5 Great Educational iPad Apps for Kids

We love seeing the wide-eyed look of wonder on a friend's face when we introduce a great piece of tech to them. We have seen this look frequently when we share our latest tech acquisition, our iPad, and it is especially fun to see it on the eyes of a kid. Eager to share our iPad with our children and young friends, we began the search for age appropriate educational apps.

As a group of several former elementary school teachers there are some habits we just can't seem to break ourselves of, and one of these is looking at the education prospects of every device and app that we play with. We at Unplggd love delving into kid tech and with our education backgrounds coming into play we knew it was time for an educational iPad app roundup tailored for kids. Here are some of our top picks of great educational iPad apps for kids:

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What's the Difference?
What's the Difference is a great app that can keep kids from ages 2 to 90 occupied for quite some time. Recently, we were using the app with a 4 and 2 year old and it was difficult to tell who was loving the app more. The app does exactly what you think it would, it provides side by side images that are almost identical (but with 5 differences) and allows the user to race around the clock trying to spot the differences. Because it relies on images, once a game is set up, no reading is needed making it great for the youngest iPad users. Free.

Tangram XL
We loved taking out the box marked "Tangram" as a child and could not help but feel delight when our young friend enjoyed using the iPad version of the puzzle toy we have long loved. Tangram is made up of several shapes which you use to create pictures. The iPad app is responsive as well as forgiving making it an app that works well and engages a variety of ages. Because of the difficulty of many of the puzzles it's not an app to be regarded as solely for kids. The logic and reasoning that is required to sort out the puzzles can be a turn off for some young users, so be sure to start with the simpler puzzles in order to build up confidence. Free.

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RedFish - C is for Cake
In this simple app built for the Pre-K set, little ones interact with ingredients in order to make a cake. This simple puzzle helps to children to work on their dexterity as well as shape recognition and the conclusion of the puzzle rewards them with a finished cake. As adults we like the educational aspects of the app and we also appreciate the design of the app with its clean lines and great color scheme. No obnoxious headache inducing colors here! Free.

Math Magic
Remember flashcards? Well, think of this app like interactive flashcards that are a bit more visually appealing than tattered index cards. Math Magic frames addition, subtraction, and division problems like a game and really engages young learners. Because the app supports multiple operations as well as negative numbers, it can be used by those kindergartners learning simple addition to the more complicated division encountered by third graders, it is really quite the value for the mere cost of $0.99.

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Star Walk
We love love love this Apple Design Award winning app and really cannot say enough great things about it. Being so accustomed to free apps, we at first balked at the $4.99 price tag of this app, but after using the app we feel that it was well worth the price. Not only a great educational tool, it is also just plain beautiful. Star Walk uses your location and customizes the app, letting you see your night sky in new ways by taking you on a virtual tour through the stars, constellations and planets. Although this is an app that works for all ages, we can especially see it as being helpful for kids studying the solar system and budding astronomers.

What is your favorite educational app for kids?

(Image: Flickr user Marcus Kwan under license from Creative Commons.)