by Spring Chicken Technology Editor Jonathan Weinberg.
If your grandchildren spend more time on your smartphone or tablet when they visit – rather than speaking to you - it doesn’t always have to feel like a bad thing. Devices such as the iPhone or Android mobiles plus iPads, Hudls and other portable screen computers can be a great source of education for youngsters.
So if you want something new to download for them to try, check out our list below for more ‘educational’ apps to offer them alongside a drink and some cake.
Just remember to disable the in-app purchase setting on your mobile or tablet to prevent you running up a big bill if they should buy items without your knowledge.
Many free apps are often priced free or low because they make money by asking to buy extras. This can soon mount up to prove costly without you or the children realising.
Never give them the password to your account or your credit card details either.

Preschoolers Apps

BBC CBeebies Playtime

Packed full of games and a host of familiar faces from the TV channel, this app allows younger kids to have fun and learn at the same time. It also includes a range of advice and even a parental lock for grown-ups to stop them using it when they shouldn’t be. Plus you can be sure of no hidden adverts or in-app purchases.

Baby Shape Sorter

This does what it says on the tin and is great for toddlers to mess around with, finding the right shape holes for the icons on the screen. You can make it more difficult by adding more objects and changing the shapes.

Preschool Zoo

As well as teaching the names of animals, this puzzle app will teach their sounds too. It’s very colourful and also aids their maths skills by encouraging them to count.

5-7 year olds Apps 


All kids today should learn to code and make digital stuff. It’ll be the most in-demand skill for their generation when they enter the workplace. This app is designed for 5-7s and allows them to create their own interactive stories and games through learning the Scratch programming language. Teach them right from the start and they’ll be keeping you in comfort in your older age thanks to the fortunes they’ll make by making their own apps.

Marble Math Junior

All kids love those marble mazes and this takes that idea and turns it into something educational. It costs £2.29 on iOS and £1.97 on Android and sees children solve equations by rolling the marble over the right numbers. Simple. Fun. Educational. It all adds up to being a very worthwhile download indeed.

Dino Tales

Learn about the prehistoric creatures in this amazing-looking app. By bringing dinosaurs to life as cute graphics on screen, it teaches dino-facts, stories and fossils through engaging stories. They’ll never want to put it down and as well as dinosaur history, it encourages kids to tell stories, learn new words and construct sentences.

8-10 year olds Apps

Horrible Histories Magazine

Based on the TV show, these downloadable magazines are the closest many kids get to reading. And they tell tales of history with such a funny swagger that it will soon end up in their brains without too much trouble. Each issue costs £1.99 and will keep them busy for ages.

Learn French by MindSnacks

Encouraging youngsters to learn a foreign language is always a good idea. So this French teaching app could be perfect. It’s designed around games and will soon raise their conversation skills. Then all you need to do is take them on holiday there during the summer holidays.

10-year-old and over Apps

Hopscotch Programming Made Easy

Like the ScratchJr app, this is another coding tutor but for an older age group. It allows kids to design and build their own games and who knows, with a bit of time invested they could become the app millionaires of tomorrow. They’ll soon see just how easy it is to bring their imaginations to life digitally.

Star Walk Kids

You don’t need to have an aspiring astronomy buff in the family for an older child to enjoy this app. Allowing them to navigate the night sky, it brings the constellations to life, points to planets and will have them star-gazing for ages before bedtime. It costs £2.29.