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Best iPad Apps for Kids

Published June 18, 2013        by Sarah

Image by Sean MacEntee on FlickrSchool districts have them in the classroom. Millions of parents and grandparents are buying them for kids on a regular basis. Baby book gifts might seem like a thing of the past, as iPads are seemingly everywhere, and lots of kids have their own iPads or at least the use of one regularly within their own households.

This level of popularity among the younger set has served to create an entire group of apps dedicated to kids, so whether you want your child to learn something amazing or just have a good time, there’s an app for that.

Here are a few iPad apps that you may want to make sure appear on the home screen every time the iPad comes on.

For the Younger Set

If you have preschoolers, toddlers, or even babies using the iPad, there are many different apps out there geared specifically toward them.

  • Elmo Loves ABCs: Toddlers have loved Elmo for generations now, and this is a great way to use this character in a learning application. At just $1.99, it’s one app you can certainly afford, and it’s very easy to use. Hitting play is just a matter of pressing the big green button, and the kids can trace the letter, color a page, watch a video, and even choose objects that start with that letter. There’s more to do once your child begins to master his alphabet, too.
  • The Monster at the End of This Book: This is another Sesame Street based app, but it’s one well worth noting, as there aren’t very many parents who won’t remember this classic children’s book. The app runs $3.99, but it’s not just a chance for your kids to become acquainted with the story. Instead, they have to work their way through obstacles to actually reach the end, and it manages to teach some persistence as well as coordination.
  • JellyToons Toddler Skills: This app is well worth the $1.99 it costs, because it’s packed with mini games that help your toddler develop a number of different skills. There are buttons to press, shapes to match, and items to track. The JellyToons themselves are cute enough, but add that to the fun games, and this is an app your little one will reach for multiple times.
  • Wee Alphas: The alphabet is a tough skill to teach little ones, but this is a great way to do it. The characters here are cute, and there are all kinds of games with the letter sounds and words themselves that will make learning fun. It runs $2.99, and the artistry is amazing.

For the Older Kids

Grade schoolers are looking for something completely different when they grab an iPad, so there are several geared toward this age group as well.

  • National Geographic’s Ultimate Dinopedia: The Most Complete Dinosaur Reference Ever: There’s never been a time when dinosaurs weren’t awesome, and that isn’t likely to change soon thanks to this app. It runs $4.99, but if you have a dino lover on your hands, it’s one you won’t want to miss. There are pictures, video, and all kinds of interactive features that mean so much to those prehistoricphiles out there.
  • Magic Guitar: If your nine year old is ready for the big time, this is one way to play on his love of music. The app actually allows you to control notes, the speed, even the pitch and vibrato of the “guitar,” teaching him some fundamental music skills along the way. There’s creativity as well as tracks from famed artists, and given that it’s free, you can’t miss this one.
  • Scribblenauts Remix: Scribblenauts has been a popular title for kids for several years now, and this version of the game is a solid way to help kids develop some great vocabulary skills. The puzzles are tough, so you may notice a bit of frustration from younger kids with this one. The price is just $0.99, though, so even if it’s not a hit, you haven’t lost much.
  • Max and the Magic Marker: If Scribblenauts teaches kids to be clever with words, this is a game that teaches them to be equally as clever with shapes and other solutions. It runs $4.99 for the iPad, but saving Max’s world from the inky creature he’s drawn with bridges, tall buildings, and more is well worth the price.