Learning apps can be a fun, motivating and effective way to introduce kids to a new language – especially when used in conjunction with quality printed resources such as those you receive as part of a One Third Stories Story Box subscription! In this article, we’ve picked out seven of the best free and paid language apps for kids at different stages of their language journey. And for a free, digital sample of what you can expect from One Third Stories, sign up for a free ebook, audiobook and activity ideas.

#1 The Very Hungry Caterpillar – First Words

Sometimes, you can’t beat the classics! Eric Carle’s Very Hungry Caterpillar has been millions of children’s first introduction to literacy since it was first published in 1969, and its legend has only grown in the years since. We love this 3D digital adaptation of the original storybook, which uses Carle’s iconic illustrations to teach the littlest linguists more than 80 words across 13 categories, from home and family to the jungle and the sea! As well as English, languages also include Spanish, French and German, and each category ends with a quiz to reinforce kids’ learning.

#2 Droplets

Designed for kids aged 7+, Droplets promises playful, visual language learning with an emphasis on vocabulary and pronunciation. With 37 languages to choose from, kids begin with the basics: the alphabet, numbers and so on, before moving onto more than 100 topics across 23 categories. Kids will love Droplets’ gamified learning model, while its slick interface provides the feel of a thoroughly modern, quality learning experience. Kids can use Droplets free for 5 minutes each day, while paid subscription options are also available.

#3 Gus on the Go

Gus on the Go was developed by two parents who wanted to inspire their own children to get excited about learning the languages of their heritage – and since then it has grown to become an entire universe of apps and other resources covering more than 30 languages. We love Gus and co’s commitment to teaching underrepresented and endangered tongues – the company now offers a free course in Ingush – a northern Caucasian language with only 23,000 speakers – in order to aid its survival. Great work, Gus!

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Experience everything One Third Stories has to offer with an ebook, audiobook and activities in French, Spanish, Italian or German delivered right to your inbox. Did we mention that the story is all about dinosaurs?

#4 Mondly for Kids

From seasoned language app developers Mondly comes their first digital product for kids – and with 33 languages to learn from including Croatian, Afrikaans and Thai, it’s certainly packed with content. Mondly for Kids features a variety of games and activities to teach reading, writing, listening and speaking, as well as a handy flashcard feature to improve retention. Though a little less slick and sophisticated than some of the other apps on this list, Mondly remains a decent introduction to the world of language learning.

#5 Duolingo

Duolingo is a huge player in the edtech world, boasting over 300 million users worldwide across its 38 different language offerings. While not aimed specifically at children, kids can’t get enough of its video game-style XP reward system – and, of course, that cute animated owl! The app uses a simple, effective methodology to make language learning feel easier than ever, and it does a great job of tracking learners’ weaker areas before remedying them with reinforcement activities.

#6 Busuu

Busuu can be thought of as Duolingo’s more serious, academically-minded older sibling. It’s rigorous, precise, and for these reasons perhaps best suited to the most mature of young learners. Those older kids who can get to grips with it, though, will be handsomely rewarded – Busuu promises a good, conversational level of proficiency in any of its 12 languages with just 10 minutes of daily practice. Especially impressive are Busuu’s social features, through which learners can receive feedback on their speaking and writing from real native speakers.

#7 Lingodeer

Lingodeer may not be as well known as some of its peers in the world of language learning apps, but it has gained a cult following especially among learners of Japanese, Chinese and Korean. As well as being more keenly priced than many of its rivals, Lingodeer excels especially at focusing on pronunciation early in the learning process, which pays off in a big way when kids become more advanced speakers.

There we have it! From our selection above, hopefully you can find the perfect app for your child’s particular stage in their language learning journey. But for a wonderfully screen-free introduction to Spanish, French, German or Italian, why not try a Story Box subscription from One Third Stories? Each month, you and your child receive a beautifully illustrated storybook, audiobook and accompanying activities that begin in English and end in your child’s new language!

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