Best Apps for Kids Ages 4-5

Since I started this site, I’ve had many questions from other parents about the best iPad apps for their kids. It happens so frequently, I decided to compile a list of recommended iPad apps for one-year-olds, two-year-olds, and three-year-olds.

Now, I am back with a new list for kids ages 4-5. Taking hints from our yearly Best Apps for Kids list, I organized this list based on each app’s use case.

BEST MONTESSORI MATH APP: Montessori 1st Operations introduces kids to basic math operations

BEST MONTESSORI MATH APP: Montessori 1st Operations introduces kids to basic math operations

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 Early Math App (tie): Eggy Subtract to 20
Focusing solely on subtraction, this app builds basic math skills through six interactive games. Kids can have fun playing a memory game, completing a 3×3 subtraction grid, and snowboarding to solve equations. It is available in US, British, and Australian English. If you want an app that focuses on addition, check out Eggy Add to 20.
Best Montessori Math App: Montessori 1st Operations
A fun and comprehensive activity app based on the Montessori principles. Kids learn the concepts of addition, subtraction, odd/even numbers, and halves/doubles by playing games in three levels of learning. The app supports multiple user profiles and is available in 11 languages.
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 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 too, as the story teaches kids about sharing with others.
BEST CURSIVE WRITING APP: Intro to Cursive also lets juniors learn about English phonics and phonograms.

BEST CURSIVE WRITING APP: Intro to Cursive also lets juniors learn about English phonics and phonograms.

Best Cursive Writing App: Intro to Cursive
While cursive writing has been abandoned by some, it is still an essential for a complete lesson in handwriting. This app makes learning cursive writing accessible to younger juniors. It uses D’Nealian style, which is excellent to differentiate between the number 1, the lowercase l, and the uppercase L.
Best Phonics/Sight Words App (tie): Eggy Phonics 3
An app for practicing phonics, word building, reading, and word rhyming. It focuses on 100 words that are hard to spell such as earth, frown, sport, knight, and scratch, organized into 20 levels. Kids learn each word through six mini games that involve reading and tracing.
Best Phonics/Sight Words App (tie): Word Teller for Kids
A comprehensive app that introduces kids to the alphabet, simple words, and rhymes. It covers 44 sounds in the English language in details, and includes 96 words with their corresponding pronunciations. Kids also learn to identify rhyme families, consonants, digraphs, short/long vowels, r-controlled vowels, trigraphs, and uncommon blends/digraphs.
Best Spelling App: Trillo Spelling
Trilo Spelling is an educational and adventurous phonics based spelling game for kids grades K-2. Follow the friendly ghost Spooka, the one-eyed mummy Sling and the funny zombie Frank through multiple spelling levels in the enchanting Trilo World while collecting puzzle pieces for hours of fun and learning.
Best Word Building App: Word Wizard
Four is the perfect age to learn how to read and collect new vocabularies. Word Wizard lets kids build their own words and provide instant feedback by pronouncing the word as it's built. It also checks the words against iOS’ built-in spell checker and dictionary. The app supports words in Dutch, English, French, German, Spanish, and Swedish.
BEST BEDTIME STORYBOOK: I Love You All The Time is about parents’ unconditional love for their children.

BEST BEDTIME STORYBOOK: I Love You All The Time is about parents’ unconditional love for their children.

Best Bedtime Storybook: I Love You All the Time
An endearing storybook that highlights the bond between parent and child. Good for readers of all ages, the book conveys a deep message through simple verses and catchy rhymes, and has a soothing atmosphere suitable for reading. There’s also a nice feature for listening the story as a song.
Best Original Storybook: Have You Heard?
A comedic tale about a grapevine of mix-ups, presented in colorful graphics and animations. Comedian Rhys Darby provides excellent narration and sound effects for this story riddled with wordplay and homophones. There’s also a fun game that tests the reader’s memory and concentration at the end of the book.
Best Fantasy Storybook: Fox Tales
Fox Tales is an interactive book-app with the features of an adventure game. It's well written and beautifully illustrated, with 45 pages of beautiful, hand-drawn artwork. Narration and text highlighting are available for developing readers, as well as support for five languages: English, Polish, Russian, Spanish, and Chinese.
BEST NON-FICTIONAL STORYBOOK: The Very Hungry Caterpillar & Friends storybook has a mini encyclopaedia for other topics too

BEST NON-FICTIONAL STORYBOOK: The Very Hungry Caterpillar & Friends storybook has a mini encyclopaedia for other topics too

Best Interactive Storybook (tie): Frozen Storybook Deluxe
Adapted from the animated movie Frozen, this storybook cleverly detects the iPad’s orientation to switch between the two perspectives of the story’s protagonists Anna and Elsa. The developers also included two thematic mini games: frozen jigsaw puzzles and ice doodling.
Best Interactive Storybook (tie): Caillou: Show and Tell
A storybook that encourages parents to read along with their kids and start meaningful discussions. Kids follow along as Caillou prepare for a show and tell at school, while parents can pick up tips for better storytelling. The app offers an interesting mode called Read and Talk, which foster language development in kids. Caillou: Show and Tell is available in English and French.
Best Non-Fictional Storybook: The Very Hungry Caterpillar & Friends
A fresh approach to the popular children’s book by Eric Carle. It is presented as a mini encyclopedia, and covers many facts about nature such as how silk is harvested. There are also mini games interspersed within the book. Available in English, French, German, Spanish, and Japanese.
Best Storybook to Learn New Cultures: Grandma's Gourd
Grandma's Great Gourd combines a charming Bengali folktale, minis game, and short videos on South Asian culture. It's a very well-rounded app with great production value and excellent educational benefits. The story itself presents a positive message about staying level-headed in the face of danger and resourcefulness.
BEST ROLE-PLAYING APP: Toca Hospital lets kids explore and play in a virtual hospital

BEST ROLE-PLAYING APP: Toca Hospital lets kids explore and play in a virtual hospital

Best App to Encourage Healthy Eating: Veggie Bottoms for iPad
A silly storybook that turns fruits and veggies into anthropomorphic characters with unique personalities. Kids can learn what each fruit or vegetable looks like, and spin them to (hilariously) reveal their bottoms. Available as free download, with an optional in-app purchase donated to Fruits and Veggies More Matters initiative.
Best Musical App: Music Superheroes
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 Toy App: Pango Playground
A simple yet delightful playground, filled with interactive bits and pieces to explore. Fun for all ages, it features four scenes with colorful wood blocks and animal-shaped pieces, and an endless gameplay.
Best Role-Playing App: Toca Hospital
Toca Life: Hospital lets kids explore and create their own stories in a virtual hospital. The app has a diverse cast of characters and tons of details that allow kids to come up with all kinds of scenarios. A record feature makes it easy for kids to make their own videos and share them with family and friends.
Best Coloring App: Damki Town
Meet the fun and quirky residents of Damki Town. Each character has a name and a set of stickers that reveals his/her personality, allowing you to color in unique ways. You can paint your heart out, because the app supports multiple undo actions.
BEST APP TO LEARN ABOUT MONEY: Money Up! helps kids identify, count, and use money in real life

BEST APP TO LEARN ABOUT MONEY: Money Up! helps kids identify, count, and use money in real life

Best App to Learn Mandarin Chinese: Kids Learn Mandarin
While not the definitive way to learn Mandarin Chinese, this app offers a fun gateway into learning 240 everyday words. Through plenty of mini games and hands-on calligraphy section, kids and adults can learn how to speak and write simple Mandarin words.
Best App to Learn about Money: Money Up!
A comprehensive and accessible app that introduces kids to coins and bills using the Next Dollar Up technique. Through seven different games, kids can learn how to identify, count, and use money in a transaction. The app supports the following currencies: Australian dollar, Canadian dollar, U.S. dollar, British Pound, Euro, New Zealand dollar, Singaporean dollar. It's available in English and Spanish.
Best App to Learn about Physics: Max & Ruby Science
Based on the hit animated series by Rosemary Wells, the app lets learn about the properties of liquid and the motion of objects through 50+ puzzles with varying difficulty levels. The app supports up to three user profiles. Available as a free download with one-time in-app purchase to unlock the full game.
Best App to Create Your Paper Crafts: Foldify
Create your own personalized 3D figures by coloring the 2D flattened template and folding it on screen. The app has an intuitive UI that both kids and adults can use easily. Browse through what others have created in the online community, and print out your favorite designs via Airprint or sending the design as PDF in your email.
BEST SCIENCE APP: Bobo Explores Light teaches kids about all sorts of interesting things about light

BEST SCIENCE APP: Bobo Explores Light teaches kids about all sorts of interesting things about light

Best Timer App: Tico Timer
Teach your kids the sense of time using this fun visual timer. Set the timer and watch how the objects animate alongside a soothing background music. Tap and hold your finger to see the clock ticks down, and teach your kids how a minute is equal to 60 seconds.
Best Science App (tie): Bobo Explores Light
The definitive resource for learning all about light, covering various topics from the solar system to lightsabers. Kids can watch educational videos, read articles, interact with 3D holograms, and participate in hands-on experiments. With over 100 pages of content, this is an app that will entertain and educate for a long time.
Best Science App (tie): Toca Lab: Plants
A playful way to introduce young kids to botany. This open-ended experience encourages kids to observe, experiment, and take notes to grow quirky plant characters. No reading is required to play, so everyone can join in on the fun.
Best Space Exploration App: Jetpack Journeys: Astronaut Trainer
A great activity app that lets kids explore the solar system. Kids can read about various space facts as they play mini games. The app includes a narrator, making it accessible to younger kids as well.
best construction game: Toca Builders is a terrific, Minecraft-like construction toy for juniors.

best construction game: Toca Builders is a terrific, Minecraft-like construction toy for juniors.

Best Contraption Game: Pettson’s Inventions Deluxe
This app combines 24 contraption puzzles from Pettson’s first app, 36 puzzles from the second app, and 6 new puzzles only available in this Deluxe version. It also adds multitouch support for a split-screen “versus” mode and a cooperative play mode. A must-have for contraption fans.
Best Platform Game: Thinkrolls: Kings & Queens
Thinkrolls: Kings & Queens is a physics-based platform game where you roll characters across various obstacles. It offers 200+ puzzles with increasing difficulty, characters to dress up, and fun surprises to discover. Because there is no time limit, kids can take their time to solve each puzzle and develop their logic and problem solving skills.
Best Construction Game: Hoopa City 2
Hoopa City 2 lets kids build the city of their dreams by combining items to create over 60 unique buildings. They can also zoom in to peek into their buildings and interact with their citizens. There's a puzzle element to the gameplay as kids try to discover various combinations, but the overall experience is lighthearted and pressure-free.
 

Check out our other best app guides here. You can also receive daily educational app reviews by following us on Twitter or liking us on Facebook.