Best iPhone and iPad Apps for Children
Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you probably know that the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch are the greatest things to come along for traveling parents since portable DVD players. Load them with the best iPad and iPhone apps for kids, and the miles fly just by.
Ready to get started? Of course you are. But how will you choose the best apps for children from among the thousands in the App Store? That’s easy—we’ll help you. We test oodles of games and update this post monthly.
(If you like our reviews, please support us! Clicking our links takes you straight to the iTunes App Store and doesn’t cost you more.)
Ages 3 and up, $.99
A very addictive game in which furry little pompom creatures called “Sneezies” float across the screen trapped in bubbles. You sprinkle sneezing powder to free them, and their sneezes start chain reactions that free even more sneezies! It’s strangely soothing, but maybe that’s because of the spa-music soundtrack.
Ages 4 and up (with help), $.9.99
Of all the apps I own, this is by far my favorite. Do you know about geocaching? People hide tiny boxes filled with trinkets all over the world (even in urban and suburban areas) and upload clues and GPS coordinates to the web. Other people (like you and your kids) hunt for the boxes. When you find them, you take a tiny treasure out of the box and leave one for the next searcher. It’s incredibly fun, wholesome, and great exercise.
Ages 5 and up, $4.99
Squiggles lets you and your kids take iPhone photos and doodle, write, and paint on them with a wide selection of colors and stamps.
Younger kids will enjoy stamping hearts, flowers, and bubbles on photos while older kids and adults will find more sophisticated ways to use this potentially hilarious app (such as adding animal ears and noses, mariachi hats, and mustaches to their friends’ faces).
Emailing your masterpieces is the icing on the cake.
Ages 5 and up, $1.99
A very fun word finding game in the tradition of Boggle, complete with satisfying sound effects. If your kids are stress monsters, have them play in untimed mode. This app is even good for kids who are relatively new to the reading and spelling game.
Ages 2 and up, $1.99
Good luck not laughing your face off when you play this hilarious photo manipulation app. You take or download pictures, then deform them by dragging, pinching, and twisting your finger across the screen.
Note: Facemelter works with the iPod touch, but since it has no camera you’ll be stuck working with the image library. This could still be pretty funny, but probably nowhere near as funny as distorting pictures of your friends and family.
6. Weetwoo! Kid Videos
Ages 3 and up, $3.99
WeetWoo offers one-stop parent-curated video browsing for kids. Skip the the questionable ads and content and go straight to the safe, educational, and entertaining YouTube videos.
Kids choose from among six channels that include Animals, Fun Shows, Learn, Music, People, and Places where the developers have listed hundreds of hours of kid-friendly programming with everything from funny kitten videos to a Discovery Education short biography of Ludwig van Beethoven.
Works best with Wifi, but also very well with 3G. Highly recommended!
Your children speak into the microphone, and an unbearably cute guinea pig, puppy, kitten, or chihuahua repeats what they say in a higher pitch and speed (squeaky mode) or a lower pitch and speed (freaky mode). How much of this silliness can you bear listening to from the backseat? There’s only one way to find out.
9. Pocket God
Ages 7 and up (for cartoon violence), $.99
On a remote island, you are the all-powerful ruler over a group of primitive islanders. You can sacrifice them to sharks, lightning, and vampire bats, or give them gifts like fish and coconuts.
Kids love it, adults don’t get it. Welcome to your future!
Ages 4 and up, $4.99
Chuzzle has finally released an iPhone version of its popular PC game and is it ever awesome! Don’t let the price stop you—this is the best match-3 puzzle game in the iTunes store.
Kids slide google-eyed chuzzles across the iPhone screen trying to group 3 like-colored chuzzles together. When they do, the chuzzles explode with a giggle, sending fur and eyeballs flying.
It’s fun, intuitive, addictive and appropriate for kids of all ages.
Want more? Read Wait, There’s More! Another 10 iPhone Apps for Kids, iPad Apps for Kids, or visit www.bestkidsapps.com.
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