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Ten educational apps for kids with their first iPad

Learning doesn't have to be boring. It can be enjoyable with the right tools and approach. If your child has a new iPad or a new hand-me-down model, check out these 10 apps that'll make learning their letters, state capitals and math facts fun. You can also check out this longer list, which includes games and other apps for younger kids, teens and beyond.

Endless Alphabet [iOS Universal; $5.99]

Endless Alphabet combines letter recognition and letter sounds with some motor skill training. Children drag the onscreen letters to form simple words. If they fill in the word correctly, they are rewarded with a definition of the word and a wonderful animation. Designed for pre-schoolers and kindergarten-aged children.

The Lonely Beast 123 [iOS Universal; $1.99]

The Lonely Beast 123 helps your child count things around the Lonely Beast's house; everything from rubber duckies, to shooting stars and even delicious-looking cakes are countable. Kids can tap on the household items, and they blow up, sink or otherwise disappear. It's an engaging way of teaching kids their numbers, especially when parents sit by their side and assist in the counting. Designed for pre-schooler and kindergarten-aged children.

Stack the States [iOS Universal; $0.99]

Stack the States tests kid's recognition of states and their knowledge of state capitals, geographic locations, flags and more. It's a challenging game that requires kids to answer geography questions correctly and physically stack the state shapes they earn without causing them to topple. Designed for elementary school children.

Monster Physics [iOS Universal; $0.99]

Have your children learn some basic physics principles while they build a car, crane, rocket ship and more. Monster Physics is set apart by its excellent controls and great graphics. Designed for elementary school children and above.

Math Ninja HD [iOS Universal; $1.99]

Help your kiddos learn their math facts in this tower-defense style game. You play as a ninja that must protect his tree house from an oncoming assault of robots sent by Tomato-San. Answer math facts and earn weapons in this arcade-style learning game. Designed for elementary school children.

Art Authority K-12 for iPad [iPad; $7.99]

This is a kid-friendly version of Art Authority, the popular classic art app from Open Door. With information on more than 60,000 paintings and sculptures, your art-loving child will never run out of exhibits to view. Besides displaying individual works of art, Art Authority also includes period overviews, timelines, histories and video clips. Designed for elementary or middle school children.

Duolingo [iOS Universal; Free]

If you want your child to have fun while learning words and phrases in a new language, then you should have them check out Duolingo. It's a great companion to a traditional foreign language course and it's free. Designed for middle school children or older.

The Room Two [iPad; $4.99]

The Room Two is described as a physical puzzler, wrapped in a mystery game, inside a beautifully tactile 3D world. It's a perfect description of the slightly creepy puzzle game. The app falls into the game category, but it is also highly educational. There's nothing like a good puzzle to get those brain synapses firing. There's also the original game, The Room, if you need another challenge. Designed for middle school children or older.

PocketCAS [iOS Universal; $4.99]

If you have a math wiz or a budding engineer in your family, then you must download and install PocketCAS. The mathematics app allows you to calculate math from the elementary school level all the way up to calculus, algebra and statistics. Designed for high school or above.

Cultiwords [iOS Universal; $0.99]

Cultiwords is a fun "word-of-the-day" game that'll help you build your vocabulary. It's great for SAT preparation and just general word knowledge. Designed for middle school or older, but most helpful for high schoolers preparing for college-entrance exams.

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