Parents all across the United States—and the globe—are finding themselves quarantined inside, working from home, and homeschooling their children who are off from school as the coronavirus outbreak continues to spread. If you’ve never homeschooled before, you might be feeling overwhelmed. (After all, we basically had zero notice and are now all playing teacher to kids who would rather binge-watch Netflix and do screentime 24/7.)
But maintaining a schedule is one of the best things you can do for your kids while they are indefinitely out of school. If you’re looking for homeschooling resources that can help you better play teacher at home—from the best free learning apps to the best free educational apps for kids, these 28 free learning apps are super helpful when it comes to creating a curriculum and stimulating your child’s mind.
28 Free Learning Apps
1. ABCmouse Early Learning Academy
ABCmouse is offering the first month of online learning free. After the first month, subscriptions start at $9.95/mo. On ABCmouse, your child can play educational games and puzzles and partake in a curriculum of reading, math, art, music, and science for ages 2-8.
Related: Things to Do With Kids During Social Distancing
Duolingo is a free communications app that teaches you how to learn the language of your choice. Featuring language lessons for Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Dutch, Japanese, Arabic, Czech, Welsh, Danish, Greek, and more, Duolingo offers immediate grading on language challenges and rewards like virtual coins and an increase in your personalized fluency score.
Zoom is a virtual conferencing app and platform that many offices are transitioning to during these work-from-home days. But Zoom can help students, too. In fact, Zoom CEO Erin Yuan is now offering students and teachers unlimited meeting minutes so they can fully transition to digital lesson plans. Both students and teachers can fill out this online form with their school email address. Zoom will verify, then set up accounts associated with that school’s domain for unlimited minutes.
Related: How to Use Zoom
4. Math Games
With more than 21 math-related, interactive games, Math Games makes the impossible possible—AKA makes math fun! Kids also have the option to practice their math by grade: from Pre-K up to eighth grade. Alternatively, students can also practice by skill—from addition and estimation to mixed equations and money.
GoNoodle offers movement and mindfulness videos that are the perfect substitute for your child’s regularly scheduled school gym class. The app aims to provide children with physical, academic, and social-emotional tools and overall wellness. GoNoodle has videos for children of all abilities.
In this day and age, Bamboo is one of the most tech-savy educational tools there is. After all, it is compatible with Alexa. If you have an Amazon Alexa in your home, all you have to do is say, “Alexa, enable BambooLearning.” Bamboo offers book services that help kids practice active listening and listening comprehension, Luminaries, an engaging social studies trivia game, math, which helps children practice mental math and offers number problems and thousands of word problems, music, which introduces kids to basic music theory and music games like “Recognize the Instrument,” as well as Highlights Storybooks, co-developed with Highlights magazine to offer stories and exercises that teach kids from levels kindergarten to third grade about active listening and improving listening comprehension.
7. Funbrain Jr
If you’re looking for interactive math games, reading puzzles, and printable worksheets and games you can do at home together, Funbrain Jr is an excellent, educational resource. Kids also have incentive to learn with Funbrain Jr, as the more games they complete, the more digital stickers they earn. Funbrain also has a Stories section where kids and parents can access digital versions of picture books.
8. New American History
For grades 4 and up, New American History is a completely customizable way to homeschool your student in social studies. Once you log on, you can choose an individual subtopic of history, the reading level, grade level, learning strategy, and more.
With over 3,000 free videos in 13 different subjects, HippoCampus is brought to you by the Monterey Institute for Technology and Education. You can find classes on arithmetic, algebra and geometry, natural science, chemistry, social science, history and government, English, religion, and more.
10. 123 Homeschool 4 Me
123 Homeschool 4 Me is a free homeschooling resource that provides downloadable worksheets and resources for parents who are new to homeschooling. Aside from worksheets, you can download everything from Alphabet Playdough Mats to Sandwich Book Report forms.
Free during the COVID-19 outbreak, Beanstalk provides interactive classes for kids ages 1.5- 6. Some classes are live, others are on-demand, but all classes are taught by experienced teachers. You’ll find everything from “Create Your Imagination Station” to “How Rainbows Work.” Each class designates the age group it’s designed for.
Also free during COVID-19 isolation, Accessibyte is making its apps free for 45 days. Accessibyte has several different apps: Typio, Arcade, Quick Cards, Pro Pack, and Teacher Dashboard, all of which have various capabilities. On each of the apps, students learn remotely with the help of typing tutors, educational arcade games, flash-cards, and tests that challenge what they’ve learned in the app.
Related: Best Coloring Books
Made for students from kindergarten to 12th grade, Belouga gives kids access to a collection of educational resources. You’ll find everything from social sience videos to math problems to real-time communication with peers around the world.
Access for schools and students is free during coronavirus shut-downs. BrainPOP curriculums are designed for students K-12, but there’s also BrainPOP Jr., which is ideal for kids 0-3. Both feature lesson plans and activities for science, reading and writing, math, social studies, and health.
Is your kid interested in coding? ScratchJr offers free online courses for kids ages 5-7. ScratchJr available on iOS, Amazon, Google Play, and the Chrome Web Store.
16. Classroom Cereal
Need help teaching your child grammar? Classroom Cereal helps your young learner with grammatical exercises through free downloadable stories that you can print, then go through together.
Related: 50 Best Family Board Games
Designed for preschoolers and kindergarteners, DuckDuckMoose is an app featuring puzzles, maps, and interactive music games.
18. Bedtime Math
Bedtime Math is a free app made for kids 2 and up; the app, which features engaging math activities, is available in both English and Spanish.
Poptropica is a story-based game that has kids create their own characters and complete educational quests. When a quest is accomplished, kids get a prize!
20. Fish School
From the creators of DuckDuckMoose, Fish School is made with kids 2 and up in mind. It teaches young learners about colors, letters, numbers, and shapes through matching games. Your little one’s finger controls the schools of fish, which can form into letters, shapes, and the numbers 1 through 20.
Related: 125 Quotes About Education
21. Phonics Ninja
Think FruitNinja, but with some educational value! Phonics Ninja lets kids karate-chop their way through digraphs, letter sounds, and blends, teaching your child important phonics skills. There are three different levels of difficulty, and parents can even get involved by recording their own audio clues to help.
It may be only compatible with tablets, but Science360 from the National Science Foundation exposes your child to the latest science and engineering news, photos, and videos. Content comes straight from the National Science Foundation, so you know you’re getting the best-vetted information. The app’s main feature is a 360-degree view that offers exploration of every angle.
23. Vocabulary Spelling City
Vocabulary Spelling City aims to make spelling tests fun with games like Word Unscramble and HangMouse. Play any of the app’s nine different games or input your child’s own personalized vocabulary list to practice specific words.
24. Awesome Eats
From the Whole Foods Foundation, Awesome Eats teachings kids about healthy eating, pattern recognition, and sorting, making it perfect for children ages 5-10. Kids must sort fruits and veggies into baskets before the produce falls off the conveyor belt and onto the floor, spoiled. After each level is defeated, the app flashes facts about how to eat right.
25. Toca Kitchen Monsters
For kids ages 3 and up, Toca Kichen Monsters challenges children to cook food for two hangry monsters using eight different ingredients. It’s a fun game, for sure, but it’s also educational! Kids have to follow directions, listen to ingredient combinations, and season the food the appropriate amount or else the monsters have a habit of spitting.
Samsung Kids+, an app-based platform for kids ages 3-12, is offering a 30-day free trial. The digital library has hundreds of apps, games, TV shows, movies, and books featuring your child’s favorite characters and brands like Peppa Pig, Toca Boca, and LEGO. Parents can set time limits, as well as track their child’s progress. After the 30 days, Samsung Kids+ is offering a second month for just $0.49. Or, purchase a Samsung Kids tablet and get a 90-day subscription free.
27. TIME for Kids’
TIME for Kids’ digital library is now free for the rest of the year. With turnkey teaching tools and tips on how to discuss the news with children, TIME is offering four grade-specific digital editions of the magazine. Register here.
28. PJ Masks and Peppa Pig: Happy Mrs. Chicken
Premium apps PJ Masks: Super City Run (usually $2.99) and Peppa Pig: Happy Mrs. Chicken (also usually $2.99) are now free worldwide on iOSand Google Play from March 25 to March 31.
For more information on how to best support children in isolation, check out the government’s Children in Isolation info sheet on coronavirus.
Looking for ways to help? Here are 15+ ways to help during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Editor’s Note: This info was accurate at press time, and we’re continuing to update our coronavirus coverage as we learn more.