US Presidents 101 – Learn with Fun Apps!

by on October 19, 2012 · 24 comments

With the US presidential election in high gear, you may be having (heated) discussions at the dinner table about the candidates. But if you want to teach your children about the US presidents, or learn about them yourself, check out these apps that make learning fun!

Britannica Kids US Presidents

This app by Encyclopædia Britannica and MEDL Mobile makes learning about US presidents fun. The app is filled with high quality images and interesting trivia facts about the presidents, the White House and other historical information. The app is engaging both visually and audibly. This app reads the text aloud and can even teach you the words to “Hail to the Chief,” just in case you didn’t know the lyrics already.

The app has different sections:

  • Did You Know? - with fun facts and pictures
  • Presidents - with portraits of each president along with information such as vice-president, first lady, birthday, and fun facts
  • Song - Hail to the Chief with highlighted lyrics
  • Quiz - test your knowledge of the presidents

Navigating through the sections is easy with a menu bar that appears at the bottom of the screen.

Words are read aloud so the app can be used not only to help your children learn about US presidents, but also to improve their reading skills. There is no Settings menu in the app so if the words being read aloud bothers you, just turn down the volume on your device.

Britannica Kids US Presidents is currently unavailable in the iTunes App Store.

Basher Presidents

Basher Presidents is an app developed by Cauldron children’s illustrator Simon Basher, children’s book publisher Toucan and software developer Cauldron. I was provided with a promo code for testing the app.

The app is designed to teach kids about apps in an animated, illustrated app, complete with sound effects. The app is divided into sections:

  • Washington’s Post – the app’s home page
  • Secrets and Facts – fun trivia about the presidents
  • Presidential Challenge - a timed game
  • Basher Kids Vote – vote for your favorite candidate

In Secrets and Facts, you can learn about presidents in order or scroll through the timeline to jump to different presidents. The section is a mix of history and fun facts.

The Presidential Challenge tests your knowledge of the order in which the presidents served. The game has three difficulty levels as well as instructions on how to play. If you get stuck, you can click on the question mark in the upper right corner to get a hint. The app keeps track of your game stats so you can try to beat your best score and time.

Basher Kids Vote lets people vote anonymously. You pick your state and then pick your candidate, Obama or Romney (no third party candidates are included). You then swipe the lever to register your vote.

The app then offers you to participate in its exit poll. You add your age, gender and most important issue.  You again swipe the lever to register your vote.

Both the voting and the exit poll include a link to the Basher Kids Vote website so you can see the results. If you want your child not to exit the app and get on the web, put your device in Airplane mode before launching the app (Settings => Airplane Mode => On).

If you don’t want to get the app, but want to see the voting results, head to Basher Kids Vote to see both the Electoral College and popular voting results. You can also explore the data, including voting by state, gender, age group and important issues.

Basher Presidents is available for $1.99 for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch in the iTunes App Store. There are no ads in the app, though there is a link to purchase the Basher US Presidents book.

US Presidents Quiz

Test your knowledge of US presidents with this quiz app from Mobiloids. The app shows you pictures of US presidents and you have to identify them. The quiz may seem easy for famous and recent presidents, but gets more difficult with the less well-known presidents. In case this quiz strikes fear in your heart, take comfort in the multiple choice format – you can only go so wrong!

You have thirty seconds to identify pictures of US presidents. The game adds five seconds for each correct answer and deducts three seconds for each wrong answer.

When you open the app, you’re greeted with a rousing rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner.” When you take the quiz, you hear bells for the correct answer and a buzzer for the wrong answers. After the quiz is complete, you hear music that will make you think you’re on a game show. In the Options section you can turn of the music and sounds if you want a more quiet quiz experience.

US Presidents Quiz is free for Android devices at Google Play. Ads appear at the bottom of the screen and there is a section called More Games that takes you to the Google Play store.

Bottom Line

Make learning about the US presidents fun with apps!

Are you interested in learning more about the US presidents? Are you looking for fun ways to teach your kids about the presidents? Let us know in the Comments section below!


Comments on this entry are closed.

Harleena Singh
October 19, 2012 at 7:52 am

What a fun way to learn things Carolyn!

Our end too we are seeing the news and reading it all in the newspaper, and just keep wondering what the results of the US Presidential elections will be like. It gets all the more tough to explain kids about these things, more so if you have kids who don’t read the newspaper or watch the television.

Such games are surely a fun and entertaining way to teach them about the facts, especially when they have great images and audio versions too. And games are a great way to attract your kids attention to anything. Also, they enhance their reading and learning skill.

Thanks for sharing and letting us know about these wonderful apps. :-)
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Carolyn Nicander Mohr October 19, 2012 at 8:17 am

Hi Harleena, Good point, you may not want young kids reading the newspaper or seeing the news, but with apps you have a more controlled environment. These apps show you about the importance of the office as well as the history of the men who served in the position.

Kids learn well when they’re having fun so these apps will entertain while teaching!
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Praveen Rajarao
October 19, 2012 at 3:32 pm

What fun and informative too at the same time. You got this out at the right time Carolyn, many parents will find this useful to teach their kids about the history of the presidential candidates in the US.

Kids do tend to learn more easily and quickly with the help of graphics and some fun along with.

Thanks for sharing.
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Carolyn Nicander Mohr October 20, 2012 at 8:51 am

Hi Praveen, Yes, with all of the hoopla over the US Presidential Election, it’s important to remember the history of the office. These apps teach the history in a fun way that helps kids learn and remember those who served as US President.
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Brian D. Meeks ( October 19, 2012 at 7:38 pm

I don’t have children. I loved this post, though. About two weeks ago, I found an app that teaches one the state capitals. I was cocky, thinking it would be fun to dominate. I did NOT dominate.

I remember studying with my mom for the 5th grade state capital test. She made me laugh with memory aids like, “Ark can’t saw a Little Rock”. I did well on that test. 5th grade was a long time ago.

The worst moment was when I couldn’t remember the capital of Maryland. I moved back to Iowa, a couple of years ago, after living in Maryland for 7 years. It was an embarassing moment.

So, I’ve been playing with the app and I’m pleased to say that I’m pretty good with state capitals, again. I even had fun. I just may have to give a couple of these a try, because knowing more about the Presidents would be even better than capitals.
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Carolyn Nicander Mohr October 20, 2012 at 8:53 am

Hi Brian, Yes, we as adults may think we know more than a fifth grader, but these quiz apps were much more difficult than I thought!

When I was a kid I learned state capitals from a jigsaw puzzle of the United States. That was my way of fun learning long before the days of apps. :-)

Probably you would just need a fresh reminder of the capitals and then you could dominate again! :-bd
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Aditya October 20, 2012 at 2:45 am

Hi Carolyn,
This is a great app for kids as well as everyone who don’t know much about the presidential rules and facts.I mean its impossible to know everything about presidents.Even i don’t know much about the president of my country( i know its a shame but still…no regrets) lol…

This app will make them aware of every single president and that’s the main thing.
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Carolyn Nicander Mohr October 20, 2012 at 8:56 am

Hi Aditya, Yes, it’s a great way to learn history and about the presidents. You don’t have to be a kid to learn from these great apps.

Perhaps there will someday be an app for presidents in your country!
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Rob Shoesmith October 21, 2012 at 1:26 pm

Nice for kids to learn bit of American history and about who is running the country.

Carolyn Nicander Mohr October 21, 2012 at 2:10 pm

Hi Rob, Yes, these apps are a fun way for kids to learn about history. In fact, anyone who wants to learn more about US presidents can benefit from these great apps!

Donna Merrill October 21, 2012 at 3:36 pm

WoW Carolyn!

What a great app! Thank you for introducing it. Seems like it is a great learning tool for children. Hey, I know some adults that can use it too lol.

I will certainly pass this one on..especially to some home-schooling gals I know.

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Carolyn Nicander Mohr October 21, 2012 at 5:10 pm

Hi Donna, Thanks, I’m so glad you agree that these are great apps. I have to say, I learned some things from these apps too. Home schooling families will really enjoy using these apps to supplement their studies. Thanks so much for passing this article on, Donna! :-)
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Sue Price October 22, 2012 at 12:19 am

Hi Carolyn

Wow seems like we can learn everything on apps these days! What a cool idea and way for kids to learn.

Given I am an Australian and have bit of difficulty following your system maybe I can use it too :-)

Great post thanks.

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Carolyn Nicander Mohr October 22, 2012 at 11:09 am

Hi Sue, Yes, these apps are great for people all over the world to learn about US presidents. During the last US Presidential Election, I lived in the UK and I was very surprised at what big news the US Presidential Election was there. Anyone looking to learn about US presidents can learn from these apps.

Thanks for caring about US presidents all the way from Australia, Sue!
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Louise October 22, 2012 at 12:46 am

Hi Carolyn

What a wonderful way for children to learn and have fun at the same time. It makes me want to be a kid all over again!

But then again, as Sue mentioned, I too could do with some educating on the US President front, so maybe I’ll have a play :-)

These apps are also a wonderful illustration of how differently the kids of today are learning.

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Carolyn Nicander Mohr October 22, 2012 at 11:11 am

Hi Louise, Yes, you’re right, these apps aren’t just for kids to learn about US presidents, they’re for anyone who wants to learn more. I learned quite a bit from reviewing these apps! :-)
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Carol MInarcik October 22, 2012 at 2:43 am

Good Morning Carolyn,

Great article, Now that I am a brand new grandmother, I sure need to keep up with the new trends for kids. A great thing to add to this article would be the suggested age for use. I am out of the loop and sure would need to know that information. Thanks for sharing. T

Carolyn Nicander Mohr October 22, 2012 at 11:14 am

Hi Carol, Congratulations on becoming a grandmother! Your grandchild is probably a bit young for apps yet ;-) , but these apps are really useful and fun for all ages. Britannica Kids can even be used by pre-readers as it reads words aloud.

I do include age ranges for apps where they are target to a certain age range, but these apps really can be used by people of all ages! :-)
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Jeevan Jacob John October 22, 2012 at 9:21 am

Now, I want apps like these on my Tablet :-)

I have entirely modified my daily schedule and allotted to 30 mins to just learning new stuff – I bet these apps could come in handy! (Right now, I am focusing on learning French – I had to roam around for a while to find the “perfect” web application for it, couldn’t find any good ones in the App market).

Thank you for the share, Carolyn ;-) (And please do share when you come across great apps like these :D ). Thank you!

Carolyn Nicander Mohr October 22, 2012 at 11:18 am

Hi Jeevan, What a great idea to resolve to learn something new every day! You’re right, it’s important to keep our minds sharp, plus you become a bit smarter every day! :-bd

I will definitely keep reviewing apps like these. It would be very easy to make this blog apps only, but there is so much great tech that isn’t app-related that I don’t want to limit myself just to apps. But often I have to watch myself or I would be covering just apps for weeks at a time.

Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts, Jeevan!
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October 22, 2012 at 10:40 am

Now that’s a darn fun way for kids to learn Carolyn. Heck, I can’t even name all the presidents of the US… Dang, it’s been so long since I’ve been out of school but I would have fun learning it this way. I think learning should be fun and that’s what I like about some of the apps they’ve come out with.

What a neat idea and I have no doubt we’ll be seeing many more similar to this.

As always, thanks for sharing this Carolyn.

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Carolyn Nicander Mohr October 22, 2012 at 11:21 am

Hi Adrienne, Yes, you’re right, these apps are very cool! Whether you’re out of school for a while or learning about US presidents for the first time, these apps are a fun way to learn.

When we were kids we just had to commit information to memorization. Maybe if we learned with fun apps we would remember this stuff long after school was over! ;-)
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Sylviane Nuccio October 22, 2012 at 11:20 pm

Hi Carolyn,

Hum that’s very interesting and educational. I think that’s a great way to teach kids about presidents, who they were and what they did, etc…

I’m glad you follow up on apps for people like me :-) so out of touch on these things!
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Carolyn Nicander Mohr October 23, 2012 at 7:55 am

Hi Sylviane, Yes, these apps are fantastic for helping kids (and adults) learn about US presidents. Educational apps that help kids to learn while having fun are a great educational tool!
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