16 {Best} Apps for Kids

Today’s Apps for Kids list is serious fun.  Not only are they some of the best apps for kids, but they were tested and chosen by kids.  This list was compiled by my 7 year old son.  He is the youngest of three boys so he has been exposed to a lot of gaming and he has shared his app reviews with me.  Here at Kids Activities Blog we accept that while an app might LOOK fun to an adult, the truth can be found through kid-testing.

apps for kids

Apps for Kids

My boys got iPad Minis for Christmas.  It was partially selfish on my husband and my part because we were tired of seeing our iPad, iTouch and iPhones disappear in the hands of our children for a game.  As part of the deal, they also got their own iTunes account.  We wanted to make sure that the money that was spent on apps, music and movies were deducted from allowances instead of our bank account!

Each of the tablet’s parental controls were set with appropriate age levels on downloads.  They are required to play games in a public area in the house and surfing the internet is off-limits at this time.  Over the last few weeks they have been accumulating a bunch of apps.  My husband has kept track of what they are, but I asked Rhett {who recently turned 7 years old} to take me on a tour of his favorite apps.

He was willing and I wrote down what he said about each app for kids.  I have written much of this with his words because I am sure if I used my own, I wouldn’t explain it right!

Best Apps for Kids

  1. Car Town Streets - This is a FREE app for kids rated for ages 4+.  Rhett showed me how he has built buildings and roads in a city scape.  He makes money from some of the businesses that he has built which allows him to search and buy cars for the town.  The cars exhibit certain symbols when they need gas or a car wash.  It is up to the child to manage these needs and grow the town.  There are races and car accessories like custom paint that can be won and earned.
  2. Minecraft – This app is $6.99 and rated for ages 4+.  From my perspective, it is worth every penny.  All three of my boys are obsessed with this game.  It is a game of building.  It looks to me like building with Legos.  Rhett puts blocks together to form anything.  Sometimes they are buildings that grow into cities or boats that expand into floating fortresses.  During and after the building process, the built object can be toured.  I am amazed by the intricate structures that a 7 year old can create with this app.  Rhett reports that on survival mode, people can attack you and you have to destroy stuff to get pieces to defend yourself.
  3. Bike Baron - This app for kids is $0.99 and rated for ages 4+.  Rhett reports that players build courses and then ride through them.  He says there are multiple levels that start easy and progress to extremely hard.  He showed me a course that he had created which required him to roll strategically over a giant pumpkin to allow him to cross an open area to a fence.
  4. Vs. Racing 2 – This app is $0.99 and rated for ages 4+, but in my house it is for the whole family.  In fact, as I type…across the living room, there is a heated race.  My husband and two of my boys each have an iPad and are racing each other on the Rocketeer track.  Rhett reports that you can have up to 5 racers on courses that are already set up.  I hear my husband moaning so I assume the boys may have gotten speedier.
  5. Traffic Panic - This is a FREE app for kids rated 4+.  Rhett explained to me how players try to get cars through traffic lights.  Reid (age 9) added that you have to coordinate when to move through certain areas to avoid creating a traffic jam.  Rhett assured me that even if I DID create a traffic jam, then I could just restart the game.
  6. Machine World – This app costs $2.99 and is rated for ages 4+.  We recently spent a week with my 4 year old nephew and can testify that this was his VERY favorite game.  Kids can choose their mode of transportation and then drive around different scenes.  Rhett told me that if he chose a tow truck or a crane, he would be able to pick things up.  He showed me how he also could control a draw bridge that he encountered while driving a police car.
  7. Lego 4+ App – This is a FREE app for kids with a rating of ages 4+.  Rhett says that players start by building something like a car and then driving it through the game picking up coins which unlock other things to build.  He reports that he has finished the game, but still likes to go play with some of the things he has built.
  8. Creationary App – This is a FREE app for kids with a rating of ages 4+.  We love playing the LEGO Creationary Game (3844) board game so I was interested to see HOW they adapted it for mobile devices.  The player chooses a category and then the game shows him a creation in process.  The player clicks on one of 4 choices that look the most like the developing structure.
  9. TeamUp Lego City App – This is a FREE app for kids with a rating of ages 4+.  Rhett reports that he plays this game on the computer too.  He says there are a lot of levels – some that are very hard.  It appears that players are driving police vehicles in hot pursuit of dangerous Lego bandits.  To speed up, players grab gold bricks and try and avoid umbrellas that will slow them down.
  10. Pitfall App – This is a FREE app with a rating of ages 9+ for infrequent/mild cartoon or fantasy violence {we haven’t seen anything that would cause us to not allow a 7 year old to play it.} – Rhett was excited to show me this app saying, “Oh!  This one is really fun!”  He reports that there is a “guy of the day” which has certain superpowers.  You can buy the “guy of the day” with gems that you earn in the game, but Rhett says that he just plays with his “Ninja guy” because he is fast.  Players guide their “guy” through running, rhino riding and minecar driving avoiding snakes and scorpions by tilting the screen and sliding their finger along the glass.
  11. Temple Run – This is a FREE app with the rating of ages 9+ for infrequent/mild cartoon or fantasy violence {again, we haven’t seen anything that is objectionable to us}.  Rhett reports that this is similar to Pitfall because it is a game that you see how far into the game you can get.  He couldn’t explain much more about it, but insisted that it needed to be on this list too.
  12. Crate Escape – This is a FREE app with the rating of ages 9+ for infrequent/mild cartoon or fantasy violence {cartoon bicycles and cars can hit the dog}.  Rhett liked the dog Seamus {based on a true story} driven by Mitt Romney {I am not joking} who is on top of the car jumping at bones and trying to avoid oncoming obstacles.
  13. Talking Gina – This is a FREE app with the rating of ages 4+.  Although this app is free, there are portions of this game that require money to access certain treats.  My kids have not accessed those treats and seem to be playing just fine.  Gina is a Giraffe that juggles, kisses, eats and will repeat back what you say in her giraffe voice.  There are also mini games that unlock levels and more mini games.
  14. Scribblenauts – This app is $0.99 and rated ages 9+ for infrequent/mild cartoon or fantasy violence.  It is violence that the kids create themselves so I haven’t worried too much about it.  This is the craziest game.  I have NO idea how they make it work.  The kid thinks up something and types it into the game like “man-eating baby panda” and then a man-eating baby panda appears and they play with it.  I didn’t just make up “man-eating baby panda”, I overheard Reid playing with one a few days ago.  Seriously.  I will say that it really helps their phonics skills.  They are required to spell things or at least spell well enough for the game to recognize it.  I had to limit the number of spelling requests I get every day due to Scribblenauts.
  15. Crayola Digitools – The app is FREE, but the digitools are purchased accessories.  The app is rated ages 4+.  Rhett received a set of Crayola DigiTools Deluxe Creativity Pack for his birthday this year.  He says he can draw, color, write and create art in 3D with this app for kids.
  16. Wipeout – This app costs $1.99 and is rated ages 9+ for cartoon violence {if you have seen the show, you know what I am talking about – ouch!}.  Rhett can be overhead giggling through this with an occasional wince.  Players go through various Wipeout courses just like on the Wipeout TV show with less bumps and bruises.

Whew.

Although I didn’t pay for any of these apps myself, I do pay the allowances that funded this research.  Several affiliate links are sprinkled throughout this post in hopes that future allowances can be paid.



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Holly About Holly

Kids Activities Blog is Holly's blogging home.

She is the mom of three boys ages 7, 10 and 12 who partially homeschools. She believes that you shouldn't have to buy stuff to have fun when there is a kitchen junk drawer full of possibilities.

She can also be found at Business 2 Blogger, on Twitter as @QuirkyMommaSite or @Texasholly, but her favorite place to hang out is on Google +.