Top apps to help primary pupils

Laura Celada and Holly Seddon from Quibly run through 10 of the best learning apps for KS1 and KS2

We recently put together an article on the great apps and websites available for secondary students. With children as young as two often comfortable using tablets, here is a run-through of fantastic learning apps that can help KS1 and KS2 pupils. 

1. Wheres my water?

A challenging physics-based app complete with vibrant graphics, intuitive colours and a sensational soundtrack. This brainy and engaging game is a perfect way to learn how to calculate fractions and percentages.

Ideal for KS1, it combines a cute story and simple physics-based puzzles.

Where’s my water? is available for iPhone, iPod and iPad. It is £1.49 on App Store

2. Garage Band

Many kids learn number facts faster when they can use their own memory rhymes and songs. This popular composing app offers children loads of options to be creative and enthusiastic towards learning as a literacy and mathematics tool and much more than simply creating some cool loops. With multiple touch instruments including pianos, guitars, drums and basses, Garage Band will let your class create and record their own music.

Available free for iOS devices and Mac computers

3. Green Eggs and Ham – Dr. Seuss

Exploring this interactive Dr. Seuss storybook, children can learn new vocabulary, encourage their literacy skills, and even personalise the story with their own narration. The new improved version has a ‘record and share’ feature that lets you record and save the narration of multiple readers.

This excellent early reading app is available for £2.49 in the Apple Store

4. LearnEnglish Kids. Phonics Stories

Young learners of English, especially those learning English as a second language, will enjoy LearnEnglish Kids: Phonics Stories, a phonics-based, interactive storybook app that features audio narration and fun games.

The story follows super space spies Sam and Pam as they arrive on Earth and learn how to speak and spell English words. Children can develop their reading skills, learn new words, build a foundation in early literacy, and at the same time, interact with family members through reading. LearnEnglish Kids: Phonics Stories is the British Council’s second app for young learners.

Available free on the App Store

A great Android alternative is Learn English: Ollie and Sam, available from Google Play for £1.69 

5. Piiig Labs

This creative science-based app teaches children to use their logic as they complete various experiments. With eight activities to complete and lot of fun interactive images to play with, Piig Labs will get kids excited about science and challenge them to figure out how each project and experiment work. Budding scientists will build everything from a light bulb to a volcano and watch as they come to life once each is successfully put together. They will explore science concepts by learning through interaction and sometimes trial and error.

Available for £1.99 in the App Store 

6. The Human Body

Looking for a fun and interactive way to teach your class about how their body works? The Human Body app is perfect. Not only they can learn about six anatomical systems (the skeletal, muscular, nervous, circulatory, respiratory, and digestive), but kids can try each system and see how the body reacts to various stimulants, foods, bites, etc. Every part is animated and interactive: the heart beats, guts gurgle, lungs breathe, the skin feels, and eyes see. The Human Body app will help children understand how humans works through hands on exploration and play.

Available for £1.99 from the App Store

A great free Android alternative is Human Body Parts for Kids from Google Play

7. MindSnacksKids Vocab

This fabulous app makes it easy to learn essential vocab words with nine challenging games kids love playing over and over again. Each game focuses on a different aspect of vocabulary building, creating a well-rounded learning experience that goes far beyond simple flashcards and word lists. It’s aimed at pupils aged seven to 12, promising that it’ll help them to understand what words mean, rather than just memorising their spelling.

Available for £1.49 from the App Store

8. The Numberlys

“Once upon a time there was no alphabet… only numbers.” That’s how The Numberlys starts, an amazing storybook app that has all the elements of a classic full length animated film. These inhabitants live in a world populated only with number. Every street sign, every town and every person in it is a number. However, they know that’s something is missing. 

For this reason The Numberlys secretly challenge the status quo and build the alphabet through a long process of trial and error. When these experiments come to light, the introduction of letters will bring colour, fun and jellybeans to their lives.

Children learn the alphabet and teachers (or parents) can play along, hum and sing.

The Numberlys is available for £3.99 from the App Store

Available to pre-order for Android from Google Play for £6.99

9. Toca Builders

A fun crafting app inspired by the popular blocky building game Minecraft but aimed at kids. Toca Builders makes it fun to drop, spray, smash and lift blocks to construct and new objects. Children will be able to build whatever they like and create a new world, with the help of six robots builders and their unique crafting skills. It’s very good fun and like many constructive toys, it will have a positive impact on kids’ creative journey.

Available for £1.99 from the App Store

Available for £1.99 from Google Play

10. Educreations Interactive Whiteboard

Educreations is a great free app that turns an iPad into a recordable whiteboard and allows children to share their designs and use design shared by others. Teachers can create tutorial videos for a variety of purposes: teach a lesson, create example maths problems, explain a diagram, add commentary to their photos, etc.

This educational app even can record and replay your voice, handwriting and drawings. With realistic digital ink, voice recorder, photo imports and simple sharing through email, now kids can broadcast their ideas from anywhere.

Available for free from the App Store 


For great ideas on learning and revising apps and websites, check out 



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