50 Best Apps for Kids 2014

It’s that time again of the year where we look back at all the children’s apps released in 2014 and pick out our favorite amongst them. We had some truly tough contenders — 112 apps were chosen initially — but alas, we had to steel our resolve and downsize our list to a manageable number: 50 apps. These are the best of the best in our opinion, after considering factors such as the app’s originality and execution.

As usual, we broke down the list by age and category. We’ve also included links to our reviews so you can learn more about each app.

Now, without further ado, here are our Top 50 Apps for Kids Released in 2014. Enjoy!

Note: This list only includes brand new apps released in 2014.

Kids pick up pre-writing skills in Patchimals: First Lines

Kids pick up pre-writing skills in Patchimals: First Lines

Best Apps for One-Year-Olds

Best Alphabet App: Alpha Zoo
A colorful app that reimagines the alphabet as quirky animals. Fun 3D animation and silly rhymes engages kids as they trace each letter. The app may not be the first to teach kids the alphabet, but it’s wonderfully executed. Free with IAP to unlock letters D-Z. Also available as a book for those in the UK.
Best App to Learn Tracing: Patchimals - First lines: Tracing app for toddlers and preschoolers.
Teaches preschoolers pre-writing skills using colorful animations. Kids will learn to draw straight, curvy, and zigzag lines, spirals, basic shapes, and complete pictures. Adjustable difficulty levels and infinite sessions offer a stress-free workflow. Available in English and Spanish.
Best Health/Hygiene App: Duckie Deck With Teeth
A fun app that teaches the importance of dental care. Kids can grow various teeth and experiment with different mouth structures. They also learn to brush after eating. The simple activity and catchy reward song persuade kids to replay the game until the message sticks.
Drive Around: Number Neighborhood encourages kids to explore town and play with math-themed games

Drive Around: Number Neighborhood encourages kids to explore town and play with math-themed games

Best Apps for Two-Year-Olds

Best Early Math App: Drive About: Number Neighborhood
In this app, kids visit various places in fancy vehicles to solve various math-themed mini games. Exploration is key, so they can play the games in any order and at their own pace. A recent update introduced night driving and language support for Spanish, French, Portuguese, and Russian.
Best App to Learn about Shapes: Busy Shapes
Teaches kids about 2D shapes by matching shapes with holes. Kids will learn to distinguish color, size, and shapes through over 110 self-adjusting levels. Inspired by Jean Piaget’s theory about children trying to make sense of the world. Available in 21 languages, including French, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Korean, and Chinese.
Best Alphabet App: Avokiddo ABC Ride
This playful app teaches the alphabet and spelling. Kids follow a boy or a girl as they bike through the neighborhood and solve various puzzles. There’s an activity for each letter, which can be be played in random order to avoid repetition. Eric’s son, Noah’s favorite app.
Best App to Learn New Words: The Little Brown Bear Interactive Picture Book (English)
Includes six interactive scenes that tell unique stories despite not containing any narration or text. Kids can pick up to 250 everyday words by tapping on various items. A memory game motivates kids to find all the objects in the scenes.
Sago Mini Space Explorer takes you to an outer space exploration with Harvey the dog

Sago Mini Space Explorer takes you to an outer space exploration with Harvey the dog

Best Space Exploration App: Sago Mini Space Explorer
An open-ended app that offers fun surprises at every turn. Many of the animations play slightly differently the second time, giving kids the incentive to come back. There is plenty of humor, along with the opportunity to get kids excited about space.
Best Role-Playing App: Toca Pet Doctor
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, so as they play kids also learn to take care of themselves.
Best Bedtime App: Nighty Night Circus - Bedtime story for kids
A vibrant app in which kids help circus animals go to sleep by turning off the lights. As kids make their rounds, they can watch the animals perform silly tricks. Gorgeous animation and soothing narration make this app a great addition to your child’s go-to-sleep ritual.
The Joy of Reading is a collection of mini games designed to help kids learn to read

The Joy of Reading is a collection of mini games designed to help kids learn to read

Best Apps for Three-Year-Olds

Best App to Learn about Shapes: Doodle Critter Math: Shapes
Offers six games in which juniors can learn about six basic shapes and the concept of corners and sides. Kids also learn to identify these shapes in the real world. The games get more difficult over time, reinforcing the concept of shapes.
Best Phonics App: The Joy of Reading
Provides a comprehensive and systematic approach to encourage early reading. Nine multi-level games guide kids as they learn about phonemic awareness and phonics. The Parent and Teacher handbook outline the games and explain the learning process. Developed with early reading specialist and is aligned to English Common Core State Standards.
Best Counting App: Quick Math Jr.
Offers five mini games that cover important foundations of math including addition and subtraction, writing numbers, place value, and more. It uses classic games but introduces new elements to make them more engaging. Self-adjusting levels ensure that kids always learn at their own pace.
Windy's Lost Kite is a beautiful storybook with an interactive handcrafted environment

Windy's Lost Kite is a beautiful storybook with an interactive handcrafted environment

Best Interactive Storybook: Windy's Lost Kite - A Windy and Friends Stop Motion Animated Story for Children
Interactive stop-motion animation and a playful soundscape give this handmade app a whimsical charm. The lighthearted story is suitable for young children. Two bonus activities add an extra layer of fun. Readers can switch between English and French text on the fly.
Best Toy App: Sago Mini Road Trip
A fun driving game in which kids and Jinja the cat visit her friends at various places, from the beach to the mountain. They pack her suitcase and pick a silly car to drive. A couple of mini activities and many fun surprises on the road make for a storytelling opportunity.
Best Role-Playing App: Dr. Panda's Mailman
A fun app where kids help Dr. Panda pack and deliver handwritten postcards and packages to animal friends. Exploration is key as kids zip through a world filled with mountains, forests, houses, and rivers. An open-ended experience with no rules and no time limit.
Best Bedtime Storybook: Wake Up Mo! ~ 3D Interactive Pop-Up Book
Follows cute Mo’s morning routines in this app. Told in eight interactive 3D pop-up pages, it features common activities for preschoolers, such as eating breakfast, getting dressed, and going to school. Available in English, French, German and Spanish.
Marcopolo Weather lets you experiment with different weather conditions, wind speeds, and temperature

Marcopolo Weather lets you experiment with different weather conditions, wind speeds, and temperature

Best App to Learn about Weather: MarcoPolo Weather
Kids learn about how different weather conditions affect people in this playful app. Using simple controls, they can change the weather, temperature, and wind to simulate various weather conditions from moderate to extreme. Free with IAP.
Best App to Learn about Airport and Traveling: Tiny Airport
Has three scenes to introduce kids to air travel. Highly detailed, it has more than 90 interactive stories to rouse your children’s curiosity. Text-free but intuitive. A recent update introduced new destinations and aircrafts.
Best Nature Exploration App: MarcoPolo Ocean
An open-ended app where kids can learn about the ocean. Professionally-recorded narration provides them with contextual information about the animals that live underwater, the ocean landscape, and shipping vessels. The app also has a free-play aquarium.
Best App to Develop Emotional Intelligence: Peppy Pals
Focuses on learning about empathy, emotions, friendship, and other social skills. The app shows these qualities through interactive fables. Also includes drawing and coloring activities to keep kids engaged.
Toca Kitchen 2 offers new ingredients and new tools to create new recipes

Toca Kitchen 2 offers new ingredients and new tools to create new recipes

Best Baking/Cooking Game: Toca Kitchen 2
Sequel to the popular Toca Kitchen app. You get new guests, new ingredients, and new tools to play and experiment with. Characters have stronger reactions, teaching kids to pick up emotional cues. A vegetarian mode is also included.
Best Environmental Education App: Gro Garden
A friendly app that teaches kids about sustainable farming. Kids experience the gardening life cycle hands-on by preparing the soil, planting seeds, harvesting the crop, collecting food scraps to produce compost, and plenty more. Intuitive, fun, and cutely illustrated.
Best Interactive Simulation Game: My Very Hungry Caterpillar
Based on Eric Carle’s beloved character, this beautiful 3D app lets kids nurture their own caterpillar until it turns into a butterfly. The gameplay is infinite; the butterflies you’ve grown will fly around as you take care of your next caterpillar. Also a great way to teach kids about metamorphosis.
Best Platform Game: Thinkrolls
Tactile puzzler teaches kids about physics through 180 levels. Kids learn to create force with momentum, predict angle of impact, read patterns, and more. Many levels require you to plan ahead, so it sharpens problem-solving skills. Harder levels are suitable for ages 5+
Shiny Circus combines storytelling and mini games to teach kids about basic measurements

Shiny Circus combines storytelling and mini games to teach kids about basic measurements

Best Apps for Four-Year-Olds

Best App to Learn about Measurements: Shiny Circus
A playful, circus-themed app in which kids learn about different types of measurements: length, height, width, area, distance, and mass. They also hone their counting skills as they compare, sort, and match objects. There’s a social aspect to the app as it teaches kids about sharing with others.
Best Nature Exploration App: Explorium - Ocean For Kids
Kids dive deep to find the lost city of Atlantis while simultaneously learning about marine life. Familiar mini games keep kids engaged, while a dedicated encyclopedia section provides more than 50 facts about the animals and objects found throughout the games.
Best Non-Fictional Storybook: Where Are We? Learning Library Collection
Four books by Dr. Seuss that explore the world from outer space to the North and South Poles. Kids can tap an object to learn its name, and colored words to find more information about them. Parents can record their own narration and explanation of the terms used in the stories.
Best Musical App: Music Superheroes - Learn music while having fun
A fun app in which kids learn music concept and skills as they play. It includes five mini games that cover concepts such as tempo, rhythm, notes, instruments, and music production, and features recordings made with real instruments. Kids can also record their voice to create unique sounds.
Best App to Learn about Professions: Match & Play - Jobs
Features 20 occupations from pilot to veterinarian. Four mini games get kids acquainted to these professions and what tools are linked to each one. A great app to expand your child’s vocabulary as well.
Learn geometry by solving tangram puzzles and creating your own puzzles

Learn geometry by solving tangram puzzles and creating your own puzzles

Best Apps for Five-Year-Olds

Best Montessori Math App: Montessori Math City
Teaches kids about the decimal system using tools such as golden beads and Seguin board. As kids complete the activities, they’ll earn items to build their city. Fun and intuitive. Available in more 15 languages, including French, German, Portuguese, and Russian.
Best App to Learn 2D Shapes using Tangram: Shape Arts: Geometry Creations
Learning geometry can be fun with the right app. Shape Arts helps kids learn about 2D shapes, spatial reasoning by solving and creating tangram puzzles. They can also share their puzzles with other Shape Artists or play puzzles made by others.
Best Digital Book Library: Dr. Seuss Treasury
A subscription-based digital library containing 55 Dr. Seuss storybooks. You get a free 7-day trial period, during which you can download and read as many titles as you can. Each book comes with terrific reading options, including record-your-own narration.
Turning on the label feature in Homes will let kids learn the names of various object in 50 languages

Turning on the label feature in Homes will let kids learn the names of various object in 50 languages

Best App to Learn about World Culture: Homes by Tinybop
A neat app that lets kids explore the nooks and crannies of four homes from around the world. All objects are labeled in more than 50 languages, and some allow fun interactions. A free companion handbook provides facts about each home and discussion ideas.
Best App to Learn about Physics: Max & Ruby! Science
Makes learning physical science fun. Kids will learn about the properties of liquid and the motion of objects through simple, hands-on activities guided by Max and Ruby. Fun rewards, such as animated clips and build-your-own-scenes sticker book, keep kids motivated.
Best Nature Exploration App: Toca Nature
An imaginative app in which kids manipulate terrains and grow tiny habitats at their fingertips. It’s vibrant and full of details; specific environmental conditions can affect its animal inhabitants. A creative and child-friendly way to experience the wonders of nature.
Slice Fractions offer 50+ levels of puzzles to help kids get comfortable with the fraction concepts

Slice Fractions offer 50+ levels of puzzles to help kids get comfortable with the fraction concepts

Best Apps for Ages 6-7

Best App to Learn Fractions: Slice Fractions
Brilliant puzzle game to introduce the concepts of fractions in over 90 levels. Juniors will slice and match fire/ice blocks to help a mammoth reunite with his beloved. The app has been reviewed by researchers at Université du Québec à Montréal in Canada, and adhere to Common Core Standards for Grade 2-4.
Best Original Storybook: The UnStealer
An unceasingly amusing story filled positive messages. It contains lots of humor and silly word-play. Collage-style graphics and story-driven animations add to the overall reading experience.
Best Montessori Math App: Montessori Math: Multiplication
Explains the concept of multiplication in great details and step by step. Besides the main lessons, kids will also learn by playing several games. Allows multiple player profiles and adjustable difficulty levels.
To learn more about the great building combination in Hoopa City, make sure you check out our Combination Guide

To learn more about the great building combination in Hoopa City, make sure you check out our Combination Guide

Best Town Management Game: Hoopa City
A building game where kids can experiment with seven basic materials to create over 50 different buildings. The discovery aspect makes the game engaging. Fans of Dr. Panda apps will spot familiar faces as they ride around town, visit shops, and lounge at the beach.
Best App to Learn about History: D-Day for kids
A graphical storybook that retells the historical Normandy landings. Includes several quizzes and mini games to test the reader’s comprehension. Reward stickers provide additional facts on key historical figures and objects. Fully narrated in English, French, and German.
Best Puzzle Adventure Game: ShipAntics: The Legend of The Kiki Beast
A seafaring adventure interlaced with riddles. TV-quality cartoon animations and likable characters contribute to an enjoyable experience. Available in English, French, German, and Spanish.
Twelve a Dozen is our favorite app for the year 2014. We're impressed by its fantastic puzzles and gameplay

Twelve a Dozen is our favorite app for the year 2014. We're impressed by its fantastic puzzles and gameplay

Best Apps for Ages 8-10

Best Arithmetic Game: Twelve a Dozen
A brilliant platform adventure game to teach arithmetic. Thoughtful puzzles, forgiving controls, and vibrant graphics create a solid gaming experience. Also features excellent narration by English actress Lucy Montgomery.
Best App to Learn about Fractions: Quick Fractions
Offers four quick-paced game modes to learn about fractions. Support for handwriting recognition allows players to write their answers directly on screen. Has four difficulty levels from beginner to extreme, so players will always find a challenge.
Best Geometry Game (tie): The Land of Venn - Geometric Defense
A fast-paced defense game that’s also an effective way to learn geometry. Learning is seamlessly integrated into the gameplay; kids defeat evil monsters by incorporating them into shapes. Quirky visual style set it apart from similar apps in its category.
Best Geometry Game (tie): DragonBox Elements
Well-designed adventure game to learn about the basic of geometry. Kids secretly construct Euclidian geometrical proofs as collect warriors to defeat evil monsters. More than 110 levels are available to provide several hours of gameplay.
Learn the fundamentals of light and sound through six illustrated and fully-narrated lessons

Learn the fundamentals of light and sound through six illustrated and fully-narrated lessons

Best Science App (tie): Meet Science: Magnetism and Electricity
A science textbook on your tablet, the app has lessons, experiments, and games to teach kids about magnets and electricity. Audio narration and fun animation engage learners as they go through the lessons. A vast glossary is included to learn more about important scientists like Thomas Edison and Pierre Curie.
Best Science App (tie): Meet Science: Light and Sound
A comprehensive app to learn the fundamental concepts of light and sound, complete with animations and audio narration. Kids reinforce what they have the learned through quizzes, mini games, and experiment videos. An illustrated glossary makes it easy to look up various physical terms.
Best Anatomy App: My Incredible Body
Stunning 3D app offers a guided tour inside the human body. Eight chapters cover topics ranging from the digestion system to the blood circulation system, complete with animated videos to show how various organs work. Highly informative and immersive.
Pablo is a 23-year-old young man who is still searching for his identity

Pablo is a 23-year-old young man who is still searching for his identity

Best Apps for Ages 11-13

Best App to Build Positive Body Image: Who? What? Pablo!
Thoughtful storybook explores the theme of trying to fit in. Quirky illustrations and excellent music choice will appeal to the early teen. You can change language on the fly from English to Spanish to Korean.
Best App to Learn about the Human Body: Heart and Lungs Lab
Allows an extensive look into the inner workings of the body’s cardiovascular and respiratory systems. Kids brush up on their facts, then validate them through tactile experiments and challenging practice quizzes. Useful for classroom and home settings.
 

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