The 10 best iPad apps for kids of all ages
I’d be the first to admit that nobody actually needs an iPad. But if you take long and frequent trips with kids, having one is nice. Having two would be even better, but you’ve got to draw the line somewhere.
Once you’ve unwrapped your new toy, you’re going to need some apps to go with it. Since I run a popular kids’ app review site, I’ve played dozens of iPad games. Here are ten of my all-time favorites in order of age rating.
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1. Fish School HD
Age rating: 1 and up | Price: $1.99
A simple letter-learning app disguised as a fish tank full of funny, fishy characters. Your toddler will have so much fun, she won’t realize she’s it’s educational.
2. Interactive Alphabet
Age rating: 2 and up | Price: $1.99
If you have to learn the alphabet (and you do, trust me) this is the way to do it: adorable, original illustrations, fun sound effects, and simple illustrations for your child to discover 26 times. Lots of replay value too.
3. Monkey Preschool Lunchbox
Age rating: 2 and up | Price: $0.99
A silly monkey cheers for your kid as he counts fruit, solves puzzles, and matches cards. Right answers earn stickers and I haven’t met the kid yet who won’t work for stickers.
4. Fruit Ninja HD
Age rating: 3 and up | Price: $4.99
A fruity game requiring quick reflexes with plenty of action but no violence. Yay! Using their finger as a blade, kids swipe various pieces of fruit that fly up in the air, chopping them in half. Amazing sound effects and graphics. Also, a fun fruit fact after every round.
Age rating: 4 and up | Price: $4.99
Your kids slide google-eyed “chuzzles” across the iPhone screen trying to line up 3 chuzzles of matching colors. When they succeed, the chuzzles pop with a giggle, sending fur and eyeballs flying. Since you can play at casual or expert level, this game is big fun for adults too.
6. Cake Doodle
Age raging: 4 and up | Price: $0.99
Real baking is messy and real cakes aren’t exactly a health food. Why not just bake on your iPad instead? Choose a cake, assemble the ingredients, decorate, and eat. Yum!
7. Highlights Hidden Pictures
Age raging: 4 and up | Price: $1.99
This fun, classic hidden pictures game will take you straight back to the dentist and doctor’s office waiting rooms of your youth. It’s even more fun in this new medium, and endlessly replayable. Also? It keeps kids intent and quiet.
8. Soozis HD
Age rating: 5 and up | Price: $1.99
Save your cute planet from cute bad guys by hopping around rescuing your cute friends. With seven worlds and 66 levels, this app will keep kids busy for a long, long time. Did I mention it’s cute?
9. Doodle Jump
Age rating: 5 and up | Price: $0.99
This is the most downloaded app of all time, and it’s not hard to see why. Guide your trumpet-faced alien as he hops ever higher from platform to platform. Jet packs and trampolines make the journey easier. Monsters, not so much. Don’t be surprised when your kids are much better than you either.
Age rating: 5 and up | Price: $2.99
A very addictive word search game in which you link letters left, right, up, and down to build words and earn points. Make too many short words and the tiles catch on fire. Good for wordsmiths, new readers, and everyone in between.