APPS for Sizzlers

When it comes to APPS, I am clueless, hapless, and most certainly APP-less. That’s because I haven’t yet crossed over into iPad and Smart phone territory. But I’m hearing the praises of these devices all over the place. So we put out a call for apps you like so that others may hear of them. We got a couple of suggestions. But one Sizzle Bop member gave such a wonderfully helpful (and organized response) that I think we should give her/him a round of applause <begin clapping now.> Seriously, it was an amazing resource that was sent in.

So, for all of you who are APP-savvy, this is for you.
The rest of us will join you just as soon as we’ve taken our horse and buggy to the barn.

Have an out-of-the-box day! (of course, APPs sort of come in a box, sooooo . . .may have to rethink that whole tag line. Ah, but I digress.)

Carol Barnier

Here’s a great introductory note from a Sizzle Bop member–

When it comes to homeschooling, the iPad is one of those things that you don’t know what you are missing until you get one.  I had no idea how much it would help!  I love it!  I have a 6 year old and 2 year old, and they both “play” it.  My two year old has learned all the states, their shapes, and locations better than most adults just by playing an app (listed below).  She knows all her letters, numbers, and can tell time to the half hour all from playing apps.  We use the iPad everyday in our school for math and spelling.  My 6 year old sizzler will easily do 30+ math problems on the iPad where as before he would just glaze over at the thought of a math worksheet.  Most of the time they think they are just playing a game and have no idea they are actually learning.

I have found that the apps that have virtual prizes work the best. Some apps have the option of adding multiple kids to be able to track their progress individually.  That is great when there are 2+ kids wanting to play the same game, but they don’t want the other kid(s) to mess up their virtual prizes or score.  I don’t remember the costs of each of the apps, but most of them are free or will have a free version you can try. The paid for apps usually cost a dollar or two. I tried putting the names and companies as it is shown in the App Store.
Preschool (There are a lot of Preschool apps, so I just listed a few favorites) :

  • LetterSchool by Boreaal – My favorite preschool app!  A creative way to teach kids to form letters (capital and lower case). My two year old loves this one. It has a free app, but I quickly bought the full version.  It doesn’t let the child draw form the letter the wrong way which is why I like it so much.  I don’t think they could develop bad habits with this app.
  • Teach Me – There are several grade level apps. It has virtual sticker prizes. You can have multiple kids for this app, but I think you have to pay $0.99/per kid if you want them to have separate profiles.
  • Abc Lite by pockettp…cslite – teaches how to form letters and how they sound.
  • Super Why! By PBS – It has games like the actual show.
  • First Words Animals by Learning Touch – It is a simple app, but it can be customized to where your child can learn the letter names or sounds, capitals or lower case, among other things. It says the letter sound or name each time the letter is touched.
  • ABC Tracer – teaches letter and number formation. It has several sections to it. It has a balloon section where you have to pop the balloons in alphabetical order. You can customize the letter formation section.
  • Elmo Loves ABCs – Elmo teaches the ABC’s.
  • Montessori Crosswords by L’Escapadou
  • Bugs & Buttons – Cute app!  It seems to be popular.  My two year old loves this one.  It does mazes, patterns, sorting, pinching, alphabet order, and more.


  • Puzzle Map by Jenny Sun – This company makes several map apps (USA, Africa, Europe, South America). This is a GREAT app! My two      year old has learned all the states, their shapes, and locations using the USA map. It has several options. Easy has the state abbreviations on the states and the outlines on the map. The medium removes the outlines, and the difficult removes the outlines and abbreviations. I like that the state’s name is said every time the state is touched. That’s how my two year old learned them so quickly.
  • Stack the States – Stack the states as high as you can to earn states. You have to answer questions with the correct states to be able to stack the state. If you answered enough of the questions correctly, you earn states for your map. There are a couple of other games that you can unlock as you earn enough states. This one is fun for mom too!  My two year old likes to play this one too.  She can’t read, so I have to tell her the answer.  She can pick out the correct state by the shape.
  • Continents by iLearn – Learn the Continents. There are learn, game, and test modes. You have to touch the continent or ocean that is called out.
  • Continents by Mobile Montessori — A puzzle. It can go by shapes, names, or Continents & Oceans.
  • USPresidents – I haven’t used this one. It looks like a fun one for a kid that has already learned or is learning the presidents.
  • Presidents vs. Aliens (by the makers of Stack the States) – Answer questions by selecting the correct president. When answered correctly you can shoot that president at some aliens. You earn president as you answer enough correctly. This one allows for multiple kids.
  • Presidents by Pickids – It gives the name of a president and the picture of four presidents to choose from for the answer.
  • Oregon Trail
  • Oregon Settlers – fun way to think about what it was like to live as a settler.


  • Bone Scan by Brain West – Identify the correct bone by touching the bone.
  • BodyWalk – Explore the body, assemble the body, color the body options. You can explore the different body systems. It is has cartoon like graphics. It might be better for the younger kids
  • Build-a-Body – Touch and drag the body parts to the correct location. This might be better for older kids.
  • My Planets – Learn about planets. It isn’t too exciting, but my two year old likes the puzzle part.
  • Planets – There are several apps like this. You hold your iPad up to the sky and it will show you where the constellations, planets, etc. are.
  • AnatomyACU by ACU Exercise Science – This would be better for older students learning anatomy.
  • Jeffy’s World – This is an interesting app that shows how day/night, seasons, etc work. You can rotate Earth and see how the sun      shines on it. It is more of an interactive visual than a game. There is a little character on the planet. I don’t like his attitude. The character      doesn’t do much, and you can talk to your child about how the character’s attitude.


  • Math Drills by Instant Ineractive – We use this app      almost every day. This app can be completely customized and keeps track of      different children. It will show speed, strength, accuracy for the problems the child has been working on. It shows one problem at a time, so my six year old doesn’t feel overwhelmed by worksheet full of problems. I give him incentives for reaching a certain speed. I have had take the iPad away from him, so we could move on in school. One time he had done 120 problems when I finally took it away. This is a great app!
  • Rocket Math – You have to do math problems to earn money to build and launch a rocket. The rocket has to be built correctly, or it won’t fly or won’t fly straight.  My 6 year old loves this.
  • Amazing Coin(USD): Money learning & counting game for kids by Joy Preschool Game – We have only tried this one a couple of times. It is a game for coins. It includes half dollars and silver dollars.
  • 1st Grade Math: Splash Math Worksheets App for Numbers, Counting, Addition, Subtraction and others by StudyPad – I haven’t used this one much. This app gives prizes to go into a virtual aquarium. This app will send you reports via email to let you know how your child is doing. This app has options to add multiple kids.
  • Chicken Coop Fractions Game by Lumpty Learning – Chickens lay eggs on the correct fraction. You have to get the nest to the correct fraction, so the egg doesn’t break. It is too advanced for my kiddos, but I thought someone else might want to give it a try.
  • Pizza 1 – A pizza is shown. You have to determine the fraction of the pizza that is left. My 6 year likes that you can shake the iPad to get the next problem. It has an option where you don’t have to shake the iPad. It is simple but effective.
  • TellingTime by GiggleUp Pty Ltd – This has several different ways of learning to tell time. It is completely customizable too. It also has a virtual aquarium where fish are earned as rewards. You might want to turn off the volume on a couple of the games to keep the child      from waiting for the app to tell them what time it is.
  • Freefall Time – Another app for telling time. I would use this one after doing the TellingTime app. This one has a virtual aquarium for prizes.
  • Freefall Money – I like this app. It has several different ways for the child to learn coins. It does not have half dollars or silver dollars. It has a virtual aquarium for prizes.
  • Cash Cow DLX by Chillingo – There is a free version available. This is a fun way to work with coins. You combine coins to earn money to buy things for a virtual fun. This one is fun for mom too!
  • Mathopolis – fire fighter math


  • Rhythm Cat by LMuse Limited – I have the lite version (free). It was a fun app. It doesn’t take long to go through the levels. It has a green button that you tap in rhythm with the music notes. My son plays it and has learned whole, quarter, and eight notes as well as rests. It is a fun introduction to note rhythm.
  • Blob Chorus Ear Training by Lumpty Learning – This is supposed to train your ear to hear music tones. The blobs sing in different tones, and you have to match the two blobs that sing the same tone.

Language Arts

  • Grammar Games by Tap toLearn Software – You work as the air traffic controller to land airplanes on the proper runway. The      airplanes have words attached to them. You have to determine if they are a noun, verb, adverb, etc. and land them on corresponding runway without the airplanes running into each other.
  • Cursive Practice by Brainstop – I was looking for an app to learn cursive letters. I didn’t find many, and this was my favorite of the ones I found. I’m pretty sure this was a free app. I haven’t played with this one much.
  • Super Speller by Quiet Spark – We use this for spelling. You “create test” by entering spelling words and you record your voice for      them, so they can be played back for the study and test sections. There is a study section that also has a word search and word scramble. When all are answered correctly, balloons fall down for the child to pop. My two year old likes it when I have her say the spelling words for the  recordings. The app has a chalkboard or dry-erase board appearance.
  • Toontastic by Launchpad Toys – This app teaches the parts of a story where the child creates a virtual puppet show. My six year old love this one. The videos have an option to upload to the internet if you want to share the stories your child creates.


  • Classic Board – It works like a chalkboard. Sometime you just want a simple drawing app.  : )
  • Khan Academy – I haven’t used this one. It seems to be for high school students, but I thought others might find it handy.
  • Flashcrds+ by Connor Zwick – I haven’t used this one yet, but it looks useful.
  • Flashcards – another flashcard app. I haven’t explored this one yet either, but it looks useful.

*** (some of you lovely folks write in on your husband’s email account so if this was actually sent in by Brian’s wife, please know we still honored you. 🙂 )Thanks to either or both of you!

Also, from Jessica
My favorite “Mom App” is called Our Groceries.  It is a mobile grocery list that you can share with other people.  So I never forget my list anymore and if my husband’s at the store and I remember one more thing, it shows up on his phone right away!  I also really like Flashlight.  It is super-bright and has come in handy more than once!


And from Cori
My 5th grade Sizzler is using a school-issued iPad and an app they use that seems to work well is called “Reminders”.  Type the note in the list and then it will pop up when you turn your iPad on the next time. Great for adding a note right before bed to remind him to turn homework or field trip slip in.



3 Responses to “APPS for Sizzlers”

  1. Nicole Says:

    I just bought an ipad for my sizzler who is in the 5th grade. I found this great program called SOSH for kids who have trouble with social skills and organizing and planning issues. You can see different components of the app on youtube and you can also purchase the book. This app is a goldmine for kids with social difficulties and executive issues. It’s like having a psychologist in their pocket… is written by Mark Bowers, Ph.D.

  2. carolbarnier Says:

    Oh my goodness. I LOVE this concept. Can’t wait to see this one. Thanks for sharing it.

  3. Carrie Says:

    We LOVE our iPad. It’s wireless-only and has probably 100+ educational kid apps on it. They earn tickets for doing chores. Each ticket is worth 15 minutes on the iPad. So even when they “win” a ticket, I “win” them getting more educational time. 🙂

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