60 Best Apps for Kids 2015
If we were to sum up in 2015 in a word, it would be innovative. This year we saw developers push the boundaries of what an app can contribute to a child’s education and development. What you see here are fine examples of the most inventive, illuminating, and engaging children’s apps you can find on the App Store — they’re our Top 60 Apps for Kids 2015.
Best Apps for One-Year-Olds
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 preschool-aged kids.
Best Apps for Two-Year-Olds
Best Alphabet App: Metamorphabet
A truly fantastic app for all ages, Metamorphabet delights players with its tactile user interface and beautiful, organic animations. A diverse vocabulary coupled with surreal imagery inspire a sense of wonder and encourage creative thinking. If you are planning to get only one alphabet app for your child, make it this one.
Best Vocabulary App: Zooper ABC Animals
Shape Gurus teaches kids to match, sort, and classify shapes and colors. It offers a series of geometric puzzles that come together to tell a story, and get progressively difficult over time. Simple yet brimming with interactions, this beautiful app will delight and entertain young kids.
Best Role-Playing App (tie): Sago Mini Toolbox
Sago Mini Toolbox is a great role-playing app for kids who love to build, tinker, and fix things around them. It has many tools and construction projects to choose from. It also exposes kids to a variety of materials from wood to cloth.
Best Role-Playing App (tie): Sago Mini Superhero
You don’t need x-ray vision to see how much fun is packed in Sago Mini Superhero. This vibrant app allows kids to channel their curiosity and discover what being a superhero is all about. With 30 playful animations to discover, it’s sure to delight young kids anywhere.
Best Musical App: Duckie Deck Homemade Orchestra
Duckie Deck Homemade Orchestra is a fun app that encourages kids to be creative. By showing that various instruments can be made using with everyday things, it invites you to think out of the box and tinker. There is a lot of opportunity to extend the activities off-screen, which we really like.
Best Apps for Three-Year-Olds
Best Papercraft App: Labo Paper Plate
Labo Paper Plate features 12 simple craft projects that you can easily replicate at home. It shows that with a little creativity, even ordinary objects like the paper plate can become interesting toys. In addition to making crafts, the app allows children to play with their creation in fun mini games.
Best Early Math App: Numbie
Up to 100 helps kids discover numbers up to 100 through 6 fun activities. Older kids can learn numbers in foreign languages, including French, German, Italian, and Spanish. The app is inspired by Montessori pedagogy and approaches.
Best App to Learn about Shapes: Lipa Pirates
Best Game to Practice Spatial Reasoning: Peg + Cat: The Tree Problem
Based on PBS Kids’s show Peg + Cat, this cute app offers a series of games designed to help kids develop problem solving skills and learn early math skills. With 50 unique levels and 10 fun worlds, kids will have a fun time learning without even realizing it.
Best Sight Word App: The Sight Word Adventure
The Sight Word Adventure is a fun-filled game where kids can learn 320 sight words spread across five levels from Pre-K to Grade 3. The games can be customized to your child’s learning level, and there’s a parental dashboard to monitor the child’s progress.
Best App to Remember Names: Name Play
Name Play promotes early reading and writing through a child’s name. It offers 8 fun activities with many customizable components; among others, you can use the app to help kids remember their friends’ names. Also available for Apple Watch.
Best App to Learn a New Language: Pacca Alpaca - Basic language learning and educational games for children
Best Storybook to Help Kids Overcome Fear of Shadows: My Naughty Shadow
A great way for kids to enjoy YouTube contents that are suitable for their age. Even though Google curates the channels, you can still find other contents through keyword-based search and the Recommended section. If you’re looking for a good way to have parental controls over YouTube contents, this is a suitable app.
Best Role-Playing App: Toca Life: School
Best Apps for Four-Year-Olds
Best App to Encourage Healthy Eating: This Is My Food - Nutrition for Kids
A comprehensive and fun resource for kids to learn all about food and nutrition. This interactive app is loaded with fun facts, animated diagrams, and mini games that engage kids and even grown-ups. A special feature is a journal for keeping track of your own real-life herb garden.
Best App to Learn About Genetics: DNA Play
In DNA Play, kids learn how genes work by creating silly monsters. By tweaking the monster’s gene order, they can give it certain physical traits such as a furry torso or short legs. Delightful animations bring the monsters to life and make this app engaging for young children.
Best Early Math App (tie): Zap Zap Math
A collection of well-designed games to help kids practice their math skills. The games are organized into topics based on the Common Core Standards, and cover topics from number value to geometry. Each game has 5 difficulty levels to cater to different age groups.
Best Early Math App (tie): DragonBox Numbers
DragonBox Numbers teaches kids what numbers are, how they work, and what you can do with them. In the app, numbers are turned into colorful characters that can be manipulated to solve puzzles. With 350 challenges to complete, this app is an extensive resource for learning math.
Best Odd One Out Game: Fiete Choice
A seriously fun app where kids can explore sequences, loops, and music. The clever sound design ensures that every sequence will sound harmonious, and the simple interface makes it easy to use. There are no rights or wrongs in the app, so kids can experiment and play to their hearts’ content.
Best Interactive Storybook: Goldilocks and Little Bear
Goldilocks and Little Bear puts a literal spin on a classic by allowing readers to flip their device to switch between Goldilocks’s and Little Bear’s story. As they read along, they can interact with the characters in their beautiful, 2D world. Engaging narration add a dash of charm to this interactive fairytale.
Best Musical Storybook: Peter and the Wolf in Hollywood
Peter and the Wolf in Hollywood is a musical tale adapted from a composition written by Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev in 1936. Set in modern-day Los Angeles, the interactive book takes readers on a thrilling adventure. If you’re looking for a way to introduce musical storytelling to your kids, you should definitely give this one a try.
Best App to Learn About Time: Telling Time with the Smurfs
Telling Time with the Smurfs offers analog clock lessons to help kids learn how to tell the time. It uses the Smurfs characters and a contextual storyline, making it easier for kids to relate the story to their own routines.
Best Resources for Educational Videos and DIY Projects: WonderBox
WonderBox presents a safe way for families to explore fascinating topics and complete creatives challenges using easy-to-use design tools. It includes thousands of educational videos curated by educators, and built-in private messaging so families and friends can share their creations with each other.
Best Apps for Five-Year-Olds
Best Arithmetic Game: Odd Squad: Blob Chase
Odd Squad: Blob Chase is a fun math game in which kids can practice their early arithmetic skills. It offers 60 levels of challenging problem solving involving addition, subtraction, doubling and halving. If your kids enjoy puzzle platformer games, they’re going to love Odd Squad: Blob Chase.
Best Crossword Puzzle Game: Bonza National Geographic
The sequel to the famed Bonza Word Puzzle, but designed with kids and science enthusiats in mind. It features new picture hints and jigsaw puzzles featuring stunning photographs from National Geographic, making it more appealing to younger audience.
Best App to Learn About Syllables: Nok Syllables
Nok Syllables helps kids with early reading. It offers a set of activities that teach kids to identify syllables and build new words from them. Each activity consists of three levels of progressive difficulty and prizes, with positive reinforcement upon correctly completing each one.
Best App to Introduce Kids to Opera: Let’s Go to the Opera
Opera is an art form that may not be accessible to many kids around the world. Let’s Go to the Opera is a great way to take your kids to see and learn from a virtual opera. It lets you to learn about the theater architecture and the different roles that make an opera possible. It’s a great app — both for family and classroom settings.
Best Platform Game: Thinkrolls 2
Thinkrolls 2 is the sequel to an excellent physics-based platform game released last year. It keeps the same game mechanics, but introduces several new items and characters to keep the gameplay fresh. With 200+ levels, this is a fun game that will keep young minds challenged.
Best Puzzle Game: Crazy Gears
A fascinating puzzle game where kids must use reasoning and problem-solving skills to manipulate colorful gears, chains, rods, and pulleys. As kids play through 60 increasingly complex levels, they will learn how different mechanisms affect one another in simple machines. It’s a fun way to get kids interested in STEM topics, especially mechanical systems.
Best Interactive Storybook: David Wiesner’s Spot
A unique app that allows you to make active choices to create your own stories. You pinch to zoom to navigate within and across five different worlds, which creates a unique and immersive storytelling experience unlike that of a typical storybook. If your kids are open to stories with non-linear plots, this app will stir up imagination and hone their storytelling skills.
Best Audiobook: Storm & Skye
Best Apps for Six-Year-Olds
Best App to Teach Kids First Aid, Safety Procedure, and Accident Prevention: RED CROSS
A great interactive app about first aid and accident prevention. It shows 11 common accidents that might happen at home, at school, or on the road, and how to react to them. You can personalize the app with your country’s emergency number, which allows it to be relevant to kids anywhere.
Best Original Storybook: Billy’s Booger
Billy’s Booger is an unconventional tale about an imaginative boy, a heroic snot, and learning to be yourself. Illustrated by award-winning writer/filmmaker William Joyce, this terrific book-app shows that with proper support and guidance, a child can go far with his imagination.
Best Interactive Storybook: The Amazing Quest
Best Non-Fiction Storybook: Ocean Forests
Ocean Forests blends an engaging, non-fiction storybook with open-ended exploration and educational mini games to create an unforgettable learning experience. This stunning app introduces kids to a kelp forest and its unique inhabitants. Excellent reading options cater to various reading skills, and set the app apart.
Best Arithmetic Game: Land of Venn - Numeric Storms
A tower defense game that aims to help players recall addition math facts and ultimately, stop finger counting. It is fast-paced and requires a lot of planning, but older kids will find it a more exciting alternative to worksheets. Features include 30 kooky levels and epic boss fights, up to three player profiles, and app-wide English narration.
Best Sight Words Game: Mystery Word Town
A fun word game that has kids learning to spell as they wrangle outlaws. Designed to support classroom learning, the game has great replay value because you get new words and letters every time you play. Other features include multiple user accounts, custom word lists, and fun trivia.
Best Robot Building Game: The Robot Factory
Imagination runs free as kids build their dream bots in this beautiful robot factory. They can mix and match 50+ unique parts to experiment with different designs, then see if their construction holds up in the treacherous test arena. The app supports multiple profiles, so more than one child can play on the same device.
Best World Building Game: Toca Blocks
Toca Blocks is a fun app that lets kids build magical worlds from colorful blocks. Similar to crafting in Minecraft, blocks can be combined to create new, interesting types. The blocks can then be used to create interactive worlds — just like in Super Mario Maker. If your kids love building games, Toca Blocks is a must-have.
Best Learning Tool for Creating Diagrams: Memio
Best Apps for Seven-Year Olds
Best Poem App: Wit-Fit
Wit-Fit is a fun app for learning about rhyming words and short poems in English. Each poem is like a puzzle waiting to be solved. Using the illustrations as hints, kids learn how to associate words to complete a sentence while keeping everything in context. It truly is a fun little app for everyone in the family to enjoy clever rhymes and witty poems.
Best History Game: Age of Explorers
A fun app that tells the story behind 5 famous European explorers. Kids will help these explorers manage their ships, all the while learning about the challenges they face. It features fast-paced games that require kids to have quick reaction and great hand-eye coordination.
Best Astronomy App: Professor Astro Cat’s Solar System
Best Physics App: Simple Machines by Tinybop
Simple Machines is an interactive, sandbox-style app where you explore six simple machines and discover how they work behind the scenes. What makes the app so engaging is the little rewards you get by experimenting with different things, thus encouraging kids to explore more. If your kids are excited about STEM, this app will be right up in their alley.
Best App to Learn Programming: Robot School
Through 45 levels of puzzles, Robot School teaches kids how to use programming elements, such as loops, conditional loops, and conditionals. It’s great because kids are trained to code efficiently from the start, and it has a gentle learning curve that makes learning fun for all ages.
Best App to Improve Brain Power: Brainventures
Brainventures is a game based on the growth mindset. This engaging app offers numerous activities for improving basic skills, as well as valuable insight about the learning process. Friendly characters and an engaging narrative help make the app a joy to use.
Best Apps for Eight-Year-Olds
Best Fantasy Novel Series: Weirdwood Manor
Weirdwood Manor is an original book-app series that will stir the reader’s imagination. Combining elements of magic and fantasy with interactivity, these beautifully illustrated books encourage readers to discover fun puzzles and fascinating artifacts. All in all, this is an interesting series with great production value that you wouldn’t want to miss out.
Best Earth Science App: The Earth by Tinybop
The Earth provides an interactive model for kids to experiment with the geological forces that shape our planet. Among others, they can trigger earthquakes and rockslides, make volcanoes erupt, and see how the Earth has transformed over time. All in all, it’s an excellent and educational app.
Best Math Game: Motion Math: Cupcake
A great business simulation game in which kids learn to use math to solve real world problems. Some of the word problems can be tricky as they require multiple steps of calculation, and involve mixed numbers and proportions. When you factor in the coordinate system, this game can be quite challenging even for adults.
Best Apps for Ages 9-11
Best Logic Game: Zoombinis
Zoombinis is a fantastic game that promotes problem solving skills in the players. It offers 12 tricky puzzles, each with 4 increasing difficulty levels, that require players to approach problems systematically and make logical deductions based on the clues they find. The engaging narrative and adorable characters make the game fun for kids and adults alike.
Best Engineering App: The Everything Machine
The Everything Machine lets you access the hardware and sensors on your device so you can create machines that do anything you can think of. This sophisticated app encourages creative thinking, and introduces kids to programming and circuitry. It’s a child-friendly app, yet at the same time complex enough for grown-ups to enjoy.
Best Storybook for Overcoming Fear of Shadow: The Bedsby Tales
The Bedsby Tales offers short scary stories that help kids understand and overcome their fears of the darkness. It offers an interactive mode where kids can decide what they’d do when faced with the scary situations in the story. It also includes a simple puzzle game, allowing them to be more adventurous and involved in the story.
Best Original Storybook: Hilda Bewildered
Hilda Bewildered is a fascinating interactive short story that explores various personal and social issues. Eloquent narration and vivid illustrations call for thoughtful discussions, while an immersive soundtrack evokes a melancholic mood. A great read for deep-thinking readers.
Best Math Game: SMART Adventures Mission Math 2: Peril at the Pyramid
A game designed to foster math skills through story-based puzzles. In the app, kids can learn and practice a number of topics including order of operations, prime and composite numbers, geometry, statistics, and probability. Three levels of difficulty present kids with continuous challenges that can supplement their math lessons at school.
Best Science App: Meet Science: Force and Motion
Meet Science: Force and Motion explains real-world phenomena and thought-provoking experiments through science. It includes live-action videos of experiments, pop quizzes, and lots of fun facts. But where it excels at is cultivating kids’ curiosity in science, which for us, is more valuable than simply teaching kids about things.