Some kids love to pour out their thoughts, feelings, and souls on paper. For others, it’s a challenge from the first time they pick up a pencil. Fortunately, these writing apps for kids can help—from the first shaky crayon-written “A” to polished college entrance essays and creative writing.
Some writing apps help kids form their letters or work to perfect their handwriting. Then there are writing apps for kids and teens who need help organizing their thoughts. Other apps give a little push to get creative juices flowing. No matter what your kids are working on, these are the writing apps students will want in their digital toolbox.
Writing Skills Apps
These are the writing apps for kids that help them practice handwriting, grammar, punctuation, and composition.
Why We Love It: iTrace gives young learners the practice they need writing letters and numbers. Customization options include letter style and the ability to specify right or left-handed, while fun animations and prizes keep kids motivated.
Available On: Apple App Store: iTrace
Why We Love It: LetterSchool teaches printing and cursive with beautiful graphics and animations. Kids will be so captivated, they might forget they’re learning.
Cost: School licenses are $4.99 per student per year. For individual use, prices vary and start at $4.99 per month.
Why We Love It: This writing app helps kids practice counting as they learn. Little ones drag a crab across the screen, following the numbered path to write letters. Once the word is complete, they’re rewarded with a cute drawing.
Available On: Apple App Store: iWrite Words
Why We Love It: Grammaropolis teaches the parts of speech in a fun and engaging way. Animated shorts and music videos capture kids’ attention, and quizzes help track their progress. Some call this Schoolhouse Rock for the 21st century.
Available On: Apple App Store: Grammaropolis
Why We Love It: Match words with their parts of speech as you move through 28 sentence levels. Sentences get longer and time gets shorter as you advance through the game. You can also play in practice mode, which is untimed.
Cost: $1.99. Volume pricing is available for schools.
Available On: Apple App Store: Grammar Pop
Why We Love It: This no-frills app is excellent for older learners, especially ESL students. Review grammar guides and lessons, then play games to practice your skills
Cost: FREE. Unlock more features and remove ads for $2.99.
Available On: Google Play Store: Grammar Smash
Why We Love It: Everything you love about Mad Libs, in an app! Prompts ask you to fill in parts of speech to create a funny new story each time. If you’re stuck, you can ask for a definition or examples. This is a classic way to work on parts of speech and vocabulary.
Cost: The FREE edition comes with 21 stories. Additional story packs are available for $1.99 each.
Why We Love It: This app is everything you love about Dictionary.com, but it’s also available offline. That’s great for keeping students focused while they’re working; they can look words up without the temptation of checking social media or other distractions. You can switch between dictionary and thesaurus mode, too, making this app a real must-have.
Cost: FREE (with ads), upgrade to no ads for $1.99
Why We Love It: Grammarly is a beloved program that helps people of any age produce stronger, cleaner writing. The mobile apps work for anything you type on your phone, including social media and messaging. Premium features include analysis of tone and word choice, and a plagiarism detector.
Cost: Basic grammar and spelling checks are free. Premium features start at $29/month.
Why We Love It: No flashy colors or animations, just a simple and efficient way to help writers organize their thoughts. The app asks questions like “What is your first reason that supports that statement?”, helping you build an essay from the ground up. This app is ideal for older kids who need organizational help to stay on track when they write.
Available On: Apple App Store: Essay Launcher
Why We Love It: Mind mapping is an excellent method for brainstorming and organizing your thoughts before you begin writing. This app helps you through the process, creating maps that ultimately make your writing clearer and stronger.
Cost: SimpleMind Lite is FREE. SimpleMind Pro offers expanded features for $7.99.
Available On: Apple App Store and Google Play Store. Get links for all versions here.
Writing Inspiration Apps
These writing apps for kids solve the problem of “But I don’t know what to write about!” They provide story starters, writing prompts, and more to break writer’s block wide open.
Why We Love It: This app sparks creativity in pre-writers and helps build their storytelling skills. Spin the wheel and record your voice telling a story about the picture. Spin the wheel again for more prompts. Several kids can play at once, building a story to playback together.
Available On: Apple App Store: Story Wheel
Why We Love It: Every roll of the virtual dice yields pictures that tell a whole new story. Choose one or all of the images to use in your writing. Story Dice 3-D (Apple App Store only) adds the ability to move the dice around, and re-roll some or all of them.
Available On: Multiple devices. Get the links you need for Story Dice here.
Why We Love It: This app generates a series of characters, scenarios, and situations to create unique creative writing prompts over and over again. You can choose from several choices to customize each prompt as you go along.
Cost: Varies by device, $1.49-$3.99
Available On: Multiple Devices. Click here for the links you need.
Why We Love It: This app is terrific for teens and older writers who need to generate new creative ideas. A selection of tools helps you find inspiration for characters, plots, settings, and more. You can even add in your own words to create custom sets.
Cost: $1.99, with additional features for $.99 each.
Available On: Apple App Store: The Brainstormer
Why We Love It: Get new writing prompts from hundreds of scenarios and ideas. Teachers, this is a nice way to come up with a daily bell-ringer or journal prompt. (This same company also offers Character Prompts, a similar app but for character inspiration.)
Cost: $1.99, with additional prompt packs available for $.99
Why We Love It: Add variety to your writing and break through writer’s blocks with these lists of, well, pretty much anything! Creating a new character and feeling stuck? Browse lists of names, character traits, physical characteristics, and more. Get the same for settings, plots, and all the other details that even the best writers sometimes draw a blank on.
Available On: Multiple devices. Get all the links you need here.
Why We Love It: Kids build their story-telling skills while creating one-minute movies with this surprisingly robust free app. Encourage students to plan and script out their story in advance to work on writing skills, then enjoy the fun movies they create! (Teacher Tip: Try this app for incredibly creative book reports.)
Why We Love It: Storybird’s tools give kids the opportunity to write comics, short stories, chapter books, and more. Choose from existing illustrations and add your own text to create unique masterpieces. The professional artwork is wide-ranging, and writing challenges help kids expand their skills and push their creativity to new heights.
Cost: $8.99/month or $59.99/year. Schools can receive bulk discounts up to 50% off.
How do you use writing apps for kids and teens in your classroom? Come share your ideas and find inspiration in the WeAreTeachers Chat group on Facebook.