Are you still looking for good ideas for stocking stuffer this Christmas? Thinking of something different? Thankfully, technology makes it possible to give something out of the conventional gifts that are available in brick-and-mortar stores. How about purchasing some fun educational apps that promotes literacy, math, coding, and critical thinking skills?

It seems like there are millions of apps and games out there on the market, some are free, while some come with a minimal payment. The problem is that many parents are not sure which one has good educational value. As the first official blog of Excellerate Digital Advanced Learning, we would like to take this opportunity to share some of our favorite picks.

There are just so many great apps and software available, so we have a feeling that this might not be our last blog about recommended apps.

Free <Everyone>

When was the last time you heard ‘I want to play the math game!’? This app helps make math fun, and both parents and kids can enjoy the experience together. The daily problems are based on real life scenarios and little by little, they help to grow your problem-solving skills!

Best Math Puzzle Games for iPhone and iPad in 2019

$2.99 <Everyone>

Code sounds like a very complicated task for parents who are not familiar with the field, but this simple puzzle game will teach you programming logic as you play regardless of your age. Its cousin app, SpriteBox will also expand your coding skills to syntax-based programming language such as Basic Swift and Java Syntax.

<Grades K-4> $4.99

From our experience, we observed that many older Algebra students struggle to learn the problem-solving steps without learning the concepts behind what they are doing, leading to wider gaps as they progress to advanced math. Dragonbox Algebra 5+ app does a fantastic job in helping kids grasp basic algebraic concepts and operations, and it helps them understand the reasons and concepts as well, setting them up for Pre-Algebra and Algebra success. The multiple-award winning app presents concepts and “problems” in an engaging puzzle-like environment that is easy for even younger kids to understand and figure out. 

Thinkrolls 1, 2, Kings & Queens, Space

<K-3> iPhone, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire $2.99 – $6.99

Thinkrolls is an elementary student-friendly physics-based puzzle game that is fun for upper elementary students (and adults) as well. Kids have to figure out what special blocks do, and use logic to solve each level. Parents can set up levels and customize the challenge level for each child. Kids get unlimited chances to experiment and learn problem solving, critical thinking, and logical thinking-ahead skills along the way.

Pettson’s Inventions 1, 2, 3

<1-6> iPhone, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire $4.99 – $5.99

Thinking of injecting some creativity and humor in the learning process? Pettson’s Inventions is a fun middle and upper-elementary student-friendly puzzle game would fit the bill. Kids have to arrange a series of cause-and-effect chain reactions using everyday materials (and creatures) to accomplish a task, much like a Rube Goldberg machine. Kids can experiment and learn through the many quirky and challenging puzzles that are presented artfully as well, and they are encouraged to think “outside of the box” and be creative in their approaches. In the deluxe version, there is a player-versus-player mode where two people can compete against each other. We highly recommend this game for families to play together.

We would like to hear from you! What is your favorite or recommended education apps?