In this post you’ll find reviews of the best kids apps for iPad. All these apps have been extensively tested by my 3-year-old daughter and myself. Obviously we haven’t tested every single kids app but we have tested many (around 90). I have picked the best apps in terms of usability, ability to hold interest, artwork, music and sounds, and value for money. I also considered educational value but I didn’t emphasize it because my daughter doesn’t understand English which is the language in most apps.
There are lot of kids apps on the market already. In fact, there are so many, it takes some effort to find the best ones. There seems to be an endless amount of pair matching games and puzzles but not that many kids apps with original ideas. Most kids apps we’ve tested work pretty well with 3 year olds but there are some games types / mechanics that work better with older kids. I have noticed that slider puzzles, some spot the difference games, and tilting & shaking mechanics are a little too difficult for my daughter.
Our all time favorite kids app is probably Itsy Bitsy Spider HD – by Duck Duck Moose. It costs (at the time of writing) only $1.99. It offers a lot of interactive content and great value for money. Itsy Bitsy spider is essentially a game where you move a spider around in outdoor setting. There are 4 different places to go to and they are all filled with interactive elements. Most of the touchable subjects are obvious but there are also kind of hidden surprises (not too hard to find) and a few minigames. The best aspect of the game is the possibility to move the spider around, find and collect easter eggs, return the eggs to the spider web, and to play some tunes by touching them. The mechanic is brilliant and works really well with 3 year olds. The game looks really good but it’s not the most visually beautiful app I’ve seen. Music works but gets old and repetitive in the long run. All in all Itsi Bitsy spider is a great package and just perfect for 3 years old kids. Keep your eye on Duck Duck Moose. They have also other really good kids apps.
Kids Song Machine HD by Genera Kids includes 10 sing along songs. Each song is presented with wonderful animations with several touchable elements. Songs are well known such as Jingle Bells and Old McDonald, and they sound really good. It’s almost impossible to not sing along (unless, of course, you don’t speak the language). Kids Song Machine HD includes lots of high quality content but costs costs only $1.99. My favorite aspect of the app is the unique visual style. The app is filled with amazing artwork and is probably the best looking kids app I’ve seen. It’s hard to find anything negative to say about the app. My only wish is additional language versions. At the moment all the songs are in English. We’re Finnish so to hear the songs in our mother tongue would be awesome. However, the language barrier doesn’t keep my daughter from enjoying this app. If my daughter’s mother tongue was English, I think this would be her favorite app ( instead of Itsy Bitsy Spider HD ).
Yahoo! Kids by 야후! 코리아 is a video store for kids. The app itself is free and most of the videos are free as well so what’s not to like? Well, there is the language, which I think is Korean. But even if my 3-year-old daughter doesn’t understand a word, she enjoys these videos immensily. Videos are fun, educational, and filled with catchy music. Animation is smooth enough and the visual style is exceptionally cute. There is a lot of beautiful free content which is the fact that makes this one of my daughters favorite kids apps. Right now there are 37 free videos and about a dozen that cost $1 each.
Jack and the Beanstalk Children’s Interactive Storybook by Ayars Animation Inc. is the best interactive kids book we’ve tested. The Artwork in the app is beautiful and there are tens of pages to browse through. It’s a familiar and exciting story filled with touchable elements, some minigames and even hidden easter eggs. The price, being $3.99 is perhaps a little on the expensive side. It’s not unjustified, it’s just a little more than some other kids apps that offer equal amount of entertainment.
Treat Street HiDef by Elf Farm is a cute Halloween themed kids app. The game starts with a minigame where you choose the costume for your character. After that you go trick-or-treating for candy and other surprises. It’s fun and easy to play. Treat Street HiDef features one of the most beautiful and cute artworks I’ve seen in kids apps. While trick-or-treating you can, at any time, check your bag and sort the collected treats. It’s a simple but neat feature. My daughter loves to sort through the collected candy and pretend she is eating them! It costs $1.99 just like most other kids apps in this review. The game doesn’t rotate with iPad and there could be more content. But other than that, it’s a solid app for kids!
Park Math HD – is the second kids app by Duck Duck Moose that made it to my top 10 kids apps. It costs $1.99 just like Itsy Bitsy Spider. Park Math HD offers perhaps less entertainment but definitely more educational value. It is, like the name implies, a math oriented kids app. Being able to count makes it probably more interesting but luckily it’s not a requirement. Park Math HD is easy to enjoy even without understanding the math. It’s a clever design. The game looks and sounds just as good as Itsy Bitsy spider. I can’t think of anything negative to say about this one. It’s a good kids app and easily worth the money.
Animal Hide & Seek Adventure HD by Awesome Giant is a simple game where you try to find cute animals from various environments such as jungle, ocean, and a circus. There are 12 different scenes to play. Everytime an animal is found, the player is rewarded with cute animation. Sounds are good and artwork is colorful and adorable. Animal Hide & Seek costs $1.99 and offers enough bang for the buck. My daughter learned to play it when she was 2½ and has played it several times since. Small kids will love the simple gameplay and vibrant graphics!
ColorPlay HD – Kids Animated Coloring Book by Tony Huynh is our favorite coloring book. Illustrations are beautiful and the coloring mechanism works very well. I think it’s easy enough for my 3-year-old. There are 20 illustrations, many colors to choose from, and a short animation in each picture. It’s easily worth the money. You get a lot for $1.99. However, there are also some small issues. The game doesn’t rotate to landscape orientation. Another smallish problem is the size of some touchable areas such as the color picker and some areas in the pictures. They are a little too small even for small fingers.
My first puzzles : Aliens HD is a simple puzzle game by Alexandre Minard. It features beautiful vibrant graphics and an exciting alien theme. It comes with 8 different puzzles and a price tag of $1.99. The price is somewhat high compared to some other kids apps in this review, but I still think it’s reasonable. Alexandre Minard’s puzzle mechanic is really smooth and the visual style is very clear. In fact, I think he creates the best puzzles for 3 year olds. If you aren’t into the alien theme, there are other puzzles available such as My first puzzles HD, My first puzzles: Toys, and My first puzzles : Circus HD. Make sure to check out Alexandre Minard’s other kids apps as well. He has for example the best pair matching games.
Grimm’s Rapunzel by Ideal Binary is an interactive pop-up book for kids. It was released a few weeks ago and costs $3.99. Rapunzel ( and Jack and the Beanstalk ) is the most expensive kids app in this review. It works really well and sounds good, but it’s the artwork that really stands out. The interesting mix of 2d and 3d art is beautiful to look at. The pop-up style is brilliant idea and the controls are smooth. I only wish there were more content and every page of the book was executed in the pop-up style. Perhaps a bit expensive but definitely a high quality package.
There are several other kids apps that are good and almost made it to our personal top 10. If you’re into kids apps you should check these out:
Dino Puzzle HD by Vertra Animation Studios
Baby Explorer: Dinosaurs by Dream Cortex
If you are looking for more kids apps reviews, you should head out to www.SweetKidsApps.com. There you can find reviews of the best apps for kids. Sweet Kids Apps reviews only kids apps of very high quality.
If you enjoyed this you might be interested in my take on the best free iPad games.