21 Apps That Teach Kids Real-Life Skills

Help kids navigate school, work, and life with these cool downloads.
Ingrid Simone Senior Editor, Apps | Mom of two Categories: Learning with Technology, Screen Time, We Recommend
Senior Editor, Apps | Mom of two

With the boom in educational apps for kids, you may have already found great apps for the subjects your kids are studying in school -- like math, writing, and science. But there's so much more that kids can learn with mobile apps, including some skills that may surprise you. We found 21 fantastic apps that can help your kid with everything from managing money to handling stress.

  • Emotional Skills
    Academic skills often take center stage when we talk about kids and learning, but part of developing the whole child is helping kids learn emotional skills. Kids can learn about handling stress, empathy, self-awareness, and overcoming obstacles with apps.

    Try:
    Calm Counter (age 5)
    iDiary for Kids (age 7)
    Surviving High School (age 12)
     

  • Responsibility and Ethics
    Having a strong sense of responsibility and sound ethics will help kids as they navigate their school community, as well as interact with others in the world. Apps can help kids focus on making wise decisions, honoring the community, and learning from consequences.

    Try:
    Builda the Re-Bicycler (age 5)
    The Oregon Trail (age 9)
     

  • Collaboration
    The group projects your kids do in school help prepare them for the kind of collaboration they'll be involved in as they move through college and into their careers. Apps can help them learn to collaborate with others, too.

    Try:
    Faces iMake - Right Brain Creativity (age 5)
    Rory's Story Cubes (age 7)
    Project Noah (age 10)
     

  • Thinking and Reasoning
    Puzzle games frequently focus on thinking and reasoning skills, but so do apps in other genres. These apps can help kids learn problem solving, decision making, making predictions, and thinking critically.

    Try:
    Alien Assignment (age 5)
    World of Goo (age 8)
    The Room (age 11)
     

  • Managing Money and Other Resources
    Whether it's birthday money, an allowance, or income from an after-school job, some kids have money to manage from an early age. It's never too early for kids to think about financial concepts. Many apps give kids an opportunity to manage virtual cash and resources.

    Try:
    Dinorama (age 7)
    Savings Spree (age 7)
    The Sims 3 (age 15)
     

  • Self-Direction
    Having strong self-direction skills can empower kids and make them more self-aware. Apps can help with goal-setting, personal growth, time management, and working efficiently.

    Try:
    Live (age 10)
    Evernote (age 13)
     

  • Animation
    Animation is just one way that apps can help kids unleash their creativity. Kids can use these apps to explore digital creation.

    Try:
    Toontastic (age 6)
    Animate It! (age 10)
     

  • How to Draw
    Whether kids are beginners learning basics or skilled artists looking to hone their craft, they can use apps to learn and create.

    Try:
    How to Draw - Full Version (age 6)
    Sketchbook Pro (age 13)
    Art Studio - Paint, Draw, Edit (age 15)

What are some of the skills your kids have learned with apps? Which apps do you like best for teaching these skills?

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About Ingrid Simone

Ingrid joined Common Sense Media in 2010, bringing more than 15 years as an editor and writer, a passion for providing quality content focused on kids, and a love of most things digital. She earned a bachelor’s degree... Read more

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Comments (2)

Parent written by bridgetgnewton

Thanks Ingrid for sharing these wonderful apps with us .It would be really beneficial for the busy parents to teach their kids about the way of living especially app for managing money and resources I found it useful . Here are some of the apps which I most frequently use .Check out mobile apps at http://www.loungelizard.com/mobile-app-development
Kid, 12 years old

Best play phone apps: "Play phone LITE" and "Play phone PRO" have appealing colors and music, education and entertainment. To download- LITE version: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.playphone.lite PRO version: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.playphone.pro