Educational Apps for Holiday Travel + Layovers

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With Thanksgiving and winter holidays quickly approaching, many families are finalizing their travel plans. Hotel booked? Check. Rental car booked? Check. Air travel booked? Check. If you are a planner like I am, you like everything thought out ahead of time even down to the small details. So I’m even thinking of ways to best entertain the kiddos on those long car or plane rides. In advance, I make sure to have plenty of healthy snacks as well as books and new apps on my girls’ iPads to keep them occupied.

As an educator, I feel strongly that my girls’ screen time is limited. They’re not allowed to use any screens during the week, which for us just works best. However, on the weekends they have a choice of Television or iPad. Even within those guidelines, I set limitations on what I allow them to watch and apps I allow them to use. For TV and app recommendations, @CommonSenseOrg is a great resource. They help me know if a show, movie or app is content appropriate. I also feel strongly that the only apps on my girls’ iPads are educational ones. Here are my top pics of favorite educational apps, that are both entertaining and appealing to a variety of ages.


Monkey Preschool Lunchbox

Fun app with games to help teach kids about colors, letters, shapes, sizes, counting, matching, and differences.

Endless Alphabet

This interactive app will help children learn their ABCs with the help of a charming monster.

Monkey Math School Sunshine

This app was created to make math games playful and fun. Children will engage in games that will help them count, add, and sort.

Alphatots Alphabet

This engaging app will help children learn their ABCs through puzzles and games.

Fish School by Duck Duck Moose

This playful app has 8 different educational activities to help teach children letters, numbers, shapes, and colors with the help of colorful fish and sea life.

Bedtime Math

We all read to our kids at night, but what about math? This app takes everyday applicable math problems and turns it into bedtime stories.


Monkey Word adventure

This fun-filled app takes kid on an adventure to a world filled with letters, sight words, phonics, and spelling.

Reading Raven

This interactive app will helps teach children to read with their own reader adventure guid.

Endless Reader

This app is a creative follow up to Endless Alphabet. It will help them not only identify sight words with the adorable monster, but it will help children use the words in context.

Mystery Word Town Spelling

This app will help reinforce children’s sharp spelling skills by playing a western style game with fun and silliness.


Epic is a children’s digital library with access to over 35,000 high-quality books for kids 12 and under.


Math Tango

This truly fun app makes learning fun as children can learn addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.

Mystery Math Town

This app engages kids in math through real thinking and problem-solving abilities.

Splash Math

This app is a scientifically designed, game-based math curriculum that covers math lessons from kindergarten to Grade 5 in a fun and engaging way.


Busy Water

This problem-solving app is a leveled puzzle game that challenges kids to problem solve and apply basic physics skills to get a fish safely through a maze of pipes.


This is an addictive, physics-based app that engages children to solve a series of puzzles that get increasingly more challenging.


Stack the States

This is a fun, educational app that teaches kids the states, their capitals, their location, and more.

Stack the Countries

This is a fun, educational app that teaches kids the countries, their capitals, their location, and more.

Presidents vs. Aliens

This fun app with a “space invaders” feel, teaches and quizzes kids about U.S. presidents including his political party, nickname, famous quotes, and other various facts. It also tests the players’ ability to recognize portraits of the presidents.

News O Matic

This is a daily news app that inspires a love of nonfiction reading and current events. 100+ new articles each month that cover a range of current events at a range of literacy levels (ages 6-14). Additionally, a child psychologist reviews each article to ensure it is emotionally safe and includes age-appropriate content.