If you’re staring down the barrel of a long haul flight with young children, or you long for a few minutes of peace in the afternoons, handing over your beloved iPad to your eager beavers is always a handy (and quiet!) solution. With an abundance of children’s apps available these days, letting your little ones play a few apps can be just as much about learning as it is about entertainment. So with this in mind, we’ve rounded up our Favourite Apps for Kids into one handy list… just for you, mama!
Bugs and Buttons ($23)
This award-winning app is hugely popular with the youngest set, with its beautifully designed graphics, whimsical music and unique games and activities that educate as they entertain. Littlies will develop a number of essential skills, including counting, visual tracking, problem solving and fine motor development.
Doodle Buddy (Free)
Mess-free finger painting for toddlers? Oh yes, it’s possible mama! Simple fun for mini artists, this easy-to-use app is packed with colours for teeny tinies to doodle with, and create their next Picasso masterpiece.
Fun Chinese ($8)
Friendly, engaging, and… errr fun (of course!) this lively app is aimed at parents who want to expose their tinies to the Chinese language from a young age. Kiddos learn basic Mandarin words, as well as how to write them… and it’ll keep them busy all the way through to their sixth birthday!
Herd Absurd! ($23)
Awesome fun for toddlers, this mix-and-match game provides endless hours of amusement for tinies, as they make crazy animal combinations then tap the screen to make them come to life!
Little Writer (Free)
Teeny tinies can get a head start on their writing practice with this toddler-proof tracing app that features individual letters and numbers, as well as whole words for them to have a go at! We love that most examples teach our kids how to form the letters in the correct order.
My Little Town: Toddler’s Seek & Find (Free)
Playing on a toddler’s natural curiosity, any of the Seek & Find apps are ideal for inquisitive littlies, with their cute-as-a-button illustrations and slow moving animations. It’s up to your minis to discover any number of hidden objects.
Pepi Tree ($15)
With six easy-to-follow games (and yum-yum-yum music that may just send mama a tad bonkers!) littlies love this lovely app and its tree-dwelling characters. Age-appropriate games teach kids about animals and the environment they live in (oh-so-educational mama!).
Petting Zoo ($23)
Beautifully illustrated, creative and original, we’re not sure who loves this app more – the kids or us! Conceived by design extraordinaire, Christoph Niemann, this clever game keeps little fingers busy with its endless animal encounters.
Preschool Monkey Lunchbox ($15)
A fan favourite amongst toddlers, this eye-catching, super colourful app uses repetition, simple instruction and a friendly (and rather noisy!) monkey to guide little ones through a range of educational games that teach numbers, letters, shapes and colours.
Shape Puzzle Deluxe (Free)
The name says it all with this one mama – it’s all about puzzles, puzzles and more puzzles! Whether it’s animals, dinosaurs, insects or countries, this easy to follow game will keep your cherubs busy (and out of your hair!).
Bugs and Numbers ($23)
Pushing little ones even further with their learning, this gorgeous app is a step up from its predecessor, Bugs and Buttons, teaching kiddos basic mathematics skills in a visually engaging format. Making maths fun and entertaining, children will learn everything from simple counting all the way through to early fractions.
Countries and Capitals (Free)
Test kids’ geography knowledge in this addictive app, which sees them racing across continents, naming the capitals of all the countries and learning more about our world at the same time!
Chinese for Munchkins ($15)
Developed by two mamas who wanted to help their munchkins learn Chinese the fun way, this bright app uses flashcards, sounds and animation to teach littlies English, Mandarin and Cantonese. If you play along with your child, you may just brush up on your own skills whilst you’re at it!
Doodle Find (Free)
Simple but oh-so-addictive, this cleverly illustrated seek-and-find app pits kiddos against the clock to find any number of hidden objects. From odd socks to random vases (and everything in between!) our kids love to see if they can find items quicker than their mama!
Dr. Seuss’s ABC ($28)
Turning the classic childhood story into an interactive app perfect for minis 3+, this simple but entertaining story-come-to-life will have your little ones practicing their vocabulary (Zizzer-Zazzer-Zuzz anyone?) in no time at all!
Guess the Flag (Free)
Get past the anything-less-than-spectacular graphics, and you’ve got one clever little game that’ll have your big kids practicing their world studies as they match random flags to their corresponding countries.
Lazoo: Squiggles! (Free)
This is a live-drawing app that allows kiddies to turn their squiggly drawings into interactive artscapes, encouraging their creativity and helping them think outside the box. Just watch out mama… our kids “save” all of their artworks into our camera roll, so be prepared to find some hidden gems next time you’re looking through photos on your phone!
Lego Juniors Create and Cruise (Free)
Fans of The LEGO Movie will love this construction inspired app that sees little ones mix and match different LEGO vehicles (before making them drive!). Easy to follow, colourful and fun, littlies have to “unlock” different LEGO bricks to enable them to create bigger and better vehicles!
Little Red Riding Hood ($38)
The adaptation of the childhood classic, this beautifully illustrated story takes children on an adventure of mystery and intrigue as they find out what happens to the little girl, the Big Bad Wolf and Grandma! Mini readers are immersed in the story as they determine what happens next by choosing which path to take.
Rocket Speller (Free)
We don’t know many kids that don’t enjoy playing this galaxy inspired spelling game – it’s educational and engaging! Designed for children 3+, littlies learn how to spell basic words, as they send their alien alphabet buddies into outer space. 3…2…1…blast off!
Sneaky Sam ($23)
If you’re looking for an app with a difference, this Aussie gem (with an Australian accent to match!) is filled with quirky illustrations of a sneaky boy called Sam. Little learners can opt to either listen to the story of Sam, spend quiet time finding him in the illustrations, play a matching game or build their own story with stickers!
Super Why ABC Adventures ($28) iPad only
Take learning outside of the classroom, with this super popular literacy app that helps your darling ones master the alphabet through fun and inspiring spelling games. A Parent’s Choice Gold Award Winner, kiddies are drawn to its simple (yet fun!) illustrations and varied games.
Trucks by Duck Duck Moose ($18)
Our kids absolutely adore all of the Duck Duck Moose apps (and so do we!), with their bright colours, clever graphics and fun-filled games! If we had to choose one though, our munchkins give the Trucks app the double thumbs up every time – it’s hard to resist handing over the iPad to let them sort, sequence and problem solve their way through a bunch of vehicle-inspired problems.
Where’s Wally? The Fantastic Journey ($8)
The ultimate hide-and-seek adventure, Wally is up to his usual tricks in the virtual version of the classic children’s books. Big kids will love finding Wally and all his friends across 12 worlds of oddities and adventures, making it perfect for keeping restless rugrats entertained on long haul flights.