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25 Best Apps for Kids of All Ages

  • Monkey Preschool Lunchbox

    For ages: 5 and under

    One of the more popular little kids' apps, this one has six different adorable, monkey-themed games all designed for preschoolers, meaning they're easy to understand and use—even when young kids navigate their way from game to game. Games are centered around colors, matching, counting, letter identification and sounds, solving puzzles and spotting differences.

    $1.99 for iPhone and iPad and Android Devices

  • Elmo Calls

    For ages: 5 and under

    Even the littlest toddlers love "Elmo Calls," where, you guessed it, Elmo "calls" kids like a FaceTime call. They "interact" with the cuddly Sesame Street character by singing songs and laughing together. As they get older, you can buy additional "call packs" with specific themes like going to the doctor and potty training. If you're child isn't a huge Elmo fan, there are apps where Cookie monster and other characters call, too.

    $1.99 for iPhone and iPad

  • AlphaTots

    For ages: 5 and under

    Kids get lessons in their ABCs under the guise of robot-themed puzzles and games in AlphaTots. They build robots, dig for treasure and zap alien spaceships while getting in some letter know-how.

    $2.99 for iPhone and iPad and Android; $1.99 at Amazon.com

  • Mrs. Potato Head – Create & Play

    For ages: 5 and under

    Don't say you never dreamed of having a Potato Head with an almost-endless amount of parts to mix and match. Now your child has more than 200 to choose from! Make a ton of silly faces and take Mrs. Potato Head on interactive adventures that teach cause and effect and encourage creativity.

    Free for iPhone and iPad

  • PBS Kids Video

    For ages: 5 and under

    If your preschooler is going to watch a show, you'll probably feel better if it's a PBS show, and this app lets them watch clips of their favorites—"Curious George," "Super Why!," "The Cat and the Hat Knows a Lot About That" and more—wherever there's 3G or WiFi.

    Free for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch Android phones, Android Tablets and Kindle Fire

  • Peekaboo Barn

    For ages: 5 and under

    This farm-themed app combines two of preschoolers' favorite things: playing peekaboo and making animal sounds. Tap the barn doors to reveal animals and make noises along with them! Kids learn cause and effect and animal names and sounds. Seeing the animals' names encourages early literacy skills, too. Bonus: In a new feature, you can record your own voice—or grandpa's or grandma's!—in any language you want.

    $1.99 for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, and Android Devices on Google Play and Amazon

  • Daniel Tiger's Day & Night

    For ages: 5 and under

    Little kids thrive on routine, and "Daniel Tiger's Day & Night" just might help you develop one that makes everyone a little saner. The app includes eight games about morning and nighttime routines, sing-along songs and a musical timer that helps everyone stay on task and lets kids know how long to brush their teeth. Kids learn about things, like getting dressed, tying shoes, washing up and—our favorite—winding down for bedtime.

    $2.99 for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch Android phones, Android Tablets and Kindle Fire

  • Sago Mini Fairy Tales

    For ages: 2 to 4 years old

    Here's one to boost your child's imagination and love for stories. In this app, kids move Jinja the cat through an enchanted forest filled with fairy tale characters. Kids use their creativity to play dress-up and make up stories to go along with the action. One of our favorite aspects is that this app has no in-app purchases or third-party advertising, so there's nothing else to buy or to accidentally tap on.

    $2.99 for iPhone and iPad, Kindle Fire and Windows

  • ABCmouse.com

    For ages: 2 to 7 years old

    At $7.95 per month, ABCmouse.com isn't exactly cheap, but it's meant to be more of a curriculum than just an app. More than 5,000 activities teach reading, math, science, art, music and more, and when your child completes them, they earn "tickets" they can use to "buy" fun things within the app.

    $7.95 per month for iPhone and iPad, Android and Kindle Fire

  • Yo Gabba Gabba! Party in My Tummy

    For ages: 5 and under

    We're singing the song. Are you? Fans of "Yo Gabba Gabba!" will appreciate that the whimsy of the show carries over into this colorful app. Kids feed hungry tummies a variety of foods and also learn to clean up. So there are lessons in cause and effect—and in creativity! They can color and decorate pages using tools and stickers.

    $1.99 for iPhone and iPad, Android devices at Google Play and Amazon, and Nook

  • Endless Reader

    For ages: 5 and under

    Perfect for preschoolers and kindergartners learning "sight words," Endless Reader uses word puzzles—and pretty much the cutest monsters ever—to make sight words fun. The letters seemingly come alive—"dog" looks like a barking dog and "up" reaches for the sky—to really help hit home the recognition.

    Free for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch and Android Devices

  • Monkey Word School Adventure

    For ages: 3 to 7 years old

    Here's another Monkey game we can't resist! Letters, sight words, phonics and spelling are made into easy-to-play games. As kids get better at each game, it adjusts, becoming more difficult and helping them get to the next level. Kids are rewarded for a job well done with frogs, butterflies and chameleons they can add to their own virtual terrarium.

    $1.99 for iPhone and iPad and Android Devices at Google Play and Amazon

  • Reading Rainbow App

    For ages: 3 to 9 years old

    Take a look! It's in a book! Or well, nowadays it's in an app where kids can access over 400 books and a ton of educational videos. New content is added weekly. Try it out for free and get five books, but after that, you'll need to be a paid subscriber.

    $9.99 for one-month, $29.99 for six-month or $49.99 for one-year subscriptions for iPad and Kindle Fire

  • Funky Bots

    For ages: 6 to 8 years old

    This seriously funky app develops creativity, but it's mostly just plain fun. Kids play with dancing robots, giving them some serious moves, and then choose hip-hop tunes for them to groove to. We love that there are no in-app purchases or third-party ads.

    $2.99 for iPhone and iPad

  • FarFaria Storybooks

    For ages: 6 to 8 years old

    Think of FarFaria as Netflix for children's books. The app is free, but you must subscribe to access its bank of more than 900 stories. Five new stories are added each week. "Favorite" your kids' most beloved books, and they can access them anywhere you go, whether there's WiFi or not.

    $4.99 a month or $39.99 a year for iPad, iPhone and Android Devices

  • Toca Kitchen 2

    For ages: 6 to 8 years old

    Here's one for your little budding chef. Toca Kitchen 2 allows your child to make their own tasty (or crazy!) concoctions using ingredients and tools you can find in most kitchens. They'll feed their characters their creations and see what kinds of reactions they get.

    $2.99 for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch

  • Dr. Panda's Ice Cream Truck

    For ages: 6 to 8 years old

    If you're looking for another foodie app, "Dr. Panda's Ice Cream Truck" is also a hit. Players get creative making up their own ice cream flavors and then go crazy with the toppings. In the end, they get some pretty interesting reactions from the animals they feed their cups and cones.

    $0.99 for iPhone and iPad, Android Devices and at Amazon

  • The Amazing Quest, The Forgotten Treasure

    For ages: 6 to 10 years old

    Whether your little adventurers love pirates, dragons, the Old West or ancient Egypt, there's a story for them to tell. They'll dress up their character and then put together all the elements to create a scene; each scene brings them closer and closer to reaching their treasure. They'll need to use observation, logic and patience to get there.

    $4.99 for iPhone and iPad

  • DragonVale

    For ages: 6 to 9 years old

    Do your kids want a pet? See if they'll go for DragonVale instead. They get to "breed," name and collect their own dragons and even learn a thing or two about caring for pets (like that they need to consistently feed them). Dragons compete in exciting races, too.

    Free for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, and Android Devices at Google Play and Amazon

  • SET Mania

    For ages: 7 and up

    Really anyone can play this game, adults included, but we've heard elementary school teachers recommend it. Here are the basics: To make a set, find three cards in which one feature (color, shape, number, etc.) is either all the same or all different. Make as many sets as you can as quickly as you can. Sounds simple enough, but it gets pretty challenging! Players use reasoning and perception, and the game is also said to sharpen the mind.

    $1.99 for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch

  • The Four

    For ages: 7 and up

    The Four is about the four types of arithmetic: addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. And it makes practicing them fun by making them into a game where kids are constantly trying to beat their best score.

    Free for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch

  • Stack the States

    For ages: 9 to 11 years old

    How fun is this geography lesson? Kids learn state capitals, shapes, locations, flags and more, and then drag and drop each state wherever they want on the screen. They keep collecting states until they reach 50. As they earn more states, they unlock new games and gain even more geography know-how.

    $1.99 for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, Android Devices at Amazon and Windows Devices

  • Mad Libs

    For ages: 9 to 11 years old

    The road-trip classic is now electronic, which means kids get 21 free Mad Libs that they can do over and over for tons of laughs. They can play solo or along with friends or family. Through Mad Libs, kids learn parts of speech, develop vocabulary and grasp what makes a good story.

    Free for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch

  • Monster Physics

    For ages: 9 to 11 years old

    Finally, an early way to show kids that physics is cool! Kids build and operate cars, cranes, rocket ships and other contraptions by using 68 different parts. They choose their materials (metal, wood, plastic, etc.) and connect the parts using rope or chain or by welding them. After they've made the final product, it's rendered, and they can drive, operate or fly it. There are also 50 fun missions to complete. This holds hours of entertainment, problem-solving and creativity.

    $1.99 for iPhone and iPad

  • Minecraft: Pocket Edition

    For ages: 9 to 15 years old

    Of course, we had to include Minecraft! This uber-popular game is a hit with older kids. Part fantasy game, part creative-building game, Minecraft is most educational when used in "creative mode" where your kid can flex problem-solving skills and (you guessed it) creativity.

    $6.99 for iPhone and iPad, Windows Phone or any Android device

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