Early Childhood

Line ’em Up

Line em Up

Line ’em Up is a free app designed to support young student’s mastery of number order.  Students are instructed to put number blocks in the correct order on a given number line. A wide variety of options allow the app to be customized to between 10-20 tiles displayed, whether tiles are given one at a time or spread out in a pile, and which group of numbers to practice between 1-100. There is no voice narration on this app, so it is advised that initially,teachers or parents customize the settings before giving the iPad to the student. With practice however, students may be able to extend their skills and choose their own settings in the options menu or follow verbal instructions from an adult.

Depending on the settings, Line ’em Up is suitable for Early Childhood and Lower Primary.


Collins Big Cat

CBC At the Dump


The Collins Big Cat apps are free interactive books that feature voice narration, independent reading, and a story creation mode that lets children record or type their own narration and create scenes using the basic elements from the original story. Collins’ interface is excellent and has easy ‘tap to add’ and ‘hold and drag’ elements that make creating stories easy for younger users. The apps’ only major drawback is that there is no way to export an original story once it is finished. Still, the multi-functionality of the apps and the variety of stories make these apps an excellent for educational use.

Collins Big Cat apps are suitable for Early Childhood and Lower Primary.

Word Clouds

Word Clouds

Word Clouds by ABCYa.com is free app that allows users to create graphic representations of word frequency. It is very similar to the popular website Wordle. Users type in words or copy and paste lists, speeches, etc into a window. Word Clouds then translates these words into a ‘cloud’, making high frequency words appear larger the more times they occur. Users can change font, color, layout and word count. Recent updates also allow users to input numerals and edit word clouds without having to start over. Once a word cloud is complete, it can be saved to the camera roll as a photo. Word Clouds is beautifully laid out, easy to use, and widely applicable for educational use.

Word Clouds is suitable for all users.



JumbleBook is a free app that lets users create and scramble animal parts: heads, middles, and tails into fun and funky new animal combinations. Each new animal combination makes its own unique sound when tapped. The app offers scenes and a challenge mode as options to the standard animal mix and match. In-app purchases unlock other themes including aliens, dinosaurs and characters. Users can save their creations to a gallery, add them to the ipad photo stream or email them.

JumbleBook is suitable for Early Childhood and Lower Primary.

ICDL – Free Books for Children


ICDL – Free books for Children is a free app published by the International Children’s Digital Library that makes the ICDL collection of thousands of free e-books easily accessible through the ipad.  The catalogue interface is searchable via a number of different indicators including languages, length, age level, genre and the ICDL curated collections.  ICDL specializes in language variety, so users will find books in dozens of different languages available for reading. A simple reading interface and summaries of every book in English make it easier to search the library’s vast offering of e-books. Most of the books are in the public domain, so be aware that they may be older editions and that the language, text, and themes in the books may reflect that.  ICDL’s suitability is widely varied and depends on the book and the audience.

ICDL – Free Books for Children is suitable for EC, Lower Primary, Upper Primary, and Secondary.

Drawing with Carl – Free

drawing with carl free

Drawing with Carl – Free is the free version of the popular Drawing Carl app. The simple, open-ended art palette features a variety of drawing and painting tools: pencil, pen, marker, oil, pastels etc. There are also limited stamp and sticker options that come in the free version.  Upgrades to tool widths and sticker and stamp varieties require a paid in-app upgrade.  Fourteen colour options as well as easy drag and drop recycle and saving options make this app’s interface ideal for younger students.

Drawing Carl – Free is suitable for Early Childhood, Lower Primary and Upper Primary.

Felt Board

Felt Board

Felt Board is a paid app that uses felt textured backgrounds, characters, and objects to engage students in open-ended story telling and imaginative play. The app has a variety of theme based menus from which students drag and drop objects onto a pre-selected ‘felt’ background. Intuitive features like pinching make it easy to resize, turn and scale objects in the scene.  The app is also very clever about automatic resizing, for instance automatically resizing the clothes or face a student selects and drags onto an enlarged or reduced body shape. Students can also take a picture of their creation with the built in camera tool or save it to the app’s gallery window.  While this app is ideal for younger students, it has a wide variety of storytelling potential, especially in combination with other apps, for older primary aged children.  It may also be beneficial for EAL, Learning Support and Counselling.

Felt Board is suitable for Early Childhood, Lower Primary and Upper Primary