19 Quirky Apps That Can Help Your Kid Learn

Sometimes you need to come at learning from a new direction, and all of these apps take an inventive approach. Whether they involve reading, puzzles, or vocabulary, they all invite kids into weird worlds, have unique characters, or break the mold on an old model. If your kids are bored by the more obvious educational apps, try one or two of these to spice up their screen use. Even though some don't look like "learning apps," they do encourage critical thinking, problem-solving, and other important skills.

DRAWNIMAL by YATATOY Poster Image
APP

DRAWNIMAL by YATATOY

age 3+

Innovative combo of paper, app, and ABCs.

Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad (2014)
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Metamorphabet Poster Image
APP

Metamorphabet

age 3+

Learn letters and words through amazing animations.

Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android (2015)
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Thinkrolls: Kings & Queens Poster Image
APP

Thinkrolls: Kings & Queens

age 5+

Fairy tales inspire fun, challenging puzzler.

Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire (2016)
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Busy Water Poster Image
APP

Busy Water

age 6+

Solve and create puzzles that gush with STEM learning.

Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android (2016)
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Kahoot! Big Numbers: DragonBox Poster Image
APP

Kahoot! Big Numbers: DragonBox

age 6+

Clever math resource-management game requires some patience.

Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android (2021)
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The Robot Factory by Tinybop Poster Image
APP

The Robot Factory by Tinybop

age 6+

Stellar sandbox tool drives kids to improve designs.

Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad (2015)
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Toca Lab: Elements Poster Image
APP

Toca Lab: Elements

age 6+

Budding chemists freeze, spin, and explode 118 elements.

Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire (2013)
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Monument Valley Poster Image
APP

Monument Valley

age 7+

Beautiful, brain-twisting puzzle game.

Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire (2014)
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Windosill Poster Image
APP

Windosill

age 7+

Imaginative journey through surreal, richly drawn puzzles.

Devices: iPad (2015)
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Code the Robot. Save the Cat Poster Image
APP

Code the Robot. Save the Cat

age 8+

Create and play with cute, cat-friendly coding puzzler.

Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android (2020)
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Weirdwood Manor Poster Image
APP

Weirdwood Manor

age 8+

Solve puzzles, explore rich visuals in cool storybook.

Devices: iPad (2016)
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Zoombinis Poster Image
APP

Zoombinis

age 8+

Save cute creatures with fun, complex puzzles.

Devices: iPad, Mac, Android, Kindle Fire, Windows app (2015)
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Isoland Poster Image
APP

Isoland

age 9+

Artistic, atmospheric, tough puzzle adventure.

Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad (2016)
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Lumino City Poster Image
APP

Lumino City

age 10+

Stunning visuals and tough puzzles delight and challenge.

Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Mac, Windows app (2015)
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Warp Shift Poster Image
APP

Warp Shift

age 10+

Visually beautiful puzzles center on escape story.

Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad (2016)
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The Room Poster Image
APP

The Room

age 11+

Gorgeous, captivating puzzle game will draw you in.

Devices: iPad (2012)
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Scribblenauts Remix Poster Image
APP

Scribblenauts Remix

age 11+

Vocabulary-building word puzzle game shines on iOS.

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Think Like Churchill Poster Image
APP

Think Like Churchill

age 11+

Go inside history with stunning visuals, critical decisions.

Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad (2015)
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DEVICE 6 Poster Image
APP

DEVICE 6

age 12+

Inventive, interactive story puzzler has thrills and chills.

Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad (2013)
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