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Best iPhone Apps for Kids

  • Elmo Loves You!

    Kids can't resist Elmo and his friends in this pop-up eBook. With the "Read to Yourself" or "Elmo Reads to You" options, the book teaches about loving all things with sweet rhymes. There's plenty of interaction to keep little hands and minds busy.

    Age: 0-3 years

    Price: $3.99

    Download

  • Reading Rainbow

    Remember watching "Reading Rainbow" as a child? Now you can share the fun with your own kids! The app is free, but a paid subscription gives your child unlimited books, field trips hosted by LeVar Burton, read to me/read myself activities, games and a parent dashboard that tracks reading time and more. The best subscription deal is $4.17 per month with a one-year plan.

    Age: 4 and older

    Price: Free

    Download

  • Tracks 'n' Trains: Zoo Train

    This sequel to "Tracks 'n' Trains" is a blast for train lovers, who lay down track on pre-selected paths or design their own. You can add flowers, trees, rivers and animals around the train. Your child controls it all. There is no third-party advertising, nor any in-app purchases.

    Age: 3-7 years

    Price: $0.99

    Download

  • TallyTots Counting

    TallyTots Counting has 20 mini games that help your child learn numbers. This cute app has a counting song that helps with memorization and contains an assisted counting guide that goes up to 100.

    Age: 5 and younger

    Price: $2.99

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  • Kid Awesome Kindergarten

    While all of Kid Awesome's iPhone apps are highly rated, this five-star app has enough math and reading content—34 skills and 160 levels—to keep your little learner truly engaged. Games, stories and important new Common Core Standards will help your child excel. Kid Awesome has higher grade level iPhone apps available after they master Kindergarten. This app costs $14.99, but free versions are available.

    Age: 4 and older

    Price: $14.99

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  • DisMonster

    DisMonster gets an A+ for inventiveness and got a five-star rating from parents. Kids use a flashlight to find normal objects in their room that are making scary shadows, and then they take them apart and reassemble them to make silly looking monsters. There are no in-app purchases or third-party ads.

    Age: 5 and older

    Price: $2.99

    Download

  • Toca Starter Box

    Toca offers a large variety of great apps, and the Toca Starter Box is a perfect sampler. Toca Store, Pet Doctor, House, Kitchen, Band and Hair Salon, which is for ages 7 and older, will keep your little one happy for hours and teach a multitude of skills. And Toca has a policy of no in-app purchases or third-party ads.

    Age: 5 and under

    Price: $9.99

    Download

  • Threes!

    Threes! has been awarded a 2014 Apple Design Award for innovation and design. Trying to reach a high score is addicting for kids and parents alike. As number cards pop up, you try to squish them into higher numbers that are divisible by three. It sounds difficult, but it's extremely easy to play and to see why it's so highly rated.

    Age: 7 and older

    Price $1.99

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  • Minecraft: Pocket Edition

    No best apps list would be complete without Minecraft, which remains red-hot with 30 million downloads. Kids are given a landscape that they have to "mine" for raw materials, like gold, iron, diamonds, wool and wood. They use those materials to make (or "craft") tools, homes, clothing and anything else their hearts desire. Monsters, zombies and other scaries keep your builders on their toes, or they can play in a peaceful mode.

    Age: 7 and older

    Price: $6.99

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  • Monument Valley

    Kids love puzzle games, and Monument Valley is a great one for older children. It lets kids explore crazy architecture by trying to find hidden paths. Platforms, wheels and more help make the unreachable reachable. It is a 2014 Apple Design Award winner.

    Age: 7 and older

    Price: $3.99

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  • Frozen Free Fall

    Everything with the name "Frozen" attached to it seems to be an instant hit, and this highly rated app deserves top billing. Your kids' favorite characters from the Disney animated hit will cheer them on as they play this "match three" game. In-app purchases range from $0.99 to $4.99 but aren't required.

    Age: 10 and older

    Price: Free

    Download

  • Scribblenauts Remix

    With a silly name like Scribblenauts, you know the app has to be fun. This version, the first for the iOS platform, is a remix of the first two versions of the app. It's a vocabulary building game that requires a lot of imagination, and many Scribblenauts fans record themselves playing it for YouTube, like Minecraft players do. Some puzzles are too difficult for younger users, but they're perfect for older kids and teens.

    Age: 10 and older

    Price: $0.99

    Download

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