I don’t know what it’s like in your home home, but in ours I got rid of the TV at the beginning of the year and now just have an iPad. I got rid of the television for a number of reasons, one of which was my 7yo daughter starting to act older than she was and talking permanently with a different accent, an accent she was only ever exposed to on television – and this was from viewing I had allowed, she was never given the remote. The satellite signal was lost during a crazy Christmas storm and I just simply never had it reconnected. I wanted to preserve her innocence for as long as possible in this very fast moving world we live in and I wanted to see what changes if any would be evident. Within a week behavior had changed in the house and my daughter was content to play more and for longer without the ‘draw’ of the television, aka goggle box. To be honest it hasn’t been missed one bit.. best thing I ever did.
Now coming back to the iPad, my daughter does like to play on it and I can understand why! I would have been just as amazed if I had the use of an iPad was when I was a child. It’s of course vital for us to set ground rules such as time limits but it’s great that parent are in control of what apps are download for the kids to play….. unless you give them your password!!! Ya right!!
There is no shortage of apps available for preschool, kindergarten and elementary aged children… the choice is overwhelming and recommendations are what I go by, with a mix of educational and entertainment apps. We’ve downloaded the free ones, some of which are good and not too overburdened with ads and prompts to buy tokens to move to the next level. The choice to download those is an easy one as they can be quickly deleted if they are rubbish, but what of the paid ones?…. it’s nice to know if they are going to be good ‘before’ we fork out the $2-$5 to buy.
So to help your choose to buy or bot to buy I’ve rounded up 24 of the best apps for kids for you here on KAB – all Parent Recommended – to help make your decision to download all the easier.
Presto Bingo Colors! (Educational)
Educational app for preschool kids age 4+
This app received the most recommendations of all – a fantastic simple app for teaching little ones their colors. Basic colors like red, yellow and blue are mastered first, but then kids can move to intermediate colors like magenta, gold and turquoise. Finally, in the advanced mode they can tackle crimson, ochre, cobalt and many more – over 80 colors in all!
Presto Bingo Shapes (Educational)
A very cute puzzle and counting game for preschool to kindergarten kids – 16 beautiful puzzles that challenge young children to find circles, diamonds, ovals, rectangles, semicircles, squares, triangles, trapezoids and triangle shapes within colorful, cheerful, modern illustrations. A perfect introduction to geometry.
Compatible with iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch
Toca Band (Entertainment)
I think this is my favorite of the Toca apps. In Toca Band your kids can mix beats and sounds to make their own hit song in a fun fun way. The little band characters are deliciously creative – I just love the Opera singer… she reminds me of myself!!
Toca Hair Salon (Entertainment)
A sure fire hit entertainment app for kids age 4+. They will love to cut, curl, color and style with oodles of tools and accessories. They bring out special editions every now and then, make sure to watch out for the Christmas edition so your kids can spruce up Santa himself before the big night.
Monkey Preschool Lunchbox (Educational)
This one was my daughter’s favorite apps when she was age 3-4yrs. The cute little monkey and sounds kept her engaged as she went through the activities designed to teach her about colors, letters, counting, shapes, sizes, matching and differences. I can absolutely recommend.
Don’t Let The Pigeon… (Educational)
If you are a fan of the great Mo Willems this interactive storybook app is a must. This is a quirky little app which offers kids the chance to co-author a version of a story with Mo! He also reached kids how to draw the Pigeon and his special shape ‘the circ-angle’. There are three levels of involvement for different ages and reading abilities. Gotta love the Pigeon!! Gotta love this app!! Suitable for kids age 4+
Faces iMake – Right Brain Creativity (Educational)
A modern day take on Mr Potato Head this app is a fantastic art app that encourages children to use their imagination! This app is much more than just a fun and addictive interface for creating collages using pictures of everyday objects, it is an intuitive tool for children with disabilities, and a powerful tool for expanding children’s visual awareness and associations. See everything objects in new ways! It says it is made for kids age 5 and under but my 8yo still loves making whimsical art with it.
Make Me Smile (Entertainment)
Even cute, cuddly and colorful monsters feel a little blue sometimes. In this delightful little app toddlers and preschoolers get to cheer the monsters up. The app teaches children to “not to be afraid of an angry monster” and “to have compassion to a scared or sad one.”
Duck Duck Moose (Educational)
There is a whole host of award winning educational apps from this company to choose from, including Moose Math, Park Math, Wheels On The Bus, Itsy Bitsy Spider, Duck Duck Moose Reading and many many others. They are all great.
Sea Stars (Entertainment)
Said by some to be the ‘best game ever’ the one touch controls of this app make is super easy and fun for kids age 4+ to guide the incredible Sea Stars through a sea full of coins and underwater dangers. Dive deep to pick up speed and leap from the water to somersault and avoid the angry jellies and rocket crabs along their path. They can also earn more animals to follow them as a pet. I want a pet too!!
Alphabet Animals (Educational)
Alphabet Animals – Talking ABC Cards for Kids is the perfect learning tool for your toddler. Packed with colorful animations, animal sounds, and learning examples, Alphabet Animals – Talking ABC Cards will keep your child’s attention while they absorb the alphabet.
Apps For Older Children
Monster Physics (Educational)
Build and operate your own car, crane, rocket ship, plane, helicopter, tank and more! Over 68 parts to have fun connecting and once your invention is built watch it render and come to life! for you to drive, fly and operate. There are 50 missions with simple tutorials and mind-bending challenges.
For children age 9-11
Hopscotch – making programming fun for kids (Educational)
This clever iPad app lets kids drag and drop blocks of code to create their own programs! They can make games, stories, animations, interactive art, apps…if they can imagine it, they can make it with Hopscotch!
Stack The States (Educational)
If you have children who are elementary school aged this is a fantastic and fun educational app – a way for your kids to learn about the 50 states, capitals, shapes, geographic locations, flags and more! They can watch the states actually come to life in this colorful and dynamic game!
For children age 9-11 but the parents who recommended all had kids age 7 and up enjoying.
Barefoot World Atlas (Educational)
A fully interactive 3D globe to brings the regions and countries of the world, geographical facts about climate, landmarks and famous buildings at your child’s fingertips.
Suitable for children age 9-11
Available in English, Spanish, Catalan and French.
Scribble Press (Educational)
Scribble Press is a free app that lets children imagine, create and publish their own stories into books! A kind of “Build a Bear for books”
Hungry Shark (Entertainment)
This is one of the favorites at my daughters after-school group. The ultimate test of survival is just action packed with stunning 3D graphics
Tiny Thief (Entertainment)
In a world of greed, corruption and injustice, one little guy decides to stand up for the little guy! This point and click puzzle adventure game is brim full of personality with irresistible visuals. Children have to guide the little pickpocket through the witty scenarios, traversing castles and pirate ships, and crossing paths with sheriffs, princesses, and dragons, without being spotted! A winner!
Temple Run (Entertianment)
A phenomenally popular treasure hunting adventure app with plenty of exhilarating running, jumping, turning and sliding. It’s all about being chased, navigating a maze of booby traps in order to get out alive.
Angry Birds (Entertainment)
This gaming app is already a classic, and it’s delightful for all ages. Check out all the different versions.
Fish with Attitude (Entertainment)
Whether they’re nice or mean, flirty or nerdy, pair up different fish to breed even more unique personalities for your tank! You might find yourself getting addicted to this game as you discover awesomely unique fish with attitude and build and decorate 3D tanks for them to live in.
Smack Talk (Entertainment)
No matter what You say SmackTalk! can say it back! This voice-altering app that features kid-popular animated guinea pig, puppy, kitten and chihuahua that repeat what you say in high-pitched squeaky and now low-pitched freaky voices. Hours of fun!
The Pianist (Educational)
The first widely available mobile multi-touch piano, kids love this and it’s considered one of the best effortless piano apps around.
Minecraft – building worlds (Entertainment)
This app is just a phenomenon. Pixel by pixel you’ll rearrange and refine the virtual world into whatever you want. It could be a seaside home, a garden, or any other creation you can envision. There are bad guys, farm animals and a host of other features to keep the world evolving and engaging. My daughter and all of her classmates are 100% hooked.