With the overwhelming amount of apps geared to kids and toddlers, it can be hard to distinguish what apps are worth downloading. Apps geared to toddlers can range from the educational to the creative to games that help improve motor activity.
There is not always ample time to research what apps are best for a parent’s toddler. As a result, the iPad apps best for toddlers were compiled through ratings and picks from parent-approved media.
10/10 Monkey Preschool Lunchbox
There are six different games that teach kids about colors, letters, counting, shapes, differences, and matching in the Monkey Preschool Lunchbox app. With the educational games comes voice direction and responsive sound effects, to help children engage in independent play.
The app promotes learning over winning in their games, prioritizing education over competition. Achievements in the app are celebrated, encouraging toddlers and boosting self-esteem. Further, players receive sticker rewards to track a child’s progress with the adorable mascot Milo the monkey leading the way.
GoNoodle is a great app that actually motivates movement. Mainly composed of videos that are easy to follow, GoNoodle gets kids up and in motion. Some videos contain educational attributes, which help to add some learning to a child’s exercise. There are different activity types ranging from breathing, guided dance, how-to, stretch, and workout. All the bases on toddler movement are covered in this inventive app.
In addition to movement, GoNoodle also encompasses the topics of travel and adventure, food and cooking, mindfulness and mental health, and outdoors and the environment. Similarly, the best free nutrition apps would be a good complement to GoNoodle for a toddler’s health-conscious guardian(s).
8/10 Endless Alphabet
Teaching the alphabet and boosting vocabulary, Endless Alphabet uses cute, imaginative monsters in their interactive puzzle games. Each word has its own puzzle and its own short animated videos that show talking letters and the definition of the words.
The app lets toddlers interact with their learning at their own pace. Ranging in difficulty, the vocabulary words apply to toddlers as well as to those in the early elementary grades. Further, the appealing animations help keep kids interested.
A puzzle app with an overarching theme of animals, Animatch has a number of puzzle and match games that will keep restless toddlers interested. At the same time, Animatch develops memorization skills, cognitive skills, and concentration.
Many parents have praised this app for its ability to distract toddlers while they do other tasks or on airplane rides. Animatch is very user-friendly with big buttons that make the app easy to navigate. Simple, yet effective, Animatch is a great game for toddlers and has even garnered some adult fans of this addictive game app.
6/10 Elmo Loves ABCs
An educational app helmed by the long-running TV show Sesame Street’s beloved character, Elmo Loves ABCs teaches kids sounds, letters, and words. The app is best for children ages 2 to 5.
Elmo Loves ABCs is filled with videos, activities, and games with appearances from Sesame Street characters like Grover, Bert and Ernie, Cookie Monster, and of course, Elmo. The focus of this app is on teaching toddlers their ABC’s and establishing the building blocks necessary to learn how to read.
Peek-a-Zoo is a unique app that teaches children aged 2 to 5 social and emotional cues. The app tasks children to identify animals who show different emotions and activities. Therefore, children learn emotional and social cues through trying to identify animals by what they’re feeling.
Similar to the game Guess Who, this free app also teaches toddlers animals and sounds. Peek-a-Zoo has earned a number of awards, such as Parents’ Choice Recommended Award Winner of the Parents’ Choice Foundation.
4/10 Khan Academy Kids
A free educational app for children ages 2 to 8 from the exalted Khan Academy group, Khan Academy Kids has no ads and no subscription is needed. The app helps to establish the core subjects of early literacy, reading, writing, language, and math.
In addition, Khan Academy Kids helps kids to build social-emotional skills and encourages creativity. There are original characters that appeal to youngsters as they navigate the stories and activities of the app. Also, the app was developed in conjunction with learning experts at Stanford.
3/10 Hungry Caterpillar Play School
The Hungry Caterpillar Play School is a subscription service that gives the user access to the app’s massive library of books, videos, activities, and songs. This app uses Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar among other adored characters of his literary universe in the design. Kids aged 2 to 5 can learn early math skills, language and literacy, science and nature, creative arts, problem-solving and reasoning, health and wellness, and even early coding skills (for those interested in coding, visit the 10 best YouTube channels on the subject).
The app’s activities are informed by evidence-based practices in teaching and design and have been shown to be effective with neurodiverse children.
2/10 PBS Kids Games
A very fun and educational app suited for those five and under, PBS Kids Games has over 50 free games with a cornerstone of learning. The app features games that are themed to PBS Kids television shows that will be familiar to little ones.
Some examples include games revolving around The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That!, Super Why, and Dinosaur Train. The games allow toddlers to engage their creative side while being taught the fundamentals like spelling, colors, and shapes among other topics.
1/10 ABC Mouse
A subscription-based service, ABC Mouse is around $13 a month and is geared towards children aged 2 to 8 years old. An exceptional educational app, there are lessons on reading, math, science, coloring, counting, music, and art which are customized according to the age the user inputs into the settings.
Also, toddlers will enjoy the virtual prizes they can get from a ticket reward system. While there is a monthly fee, up to four children can use the app for the same monthly fee and still receive their own personalized learning tracks.