Best Apps for One-Year-Olds

A question I often receive from other parents is how to use technology to maximize their child’s education. They would ask me: “What are the best iPad apps for my kids?”

When my second son Noah had his first birthday, I compiled a list of iPad apps that I would personally recommend to anyone with a one-year-old child. I feel that a curated list is a good resource for parents everywhere, and I am determined to update it with new apps regularly.

This list has come a long way since its first conception, and is now in its fourth iteration. I have adopted a more streamlined format (similar to what we use in our Best Apps for Kids 2015 guide) and reorganized the apps based on their use cases.

Note: If your junior is 18 months old or older, check our list of Best Apps for Two-Year-Olds.

BEST TRACING APP: LetterSchool features playful animations to encourage kids to trace letters

BEST TRACING APP: LetterSchool features playful animations to encourage kids to trace letters

Best Numbers App: TallyTots Counting

The app offers 20 playful activities to help kids learn to count up to 20. As they play with higher numbers, they will relearn the lower numbers through repetition. They can also sing along to the catchy counting song and learn other numbers up to 100.

Link: App Store | Our Review

Best Alphabet App: Mini-U: ZOO Alphabet

An extensive app that introduces kids to 63 animals, including more exotic ones such as emu, meerkat, and viper. Every page is interactive, with some pages allowing kids to partake in activities such as tracing, counting, and musical play. Animated and lively, Mini-U: ZOO Alphabet will appeal to small children.

Link: App Store | Our Review

Best Tracing App: LetterSchool

Featuring lively animations and sound effects, this intuitive app teaches kids to write letters and numbers. It supports three different handwriting styles: D’Nealian, Handwriting Without Tears, and Zaner-Bloser.

Link: App Store | Our Review

BEST BEDTIME STORYBOOK: Goodnight Mo is a soothing 3D popup storybook that makes a lovely bedtime companion

BEST BEDTIME STORYBOOK: Goodnight Mo is a soothing 3D popup storybook that makes a lovely bedtime companion

Best Sight Words App: Touch, Look, Listen ~ My First Words

A 3D popup book that helps kids learn the names of frequently seen objects, colors, and numbers from 1 to 5. Kids can learn objects in two languages at the same time, thus the app is suitable for bilingual families. Available in English, French, German, Spanish, and Chinese.

Link: App Store | Our Review

Best Bedtime Storybook: Goodnight Mo ~ 3D Interactive Pop-Up Book

A soothing storybook to accompany toddlers as they get ready for bed. The app follows Mo as he goes through his nightly routines such as taking a bath and brushing his teeth. Kids can tap on objects on the screen to make them yawn. The calm background music and narration help lull kids to sleep.

Link: App Store | Our Review

Best App to Get Kids to Take Medicine: Even Monsters Get Sick

A storybook that has helped me many times with persuading my kids to take their medicines. The protagonist shows them why they need doctors and medicines to recover from their sickness. They will also love the scene where the boy reads a bedtime story to his pet monster.

Link: App Store | Our Review

BEST MUSICAL APP: Little Fox Music Box features lovely hand-drawn illustrations to accompany classic nursery rhymes

BEST MUSICAL APP: Little Fox Music Box features lovely hand-drawn illustrations to accompany classic nursery rhymes

Best Nursery Rhymes App: Little Fox Music Box

This interactive juke box features the songs Old Mac Donald Has a Farm, London Bridge, and Evening Song. It has multiple layers of animations and a karaoke mode with English and German captions. Kids can also create their own music in the treehouse music studio.

Link: App Store | Our Review

Best Coloring App: Kapu Bloom Tunes

A cute toy that lets kids paint and grow musical flowers. Parents can use the app to introduce kids to the musical scale and the concept of symmetry. Simple and easy to use, it is suitable for small children.

Link: App Store | Our Review

Best Toy App: Toca Robot Lab

An open-ended game where kids create their own robots from scraps and fly them around the lab. It has no text, only a big replay button to encourage players to keep playing.

Link: App Store | Our Review

Best Mini Game Collection: Fish School HD - by Duck Duck Moose

Featuring colorful animated fishes, the app introduces kids to letters, numbers, and shapes. It also has mini activities to help them learn about colors and counting up to 20. As a bonus, it includes the ABC song.

Link: App Store | Our Review

This list was last updated on February 18, 2016.

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