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5 Learning Apps for Kids Under $5 – 2014 Edition

There are so many learning apps for kids out there. It’s hard knowing which ones are worth the purchase. In our second annual “5 Learning Apps Under $5” we list our favourite budget friendly learning apps for kids. These apps have been tried and tested by students themselves and shouldn’t run you more than a cup of coffee or two! This year, encourage your kids to use some of their iTunes gift card credit towards a learning app.

Reading Comprehension Practice

learning apps for kids

Reading Comprehension Practice has different apps based on grade level. All apps comes with a number of short passages on a variety of topics. After reading a passage, the learner has to answer a few multiple choice questions related to the text. We like this app because the passages are interesting and concise. Students can work through several stories in one sitting and still feel engaged. The spurts of information followed by questions, helps to practice the habit of taking in what one is reading.

*Available in iTunes for $1.99

The Opposites


The Opposites

This app helps children of all ages learn words and their corresponding antonyms in a very fun yet challenging manner. Users have to pair up opposing worlds like “success” with “failure” or “above” with “below”. The app gets increasingly challenging as the user progresses from one level to the next, thereby creating new learning opportunities for the user. We’ve really enjoyed The Opposites this year because it allows students to learn words and their meanings, make connections with opposing words and improve their multi-tasking skills. All the while, students are fully engaged!

*Available in iTunes for $0.99

A+ Spelling Test

learning apps for kids

A+ Spelling Test

We love Spellosaur for Primary grades and it even made our list last year. However, A+ Spelling Test is a great option for Juniors and above. Using this app, you can create spelling tests for your kids with your own list of words or a list provided by their school teacher.  A+ Spelling Test allows users to practice a word list through various activities such as practice, unscramble or test. We love this app because the interface is a bit more mature than other spelling apps, making it a great choice for Grade 5+ students.  As well, while the app is intended for independent learning, the parent/teacher/tutor can easily identify which words the student is not yet mastering.

*Available in iTunes for $0.99




This app is a great choice for pre-schoolers who are just starting to understand the role of numbers and math. The app has six fun math-based activities including Numerals, Counting, Adding One, Ten, Subtraction and A Half. We like GazziliMath because it’s full of interactive animations, music and sound-effects that are important for engaging young learners.

*Available in iTunes for $1.99

MathBoard Fractions

learning apps for kids

MathBoard Fractions

Last year, MathBoard made our 2013 list as a go-to for practicing multiplication tables. This year, MathBoard Fractions makes the list as our pick for fractions practice. MathBoard Fractions is a comprehensive app with activities such as exploring proper and improper fractions, learning to match a fraction to a quantity, simplifying fractions, comparing fractions, ordering fractions, and adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing fractions. The app also helps students walk through the steps involved in simplifying fractions, determining the greatest common factor (GCF), and more. We love this app as a practice tool and because being able to explore fractions in an interactive and visual manner is a great way to reinforce the topic.

*Available in iTunes for $4.99

Want more? Check out last year’s list. We still love these apps.


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TED Talks – the App!

Many people by now have come across a TED conference video on YouTube or Netflix. For those who don’t know, TED stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design and it is a global set of engaging, inspiring and educational conferences organized by the non-profit Sapling Foundation. TED’s early focus was technology and design but the conferences now address a wide range of topics relating to science, culture, politics, religion and more. Speakers are given 18 minutes to present their ideas in an engaging way, usually through storytelling. Presenters are diverse and have included people such as Bill ClintonMalcolm GladwellAl GoreBill GatesBono, and Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin.

What we love and appreciate at Viva Learn tutoring centre is that TED conferences are offered for free viewing online through TED.com and now through the TED app. UPDATE: We prefer the TED website over the app, as the app tends to crash.

Here are just a few conferences we think are quite relevant for today’s youth.

Life in the “digital now” by Abha Dawesar

How great leaders inspire action by Simon Sinek

Let’s use video to reinvent education by Salman Khan

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Top 5 Under $5 Learning Apps for Kids – 2013 Edition

Recommended Learning Apps for Kids by Viva Learn

There are so many learning apps for kids out there that it’s hard knowing which ones are worth the credit card spend. Well, Viva Learn has created a short list of affordable learning apps for kids that have been tried, tested and approved (by our students too)! These learning apps will make parents feel like they missed out as a kid when they see how fun and engaging learning can be.

Math Apps

MathBoard ($4.99; available in iTunes and Google Play)

This learning app is highly customizable and great for all elementary school aged children. Just think math drills, but without the pen and paper. MathBoard lets users create their own tests to include anything from simple addition and subtraction problems to more challenging multiplication and division questions. Users can also select the number range, answer type (e.g., fill-in-the-blank, multiple choice), number of questions and an optional timer.

Math Evolve ($1.99; available in iTunes and Google Play)

mathevolveSee your kids fall in love with math using this learning app. Math Evolve has truly merged the best of two worlds – educational apps and gaming. It provides a fun and engaging way (arcade style) for ages 6+ to practice math facts, number sense, and mental math skills. There are 12 unique levels that can be played on three difficulty settings and a large range of fun characters and illustrations.

Literacy Apps

Reading Raven HD ($3.99; available in iTunes)

reading raven hdReading Raven is a fun and interactive phonics based learning app, great for children learning to read. Watch your kid’s word recognition and reading improve as they progress through each level (three levels that increase in complexity). The first level involves letter matching, recognition, and tracing. The second level involves word and vocabulary building and word spotting. The third level in this learning app lets kids practice reading aloud and grouping and tracing words.

Spellosaur School Edition ($3.99; available in iTunes)

spellosaurSpellosaur is another highly customizable learning app, perfect for learning words and spelling practice. Parents can easily program the words they want their kids to learn – from sight words for early readers to more challenging words to test spelling. This learning app uses these words in a set of reinforcing activities such as listening and selecting the correct word, completing words by adding missing letters, and re-arranging letters to make words.

Jumbled Sentences 3 (Free; available in iTunes)

jumbledsentences3Jumbled Sentences 3 lets children practice their sentence structure skills in a fun space-themed environment. Users learn the word order by dragging and dropping words into the correct sequence to complete sentences. This learning app is highly recommended for kids 6+ and can be especially useful for ESL (English-as-a-second-language) learners.