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7 Free Education Apps to Keep Kids Entertained

Emily H. Bratcher

Schools are closed for more than half of the nation's children, and increasing numbers of American employers are urging workers to telecommute in order to practice social distancing. With both kids and adults at home, educational apps can be a great way to fill the home school day.

"Apps are very accessible to kids of all ages," says Mary Keeling, president of the American Association of School Librarians. They can be a great supplement to other types of learning.

But Keeling says it's important to balance app and screen time with other types of experiences during this time out of school.

"You definitely want to also build in a lot of physical activity, you want to build in creative projects, you want to build in opportunities for kids to have a scheduled play (or free) time and you want them to also learn some life skills," she says.

Keeling offers some of AASL's top picks for apps that are sure to keep kids engaged and entertained during the coronavirus lockdown.

[See: 15 Money-Saving Tips for Big Families.]

Sites in VR

For students whose spring break trips were canceled this year, Sites in VR offers the next best thing -- a virtual tour of churches, museums, parks, castles and more in many faraway destinations like Morocco and France. "This one is amazing for taking you around the world," Keeling said.

Best for all grades.

Tynker and Tynker Junior

Kids can learn to code before they learn to read with Tynker Junior. This app is geared toward kids ages 4 to 7, while the more advanced Tynker is aimed at kids 7 to 13. Along with the engaging courses in block coding and more, the app also encourages users to create their own apps and games.

Best for grades K-8.

iCell

Budding biologists or future doctors will enjoy zooming in and out of three different types of cells: animal, bacteria and plant on the iCell app. This app's interactive, 3D view of these cells also comes with descriptions of what users are seeing at basic, intermediate and advanced levels, so kids can pick the level that best applies to them.

Best for grades 5-12.

[See: 12 Ways to Save Money Without Trying.]

Mixerpiece

Mixerpiece takes around 200 snippets of some of the world's most famous works of arts -- for instance, the eyes of Leonardo da Vinci's "Mona Lisa" or the lips of Amedeo Modigliani's "Portrait of a Young Woman" -- and allows children to mix and match them to create their own art. Kids can also tap on a snippet to learn more about the original painting.

Best for all grades.

Khan Academy

The Khan Academy app covers a wide range of topics and subjects to help kids cover the gaps in their education or get a boost up in a certain area. For instance, younger kids can ramp up their reading skills or brush up on their counting while older kids can get a primer in everything from physics to economics.

Best for grades K-8.

Quizlet

Kids can use their time off school to master concepts they're already familiar with. From animals and colors for the youngest of learners, to multiplication, math facts or French verbs for older learners, the Quizlet app creates customizable digital flashcards and other activities and tests to help kids practice the material.

Best for all grades.

[Read: How to Save Money for Your Kids.]

GeoGuessr

The GeoGuessr app plops users somewhere in the world and asks them to figure out where they are. Not only does the app appeal to those who like a good challenge, this app also inspires a desire to learn more about geography.

Best for grades 9-12.



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