Best Apps For 4 Year Old

Best Apps for 5- and 6-Year Olds | Educational App Store

As a parent, you want to give your child the best possible start in life. But what do you do when your child is too young to use an app?

You need something that’s easy enough for a four-year-old to use, but still fun and educational. We’ve compiled a list of the best apps for 4 year olds so that you can ensure your little one has access to the best learning tools on their tablet or smartphone.

We’ll show you how each app works, who it’s designed for, and what features make it stand out from other similar offerings.

best apps for 4 year olds uk

The closure of schools across the UK has left many parents and carers in the sudden, unexpected position of being home-school teachers. Schools are providing support where they can, but there are also still plenty of smartphone and tablet apps that can be used as part of learning.

It may be tricky to get some children to see these devices as good for more than TikTok, Fortnite and (adult) YouTube, but the positive side is that the best learning apps are interesting enough to – perhaps with an initial nudge – engage children. Here are 20 apps that may get parents off to a good start. The “younger children” apps are most suitable for preschool and early primary kids, while the “older children” apps are more for later primary and early secondary age.

For younger children
Go Explore from CBeebies logo
Go Explore from CBeebies
(Android/Apple/Amazon – free)
The entire range of the BBC’s CBeebies apps will be getting heavy usage in the coming weeks, clearly. They’re all good, but this is the one focused on learning games, from phonics and geography to feelings and self-care, all based on the parent channel’s shows and characters.

Khan Academy Kids logo
Khan Academy Kids
(Android/Apple/Amazon – free)
Khan Academy is a free collection of education courses for all ages, but it has an app specifically for two to seven-year-old children that focuses on maths, reading and social and emotional skills. It has a large and growing archive of learning videos, digital books and simple but engaging exercises.

Montessori Preschool logo
Montessori Preschool
(Android/Apple/Amazon – subscription)
For very young children who’ll be missing out on some of the formative teaching at preschool this year, this beautifully crafted app could be a great help. From maths and phonics to music and early coding, its colourful exercises never feel dry or dull. It costs £5.49 a month.

Hopster logo
(Android/Apple/Amazon – subscription)
British company Hopster describes its app as “educational kids’ TV”. What that means is a collection of familiar cartoons and shows including the likes of Sesame Street, Bob the Builder, Thomas the Tank Engine, Fireman Sam and Pingu, accompanied by fun learning games on topics such as maths and phonics. It will even remind kids not to binge on too many episodes in a row. It costs £4.99 a month.

Teach Your Monster to Read logo.
Teach Your Monster to Read
(Android/Apple/Amazon – free)
This usually costs £4.99, but has been made free owing to the school disruption. No matter how you feel after a couple of days of home-schooling, the titular monster isn’t your child. Instead, this gets children to create a monster and then teach it to read – a great way of learning themselves.

Peppa Pig
World of Peppa Pig
(Android/Apple/Amazon – subscription)
This is one of a growing number of subscription-based children’s apps – seen as a more trustworthy model than in-app purchases and/or ads. Aimed at preschool children, it’s another collection of learning games, but also has videos, picture-making and songs from the TV show. It costs £4.99 a month.

YouTube Kids logo
YouTube Kids
(Android/Apple – free)
After a rocky start when some non-child-friendly videos made it through the filters, YouTube has worked hard to make its official children’s app something parents can trust. It includes a dedicated learning category collecting great videos about science, nature, space and other topics.

Mental Maths 5-6 logo
Mental Maths 5-6
(Apple – £3.99)
It’s been out for a few years, but this is still one of the best maths apps for children that feels genuinely educational. It’s built around a range of maths exercises and progress tests. Separate versions cover children up to the age of 11, and there’s a spelling series, too.

Dr. Seuss’s ABC logo
Dr Seuss’s ABC: AR Version
(Android/Apple – £3.99)
“Big A, little a. What begins with A?” Well, augmented reality does, for a start. Dr Seuss’s inimitable alphabet book has been turned into an AR app, with animated characters appearing in the room around your child. The learning aspects include tracing the letters to learn their shapes for (non-AR) writing.

Scratch Jr Logo
(Android/Apple/Amazon – free)
Scratch is the programming environment that a lot of children will be familiar with already from school. ScratchJr is an app version designed for five to seven-year-olds, although older children can have fun with it, too. It uses coding blocks to create programs for games, animation, music and other creative tasks.

For older children
King of Maths: Maths Learner logo
King of Maths: Maths Learner
(Android/Apple – free + in-app purchases)
This recently released maths game challenges children in quickfire sums, increasing in difficulty if they keep answering correctly. They write the numbers on the touchscreen with their finger rather than tapping buttons. It’s free to try, with a £3.99 in-app purchase unlocking everything.

Google Arts & Culture
Google Arts & Culture
(Android/Apple – free)
Field trips and museum visits may be out of bounds for a while, but Google’s Arts & Culture app at least has virtual tours of more than 1,200 museums and galleries. Children can look and read as well as curate their own lists of favourite artworks to share.

(Android/Apple – subscription)
There are a number of great learn-to-code apps out there for children, but Mimo is one in particular that feels most connected to the world of professional programming. At a cost of £8.49 a month, it offers quick but interesting exercises in languages including Python, Java and Swift.

Elevate brain training logo
Elevate: Brain Training
(Android/Apple – subscription)
Elevate is one of a clutch of quality brain-training apps (see also: Peak or Lumosity) full of mini-games designed to sharpen your memory, maths skills, focus and other mental skills. Like those other apps, it uses a subscription – £38.99 a year – but with a week’s trial to test it out.

Simply Piano logo
Simply Piano
(Android/Apple – subscription)
If music lessons have gone out of the window, Simply Piano is one of the best app alternatives. It helps children (or adults!) to learn songs and then listens to their playing on any real piano or keyboard to give feedback. Two courses are free, but then it costs £83.99 a year – pricey for an app, but not so much for piano lessons.

Women Who Changed the World logo
Women Who Changed the World
(Android/Apple – £2.99)
This is a history app focused on a range of famous women who “helped us to understand our world better, and to make it a better place to live in”. Rosa Parks, Marie Curie, Malala Yousafzai and Amelia Earhart are among the women profiled through animation and storytelling.

Duolingo logo
(Android/Apple – free + in-app purchases)
Duolingo isn’t just a fun and popular way to learn languages that children already study at school. It covers more than 30, including Arabic, Hindi, Hebrew and Welsh. It’s well designed, rewarding short daily sessions of practice. It’s free, but in-app purchases remove ads and unlock some extra features.

Kahoot logo
(Android/Apple – free/subscription)
Kahoot! isn’t just an app, it’s also a website: a big collection of trivia quizzes created by other users. It’s going to really come into its own as schools close. It’s also a good group-learning experience: one person hosts a game and the others compete on their own devices.

TED logo
(Android/Apple/Amazon – free)
The TED talks archives are a wonderful repository of brain food for all ages – older children included. Search for history, science, nature – anything – and see what comes up. The talks are not all suitable for children, but many are.

Swift logo
Swift Playgrounds
(Apple – free)
Swift is Apple’s own programming language, and Swift Playgrounds is its app for teaching people how to use it. It’s for adults as well as children, but it’s certainly accessible for the latter, with its lessons presented as coding puzzles that will give people the skills needed to start making their own apps and games. It’s on Apple’s iPad, but not (yet) its iPhone.


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