Hola! Bonjour! Shalom! If introducing your little Señor or Señorita to another language is on the summer learning list, it’s easy to let them go global with just a swipe. We’ve rounded up eight engaging apps; scroll down to find one that works for your little linguists.


Little Pim Word Bag
Kids can play along with a panda bear named Pim as he teaches 27 common Spanish and French words words via flashcard drills set to music. Looking for a Pim-led Chinese, German, Italian or English/ESL app? Browse the whole catalogue online at littlepim.com.

Parents: Wondering how your babbling babe is doing? Little Pim also features Smartots, a parents-only platform that updates inquiring moms and dads on their kids’ learning progress.

For ages: 4 and up.

Available on iTunes for $0.99.


Rosetta Stone Kids Lingo Letter Sounds App
Want your English-speaking child to learn a little Spanish? With this app, kids can master their english speaking and reading skills while simultaneously learning basic Spanish words and phrases. The app uses kid-saavy voice recognition technology—which means that even the “wittlest” of speakers will be able to get into the game. Games and eBooks give quick feedback and rewards (Bravo! Muy bien!), so kids will want to keep on going to rack up points.

Parents: If you can wrangle your device back from your kid’s hands, check out the Parents Corner; where you can take a peek into your little person’s progress.

For ages 3 to 6.

Available on iTunes and Google Play (browse the full catalogue of apps at Rosettastone.com) for free.


The Very Hungry Caterpillar First Words App
Smaller linguists will enjoy this colorful app that uses familiar Eric Carle illustrations to teach a handful of basic words in different languages. The app is simple enough for little kids to use on their own, though it’s meant for parents and kids to peruse together. Language options include English, Spanish, French, Chinese, and German.   

For ages 2 and up.  

Available on iTunes and Google Play for $2.99.


Got a brood of kids who need language practice? Up to four kids at a time can play this game-show-style app that that asks players to pick which word matches the given picture. The first to hit the correct button wins. Along with a roster of basic K-3 school subjects (math, geography, sight words), Futaba (which means “seedling” in Japanese) also has a Spanish and Japanese word game. It is also customizable, so you can add words and pictures to suit your language-learning fancy.   

For ages 4 and up. 

Available on iTunes for free.


Learn with Miaomiao
Kids can trace Chinese characters and learn to say 30 common Chinese words with this app featuring an adorable animated girl and her dog.

Ages: 3+

Available on iTunes for $2.99.


The Wonderful Collection
Kids will recognize some of their favorite characters (Berenstain Bears! Arthur!) with this nine-app bundle of interactive storybooks read in French, Spanish, or English (one app also offers Portuguese). Through songs, stories, and interactive pages, kids can learn proper pronunciation, recognition and meaning. Kids can navigate the stories themselves—all the pages are animated with characters and features that “come to life” with a touch—or choose the “Read to me” option. 

Ages: 4+

Available on iTunes for $29.99; free sample available on Google Play (with full version available for purchase).


American Sign Language Kids App
Not all languages are spoken. Kids will love watching other kids use common signs from the American Sign Language dictionary. Some of the “expert” signers on here are still toddlers themselves, so as long as your kiddo’s got the attention span to follow along, he’s old enough to play. The layout is simple enough for kids to navigate without a parent and includes fun quiz games with 21 free signs (an optional pack of 87 more signs is available for $1.99). 

Ages: 1+

Available for free on iTunes and Google Play.


Gus on the Go
Kids will think they’re just playing a memory game as Gus, the friendly owl, schools them on numbers, colors, shapes and more. Got time to spare? Conquering basic lessons “unlocks” more games, so the more they play, the more they’ll learn. More screen time? OK!

There are 28 language apps available. See Gusonthego.com to browse the options.

Ages: 4+

Available on iTunes and Google Play for $3.99.

How will you battle summer brain drain? Share with us in a Comment below.

—Melissa Heckscher