Developer Duck Duck Moose has long been one of our very favorites for creating beautifully and intuitively designed early math and reading apps. Designed for kids aged 2-7, the apps stand out at every level with high quality design, great interactive features and, best of all, an exceptional variety of challenges and environments within single apps.
And here is the truly exciting news. These apps, which once cost between .99 and $2.99 each, are all now free. Yep. Every last one of its 21 educational apps — which include lots of educational games and creative activities — is free for your child to learn, explore and play. Why the price reduction? Duck Duck Moose recently joined non-profit education company Khan Academy, which is now offering its entire collection for no cost.
So go ahead, download them all, or read below to see which ones we especially love.
This early math app offers five mini games located in a small town where kids can explore and help build. A variety of destinations — including a Pet Shop, a smoothie shop and more — offers skill-building math activities that includes counting, addition and subtraction. Other games challenge players to identify and sort shapes and colors, work on early geometry concepts, and skip count by connecting the dots. What’s exceptionally appealing about Moose Math is the variety of challenges and the way they’re so skillfully integrated into play. While this won’t work as an app to drill math skills, it will make math fun and appealing.
Much has been said about the benefits of creation apps over consumption ones. Here’s an app that’s all about open-ended exploration and creation. Kids first create images with easy-to-use tools: pencils, stickers, stencils. Once their artwork is completed, they can then record a story that it inspires, even moving elements of their image while talking. Truly an amazing app that will spark all kinds of creativity.
This app takes the notion of “playing princess” and puts a modern spin on it. Kids select from 32 background scenes and then populate the environment with princesses and ballerinas, as well as their own drawings they can create from a selection of pencils and crayons. Older kids can then take the next step and move characters around while recording their own voices, turning it into a princess-starring version of the highly creative cartoon-making app Toontastic.
Unlike other early-learning math apps that rely on drills and repetition, this park-themed adventure lets kids manipulate objects by moving them around in order to solve math challenges. Counting, addition, subtraction, patterning and sorting are all explored. Best of all, kids get to move around the park in an open-ended fashion, letting them discover different math zones and challenges as they go. As with all apps designed by award-winning developer Duck Duck Moose, graphics are excellent.
A beautiful early learning app set in an under water world, Fish School is one of the best in its class for combining early letter, number and shape recognition with top-notch graphics and interactivity. Kids can learn the ABCs and single-digit numbers by watching schools of fish assemble into shapes. Other activities such as spot the difference and find the match are also included, as are less-linear modes — one of its best activities simply lets kids touch and tap fish as they expand, change and move around their underwater environment. Overall a wonderful learning app with surprisingly high-quality classical music that accompanies all game play.
More Trucks – By Duck Duck Moose is one of the very best apps for toddlers obsessed with moving machinery. Kids can operate fire trucks, monster trucks, tow trucks and more. Perhaps most satisfying is the crane activity, which lets kids move, lower and pick up boxes, then stack them in an arrangement of their own design. Best of all, a wrecking ball feature lets them knock all those boxes down. More Trucks lets kids explore and discover as they go along, while teaching sequencing, sorting and problem solving.
Kids can select what kind of math (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division) as well as the level of game play (easy, medium, difficult) in this app that offers a fabulous range of practice within each section. Addition, for example, starts with one-digit equations and gradually expands to involve regrouping, making it a tool that kids can use for years. Best of all, kids can get help at any moment: By tapping on the question mark, they can see the problem broken down step by step. Performance reports for parents are included.
With 10 activities including a coloring book, puzzles, a spider counting game, a bug race and a maze challenge, this colorful — and occasionally seriously silly app — can keep kids busy for hours. In addition, children can sing along to five verses of the “Itsy Bitsy Spider” as it comes to life in an animated video. Since a recent partnership with Khan Academy, all Duck Duck Moose apps are now free, an amazing value for well designed, truly educational apps.