15 Best iPhone Apps For Kids That Entertain & Educate At The Same Time
Your kiddo constantly asking to play on your iPhone or iPad is probably at least mildly annoying (especially when you’re just trying to finish one quick email), but it may not be the worst thing to hand over the phone, especially when you find an app that’s both fun and educational. The only thing about apps is that picking the right one is kind of like staring down the peanut butter aisle at a big-box store: with so many options it can be nearly impossible to make a choice. With this in mind, I’ve rounded up 15 of the best iPhone apps for kids that are safe, educational, and fun (like, so fun they may not even realize they’re learning).
Whether your child is into puzzles and numbers or they’d rather make and create, there’s a tablet app that will support their interests and help them grow while feeling confident. From using STEM skills to create their own amusement parks and learning the basics of piano to creating a never-before-seen creature or narrating their own comic strip, well, as they say, there’s an app for that. Read on for 15 of the very best apps that are perfect for children ages 4-7 (but you may love them too).
Epic! is basically a library your little one can access anytime and anywhere. It contains over 40,000 books, videos, and quizzes for kiddos to discover and they'll likely find some of their favorites on the virtual shelves. There are also plenty of audio book options if your littlest one isn't quite ready to read to themselves but still wants to hear a story. It's free for 30 days, then it's $8 per month.
2. Brainpop Jr. Movie of the Week
The Brainpop app comes in both a free and a paid version, which is great if you want to try it out before committing. Perfect for the curious child, the app offers tons of educational videos on all sorts of interesting subjects, and there is a Brainpop Jr. for grades K-3 covering anything from government to plants and weather, or even social topics like what to do with bullies, how to manage big feelings, or ways to cultivate empathy.
3. Faces iMake
If your kid always wants to play with their food, they'll love the Faces iMake iPhone app. It's a one time purchase of $3, and it allows for endless fun making collages. They'll create faces out of images of everyday objects (like vegetables, sea shells, and flowers) and it inspires creativity and thinking outside of the box.
4. Nick Jr.
The Nick Jr. app lets kids watch their favorite shows on-the-go, which is perfect if you're on a long trip or your TV is tied up by an older sibling. In addition to full episodes (for free!) of shows they already know and love (like Peppa Pig and Paw Patrol), Nick Jr. also offers virtual coloring books, stickers, and dress-up games.
5. Pango Build Park
You may not be able to go to an amusement park every day, but you can build one any time using the Pango Build Park app. While this one doesn't necessarily feel like an educational app, kiddos will learn problem-solving, spacial awareness, and even start to get a design sense by picking colors and themes for their park. Pango Build Park is recommended for ages 4 and up and costs $3 in the app store.
6. Superhero Comic Book Maker
Superhero Comic Book Maker lets little ones create their own comic book storylines and the accompanying illustrations. Kids can bring the comic strip to life using the animated stickers with sound effects, plus they can use the self-record function to actually narrate their own story. So cool, and if your child is more into princesses than superheros there's an almost identical app called Princess Fairy Tale Maker. Best of all, these apps are free.
7. PBS Kids Games
It's quite possible that your kiddo is already a PBS fan (Daniel Tiger, anyone?) You'll see familiar TV characters like Arthur, The Cat In The Hat, and the Sesame Street crew in these games which encourage learning through mazes, puzzles, dress-up, coloring, and more (there's even a food truck game featuring Cookie Monster which teaches counting and measuring in a fun way). PBS Games is free to download, and there are no in-app purchases which means you won't end up with any surprising charges.
8. Mussila Music School
Kiddos who love making music will also love Mussila Music School, an app that teaches the fundamentals of piano in an engaging way. It gets into the nitty gritty of reading sheet music, finding rhythm, and recognizing the sound of various instruments in a fun game setting that lets kids pick their avatar, dress it in funny costumes, and feel like they're really part of the game. You can try it free for a week, after which there are a few paid subscription models to choose from.
9. GoNoodle Kids
GoNoodle is the answer when your kid has tons of energy and can't run it off outside. The app includes over 300 dance videos, yoga sessions, and even mindfulness activities. There are constantly new videos being added, and you may even want to join your little one as they dance it out to some throwback tunes like Bye, Bye, Bye, or songs they may be more familiar with like Can't Stop The Feeling from Trolls (honestly, it's catchy). This one will spark a lot of joy, especially because it's free to download.
10. Winky Think Logic Puzzles
If your family can't get enough of puzzles, you'll love the Winky Think Logic Puzzles app. The earlier levels start off easier, so kids ages 4 and up can get in on the fun from the start. The puzzles get increasingly harder so they may require a bit of parental help, which can be a fun way to spend time together. You'll slide the pieces and match colors to crack the code, and with over 180 puzzles to choose from, it's hard to get bored. This one is $3 in the app store.
The classic memory games gets a virtual twist with the AniMatch app ($1). The buttons are big so they won't frustrate little hands, plus the animals make sounds and do a little dance when there's a match. Kiddos can play on their own if you're occupied, but you may enjoy this one too (though it's also likely to illuminate how superior your child's memory is).
12. Plum's Creaturizer
Plum's Creaturizer is a super silly and interactive free app where you can build custom creatures using over a hundred body parts from real animals. Using your real house or backyard as a backdrop, you and your little one will go on a photo-taking mission to snap photos of where your animal lives or things it eats. With simple technology built into the app, you'll actually be able to insert your creature into the photos, so it looks like it's really in your yard or house. It's novel and funny and you can share the pics with anyone.
13. DIY Creative Challenges
You can think of DIY Creative Challenges (free to try) as a virtual craft and activity book with so many options to choose from. Your kiddo can watch how-to videos, do hands-on projects, and learn a ton of niche skills including how to host a Minecraft video show, build "anything" with Legos, or learn to cook. Kids earn badges so they can track the skills they've learned and see how far they've come.
14. Paper By WeTransfer
While Paper by WeTransfer isn't technically billed as a kids app, children ages 4 and up, especially those who love to doodle, draw, or paint will have fun using it. For $12 a year, you get access to easy-to-use features like drawing with different sized brushes and tools, and there are also more advanced features like the ability to add your own photos, then cut and rearrange them to make your own collage. Kids can also work within one of the provided Paper templates to practice their letters or numbers too.
15. Sushi Monster
Even if your kiddo isn't a sushi fan, they'll still love the (free) Sushi Monster app. Designed for ages 4 and up, the app teaches reasoning, addition, and even multiplication which kids will master by feeding the hungry monster the right amount of sushi (or else).