When browsing through all of the available apps for the iPhone and iPad, it’s often hard to determine just what the best kids apps are. From educational adventures to fun-filled games, the options are often overwhelming! This article outlines our picks for the top best kids apps, based on iTunes rankings, design quality, entertainment and educational factors.
Monkey PreSchool Lunchbox
Pre-school aged children will be able to improve their understanding of colors, letters, numbers, and more as they work through puzzles and learning games with the assistance of an adorable monkey tutor! Reviewers rave that children work through this game with little assistance, while learning some basic ideas that are essential to the foundation of pre-school education.
In BrightKnight Kingdom, your child becomes an assistant Royal Party planner in a magical world with iRing apps and mysterious visitors. As players work through a series of questions pertaining to reading, math, language and manners, they are entertained by the wit of their royal friends. Beautiful graphics and well-presented questions encourage children to read and think while they play.
Pop Math Basic Math
Some of the best kids apps are characterized by learning combined with playing. Pop Math facilitates the practice of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division within a landscape of floating bubbles. Players are required to “pop” a bubble containing an equation and quickly “popping” the coinciding answer to the equation. This is great practice for those timed tests that dominate elementary school math!
Featuring cast members of the wildly popular PBS Kids series “SuperWhy!” helps this app consistently rank among the best kids apps available for kindergarten-aged children. A series of educational games focusing on spelling, writing, and rhyming are led by superhero teachers Alpha Pig, Princess Presto, Wonder Red and Super Why! PBS Kids is well known for their high quality educational programming, and this app doesn’t stray from their normal standards.
Harry Potter: Spells
It seems that Hogwarts Academy is accepting new students! With Harry Potter: Spells, players get to learn a wealth of spells as their phone is transformed to a magic wand. Users can play against the computer or another friend in a timed duel to find out who has the best mastery of Harry Potter style wizardry!
Cyberchase Math Match
Based on the acclaimed PBS kids show “Cyberchase,” Math Match has been ranked as one of the best kids app because of its ability to combine learning with familiar characters. The game is played by matching equations with the correct answer, each of which are printed on a tile within a matching game. As the proper tiles are selected, pictures of Cyberchase characters are revealed. I like this game because of the variety: it’s math, matching and puzzles all in one!
Balloonimals brings the fun of balloon animals right into the screen of your iPhone. By gently blowing into the phone’s microphone, players can watch their balloons come to life. Shaking the iPhone twists balloons into the shape of a new friend who comes to life with awesome 3-D animations. From dinosaurs to crabs and dogs, there’s a classic balloon animal that’s sure to make anyone smile!
Itsy Bitsy Spider
The popular children’s song, Itsy Bitsy Spider, is brought to life in this interactive storybook app. As children sing along with the tune, fun yet basic and easy-to-understand, facts are offered about nature and science. Other sections of the app help children practice counting and make their own music as they take the journey to help Miss Spider crawl back up the water spout. Great, kid-friendly graphics and a variety of functions set Itsy Bitsy Spider apart as one of the very best kids apps.
Dress Up and Make-Up
Girls of all ages will love playing with Dress Up and Make-Up, as they become their virtual model’s very own stylist. Users are able to create funky, cute, fantastic outfits by selecting pieces from a large closet collection. But the fun doesn’t stop there! Make-up and hair styles can also be modified, allowing gals to create the perfect look! Dress-up apps are undoubtedly some of the best kids apps for keeping little girls entertained and engaged.
Touch Pets Dogs
Does a dog sound like fun, but you don’t know if your youngster is quite ready for the responsibility? Why not let them play with a fantasy puppy in one of the best kids apps, for the time being? After choosing a virtual pet from one of seven breeds, players can take basic care of their pooch through grooming and feeding, or step it up a notch and train Fido to pursue his own career. This app is great entertainment for the animal-loving youth in your life.
Tozzle Toddler’s Favorite Puzzle
Puzzle apps are a fantastic way to help toddlers practice motor skills and shape recognition. Tozzle has been designed with younger brains and tiny fingers in mind. Farm, animal, automotive and number-themed puzzles give children the opportunity to place shapes within the proper outline while also recognizing animals, numbers and tools. For those tricky pieces, Tozzle is designed to automatically help children along with a helpful arrow!
Surviving High School
All the drama of high school comes to life in Surviving High School. This is one of the best kids apps for elementary-aged children who love the allure of growing up! Configured much like an actual television show, users receive a new “episode” each week to catch up on the lives of all their favorite Surviving High School characters. Kids even get the chance to participate as they help apps characters make the right choice in some sticky situations.
Old MacDonald’s farm comes to life in one of the best kids apps to come from developer Duck Duck Moose. Children and parents alike will have a hoot down on the farm as they sing along and take part in wacky farm activities like shearing sheep, tipping cows and fixing tractors. Multiple languages and recording abilities make this a fun app for parents to use with their kids as they explore a world of fantasy agriculture. I might also mention that these are some of the cutest graphics I’ve yet to find in a children’s app!
Voices Fun Voice-Morphing
You, too, can join the Chipmunk’s band, or the Dark Side with this silly kids app. Voices lets users record themselves, or the people around them, and instantly morph the recording to one of twelve hilarious styles. Whether you want to sound like Darth Vader or add the echoes of the Grand Canyon to your voice, this app makes it easy to have fun alone or in a crowd. As an added bonus, your best recordings can be saved to play back over and over again!
Nick Jr.’s A to Z with Moose and Zee
Learning is always more fun when you can do it with friends! In this case, Nick Jr.’s Moose and Zee help kids work through a series of puzzles and adventures to recognize the alphabet…From A to Z! Both lower and upper case letters are focused on, and 25 different scenes assist children in associating a letter with words and items in the world around them. When things get tough, Moose is there to offer children a helping hoof during his starring role in one of Nick Jr.’s best kids’ apps.
Elmo’s Monster Maker
It’s no surprise that everyone’s favorite Sesame Street monster, Elmo, is the host of one of the best kids apps. Monsters become your child’s friends as they get to choose size, shape, color and facial features to create their very own gang of special monsters! Reminiscent of so many well-known Muppet characters, these monsters are sure to provide hours of fun as your child becomes a virtual puppeteer!
Handy Manny’s Workshop
Handy Manny and the cast of lively characters from his toolbox come out of the television and onto your iPhone in this interactive kids app. Four different sections give kids the opportunity to work on Handy Manny themed puzzles, sing construction songs, locate missing tools and master a match-up game. Any child whose found a friend in Manny and his crew on the Disney channel is sure to be entertained as they help in the workshop!
Highlights Hidden Pictures
Highlights children’s magazine has long been known for producing one of the best kids publications. Their expertise comes to life in one of the best kids apps for finding objects hidden in pictures. Players are challenged to locate items in a variety of everyday settings. There’s no better way to put those eyes to work than to hunt out simple items in well-illustrated scenes…And that’s just what Highlights Hidden Pictures provides.
Girls who love to glam it up will definitely rank this as one of the best free kids apps! Players become fashion entrepreneurs at a mall boutique and have to make business choices to run a successful store. However, it’s not all about business with Tap Mall. Players also have the ability to accessorize and style their very own avatar and create a glamorous image for their store owners. This game is a fun distraction for the little fashion mogul in your life.
Preschool Connect the Dots Game
With Connect the Dots, children approximately two to six years old learn sequences by drawing lines with their fingers to connect dots of numbers or letters. Once the dots are properly connected, a fun image appears, signaling that the puzzle was a success!
A few of the best kids apps are based on puzzles that teach children various shapes, while improving motor skills as the shapes are slid into place. Shape Builder is one of those apps! Children are presented with empty silhouette puzzles and prompted to slide shapes, all decorated in flashy colors, into the correct places. Over 140 puzzles create different letters, shapes, musical instruments and more.
Drawing is a time tested favorite activity of children, and Glow Doodle bring drawing on the iPhone or iTouch in a whole new way! Each swipe of the finger creates lines that look like neon lights. Whether your little one is just learning to doodle, or you have a Picasso in the making, the mesmerizing colors and pretty effects of Glow Doodle are sure to keep them entertained for hours.
Bob Books is designed to help young children begin to build a foundation of reading skills, such as recognizing letter sounds and understanding basic sight words. Cute, descriptive line drawings come to life with color as children successfully put together words and sentences to work their way through the book. The best kids apps should help children learn, while they grown and have fun, Bob Books is a stellar example of these principles for young readers.
Your child becomes a cartoonist as they color in over 25 kid-friendly cartoon images. Much like the paint program on your computer, Colortoons lets users color in the line drawings bit by bit or use a paint bucket to fill in large areas at once. No matter what option they choose, the finished product will end up being a cartoon product your kid will be proud of!
Feed Me ‚Äì PencilBot Preschool
Hundreds of questions about letters and simple vocabulary words are sprinkled throughout this fun kids app. As a furry monster thinks of questions, users are required to “feed” him the correct “food” answer to move ahead. If the monster doesn’t get the right food he’ll get sick and the game will end.
Whether it’s Easter, or just time for a little creativity, Dress Eggy is the best kids app to get in the springtime holiday spirit. After starting with a blank egg canvas, users are able to “dress” their own Easter egg in a wide selection of colors and patterns to their heart’s desire. Completed eggs can even be sent to friends and family with a Happy Easter message.
Whether your child needs a little practice on letters, shapes, numbers, typing, art, colors, sounds or matching Preschool Adventure is one of the best kids apps for basic learning, at a totally affordable price! For just $0.99 your child will have access to eight basic games, each of which focus on a particular skill with bright colors and beautiful illustractions.
Talking Larry the Bird
Larry the Bird is a seriously adorable animated bird that will become your child’s very own virtual talking parrot! Users can play a tune on the piano to hear Larry sing a beautiful tune, ask him to recite your favorite sayings or complete a variety of tasks by poking and prodding him. There’s nothing that’s not cute about Larry and his ability to communicate with ease.
Want to take the boring out of spelling practice? Licking Letters is the answer! This interactive spelling app directs children to correctly choose letters floating through the air to spell an assigned word. To grab the letters, kids use their in-app frog friend to lick letters out of the air. Each correct spelling earns kids coins which can be traded in for clothes to fashionably dress their frog. The fun of this frog is sure to help kids recall the proper spelling of the most commonly used words on their next school test or note to friends.