We Reviewed Dozens Of The Best Apps for Kids So You Don’t Have To. Here Are Our Top Picks.
Sometimes going with the crowd has its advantages. Popular apps usually are favorites for good reason. People have discovered them, rated them, and talked about them. More people check them out and like them, and the cycle continues. Typically, the popular apps are interesting because they have risen to the top of the group for a reason.
Your kids will also enjoy being a part of what’s popular. They’ll be able to talk with peers and share excitedly about what they’ve discovered. Check out this list of popular apps! The consensus is that they are worth a look.
This app creates a safe, family-friendly environment of videos made for children. The company uses a mix of automated filters, feedback from parents, and human monitoring to keep the collection safe for little ones. There are also parental controls to help you set limits on screen time, as well as filtering for “preschool,” “younger,” or “older.”
The app is free to download. Remember to monitor what your children are seeing, though- no filtering system is perfect.
All fireworks, all the time! This app sets off colorful fireworks in response to taps on the screen. It was designed for infants and toddlers, so there are no menus or extra buttons, no outside advertisements, and no way for baby to accidentally get out of the app. The app handles multi-touch and dragging, too, so experiment and see what happens.
This comprehensive and interactive app guides preschoolers and young elementary kids through the skills needed for early reading. It’s individualized and adaptive- it will meet your child where he or she is right now and move them forward into literacy. There are lessons, videos, games, stories and more to enjoy.
HOMER Reading: Learn to Read is free to download. After a short free trial, you will need to subscribe for $7.99 per child.
This comprehensive app offers games and activities to help preschoolers get ready for kindergarten. There are activities for ABCs, spelling, adding and subtracting, patterns, shapes, colors, and more. Kids can play with jigsaw puzzles, mazes, dot-to-dots and other kinds of fun games.
This app is free to download. After a short free trial, you will need to upgrade to a full access subscription. A monthly subscription costs $6.99 and an annual one costs $59.99.
This app is a great pretend play tool. Kids are in charge of this town. They can go to the grocery store, cook lunch at the restaurant, go to the movies with friends and more. They can play cops and robbers or hide and seek. There are hidden treasures to find, and stories to create.
This app costs $3.99. It’s from Toca Boca, trusted and expert developers of apps for children, so you know it’s safe and easy to use.
This app covers reading, math, art, music and more for kids ages 2 to 8. It includes over 10,000 activities, lessons, videos, stories, and other pieces of content that is specially designed to help your child learn. Developers say that 45 minutes a week with this app will significantly improve your child’s performance in reading.
The app is free to download and includes a 30 day free trial. After that, you’ll need to subscribe. A monthly subscription costs $7.99 and an annual one costs $79.99.
Smart Baby Shapes: Learning Games for Toddler Kids
Little ones will love matching shapes and colors, seeing what fits where and playing the other games in this app. There are 4 games in this app, with over 40 levels. Each one starts out easy and gradually becomes more complex, so kids of any age can start playing right away. Playing games like this will help baby develop fine motor skills, discrimination, and logic skills.
Your child will find all the favorites from Nickelodeon in this app, and they all want to help kids learn. There are stories, videos, games, and other content. You can download what you want and then play offline if you wish. There are math, literacy and puzzle games as well as coloring books. The app is sure to be a hit!
Noggin Preschool is free to download. You’ll need a subscription to access everything after the 7 day free trial, though. A one-month subscription costs $7.99.
Watch favorite PBS Kids shows anytime and anywhere with this great app. PBS Kids is one of the leaders in educational media and consistently produces extremely high quality children’s programming. This award winner provides a safe and secure way for your child to get daily doses of programs like Sesame Street and Super Why. It’s a must have for families on the go.
15 different animals need your child’s help, from the dirty pup that needs a cleaning to the worm that accidentally tied itself into a knot. Toca Pet Doctor helps your young vet get a feel for helping animals with fun animations and sounds. Kids can feed the animals, wake them up when they want to play, and more.
This app costs $3.99. It’s from Toca Boca, one of the leading children’s app developers in the field.
Help your child get creative with this app! It includes 8 topic packs with 128 coloring pages. It’s suitable for kids 2 to 5 years old. Kids can color and also add patterns and designs with the tools provided. It’s also got stickers and many other options to help kids’ creativity shine!
This app is free to download. There are options to purchase additional packs for $1.99 each or to unlock the full version of the app for $7.99.
This app is perfect for Halloween or any time your child wants a scary (but only a little) time. Players can float around a spooky house looking for the creepy family. They can rattle and tease and pop out to give others a real scare! Explore the big spooky house that has 2 floors and 6 rooms. Find 6 family members hidden around the house and look for hidden surprises.
This app costs $3.99 and has been developed by the experts at Toca Boca.
This app offers a subscription to unlimited access to over 10,000 children’s books, videos, and other pieces of content. It’s filled with offerings from Nickelodeon, PBS Kids, National Geographic, and more. With a subscription, parents can create up to four child profiles. Kids can get their hands on all the latest content designed just for them.
The app is free to download. It’s free for one month, then you’ll need to subscribe for $9.99 monthly.
Your preschooler will love the 6 pups in three locations in this app. Their favorites are all in one spot. They will be able to control the pups with easy swipes and play through 30 levels of preK math skills like learning about shapes and sizes, recognizing numbers, and counting. There are mini-games to unlock, movies to find, and other surprises.
This app costs $2.99 and offers an in-app purchase of $1.99 to unlock Sea Patrol.
This favorite of speech therapists will help children from ages 1 to 8 improve their language skills. There are over 10,000 activities that will trigger talking. 25 fun sections keep the variety rolling, and new content is released every week with a subscription. The app is voice activated, and will encourage children with speech delays to talk more.
The app is free to download. It offers in-app purchases ranging from $9.99 to $99.99.
Here are games from top shows at PBS KIDS that your children will love. There are over 100 for kids from the ages of 2 to 8. The topics run the gamut from reading and math to art and creativity. All are safe and worry-free, and they will help your child make productive use of screen time. There’s a parents’ section, too, where parents can get information about PBS KIDS shows, like learning goals and summaries.
Kids will love Toca Life: City! There is so much to do: characters to customize, treasures to find, and more. There’s something in every corner. Kids can change outfits, dye hair and do all sorts of things to make the app and characters their own. There are 6 locations and 34 characters. There’s also a play and record feature so your child can record the story fun.
Toca Life: City costs $3.99. It’s from developers at Toca Boca, so you know you can rely on safety and quality.
TinyTap offers over 150,000 different games made by educators that will help preschool children learn. Parents can even get personalized game recommendations. The carefully curated content includes only the best of the best. There are lots of topics and subjects available; just pick and choose the ones that are right for your child right now.
The app is free to download. There are various in-app purchase options for subscriptions, ranging from $4.99 to $49.99.
Kids can wash, cut, style, dye and more in this great hair salon game. The secret is in how realistic the hair behaves! There are 6 characters with 12 hair colors to choose from. There are 8 tools and accessories, too. Toca Boca has at least 3 other Hair Salon apps in this series, and some of the others are available on Google Play as well.
This award-winning digital dollhouse allows your kids to see and manipulate nearly everything they could want from a real house. It has closets, furniture, a shower, and more. Kids can really cook in the kitchen and feed the family. It’s simple enough that a 2 year old can use it, and entertaining enough to keep an 8 year old occupied.
The app costs $3.99 on the App Store and $3.49 on Google Play.
LingoKids is designed for children ages 2 to 8 to learn English vocabulary and to learn to speak English. It covers numbers, the alphabet, colors, shapes, foods, and many other topics of conversation. The kids’ area contains hundreds of pieces of content like games, videos and stories. The parents’ area allows you to select content, see reports of progress, and more.
This app is the free, limited version of LingoKids Basic. You can upgrade with a subscription that costs $14.99 per month.
In this app, kids can cook and play with their food as they feed the two monsters. There are 8 different ingredients plus seasonings to add flavor to the game. See what happens if you add too much spice, though. Your monster just might spit it right out. There’s even an optional vegetarian mode. Kids can mix, broil, fry, and perform many other cooking actions.
The pigeon, of “Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive The Bus” fame, is back with some great games to share with your child. This app lets children create their own silly stories, save them, and share them. Kids can record their own voices, too. There’s a read-along version to get things started, then your child’s creative nature can take over. And the app has some great sound effects.
This app offers over 8000 books and videos curated by early childhood experts. It’s suitable for children from age 2 through 8. The material is designed to foster educational, physical, and emotional development. There is a restricted parents area where you can control exactly what your child can access, as well.
The app is free to download, but does require a subscription to access most content. In-app purchase options range from $1.99 to $99.99.
This app, from the makers of My PlayHome, lets your child take on the role of doctor in this hospital simulation. Within this app, kids can check heartbeats with a stethoscope, give out medication, and even work in an emergency room. They can also play patient and get their blood pressure taken or gen an X-ray. No matter which they choose, they will have fun learning.
If your child is a fan of Peppa Pig, this app is a must-see. Kids will find interactive games videos, stories, activities, and more here that will thrill preschool fans. They can download and watch episodes of the show, too. There are activities to paint, color, and dress up their favorite characters.
This app is free to download, and offers a 7 day free trial. There is some totally free content, but a subscription will unlock everything. Options range from $1.99 to $$29.99.
So many young children are excited about heading off to school that they play school regularly. Now they can pretend with an app that will offer nudges to their imaginations. Kids can explore the school, be the student or the teacher, check out the classrooms, and more. This app has no pressure, no power-ups, and no scoring, just unencumbered fun.
This app connects all of the Sago Mini apps together with one subscription. Kids can explore space, build a robot, design a firetruck, and more. It’s perfect for preschoolers whose imaginations take them to new places each and every day. There are games and activities that support early learning while the kids are having fun.
The app is free to download and includes a short free trial period. After that, you’ll need to subscribe for $6.99 monthly or $44.99 annually.
This app is packed with open-ended play opportunities featuring virtual Lego pieces, characters, and props. Kids can explore each scene, find out how things work, and then build whatever they’d like. The app is built around HeadStart’s Early Learning Outcomes Framework, so it meshes well with preschool and kindergarten curricula. It also supports multi-touch, so you can play with your child and interact together within the app.
The app is free to download. You can purchase enhanced sets or unlock all the content via in-app purchases ranging from $3.99 to $17.99.
Head out and away from Adventure Bay with this app that takes the PAW Patrol gang to exotic places. There are 6 wild locations and adventures laying in wait at each one of them. The PAW Patroller vehicle will give out rescue alerts to let kids know where to go next and what they need to do.
This app costs $1.99 to download and play. There is an in-app purchase of $1.99 to unlock the Jungle location.
This app offers over 3000 activities, stories, videos, songs and more to kids ages 1 to 8. It’s won multiple awards for high quality content. All the kids’ favorites are here, such as 130 nursery rhymes, 435 original children’s songs to teach important concepts, 234 stories for bedtime and throughout the day, and so much more besides.
The app is free to download. After a short trial, a subscription will cost $6.99 per month or $54.99 annually.
These musical puzzles will help young children (2-8 years) match sounds, explore musical instruments, create and record melodies, and listen to popular children’s classic songs like Old MacDonald. There are 10 musical games to explore.
The app is free to download, but some content is locked. An in-app purchase of $2.99 will unlock the rest of the games.
Kids can choose their favorite PJ Masks character, then collect gold moon crystals, power cells and more to enhance the game. There are boosters to drive over, holo-platforms, and other rewards to find as well. The app includes 35 different levels, each different from the last.
The app costs $3.99 to download and is completely free to play after that.
This app is commercial heaven, so if your child has a favorite popular brand of toys, you will likely find something here to please the kid. It offers portals to name brand activities with My Little Pony, Barbie, Thomas and Friends, Crayola, Hello Kitty, Transformers, and Hasbro, to name just a few product lines. Each of these has its own content collection, including some games that help develop school skill and some that are just plain fun.
This app is free to download, but it is subscription-based. Options range from $7.99 to $47.99.
The Nick Jr. app will give your kids access to full episodes of their favorite shows, educational games, and even some original content they haven’t seen before. The app is interactive, with silly surprises just a tap away. They can do some racing, use the coloring book, try out some stickers, play dress up or try many other types of activities.
Kids will enjoy 7 different games that teach basic concepts like matching, counting, differences, beginning phonics, and more. They can earn animated stickers to celebrate their progress. And did I mention – IT HAS MONKEYS! It’s tough to find a more exciting combination for preschoolers.
This leading literacy app offers just what your 3-7 year old child needs to learn early reading skills. It features 36 progressive lessons to take your kids from ABCs to reading real words. Millions of kids have used this app to help them learn to read. Will your child be next?
The app is free to download and includes the first 3 lessons of the lowest level to try out. After a seven-day trial, you’ll need to subscribe to access the remainder of the content.
Turn Barbie into a princess, a mermaid, a fairy or a hero with this app. Kids can customize the clothing, change Barbie’s hair, decorate a tiara and add accessories. The app even allows kids to save their creations and share them with friends by taking screen shots.
This app is free to download, but most content will need to be unlocked with in-app purchases ranging from $1.99 to $14.99.
This app helps preschoolers learn the basics of number concepts they will need in kindergarten and first grade, such as counting, addition, and number bonds. They receive a reward each time they find a way to make a group of ten. The app encourages prediction and experimentation.
This app will help children from 2 to 5 years get ready for school in a fun and engaging way. It covers basic preacademic skills like ABCs, counting, and so forth, and also addresses several important readiness skills like matching and sequencing. And in between, kids can enjoy art activities, coloring, music, and learning Spanish. It has thousands of different puzzles, games and activities.
The app is free to download and try. A subscription costs $6.99 per month or $64.99 annually.
This app offers coloring and activities for younger children. There are a total of 8 puzzle packs with 96 puzzles in all. They are designed to help kids develop everything from fine motor skills to logical thinking. The entertaining pictures also include a variety of topical pictures and entertaining sounds that will help keep kids’ interest.
The app is free to download and includes the first puzzle pack. There are 7 more that can be unlocked with an in-app purchase of $1.99 or you can unlock them all for $7.99.
This app is designed for even the youngest babies. It’s intuitive and easy to use. Kids from 2-3 years old will love it. There are 12 mini games that gradually increase in complexity from the simple to the complex. Kids can sort and match items they see on the screen. The games include items to match by shape and color, as well as birds, animals, transportation, and other categories.
Bring STEM and STEAM activities to your young child with Crayola’s app. The app is designed for children ages 3 to 8. Kids can color and create, of course, but they also can care for imaginary pets, experiment with colors, shoot for high scores in the arcade, and practice new skills in the Discovery Classroom.
The app is free to download, and includes a 7 day free trial. After that time, you’ll need a subscription, which costs $3.99 per month or $24.99 annually.
This award winner features a Sesame Street favorite-Elmo! He introduces children to letters using songs and games. There are coloring pages, activities and more for each letter, and even some hidden activities for your child to discover by clicking on the stars. The parents’ area also includes a tracker so you can see how your child is doing.
The app costs $4.99. There is an in-app purchase of ninety-nine cents for a seasonal pack as well.
Fuel your child’s fun with that perennial favorite character, Curious George. Kids will learn and play and develop readiness skills, thinking skills, and even social-emotional skills. The app includes games, videos, stories and even suggest craft activities to do out in the real world. You can see just what they are learning in the parent dashboard.
The app is free to download. You’ll be able to access some of the content. Unlock the rest with a monthly or annual subscription.
Follow Peppa and her family as they head out for a family vacation. Kids will be able to do all sorts of family vacation fun activities, like making a pizza together, writing postcards, going to the airport and dressing for the beach. There are sing-along songs and stickers to earn, too.
This app includes 8 topic packs with a total of 120 pages for coloring. It was designed for children ages 2 to 4 years. As kids mature, the app also includes drawing lessons that will help develop fine motor skills and a sense of accomplishment. The pictures include sound effects and animations as well.
This app is free to download. It includes one of the packs for free. The rest are available as in-app purchases for $1.99 each, or you can unlock all 7 for a one-time purchase of $7.99.
This app offers an interactive rattle just for baby. There are four different styles, each with different sound effects included with the free download. An in-app purchase will unlock 5 more styles and sounds. There are animated items within each rattle to attract baby’s attention and to build eye-hand coordination as baby tries to tap on the moving items. The app can be set to rattle automatically for 20 seconds, and even includes an infant-pleasing black and white style.
The app is free to download. There are an assortment of other themes available for in-app purchases of ninety-nine cents each.
Here’s an app that offers 13 different games for young children to help them learn everything from ABCs and 123s to colors, shapes, and drawing. There are shape sorting games and color recognition games. Kids can color letters from A to Z and numbers, too. The app is child-friendly, safe and challenging for kids from 2 to 8.
It’s free to download. The full version is available for an in-app purchase of $4.99.
Here’s an app that will help young children and children with disabilities learn about letters and their sounds. There are 4 games and 50 levels covering ABCs, numbers, and simple words. Some items are moving, so the app will help children build fine motor control as well as attention and thinking skills. Kids will even learn pronunciations.