Best iPad Apps for Early Years

admin Phonics, PSRN 21 Comments

I often get asked if I can recommend any good apps for iPads in Early Years. There are a few that I have come across that I have listed below, but I thought it would be a better idea if I asked you what you (and your children) like and then we can all share.

I know you can do a google search for Early Years Apps and you will get hundreds, but lots of them are dire! It is much better to buy on a personal recommendation.

There are (unsurprisingly) lots linked to Literacy and Numeracy, I would be really good to find a few more that were linked to the other areas of learning.

If you have got a good one, then please leave a link and a short description as a comment here on the blog or head over to my face book page here and leave a comment there.

Here are a few to get started with…

I am going to kick off with a phonics app that I know is very popular in The Friars Primary School 

Hairy Letters: £1.99

Interact with animations and trace the letter shape onscreen with your finger. Play games to reinforce learning and build letters into simple words. Letter sounds come to life with animated characters. Learn to form each letter shape with your finger. Play games to blend letter sounds into first words. Includes upper case letter names. Multisensory learning by UK specialist teachers.

Swapsies: £1.49

What do you get when you cross a baker with an astronaut? Just one of a few thousand clever combinations in the fun-filled mix-and-match game built around 10 different occupations and community helpers.




Bee-Bot: FREE

The new Bee-Bot App from TTS Group has been developed based on our well-loved, award-winning Bee-Bot floor robot. The app makes use of Bee-Bot's keypad functionality and enables children to improve their skills in directional language and programming through sequences of forwards, backwards, left and right 90 degree turns

My Story – Book Maker for Kids: £2.49

Create and share ebooks by adding drawings, photos, and stickers. Then record your voice on every page and share your story with friends, family and classmates. We’ve made My Story super teacher friendly by adding multiple authors and syncing across multiple iPads! So now you can have all your classroom iPads in sync! Perfect for the home or classroom.

Amazing Coin: £1.49

7 interactive games about GBP coins learning, counting, paying, making change, matching and etc.
20 pence rewards for each correct answer, with the rewards kids can buy food in the store, and eat them later.
Uninterrupted and unlimited play: game continues as long as the player desires.

Little Digits: £0.69
Little Digits is a fun educational app that teaches children about numbers by putting a new spin on finger counting.

Using the iPad multi-touch screen, Little Digits displays number characters by detecting how many fingers you put down. Children can learn to associate the number on the screen with the number of fingers they place down, whilst enjoying the unique characters and animations of the Little Digits world.


Forest Phonics: 1.99

Forest Phonics is a spelling game. Choose a spelling pattern and you will be prompted to spell ten words using that spelling pattern, e.g. 'ay' words. The sounds are easy to move around using the drag and drop sound cards. Each correct answer is rewarded with a funny animation. The game covers 30 spelling patterns suitable for children between the ages of 4 and 7 years of age.


I look forward to exploring more…



adminBest iPad Apps for Early Years

Comments 21

  1. Nikisha

    Pocket phonics is good. It’s a letter formation and cvc spelling game that ranges from phase 2 letters and sounds to phase 3. The children can use it independently and it’s 1.49 I believe.

  2. Nikisha

    Talking tom or ginger is good for reluctant talkers as it repeats back what you’ve said in a funny voice…the children cannot resist this. It’s free I think. But you can upgrade to get rid of adverts.


    The pepi games are brilliant fun! And not about phonics or maths. an not recommend highly enough

  4. Marc

    There are so many phonics and maths apps that are games which replace our boxed games and laminates in school, and in turn engage other groups of learned . The best use of tech is when it enhances something we can already do without out though. Apps like puppet pals, toontastic, Morfo booth, green screen movie fx are great for story telling. Try those and take a look at some examples of work on my blog :

  5. Zoe Spratt

    ‘Maths, 3-5′ (free app but you have option to download full app once downloaded.)
    Also, I know it’s not an app (and not cheap) but the website ‘Busy Things’ is AMAZING!

  6. lou

    Shape Up is a good app. The children have to draw around shapes to make a picture that dances or they can just touch the shape and it gets filled in

  7. Marc

    Ian Wilson is a friend of mine and a fellow Apple Distinguished Educator, you are so lucky to have had him in your school Lorna :-) I’ve worked with him for the last two years at BETT

  8. Becca Hart

    Kodable is a really good one for introducing programming in early years! Also, tiny tap is a great one for creating simple quizzes about anything you want with spoken questions and encouragement. :o)

  9. Annette O'Keefe

    We use Busythings all the time and there are a few apps that schools can access from Busythings on the ipads which are fab. They provide activities across all areas of EYFS and it is also great for use on the IWB. We use all day in different ways in our setting and the children love it.

  10. Alison

    So envious of anyone able to utilise iPads as one way to engage. Our local authority’s current policy is that no iPads are to be used in any schools….. forward thinking! :(

  11. Gillian Ross

    I have to agree with your blog regarding ict. Our children are so responsive to the use of ict, most recently a video clip “Baboon on the moon”, has encouraged writing through the use of emails. He sends us voicemails that the children need to respond to, recording their own ideas or questions on our whiteboard or using tin lids and postcards. He gives them weekly challenges to do work using ict. The children’s enthusiasm and willingness to participate in these challenges has greatly increased and as you mention, most children are already extremely skilled in ict before they start school. At the beginning of the year our children also enjoyed using the microwave to make the class playdough.

  12. tracyo'

    We are trying to increase our children’s current use of ICT and this blog has given me some fantastic ideas and programs I can’t wait for tomorrow to try them out.

  13. Eleanor

    Amazing Coin looks like an interesting app!
    If you’re looking for a great creative app I recommend Mister Maker: Let’s Make It. My son loves to be creative and make a mess, and this is perfect for when we’re on the move (with the added bonus of not having to clear up!) There are hundreds of materials to choose from to add to your pictures, and you can also create the frame and then print them out. There are endless possibilities and my son finds it so engaging and enjoyable. There’s also a competition at the moment where you could win an iTunes voucher if your picture is chosen. There’s a gallery here which showcases what children are creating –

  14. Kay

    Can anyone advise me about how to operate some of these games on a class set of iPads. I have installed tiny tap and have logged on as myself on one IPad and created a game but this does not show up if I log on on another iPad- is there anyway to sync my games across the set? Also how do you go about children using games such as abc phonics- do they have to use the same iPad each time? Thanks! Kay

  15. Katie

    My 3 year old loves letter lilies, very basic touch the correct letter for the sound you can hear, but also free!

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