gt.school currently focuses on supporting and accelerating Gifted & Talented kids 13-18 years old. But what if your Gifted & Talented child is younger than that? How can you keep them challenged and engaged in learning?

Thankfully, there is a wide range of excellent adaptive learning apps for younger children spanning math, reading, science, music, languages, and even coding!

The apps in this article have all been recommended by independent reviewers- such as Common Sense Media – and have lots of user reviews online to help parents in selection. Many of them are adaptive and focus on mastery learning. Others are less adaptive, but are still full of educational content.

Math Apps

Khan Academy Kids

Khan Academy is an award-winning, free educational program for children ages 2-8. The app is adaptive, creating an individualized learning path for every child. The curriculum is common-core aligned and students are taught concepts as well as given exercises to practice the concepts.

  • Ages: 2-8 (Grades K-2)
  • Compatibility: Android, iOS, or Fire OS
  • Ads: No
  • Subscription: No
Dreambox

Dreambox is an interactive math app that adapts to each student’s unique learning needs and pace. The product is best used as a supplement for in-class or homeschooling, as the activities do not come with a lesson component. The activities are common-core aligned and the app has the backing of a Harvard study, which found that regular use as a supplement to teaching can significantly increase student achievement.

  • Ages: 5-14 (Grades K-8)
  • Compatibility: PC, Android, iOS
  • Ads: No
  • Subscription fee: Yes
Freckle

Freckle is an online learning platform that allows students to practice math at their own level. Students take an assessment test when they begin, and then the program adapts to their skill level and suggests appropriate activities for their learning. The activities are common-core aligned.

  • Ages: 5-15 (Grades K-9)
  • Compatibility: PC or IPad
  • Ads: No
  • Subscription fee: No, home use is free
IXL

IXL helps students master essential math skills at their own pace through fun and interactive questions and a built-in rewards system. The curriculum is common-core aligned.

  • Ages: 5-18 (Grades K-12)
  • Compatibility: Android, iOS, Fire OS, or PC
  • Ads: No
  • Subscription fee: Yes

 

Reading/Language Development Apps

Epic

Epic is a free digital library for kids with more than 40,000 picture books, early readers, chapter books, nonfiction, graphic novels, and learning videos. The app gives age and reading-level appropriate recommendations customized to childrens’ interests. The program also tracks reading progress.

  • Ages: 12 and under
  • Compatibility: PC, Android, or iOS
  • Ads: No
  • Subscription fee: No
Hooked On Phonics

Hooked on Phonics uses a simple phonics-based method to teach critical reading skills. A monthly subscription includes the use of the app as well as a physical workbook and 2 or 3 books specifically written to reinforce the lessons learned. The curriculum is Common Core aligned.

  • Ages: 2-8
  • Compatibility: Android, iOS, or PC
  • Ads: No
  • Subscription fee: Yes
Reading Eggs

Reading Eggs aims to make learning to read interesting and engaging for kids, with online reading games and activities. The program focuses on the five essential keys to reading success: phonics and phonemic awareness, sight words, vocabulary, comprehension, and reading for meaning. The app contains hundreds of online reading lessons and thousands of e-books. Parents can choose to set the audio for the lessons to an American, British or Australian accent.

  • Ages: 2-13
  • Compatibility: PC, Android, or iOS
  • Ads: No
  • Subscription: Yes
ABC Mouse

ABC Mouse is a learn-to-read program with over 850 Lessons and more than 10,000 learning activities. The early reading curriculum spans from learning the names of each letter and the sounds they represent to being able to read books. Some of the activities coincide with Common Core Standards, but the curriculum is not specifically designed to fully meet the standards.

  • Ages: 2-8
  • Compatibility: PC, Android, or iOS
  • Ads: No
  • Subscription fee: Yes

 

Science Apps

Toca Lab: Elements

Toca Lab: Elements is a program to teach kids about the periodic table. Kids can play around in the lab and see what happens when the elements are heated, cooled, spun, electrified, or mixed with chemicals.

  • Ages: 6-8
  • Compatibility: PC, Android, iOS, or Fire OS
  • Ads: No
  • Subscription fee: Yes
National Geographic Kids

National Geographic publishes a monthly online magazine for Kids (ages 6+) and Little Kids (ages 3-6). The magazine teaches about wild animals, science, adventures, nature, different cultures, and more. National Geographic also has many educational games, puzzles, and videos available on their website and iPad app.

  • Ages: 3-6 (Little Kids) or 6+ (Kids)
  • Compatibility: PC or iPad
  • Ads: No
  • Subscription fee: Yes
Star Walk Kids

Star Walk Kids is a children’s version of the astronomical application Star Walk. Star Walk Kids encourages free exploration with a virtual planetarium where children can learn fun facts by watching animations and listening to brief explanations.

  • Ages: 6-8
  • Compatibility: iOS or Android
  • Ads: No
  • Subscription fee: Yes
Thinkrolls

Thinkrolls is a physics, logic, and problem-solving app. Kids learn about force, aerodynamics, buoyancy, and electricity while navigating 270 levels of science-filled mazes. Each puzzle gradually introduces a new science concept.

  • Ages: 3-11
  • Compatibility: PC, Android, iOS, or Fire OS
  • Ads: No
  • Subscription fee: Yes

 

Foreign Languages

Gus on the Go

Gus on the Go is a language learning adventure app for young kids, containing interactive lessons, vocabulary reviews, and games. The app is available for 30 languages.

  • Ages: 2-6
  • Compatibility: Android, iOS, or Fire OS
  • Ads: No
  • Subscription fee: Yes
Droplets

Droplets teaches kids languages through fast-paced drawing games. There are 35 languages available. The free version of the app has in-app purchases, but they can be protected behind a password.

  • Ages: 8-17
  • Compatibility: Android or iOS
  • Ads: No
  • Subscription fee: Yes, for the premium version. There is also a very basic free version.

 

Music

Mussila

Mussila Music is an award-winning app with musical lessons, challenges, and games. Kids can learn musical theory such as notes, tempos, and how to read sheet music. They can also learn how to play the piano step by step.

  • Ages: 5-11
  • Compatibility: iOS or Android
  • Ads: No
  • Subscription fee: Yes
Mazaam

Mazaam uses classical music to teach pitch, tempo, intensity, timbre, and harmony. Kids can play 15 educational games, each 15-30 minutes long.

  • Ages: 4-6
  • Compatibility: iOS or Android
  • Ads: No
  • Subscription fee: Yes
My First Classical Music App

This app is an interactive version of the popular book, My First Classical Music Book. Children can tap any words or pictures and hear the text narrated, extracts of music, and dozens of animations and sound effects. Over 40 different pieces of music are featured and every instrument in the orchestra is demonstrated.

  • Ages: 4+
  • Compatibility: iOS or Android
  • Ads: No
  • Subscription fee: Yes

 

Coding

Tynker Junior and Tynker

Tynker Junior is an app for pre-readers, with ten creative coding courses. Lessons teach block-coding using pictures and voice instructions.

Tynker is a coding app for older kids. It includes sixteen courses to learn how to build apps, games, and robots with code.

  • Ages: 5-7 (Tynker Junior) and 7-13 (Tynker)
  • Compatibility: iOS or Android
  • Ads: No
  • Subscription fee: Yes
Lightbot

LightBot is a puzzle game based on coding that teaches programming logic. Kids gain a practical understanding of basic control-flow concepts like procedures, loops, and conditionals by guiding a robot with commands to light up tiles and solve levels.

  • Ages: 8+
  • Compatibility: iOS or Android
  • Ads: No
  • Subscription fee: Yes

 

Other Resources and Assessment Tools

Beyond learning apps, parents of younger Gifted & Talented children may find the following resources helpful for GT education and assessment.

National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC)

NAGC publishes a wealth of information for parents of Gifted and Talented children. You can find a dedicated resources page on their website. For example, the association publishes:

GiantLeap

Parents may find it helpful to get an idea of their child’s relative strengths and areas for development, without the need for a professional assessment.

GiantLeap is a home assessment app for parents to evaluate their child’s developmental status.

To evaluate children the app uses a questionnaire for parents as well as a set of video games for children. The software uses artificial intelligence to translate the inputs from the games and questionnaire into a summary of the child’s developmental status. Children are evaluated relative to a norm of peers their age (so on a percentile score basis).

The app evaluates 9 aspects of a child’s development: attention, math, spatial, motor, self-esteem, social, flexible thinking, memory, and language. It then provides personalized recommendations for activities to help the child improve and succeed.

The assessment can be retaken periodically to provide up-to-date data and new personalized activities.

GiantLeap is not a certified diagnostic tool, although it does have the backing of the Texas Medical Center in Houston.