Our Favorites: Top iPad and iPhone Apps

A while back, I promised someone I’d share a list of my kids’ favorite iPad/iPhone apps, and I’m finally getting around to it! In our house, our iPad has somehow become part of our daily lives. It’s one of those things that I knew I wanted, but until we got it, I didn’t know just how awesome it would be to have it. We use it every.single.day for web searching, email, Facebook, YouTube, our fun apps, you name it. There are times when we’d all like to use it at the same time!

We’ve found some really great apps since my husband got his first iPhone about 4 years ago. He LOVED the iPhone, but I wasn’t really sold on it. I really, REALLY wanted an iPad when they came out, so we got one earlier this year. I finally made the leap to iPhone after getting the iPad, and haven’t looked back! We mostly have kids’ apps (go figure), but my husband and I have our own fun ones, too.

Most of the apps that we use are free from the App Store but do have in-app purchases available for more levels. Keep in mind that some apps can be used on both the iPhone and iPad, but translate better on the iPad (but most of the ones I have listed do well on both).

So, here we go…

Our Top iPad/iPhone Apps for Kids

PBS Kids (Free!) Features more than 1,000 videos from over a dozen top PBS KIDS and PBS KIDS GO! shows, in a kid-friendly platform. Love this one, because they get to watch TV and I don’t have to worry about annoying commercials or the kids accidentally coming across inappropriate videos. This apps runs best on WiFi. Both my preschoolers AND school-aged kids like this one.

Farm 123 Free (Free, with a full paid version for $2.99) An interactive pop-up book with counting games. You only get a couple of levels of the games, but in-app purchases add more levels. The boys (almost 3 years old) LOVE this one, because they get a kick out of the bouncing animals. I LOVE it, because they are already learning to count. 🙂

Tozzle (Free, with a full paid version for $1.99) A drag-and-drop puzzle game with fun sound effects. Each puzzle gets a little harder, and when they finish the puzzle they can play with it by tapping for the different sound effects.

Tappy Tunes (Free, with a paid full version for $1.99) A fun app to play favorite songs by tapping out the tune, including children’s songs, classical music, holiday songs, and more. This one is a go-to for us to fend off the wigglies while waiting in line at the grocery or waiting to be seated at a restaurant.

JumpStart Preschool Magic of Learning ($1.99) We got hooked on JumpStart online, and found this app to be a great on-the-go learning tool. There are lots of games that teach letters, colors, shapes, numbers, and counting.

Quizzing Toddler Preschool by ToddlerTeasers ($1.99, with the complete set for $3.99) This is the “quiz” version, with a spoken prompt to pick the correct picture of letters, shapes, animals, and more, and correct answers earn stickers for a “sticker page.” There are over 1,000 in 30 categories available to download for free within the app.

Netflix (Free, with a paid subscription) Obviously, you have to be a member of Netflix already to use this app. You use WiFi to log into your account, and watch it as you would on your TV. We love this app, because we love Netflix. We do not have cable at our house (by choice–we prefer NOT to see the inane commercials, and honestly, we grew tired of paying for cable when we rarely watched TV in the first place), so this app is especially handy since we have wireless internet. The Netflix app was VERY useful just recently, when we were staying in a motel in Nebraska and our kids wanted to watch their favorite shows, but were overwhelmed when we turned on the TV and were accosted with loud and annoying commercials, lame dialogue, and laugh tracks.

Google Translate (Free) This app has been extremely useful lately, with our daughter being in Chinese Immersion Kindergarten. Impossibly, our SIX-YEAR-OLD is speaking Chinese, and Google Translate has helped us understand some of the words, and to practice saying them. We’ve spent time just sitting together, typing in words to hear how they are said in Chinese. Neat, right? 🙂

I could go on and on, really. So, here’s a screen shot of some of our other favorite kids’ apps, if you’d like to peruse.

(If you can’t read the text under the apps in the picture, they are: Math Magic, Word Magic, Flash Cards (by Dalmation Press), Flash Cards (Parents Magazine), Letter Quiz, Pop Words, TouchWord, ABC123 Lite, Doodle Buddy, Doodle Kids, Kizzle Lite, Pirate School (Jake and the Neverland Pirates), Happy Fish, and Little Things.)

I hope this has been helpful! If you’ve got questions, please leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you!

What are YOUR favorite apps? Do you have suggestions for apps that you love?


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