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21 free apps for kids (without hidden in-app purchases!)

These free apps for kids of all ages don't have any pesky in-app purchases popping up — and they’re awesome for inspiring learning too.

21 free apps for kids (without hidden in-app purchases!)

The right free apps for kids can be a wonderful, no-cost tool to keep kids entertained while also encouraging learning. However, in-app upgrades and purchases can ruin the fun and “send your kid down the rabbit hole of inappropriate web content,” says Christine Elgersma, senior editor of parents education at Common Sense Media. 

In order to avoid unintentional purchases or sending kids to unintended places, parents and caregivers can do some due diligence. “A great way for parents to avoid surprises is to have grown-ups test drive the app before making them available to the family,” suggests Lorraine Akemann, co-founder of Moms With Apps. You should also read app descriptions carefully, Elgersma recommends, because “each app store will tell you whether or not an app contains an in-app purchase.”

To help on your quest for kid-friendly apps, we’ve found 21 of the best free apps for kids of all ages that don’t contain hidden in-app purchases.

Free apps for kids ages 3-5

1. Sesame Street 

Preschool-age children will love playing and learning with their favorite Sesame Street characters. The free kids app has over 100 games, songs and videos covering every topic from math and science to dealing with big feelings. 

2. Fish School 

Colorful cartoon fish transform into letters, shapes, numbers and even different patterns to help preschoolers develop early learning skills, like matching, spotting the difference, counting and more.

3. Astroblast Rocket Rush

This game is connected to the Sprout children’s show called Astroblast and sends preschoolers on various space missions. As they go, children can earn upgrades for new spaceship parts and pilots.

4. Khan Academy 

This award-winning free kids app offers thousands of books, games and lessons to develop early childhood skills. There’s even music, dancing and yoga videos to help kids burn some energy. 

5. PBS Kids Video

Ad-free access to 14 of the most popular preschool shows aired on PBS. The interface is simple and kid-friendly to allow preschoolers to pick and choose their favorite shows on the go.

6. Baby Games

This app was developed with toddlers in mind, and it uses nursery rhymes and mini-games to help kids learn animals, letter sounds, musical concepts and more.

7. Drawing Games: Draw and Color

This app is like a virtual coloring book, and also has a “glow” feature, along with connect the dots options. And to boot, the app helps with shape, number and picture recognition.

Free kids apps for ages 5-8

8. Sushi Monster

Children practice addition and multiplication facts by feeding hungry monsters plates of sushi. Kids can earn points, stars and trophies for correct answers.

9. Dr. Panda’s Restaurant: Asia

There is no time limit or scoring in this game. The app allows children to chop, fry and bake a variety of ingredients to create their own Asian-inspired dishes.

10. ScratchJr

This app introduces early elementary school children to coding through simple coding tasks that make a character move, dance, jump and sing. 

11. Superhero Comic Maker 

Kids can create their own comic strips using 55 unique scenes and 170 fun superhero and monster stickers. Kids can also draw within the app and record their own narration for their stories. 

12. Moose Math 

Kids play games using simple addition, subtraction and shapes to help a moose and his friends complete tasks around town. Each game has multiple levels to progress through for hours of educational fun. 

13. CyberChase Shape Quest

This app includes three games for early elementary students to learn shapes, problem-solving and spatial reasoning.

14. The Cat In The Hat Builds That

This free app for kids teaches basic math, science and engineering skills through fun games involving Dr. Seuss’s beloved character The Cat In The Hat.

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Free apps for kids ages 8-10

15. Libby

Borrow ebooks, audiobooks, digital comic books and magazines from your public library at the touch of a button. All you need is your library card. Kids can explore solo in the kids’ section or you can find a book to read together. 

16. Duolingo

Children learn a foreign language using games that let them earn hearts and prizes. All lessons are free, and kids have the option of learning French, German, Spanish, Chinese and more. 

17. Booeys: A Ghost’s Code 

Introduce kids to coding with this charming game that uses problem-solving and logic puzzles to build essential skills for coders. It’s one of the best free kids apps for older kids who are interested in programming, coding and more.

18. Ology: Science for Kids 

Kids can play science games, read articles and watch videos about different types of scientists in action on this app created by the American Museum of Natural History. 

19. Pet Bingo 

This adventure game helps kids brush up on their addition, subtraction and multiplication skills while caring for digital pets. They can play games to unlock new pets and get everything needed to help them grow.  

20. NASA Visualization Explorer

NASA Visualization Explorer, a.k.a NASA Viz, is a “direct connection to NASA’s extraordinary fleet of research spacecraft.” In addition to photos, videos and easy-to-understand illustrations, NASA Viz keeps kids up-to-date on the latest news and research about the earth, sun and universe.

21. Cool Math Games

This app goes beyond basic math to help kids also practice logic, critical thinking and strategy through hundreds of fun games and challenges.