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Best Apps for Two-Year-Olds

I have two sons: Philip (4) and Noah (2). Whenever I meet other parents at Philip’s school, they always ask me, “What are the best iPad apps that I can get for my juniors?” So in March 2013, I compiled a list of iPad apps that I would personally recommend to anyone with a two-year-old toddler.

I feel that a curated list like this is a good resource for parents everywhere. That is why I am determined to update it with new apps and possibly create other lists that may be helpful to other parents. Taking hints from our Best Apps for Kids 2014 list, I decided to organize the apps based on how your juniors would use them.

Note: If your junior is 18 months old or younger, you might want to check our Best Apps for One-Year-Olds list. And if your junior is 30 months old or older, you might also want to check our Best Apps for Three-Year-Olds list.

Farm 123 is an adorable 3D pop-up book for juniors to learn counting.

Best Counting App: Farm 123

This adorable 3D pop-up book offers mini games with multiple difficulty levels to help kids learn to count. Many of the app’s design elements help reinforce the counting activity. Supports several languages including French, German, Spanish, Italian, Chinese, and Korean.

Link: App Store | Our Review

Best Tracing/Writing App: Writing Wizard

A tracing/writing app which trains kids to write more accurately in smaller and longer forms. It features a replay mode and detailed reports to aid parents in monitoring their child’s progress. It supports multiple user profiles, and enables parents to define unlimited custom words. The latest update includes accented letters, and is localized in French, German, Italian, Spanish and Swedish.

Link: App Store | Our Review

Best Phonics App: Endless Alphabet

A silly animated app for constructing words. Each letter makes a phonetic sound in a silly accent to encourage juniors to mimic it. It’s great for teaching “big” words like contagious, juggle, and lopsided. You also get (almost) endless updates of new words each time you connect to the internet.

Link: App Store

Best Sight Words App: Endless Reader

The sequel to Endless Alphabet, this app focuses on simple sight words like go, house, and in. It uses similar gameplay mechanics and animations. The animations help teach new words that can be difficult to explain, like funny, please, and very. You can unlock more words via in-app purchases.

Link: App Store

Best App to Learn about Colors: Intro to Colors

Inspired by Montessori color tablets, the app uses RYB color model as its learning method. Kids can learn about primary/secondary colors and basic color mixing. They can also learn about shades/gradients with the help of musical tones. The app supports several languages including French, German, Spanish, and Chinese.

Link: App Store | Our Review

The Going to Bed Book is a great adaptation of Sandra Boynton’s board storybook.

Best Bedtime Storybook: The Going to Bed Book

An adaptation of Sandra Boynton’s work of the same name, the app retains the look and feel of a board book while adding fresh, new interactions. Round it up with professionally recorded narration and a gentle soundtrack, and you get the perfect companion for bedtime.

Link: App Store | Our Review

Best Original Storybook: Animal SnApp: Farm

A collection of stories that follow the adventures of farm animals, illustrated by Alex Scheffler (of The Gruffalo fame). This charming app delivers a cinematic experience with top-notch visuals, lovely sound effects, and adorable narration.

Link: App Store | Our Review

Best Interactive Storybook: Red in Bed

A short and sweet original story that explores colors. It features colorful illustrations and fun musical interactions that will keep young readers entertained. Available in American and British English, Spanish, and Hungarian.

Link: App Store | Our Review

Best Non-Fictional Storybooks: Rounds: Franklin Frog and Rounds: Parker Penguin

A child-friendly, non-fictional story that explores the lifecycle of frogs. It is innovative in that the story never ends: once a cycle ends, another begins in its place. This highly interactive app also features dozens of facts about frogs.

Link for Franklin Frog: App Store | Our Review

The second app in the innovative Rounds series, this time centered on penguins. Like its predecessor, the app features bold, graphic-style illustrations, rich interactivity, original music, lively narration, and highlighted text to inspire enthusiasm about biology.

Link for Parker Penguin: App Store | Our Review

Pepi Doctor allows juniors to role-play as a doctor .

Best Health and Hygiene Apps: Pepi Bath and Pepi Doctor

A fun role-playing app that teaches juniors about basic hygiene. Kids help the boy/girl characters with daily cleaning routines: doing the laundry, brushing teeth, washing hands, going potty, and taking a bath. A highly interactive app with a sense of realism.

Link for Pepi Bath: App Store | Our Review

An adorable app for kids who want to role play as doctors. They get to cure cute characters of five common ailments like cold and toothache. They can also learn a bit about hygiene and first aid in the process. The games are intuitive and text-free, suitable for young toddlers.

Link for Pepi Doctor: App Store | Our Review

Best App to Encourage Healthy Eating: Yo Gabba Gabba! Party in My Tummy

A fun activity app that persuades kids to eat healthy meals such as sushi and oatmeal yoghurt. Juniors can also learn about the inner parts of their tummies, such as duodenum and colon. The app’s catchy song, intuitive gameplay, and relatable theme make it great for young toddlers.

Link: App Store | Our Review

Best Musical Jukebox App with Original Songs for Kids: Caspar Babypants, Music Time!

A great jukebox featuring up to 120 original songs from professional musician Caspar Babypants. Each song includes guitar chords and lyrics to sing along to. The initial download comes with 12 songs, but you can unlock more by buying the full albums from iTunes and uploading them to your iOS device.

Link: App Store | Our Review

Best Toy App: Bamba Toys

A creative app that lets kids make their own toys/action figures. Kids build the toy from a blueprint, assemble the parts, and design the packaging using a selection of toy parts and accessories. A fun app for both girls and boys.

Link: App Store | Our Review

Best Role-Playing Apps: Toca Tailor, Toca Hair Salon 2 and Toca Pet Doctor

This app provides kids with an easy way to experiment with different wardrobe designs in a short amount of time. Kids can import photos and external patterns to express their creativity even further. As a take away, they can take augmented reality photographs of the dressed-up characters in real life.

Link for Toca Tailor: App Store | Our Review

The sequel to Toca Boca’s bestselling app Toca Hair Salon, it offers new tools (curling and crimping), accessories, and characters for more hairstyling fun. Kids can also take photos of their work. A great app that encourages open-ended play and creative exploration.

Link for Toca Hair Salon 2: App Store | Our Review

In this app, juniors get to play vet for 15 little injured pets. They will learn how to take care of common pet problems and feed their pets. Some of the injuries are applicable to humans, as they play kids can also learn to take care of themselves.

Link for Toca Pet Doctor: App Store | Our Review

Best Collection of Mini Games: Preschool EduKidsRoom

A cohesive activity suite to hone various skills: color recognition, sorting by colors, shape recognition, counting, memory, and general pattern recognition. Most of the games are unique to the app, providing a fresh digital playground for many juniors.

Link: App Store | Our Review

Sago Mini Music Box lets juniors play and explore the world with the popular nursery rhymes.

Best Nursery Rhymes App: Sago Mini Music Box

A nice combination of nursery rhymes and an explore-and-discover gameplay. Kids can experiment with musical instruments and tempo using up to 10 fingers. The app brings a new nuance to popular rhymes Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and Row Row Row Your Boat.

Link: App Store | Our Review and Playing Tips

Best Coloring App: Sago Mini Bug Builder

From Toca Boca’s sister development team Sago Sago comes an endless stream of coloring activity for juniors. This creative app has no rules, and will always produce great results regardless of the player’s skills. It’s always a great feeling to watch the bugs we create come to life.

Link: App Store | Our Review

Best Doodling App: Sago Mini Doodlecast

A free-play app that lets kids record stories as they doodle to show to their parents and friends. It comes with a variety of templates, plus creative prompts to help kids overcome the anxiety of a blank canvas. Supports up to 16 languages including Bahasa Indonesia and Suomi.

Link: App Store | Our Review

Sago Mini Ocean Swimmer is one of the best nature exploration apps for juniors ages 2+.

Best App to Learn Opposites: Cricket Kids: Opposites

Activities in this app illustrate opposite adjectives such as untidy/tidy and broken/repaired. Juniors can play infinitely and interchangeably from one adjective to its opposite and back. Supports several languages including French, German, Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese.

Link: App Store | Our Review

Best App to Learn about Time: Around the Clock

An app that offers a mini game for every hour to help kids learn about time. Features colorful graphics and upbeat music appropriate for young kids. Simple, playful, and rule-free. Also useful for developing fine motor skills.

Link: App Store | Our Review

Best Nature Exploration Apps: Sago Mini Forest Flyer and Sago Mini Ocean Swimmer

An open-play environment that takes kids on an adventure with Robin the Bird. Her forest is full of surprises that can keep juniors engaged and curious. The animations are smooth and polished, making the playing experience a joyful one.

Link for Forest Flyer: App Store | Our Review

An open-ended app where young kids can explore a magical ocean. It offers more than 30 mini activities that featuring an adorable cast of characters. Simple but with plenty of details to discover, it leaves the storytelling part to the players.

Link for Ocean Swimmer: App Store | Our Review

Best Family Photo App: Duckie Deck Family Photo

A lovely app that lets kids create their own family photo. Intuitive and simple, it comes with an extensive library of features to experiment with. Also a great tool for storytelling and remembering new faces.

Link: App Store | Our Review

Best Jigsaw Puzzle Game: Abricot Games - Puzzle

Probably the only jigsaw puzzle app you’ll ever need, Abricot Game - Puzzle features beautiful illustrations that tell stories. It also allows you to convert your own photos into jigsaw puzzles. The gameplay is simple and suitable for young kids.

Link: App Store | Our Review

This list has just received its first update on Mar 3, 2014.

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