Educational Apps to Prepare Your Toddler for School

We are on the hunt for a PreK program to enroll our three-year-old in for next school year. The one question we have posed to a number of educators is: “What apps can we download for him to play with that will be the most valuable in assisting with learning the basics and preparing for full-day PreK or Kindergarten?

Photo by: Viva Portrait Studios/Patricia Nicolas

Did you know that there are currently over 100,000+ educational iOS apps available? Finding the right ones for your early learners can be tedious, and overwhelming.

Photo by: Katie Stern

Here are a handful of iPad/Tablet Apps that have been recommended to our family by elementary educators.


  • Word Wagon
  • Letter Muncher
  • Rhyming Words
  • Montessori – Rhyme Time


  • Bugs & Numbers
  • Counting Madness
  • Monkey Math School Sunshine


  • ABC Mouse
  • Daniel Tiger
  • Dr. Seuss’ ABC
  • Daisy the Dinosaur (teaches young kids to code)

In addition to the technology, it was stressed to us how important it is to ‘keep it old school.’ (my words, not theirs) What I mean by that is reading to them; having them read to you; singing songs; using flashcards with letters, colors, shapes. These are all invaluable learning tools that are fun and don’t involve screen time.

We have been very lucky with Luke. He has loved reading since he was a baby and really enjoys the library – picking out books that he is into and books that have a focus on things we’re learning about at home (i.e. Trying different food; Sharing during group play; Everyone is different; etc.).

Photo by: Katie Stern

While I was researching the recommended apps, I came across a few groups on Twitter that I’ve been following which have some other recommendations on technology products, reviews of apps and suggestions based on what other educators around the world are using to educate our children. A few to check out:

  • @TheiMums
  • @_iblobl
  • @fuzzlady77

Ultimately, the time we spend with our children is important for bonding and learning success. Any of these tools, technology or not, can be enhanced by parents taking an interest in what their children are learning and helping to enhance that learning by playing with them.

Did we miss any? Are there any that you use in your home, or have been recommended through your school, that your kids love?

The apps suggested in this post have come from a multitude of educational resources and are not sponsored by any of the brands highlighted. All thoughts, suggestions, and opinions are 100% my own.

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Katie Stern
Katie is a wife and mom of 3 boys, Lucas, Zeke and Toby. She is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, with a degree in Marketing & Communications. Katie has worked in the construction industry for the past 12 years, building and restructuring brands and marketing departments, for companies in the Baltimore and Washington DC market, before returning to Pittsburgh and starting a family. Their second son, Toby, was born May 27, 2016 and died suddenly in August from SIDS, at 12 weeks and 5 days old. Katie and her husband, Dan, made a promise to Toby that they would work to do good in his name and never let the story of his life be forgotten. Through this loss, they have founded The Little Fox | Toby’s Foundation with the hopes of bringing joy, laughter, and lots of smiles to families within the Pittsburgh community, while working to spread awareness about child-loss and the lives of grieving parents. This is not the path they would have chosen for their lives, but it is the journey they are now on and will strive to be the best parents they can be, to one child on earth and one in Heaven. Katie is currently the Director of Marketing for A. Martini & Co., and General Contracting and Construction Management Firm. She has been heavily involved with juvenile diabetes research, because she was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age 2. Currently, Katie sits on the Executive Leadership Council for the American Diabetes Association, Pittsburgh Chapter and is part of the planning committee for Step Out: Pittsburgh each year. Their family moved to Monroeville, one week after Toby was born, and have enjoyed getting to know that area of Pittsburgh and what it has to offer. While in the throes of motherhood, Katie is also active throughout the week with exercise routines, Paw Patrol and PJ Masks episodes, blogging at Our Happy Place & Co., a lifestyle blog she started in 2013, and working with her husband on the mission of The Little Fox.