Ever given a five-year-old with an iPad a dirty look? Silently tsk tsk-ed in your head? Hold onto your judgment for a minute – they're not all playing Angry Birds. In fact, there are tons of apps out there that are all about learning. Here, we round up the best in a variety of categories.

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    First Letters and Phonics ($1.99, by Learning Plus)

    Perfect for the very littlest ones, this app teaches about letter shapes, names and phonics. Basics words are also presented, as well as two fun renditions of the classic ABC song.

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    iWriteWords ($2.99, by gdiplus)

    Your little one will learn to write letters, numbers and ultimately words with fun activities. Use your finger to trace a crab’s path through a series of numbers. Once you’re done tracing, voila! You’ve got a letter!

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    Park Math ($1.99, by Duck Duck Moose)

    Teach counting, addition and subtraction with this adorable app. The whole park crew –- bears, ducks, mice, hippos and more (okay, it’s a very inclusive park) -– helps your child learn all about basic math.

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    Ansel & Clair’s Adventures in Africa ($4.99)

    Visit Africa with creatures Ansel and Clair. The duo travels to sites like the Nile, Sahara and Serengeti. The app (for slightly older kids) covers subjects like camouflage, migration, types of animals and more.

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    Musical Me! ($1.99, by Duck Duck Moose)

    Look no further than to Mozzarella the Mouse for instruction on instruments, pitch, rhythm and notes. Kids can make their own music, and –- best of all -– dancing monsters are included.

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