to receive these notices via email!

An email may have a list, or may be just for one app, I created the format of the newsletter so it is easy for me to insert links quickly and send it out so you have a better chance of grabbing it while it is free. Most freebies are for 24 hours, some for a few weeks, and some are for just a few hours!

Use this link to sign up to receive the Apple App Freebie Emails

In the newsletter you will see 3 categories to help you find what you are looking for…

We Own

Trying these

not free

Note ~ I only share Apple apps, not Android! Why? It’s simple…I only own iPads and iPhones. We chose to go the Apple route when we bought them because the educational app market for Apple is way better. Hopefully Android will catch up, but I want you Android users to know, it’s not personal ~ I just don’t have an Android device in my home!

Notes about our iPads…

We own iPad 2s and got them refurbished {cheaper} straight from Apple and have had no trouble at all. We have 16G but I wish they were 64G, we have to delete things a lot to add all of our books and things. I barely spend any $ at all on apps and our account is FILLED with quality educational apps.

{disclaimer: affiliate links below}

We have the Trident Kraken case on our kids’ iPad and my husband has the Otterbox Defender on his. BOTH are fabulous if you have kids. The Otterbox has a removable stand and front cover, the Tridents do not. Both keep the device very safely protected.

Our iPad 2 Case for Kids

Other Helpful Posts…

 Alphabet Apps Free-Apps 

Apple App Freebies

Our Favorite ABC iPad Apps & How We Use Them

Alphabet Apps

We have used our iPad in our homeschool for years, but just recently I got very intentional with the use.  I realized how many awesome ABC apps I had that I wasn’t using enough with Ladybug {currently age 4}.  She wasn’t choosing them as much during her free time, so I decided to incorporate them into her home preschool time with me. 

{disclosure ~ some of the links below are affiliate links}

I am a very forgetful mom without a printable or a list.  Because of my forgetfulness, I made a printable so I wouldn’t forget which apps I wanted her to use each week!  I made the printable to fit in baseball card holders so I could easily keep the little cards together and visible. I turn all of the cards face up at the beginning of a letter week{s} and as we use each one, I flip the cards over so I don’t forget! Currently we are actively using 6 of our favorites, I will rotate these out occasionally as she loses interest in any.

Alphabet Apps

So far this method has worked beautifully and she is visiting these apps with me daily and enjoying them immensely!

I only selected apps that can isolate each letter.  For example, I love the app Alien Buddies, but it works on an entire ABC section, all mixed up.  I can’t just isolate the letter we are working on.  She plays these types of apps during her free “iPad school apps” time. With each of the apps I chose listed below, you can easily just work on a specific letter at a time.

Which apps did I chose?

  1. ABCs of God {1.99}
  2. Letter School {2.99}
  3. Letter of the Day {1.99}
  4. Alpha Tots {.99}
  5. Little Writer {free}
  6. Starfall {2.99}
  7. BitsBoard {free}
  8. Wee Sing ABC {2.99}
  9. ABC Wildlife {2.99}

Prices shown above are current as of May 2013. 

As you will see, all but 2 are paid apps, most of which I have actually gotten free though, when they were marked down!  I did pay for a few {Letter School, ABCs of God, Starfall} but I follow temporarily free apps like a hawk and snag them when I can.  Remember, I always share the best freebies on my Facebook page and many of the deals are time sensitive, so be sure to join me there if you are interested!  I share how I find free apps here!

I had to incorporate this into her Preschool Workboxes {again, so I wouldn’t forget my plan}, so I just put a card in one of her boxes each day and when we get to that box, we grab the iPad and find our current letter on that app and enjoy learning together!

Alphabet Apps

I do allow her to explore after we work together, as sometimes when we open a certain app, she is intrigued and wants to continue exploring other letters.  I do not allow her to move out of the particular app that was “assigned” to her however.  She has plenty of free time to explore other apps during other times of the day.

Below you can see her using Alpha Tots on the left and ABCs of God on the right.

Alphabet Apps -Alpha Tots Alphabet Apps - ABCs of God 

I am sharing my printable in case anyone wants to use it!  I printed mine on cardstock, laminated it, then cut the cards out.  I keep ours in these baseball card holders.  Each night as I set up her workboxes, I just throw a card in one of the boxes ~ so easy and helps my forgetful mommy brain so much!

If you have different apps, I did include a blank page with just the grid lines.  I figured you could write/draw, or even print your own apps and glue/tape them on, then laminate.

~> Download Alphabet Apps Printable Here <~


Looking for my other iPad posts

Favorite Homeschool Apps  Free-Apps  Favorite Apps 

Apple Apps Free Today


Free Apps

I get asked a lot about how I find the free apps.  I have a few methods and it is just a part of my routine now to check these things.  First, I use App Shopper, you can read about App Shopper here on my blog.  For example, here is the price history for Stella and Sam, you can see how great of a deal this freebie is, as it hasn’t been free since Sept 2011!  imageApp Shopper is my go to source for finding the price drops, I have all of the apps I own loaded in so I can notify you of price drops on apps I love.  I also have a wishlist so I will see notifications of price drops!

I also use an app called Apps Gone Free, occasionally they have kid friendly apps in there!

I also follow the app companies on Facebook, so their freebie alerts show up in my stream, they often will giveaway codes on their FB pages {those go fast though}.  A sampling of who I follow: Spinlight Studio, Apps by Auryn, OM Books, Toca Boca, L’Escapadou, Ellie’s Games, Duck Duck Moose, Ruckus Media Group.

I follow General App sites on Facebook too: Moms with Apps, iPhone Mom, Smart Apps for Kids, Fun Educational Apps, are a few.

If I find a freebie via another site, I always give a shout out to who posted it first that I saw in my FB stream, I highly recommend doing this if you find and share freebies too!

If you don’t want to do all that I do, feel free to follow me on Facebook and subscribe to my blog {I normally share app find on FB, but if I find a few I will put them in a post like this}, I always try to notify my readers of any freebies I find!

Educational iPad Apps ~ Part 2

Favorite Homeschool Apps

We have had an iPad 2 for over 6 months now and continue to love using it for school.  I have shared our favorite apps for education and will be adding more of our favorite apps here in this post!

See more of our favorite educational iPad apps here!!!


All links are affiliate links, so if you purchase any apps using these links, I will get a tiny percentage-thank you!  The apps are sorted {loosely} by the ages I would recommend introducing the apps-youngest to oldest.  Always give the free version a try {if there is one} and come back to purchase if your child loves it!  I am not writing detailed descriptions for all, but know that I will ONLY put apps my kids and I truly enjoy on this list.  Prices are obviously subject to change based on when you are reading this!


imageThe ABC’s of God 



imageAlien Buddies  image

Monkey Preschool

imageMonkey  Math image
Kids   Builder
imageWord  Wizard imageHundred Board
Addition Charts
imageMotion Math Hungry Fish imageMotion Math Zoom


Scribblenauts Remix

  • The ABC’s of God {1.99}  This is our most recent purchase and a new family favorite.  I learned after I purchased it that the creator is in training to be a missionary also {along with his family}.  The app is so wonderful, I highly recommend it for ages Ladybug on up.  Pac at age 9 even likes it!
  • Junior BINGO {.99}  We LOVE Word BINGO and Math BINGO but they were too advanced for Ladybug, she can play this one now and loves it.  Krash plays it too. Junior works on number ID, letter ID, colors and shapes.
  • Alien Buddies {1.99, we got it for free so keep an eye out for price drops}  Ladybug loves this game.  It is simple and educational at the same time.
  • Monkey Preschool {.99}  Ladybug and Krash love this game.  It is well worth the low price tag!
  • Monkey Math {.99}  Ladybug and Krash love this game, which is the math version of Monkey Preschool above.  It is well worth the low price tag!
  • Kids Builder {.99}  Ladybug loves this game featuring shapes, she chooses it a LOT!
  • Word Wizard {2.99}  This is more for use with the child, on its own it is boring for Krash.  I use this along with our All About Reading program for word practice.  It is an awesome teacher-tool.
  • A Montessori Approach to Math ~ Hundred Board {lite: free, full: 2.99}  Simple and wonderful app, using the hundred board.  Krash LOVES this more than I ever thought he would!
  • A Montessori Approach to Math ~ Addition Charts {lite: free, full: 2.99}  Simple and wonderful app, using the hundred board to work on addition facts.  Krash LOVES this more than I ever thought he would, same as the above app!
  • Motion Math Hungry Fish {lite-free, in app option for full: 2.99}  Wonderful app to work on number combinations.  The fish eats his number, but you have to drag bubbles together to make that number {2+1 = a bubble with 3 he can eat it}.  We have the free version for now.
  • Motion Math Zoom {lite-free, in app option for full: 3.99}  This app is awesome, Pac is begging me to buy the full version.  You have to try it yourself for free to see what it is and how cool it is.  It works on place value in an incredibly unique way.  I may have to spring for the full soon!
  • Scribblenauts Remix {.99 currently, regular price is higher}  We have this game for PacMan’s DS and he loves it.  When I saw it on sale for .99 I bought it for him.  I have played it myself for hours!!!  Definitely a family favorite amongst the older crowd.

Ladybug also has a few books she enjoys and chooses often: Once Upon a Potty, Elmer and Rose, and Dr. Seuss ABC. I am hoping to build up our digital book collection over time!

If you like purchasing apps from your device but still want to support by using an affiliate link, the best thing to do is purchase a gift card and load it into your account, then you can make your purchases from your balance!  That’s what we do!

Apple iTunes

Since writing the first post, we have switched cases.  The first case I chose was with MOMMY in mind and it didn’t hold up to 3 kids and daily use.  We now have a Trident Kraken II case and love it.  It isn’t beautiful by Mommy-standards, but it keeps the gadget safe so I love it.


You can read my SquareTrade Warranty review here, since unfortunately we had to use it.  In a nutshell, it was an easy process and I highly recommend SquareTrade. {yes that is an affiliate link, so I thank you in advance if you buy one through my link!!!}

We use AppShopper to keep up with price drops on apps, you can read more about that here!


Don’t have an Apple product?  Be sure to search my recommended apps in Amazon’s Android App Market. My husband has the Kindle Fire now and it is wonderful but a bit difficult for Ladybug and Krash to use, I like the iPad much better for them.  Pac likes either.image

OK, your turn!!!     Please leave the names of any apps your kids love in the comments section below!