We’re spoilt for choice with English language apps for children, but I could find very little of quality in Portuguese, especially European Portuguese. I searched far and wide, downloaded tens of apps only to find that they were no good. I let go of anything that was not well executed, that had
adverts or no child lock for in-app purchases.
The apps below are available in European Portuguese unless otherwise specified, as well as other languages. Languages usually can be changed in the settings of the games. All the apps below are available on Android. Some are also on other platforms such as Apple Store. Apple Store has a vast selection of quality games and we will be sharing a list of games on that store soon. Make sure to join the email list at the bottom of this page to receive updates.
Do you know excellent resources in Portuguese or in other languages you’d like to share? Please email mothertonguenotes(a)gmail.com, with details, including why you think it’s a good resource.
Maths age 3-5, Maths Practice age 3-5, Maths age 4-6 by OneBillion
OneBillion is a non profit organisation that uses the proceeds of the apps to help deliver education to children in Malawi.
The apps are very well designed and engaging for children, based on independent, evidence-based research. It’s available in over 30 languages (see below for a list) so children can learn maths AND another language at the same time. This is one of my all time favourite apps for children. OneBillion Maths Apps – available target languages in this table provided by the developers in January 2018. There is an update due soon, including languages being added.
The apps are free to install with more modules available to purchase. I don’t usually pay for apps unless they are really good, and this one is. It’s available on Android and iOS
Maths, age 3-5 is available in both European and Brazilian Portuguese, whereas Maths age 4-6 is currently only available in Brazilian Portuguese for the first 12 topics.
Maths Practice, age 3-5 covers revision topics for the Maths, age 3-5 app. These 3 apps are the most recent, with the most new and engaging content available. These apps are compatible with newer versions of Android and iOS, unlike a few of our older apps which may still be on the App Store.
Balloon Pop! (android). Search “appfamily” in the App Store
A very basic balloon popping game for ages 5 and under. You can choose to pop balloons with letters, numbers 1-20 or colours. When you pop the balloon pops, it says its letter, number or colour in the target language. Languages available: Spanish, German, French, Portuguese (Brazilian), Italian, Russian, Swedish and Dutch
There are no adverts but on the homepage of the game there is a button to get more games and it’s very easy for a children to download one of their many games. I would keep a close eye on that one.
UPDATE! Games added to this list on 13 October 2018:
Educational Games: Words by Science4You
Do you know Science4you? It’s a Portuguese brand of STEM toys. They also have a number of apps and even their own tablet. We downloaded this free game recently on Android and have been playing it at the lowest skill level. It’s difficult to find good apps in European Portuguese and so far we’re impressed.
There are four games (see image below). Each game has 3 or 4 skill levels. You can select to play in English, Spanish or European Portuguese.
Maya the Bee (Abelha Maia), by Tap Tap Tales
This game is available in various languages (see below), including Brazilian Portuguese.
It offers various types of games including story, maths and memory games (see below). There is advertising and you can buy more games, so beware of that. You can pay to get ad-free content. We usually disable wifi when the children play on the tablet to avoid unwanted content or purchases. It could be
GameKids3 by Pesc Apps
This app offers multiple games (see image below) in American English, Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese. The language selection is on the main screen so it’s easy for the children to switch back to English which is not ideal if one wants the apps mainly for learning in a target language.
Various by Tiny Bops
Tiny Bops is a Brooklyn based studio focusing on STEM apps which came to our attention recently.
The games are available on Android, IOS and Windows. We downloaded the Human Body app onto our android tablet but we’re being asked to download a 7 day pass to have access to the games so we will report back when we’ve had the time to explore it. The first impression is that:
- it’s beautifully designed
- It offers the games in many languages, including Portuguese (at least the human body app does, see screenshot below)