We’ve pulled together a list of 10 FREE PBS KIDS apps that promote learning, curiosity, play, and help kids activate their brains while learning at home. Find more PBS KIDS apps at pbskids.org/apps!
1. Nature Cat Great Outdoors
Based on the hit PBS KIDS show, Nature Cat’s Great Outdoors is the on-the-go toolset that will inspire your child to explore nature – in the backyard, at a local park or even looking out the window. Every day, Nature Cat has a set of new daily adventures that lets kids use tools to record and share their observations in fun, creative ways!
- 100+ adventure prompts given daily to get kids using tools, thinking about nature and recording their observations
- Daily Nature Adventures are saved in a special journal so kids can go and revisit what they have explored
- Take photos and selfies with Daisy’s camera
- Record sounds with Hal and his microphone
- Use journal art tools to insert photos, sounds, stickers in addition to drawing, stamping, and painting.
- Create an endless amount of journals filled with your own nature adventures
2. Ready Jet Go Bot Builder
Design and build a robot and travel through space with Jet and friends. Build new parts to help you get through obstacles as you go from Earth to the moon to Mars and beyond. Each planet has a new challenge for your robot. Kids can build new parts and swap them around to find the best way to solve each level, learning critical thinking and problem-solving skills as they do. Jet’s Bot Builder adapts to your young learner’s progress. Children will learn STEM concepts at their own pace while they have fun building and designing robots.
- Collect bolts and parts to build a bot
- Paint the robot in your favorite colors
- Choose the right robot parts for the job
- Craft wheels, booster arms, rockets, wings, x-ray heads and more
3. PBS KIDS Measure Up
In PBS KIDS Measure Up!, children ages 3 to 5 learn early math concepts focused on length, width, capacity, and weight while going on an adventure through Treetop City, Magma Peak, and Crystal Caves. Joined by their favorite PBS KIDS characters from Dinosaur Train, Peg + Cat, and Sid the Science Kid, children can also collect rewards and unlock digital toys as they play. At the same time, caregivers can monitor and expand upon what their child is learning using a free companion app: PBS KIDS Super Vision™.
- 19 unique measuring games.
- 10 measurement-focused video clips.
- Sticker books featuring favorite PBS KIDS characters.
- Embedded challenges and reports to help parents and caregivers monitor kids’ progress.
- Ability to track your child’s progress using the PBS KIDS Super Vision companion app.
4. PBS KIDS Scratch Jr.
With PBS KIDS ScratchJr, kids can create their own interactive stories and games featuring their favorite characters from Wild Kratts, Nature Cat, WordGirl and Peg + Cat! The storytelling possibilities are endless with this creative coding app for children ages 5-8. By snapping together colorful programming blocks, children can make characters move, jump, dance and sing. In the process, kids will learn to solve problems, design projects and express themselves creatively on a tablet. With PBS KIDS ScratchJr, children don’t just learn to code, they code to learn.
- Snap together the color-coded motion, sound, look, trigger, and control blocks to create sequences of actions that cause characters to animate and interact in fun and exciting ways.
- With 150+ PBS KIDS characters, children can create projects based on their favorite shows and can mix-and-match as much as they’d like!
- Create your own characters and backgrounds.
- Use the recording tool to add sounds and your voice to projects.
- There are 8 story starters in the app, featuring a different set of characters and designed to encourage children to edit and complete the story however they’d like.
5. The Cat in the Hat Builds That
Based on the PBS KIDS series, “The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That,” this app introduces pre-k kids to science inquiry and engineering (STEM) concepts through games tailored to their learning progress. Kids can build bridges, explore friction through slides and sort fun objects and tools in fantastical lands along with the Cat in the Hat, Nick and Sally.
- 3 entertaining games focusing on key science concepts
- Learn measurements and how sturdy materials are in Bridge-a-rama
- Develop organizational and identification skills with Sorta-ma-gogo
- Learn about physics, momentum, and surface tension in Slidea-ma-zoo with Thing 1 & Thing 2
6. Ready Jet Go Space Explorer
The Ready, Jet, Go! Space Explorer app allows players to immerse themselves in the world of Jet and his friends as they explore and play in space in endless ways! Incorporating expert curriculum backed by the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, kids are encouraged to not only learn about space, but visualize planets, stars and constellations in the context of the world around them.
- Dive deep into 300+ planet and constellation facts with Face 9000 by exploring or check out the Solar Encyclopedia
- Point your device to the sky and explore to see real-world positions of constellations and planets
- Play Hide-n-Seek with Jet and Sunspot and earn all the Ready Jet Go! space badges
- Add color to the night sky! Paint and color stars and constellations. Your artistic masterpieces will stay visible as you continue exploring.
- Play with favorite Ready Jet Go! characters and listen for silly space facts with Jet and his friends!
7. Outdoor Family Fun with Plum
Want to go outside with your kiddos but not exactly sure what to do out there? Check out the free app from PBS KIDS Plum Landing that is full of fun, free outdoor exploring ideas.
- 150+ unique missions to explore your neighborhood’s plants, animals, weather, and more
- Hundreds of tips to help your family talk about nature and science
- New missions and achievement badges that unlock as you use the app
- Digital tools to help your family observe and interact with nature
- Daily sets of suggested missions to try
- Progress tracker to look back on missions and achievements
8. Molly of Denali
Go on adventures with Molly of Denali from PBS KIDS! In this app, kids ages 4-8 can play with Molly and friends in her Alaskan village, Qyah. Children can go on dog sledding missions, fish, create beading projects or help run the Denali Trading Post. The Molly of Denali app teaches children to use familiar texts such as books, diagrams, and captioned photos to solve problems, accomplish tasks, and help Molly’s friends! The educational games in Molly of Denali support foundational literacy skills in using and understanding informational texts.
- Fish Camp: learn about fishing and respecting nature
- Sled Dog Dash: learn about dog sledding and caring for your dogs
- Beading Art: learn the tradition of Alaskan Native beadwork with simple patterns
- Denali Trading Post: interact with customers and fill orders
9. The Cat in the Hat Invents
Build a robot and immerse your kids in STEM learning! The Cat in the Hat Invents engages your preschooler in engineering and problem solving. Join Nick, Sally and the Cat in the Hat as they explore the world of science, working through obstacles as they overcome various engineering challenges.
- Machinea-ma-Zoo: Pulleys and levers galore let you learn STEM and more! Play with these simple machines and interact with your robot to help him move through each obstacle.
- Odds-n-Endsville: Learn how various material properties work. How do soft and hard materials react? Find out as you test and solve problems to help your robot to the finish line.
- Windnasium: Discover the strength of wind power with your Robot. Construct and experiment new ways to use wind to move your robot along the course.
- Coldsnap Island: Learn how ice is nice for STEM learning. Your child will find out quickly with her robot that things move differently on ice. Find out how to move your robot through the icy obstacles as you design new ways to engineer machines in a different environment.
10. Ready Jet Go Space Scouts
Design and engineer rovers on the Moon, build a mission controller and guide a spaceship through the solar system, problem solve ways to grow vegetables on Mars- play these games and more to earn all your Space Scout badges along with characters from the PBS KIDS series, Ready Jet Go!
- Design your own space rover to drive across planets
- Build stable bases across different planets to protect your toy astronaut
- Build a mission controller to control robots and spaceships
- Grow giant vegetables on Earth, Moon and Mars
- Design cooking contraptions to make food for astronauts
- Explore the lab to create your own designs and inventions