Best New Apps for Kids - October 2013

Since the release of iOS 7 six weeks ago, we’ve been observing a major change in the App Store ecosystem. The new App Store now has a prominent category for Kids, with several subcategories to help ease the process finding apps for specific age ranges.

The developers have also been increasingly productive. Usually, I only saw 2–5 new and noteworthy apps in Books and Education, but lately, there is on average 6–8 new and noteworthy apps in Books, Education, Kids, and Games for Kids each week.

For developers, this means that the App Store has become more competitive than ever. For parents like me, this means that we have more apps to choose from.

The problem is, there is a possibility that we missed some apps if we don’t pay close attention. That’s why we believe it’s important for us to highlight the best new apps for kids released this month.

Mystery Math Museum gets kids building math equations to explore museums and save the fireflies

Mystery Math Museum

The first app in our list is Mystery Math Museum, the sequel to Mystery Math Town -- another great math app that made our best new apps list in April. Both these apps let you play as a little ghost looking to find jars of fireflies in a deserted town. To move between locked rooms, players must first build math equations using the numbers scattered around town.

The apps are really well-designed, and they provide an immersive gaming experience. Players can play for hours trying to collect all the fireflies, and unlock the talking paintings in the game. Based on my experience with Mystery Math Town, these apps will continue to be relevant and useful even months after purchasing.

The new Mystery Math Museum brings the players to a new town with a new theme. Players will explore eight different museums, and learn about the items inside while sharpening their mental arithmetic skills.

Like its predecessor, the app has excellent graphics/animations and interactivity. It is also useful for getting kids to be interested in museums.

My Little Work - Garage lets kids manage their own garage in a playful environment

My Little Work - Garage

The next app in our list is called My Little Work - Garage, the first app in a series that try to simulate real-world occupations and introduce them in a junior-friendly way. This Garage edition lets juniors manage their own garage where they can learn to fix cars and collect money for the service. The app is intuitive enough for juniors ages 3+ to play without extensive instructional text or gameplay tutorial.

The app lets juniors learn about the inner workings of a car, and even get creative by installing new parts or by doing custom paint jobs. Juniors can also learn the concept of work and money by providing services to earn some money. They will learn to keep the money until they’re able to purchase new car parts for decorate their customers’ or their own cars. If juniors want to cool off after a long day at work, they can play mini racing games with up to three other players on the same device.

Toca Mini’s creative gameplay allows kids to easily create custom 3D models

Toca Mini

The final app on this month’s list is the latest creation from Toca Boca, called Toca Mini. Staying true to its core values, Toca Boca delivers a new creativity app that’s highly flexible and intuitive to use, even without instructional text or tutorials.

In Toca Mini, juniors create their own personas based on a 3D model and using several highly flexible tools. Juniors can use colorful paints and stamps to design the persona the way they want to. They also have access to a wide variety of facial elements to make each persona unique.

It’s the perfect app to foster creativity in your juniors. They can spend hours tinkering with their creations and creating new ones to satisfy their creativity. Joining Toca Builders, this is one of the best creativity apps for kids available in the App Store.


All of these apps have several similarities. They have little to no instructions, but are intuitive enough to play without having to follow a tutorial first. The apps also provide an immersive playing experience with unique themes. If you’re building an app for kids, these are the key success factors that you need to consider.

As a parent, I’m grateful that I have these great apps in my array of educational tools. We’re living in a new era where the number and quality of educational tools available for kids are incredibly high. If you want to provide your kids with a creative and rich learning experience, you should really let them try these apps.