Sara’s Favorite Apps for Toddlers and Preschoolers

CATEGORIES: Sara, The Scoop

I know there are probably a lot of people out there who think that it’s silly that kids so young would have anything to do with apps, but let’s be real for a minute.  We live in an age of technology where there are awesome resources available for kids of every age!  Any parent knows that having a few apps on your phone to help keep a tiny person busy for a few minutes can be a total lifesaver.  Not only that, but apps can be a huge learning resource for little minds.  With the huge sea of apps geared toward kids, there are plenty of horrible ones.  I hate kids apps with advertisements and easy-to-click-on upgrade buttons and links, I hate bad design, and I hate interfaces that are actually too complicated for really young kids so I end up having to do it WITH them.  Not the point here, people!  These are 5 of my absolute favorites.  These are all geared toward especially young kids, all the way up to preschool and kindergarten.  I’m going to put them in order for youngest kids, going older. And I should include the disclaimer that these are all iPhone/iPad apps because that’s what I use.  You android users will have to check to see if you can get them!

Peekaboo Fridge

There’s tons of Peekaboo apps, like Peekaboo Barn, Peekaboo Party, Peekaboo Christmas, Halloween…look it up and you’ll find tons!  This is one of the best apps for the littlest kiddos because it’s so easy and so simple, yet it’s entertaining.  When I first saw it, I thought, “Huh.  This is all it does?”  But my little ones love it!  The fridge wobbles and when they touch it, the doors open and it reveals a food inside.  They shut the door and do it over and over again.  It’s as simple as playing peekabo with your hands, which really young kids also find entertaining.  My little ones like trying to guess what’s coming next and giggle when they hear the cute kid’s voices narrating the food items.

Make it Pop

Make it Pop

This app was designed by the super talented Alma Loveland of Caravan Shop.  I’m a huge fan of hers, so when I heard she had designed an app I immediately got it!  It’s beautifully designed with clever graphics.  You can choose from 5 different popping games, like the bubble blowing, where you put your finger on the girls mouth and the bubbles blow to different sizes.  When you touch the bubble it “pops” and says a word out loud like small, medium, and large.  There’s also bubble shapes, fireworks for colors, and popcorn that pops numbers.  This game is great for kids as young as 1 1/2 or so (it kept my 18 month old busy on my lap the other day) all the way up to preschool age (my almost 5 year old plays it all the time, too.)  And I’m not gonna lie, there’s something kind of therapeutic about popping those bubbles!

Make it Pop 4

 

Nick Jr. Draw and Play

I often avoid apps made by major networks and tv shows because I feel like they get away with really sub-par apps because of their name-brand notoriety.  But this Nick Jr. App is an exception.  It’s a pricey one, but it’s really well designed and has a large range of things they can do from a basic drawing and painting (with sparkles and sound effects!) to interactive games with their favorite characters.  All three of my kids, even my 9 year old at times, use this app and have for a couple of years now.  I think it’s totally worth the price tag.

Lego Juniors Create & Cruise

Lego lovers will love this cute app where you get to pick little lego parts and swipe them with your fingers to put them together.  It’s very simple and easy for preschool age kids to do, and after their cool vehicle is put together, they take it for a little drive.  This is a longstanding favorite at our house!

Endless Wordplay

As a fan of awesome graphics, this one had me before I even read about it.  I love a well designed game that actually functions educationally and this is a great one.  My 4 year old started reading with this app!    It introduces spelling patterns, word building, and phonograms that are important for beginning spellers and early writers.
Wordplay The same developers also have Endless Alphabet, Endless Numbers, and Endless Reader.

Those are 5 of my favorites, share yours in the comments!

15 comments

  1. My kids love the Endless series. We save app game playing for when we really need them to sit still at unusual times like waiting rooms or long car trips. That way it keeps the few apps we have for them new and fresh. Plus they haven’t turned into the kinds of kids who can’t sit still and entertain themselves for regular things like the grocery store or a restaurant.

  2. we LOVE apps made by Toca Boca. They are interesting and deceptively simple, but a wide range of ages can play them. My kids love the lab and Robot builder! Great apps. I can’t wait to check out the endless app here!

  3. Currently pregnant with my first, and when I first saw this post I thought “Wait, I have to make appetizers for my kid?? I don’t even make appetizers for myself! Sonofa…..”

    These are definitely the kind of apps I can get behind 😉

  4. My kids love Toca Boca apps. We have a bunch of them and they love the robot lab, Toca Monsters, Toca Hair Salon, Toca Doctor, Toca Builders, etc. we love the Endless reader app and I am going to go snag this one you mentioned too. My kids really enjoy the Duck Duck Moose apps too in the early toddler to preschool age. They have learning games built within (puzzles and a treasure hunt inside the Baa Baa Black sheep game for example). My 3 year old is happy to play with the Duck Duck Moose truck app for 30 minutes while waiting at the doctors office. I think they are fun too!

  5. We love Candy Count and Lego City My City for free apps. (Lego Jrs Creat & Cruise is also a favorite of ours!) A couple other favs are GoCarGo, Grandma’s Garden, and Grandpa’s Workshop.

  6. I’m so glad you posted this! I just barely got a tablet and a smart phone (I know…a little late to the party 🙂 and I am completely overwhelmed by the sheer number of apps in the app store and don’t know what to choose! You gals have great taste, so I’m willing to give these a try!

  7. My absolute favorite toddler apps include all the Pepi apps – Pepi Tree is fantastic. So are Pepi Doctor, Pepi Ride, and Pepi Bath. The music is fun too – my husband actually bought some of their music available on the iTunes store.

    We have a few apps by Sago Mini (Ocean, Bug Builder, Doodlecast, and Mini Forest Flyer)

    Look up “Pixel and Parker” for a fun adventure game app.

    Finally, for educational apps that are fun I love AlphaTots and TallyTots. I did pay money for them, but I think that they have been worth every cent many times over.

    There are very few apps that I’ve actually paid for. There’s an app called “Apps Gone Free” that features apps that are free for a limited time. That’s where I have found most of the kids apps (over time), and I like that you get all the features of paid version (no ads, few to no in-app purchases).

  8. We love the ABC Mouse app to learn letters. Cute, clever songs that you find yourself singing along to!

    Also, we recently got our kids a Kids Kindle and I love it! It has a special interface that blocks ads and paid things, even on the free app versions. You can set different profiles for your kids with time limits for games, reading, and video that reset each day. It’s been a lifesaver today when I’ve been super sick and needed to keep them occupied 🙂

  9. I never thought I would have a 2.5 year old who knows the iPad almost better than me, but that’s life. He get’s 10-minute increments to play, or the occasional free time if he’s feeling bad or I REALLY NEED TO GET SOMETHING DONE. = )

    His faves are TozzleHD Toddler’s Favorite Puzzles (get the $2.99 upgrade version), Press Here, Angry Birds, Babykidszone.com’s Farm Puzzle and Animals and Tools, and Animal Friends by BonsaiSoft that’s like your Peekaboo apps.

  10. My almost 2 year old loves Toca Town, Pepi Doctor, & Sago Forest Flyer. (My almost 5 year old has played them a lot too) Most anything Toca or Pepi is great! Human Body is awesome for 3-4 & up.

    But now that YouTube came out with their kids version (app), all they want to do is watch videos!

  11. Thanks so much for taking the time to feature our app! I keep meaning to do another. It’s always on the to do list 🙂 We’ll see where we get!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.