FREE Educational Apps for Winter Break

This Holiday Season, Reach Learning Moments Through Play

Just because school is about to let out for winter break doesn’t mean that learning has to take a break, too. In fact, winter break presents the perfect opportunity for a different kind of learning: discovery through play. Research shows that play actually offers valuable learning opportunities through inquiry, imagination, and problem-solving. The American Academy of Pediatrics recognizes play as an critical part of child development — it nourishes social-emotional health and helps children establish positive relationships with their peers and adults. So even though children will be away from their desks, their classrooms, and their teachers for the next few weeks, parents and caregivers can take advantage of winter vacation to simply let their children play. A momentary distance from that classroom structure can lend itself perfectly to unstructured play time — time for young learners to discover something new about their passions, find answers to their most pressing questions, and push the boundaries of their imaginations.

At McGraw-Hill Education, we spend a great deal of our time crafting resources to empower teachers in the classroom: we provide educational technology and learning materials that enable teachers to unlock the full potential of every learner. But, since we’re passionate about learning, we think beyond the classroom, too. That’s why we’re taking this holiday season to recognize the importance of play in children’s development.

Just in time for the holidays, we’re offering four free educational apps, all highly engaging and visually compelling game-like downloads that encourage learning through play. The apps are available on iTunes, and free through the month of December.

From the Pinball Energy Challenge App

Our educational apps allow children to explore and practice literacy, grammar, and STEM subjects. For the little physicist, there’s Pinball Energy Challenge, where kids learn about energy and energy transformation through interactive games. For the aspiring writer, there’s Bluster Deluxe, a game-based learning activity that enhances vocabulary and literacy skills. McGraw-Hill K-12 eFlashcards make reviewing even challenging content fun, and Country Mouse and City Mouse is perfect for the storyteller who’s looking for a more interactive style of reading.

Our apps aren’t JUST for kids — parents, when you download the apps for your young ones, consider downloading on your own device and playing along! One of the best things about learning through play is that it provides an opportunity for parents to watch their children discover something about themselves — and one of the best parts of the holiday season is that it provides the time, place, and togetherness to make that happen.

Happy holidays from McGraw-Hill Education, and happy learning!

In honor of the Toys for Tots objective to play an active role in the development of one of our nation’s most valuable resources — our children — we’re offering the following apps for FREE on iTunes until 12/31/16.

Vocabulary building
Energy transformations
Interactive reader
Vocabulary flashcards


Ginsburg, K. R. (2007, January). The Importance of Play in Promoting Healthy Child Development and Maintaining Strong Parent-Child Bonds. Pediatrics,119(1), 182–191. doi:10.1542/peds.2006–2697

White, R. E. (2012). The Power of Play: A Research Summary on Play and Learning. Retrieved October 26, 2016, from

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