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Best iPad Apps for Toddlers & Kids
Health & Wellness

Best iPad Apps for Toddlers & Kids

April 12, 2013

As a child life specialist, I work with newborns through teenagers in a variety of settings. I use an iPad as a source of distraction or relaxation with some patients. The iPad can be a fun tool for interactive games, books, and songs for young children, as well as older children and adults.

Here is a list of apps I have found to be popular. Some are educational, while others are just for fun or to pass the time. (Unless a price is listed, most of these apps are free.)

Toddler +

  1. Peek-a-boo Barn ($1.99)
  2. Elmo Loves ABC’s Lite
  3. Elmo Monster Maker ($2.99)
  4. Buzzle
  5. Wheels on the Bus ($1.99)
  6. Mickey’s Road Rally
  7. PBS Kids (short video clips)
  8. Sprout Games and Videos
  9. Sprout Good Night Star
  10. Squiggles

Preschool +

  1. Toy Story Read Along
  2. Miss Spider’s Tea Party
  3. Thomas and Friends Engine Activities
  4. Pirate School (Jake and the Neverland Pirates)
  5. Glow Art ($0.99)
  6. Art of Glow ($0.99)
  7. Kaleido Free
  8. Crayola Color Studio HD
  9. Dr. Seuss Band ($0.99)
  10. Cupcakes!

Grade school +

  1. Angry Birds (space version for younger kids)
  2. Temple Run
  3. Paper Toss
  4. Fruit Ninja
  5. Cut the Rope ($0.99)
  6. WackaMonsta
  7. Where’s My Water
  8. Let’s Create Pottery HD Lite
  9. Glow Hockey
  10. Gutterball: Golden Pin Bowling HD

We always recommend researching and testing any app prior to allowing a child to use it. Make sure you are comfortable with the content. Check that there are limited ads.

Additionally, as with anything involving screen time, we recommend setting a time limit of no more than 60 minutes. Just as kids shouldn’t spend hours in front of the TV or computer, the same applies to iPads and other electronic devices. Encourage your kids to get up and move around. It’s important to exercise both the brain and the body.


App Organization

Folders can be created by clicking an app and holding it down until it shakes. Then, drag one app over another. Folders can be set up for each child or by topic (i.e. games, puzzles). This helps children know which apps are theirs.

(It’s also possible to lock the screen so kids stay within the app. Learn more.)

Many free apps offer the opportunity to “upgrade” in a pop-up box. Clicking yes will take you to the App Store. As long as you set a password, your child will not be able to download and charge to your account.

Another easy way to discover new apps? Visit the Top App section. It lists the highest rated or most downloaded apps. Often, the “lite” version is similar to the full—and free.

Do you let your child use an iPad or tablet? If so, what is your favorite app?


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