Top tablet and phone apps and games for kids, toddlers and babies

We've picked out some of our favourite kids apps to keep the kids (and us) happy...

Give a kid an iPad and they go from tiny tyrant to poster child in record time. With entertaining and educational apps readily available for download, there’s no reason to guilt yourself over a blissful half an hour of silence! Have those screen time controlling apps at the ready and check out our top apps for kids aged up to around six years old.

Petting Zoo by Christoph Niemann

One of our favourite apps, Petting Zoo (pictured top) is the work of author and illustrator Niemann, where a host of 21 animal animations react to your screen swipes. This app might actually pave the way for more physical fun when your kids clamour to see these critters in the flesh at the zoo.
Download from Google Play ($3.49) or App store ($5.98)

Sago Mini Forest Flyer

Meant for younger kids, Sago Mini Forest Flyer has a protagonist – Robin the bird. He flies through the forest and discover more than 20 locations, characters, and items. Kids create their own storyline while enjoying the brightly-coloured animated scenes.
Download from Google Play (Free) or App store ($5.98)

Endless Alphabet

Forget about words like cat and dog, Endless Alphabet features adorable monsters explaining words like gargle and tangle through delightful animations after each letter is dragged into place by your child.
Download from Google Play (Free) or App store($12.98)

Toca Hair Salon 2

We’re not kidding when we say creative and artistic fun is the only goal of Toca Hair Salon 2. Kids get to cut, colour, brush, and style the hair of quirky characters in the game.
Download from Google Play (Free) or App store ($5.98)

SquiggleFish 

The only problem with this digital aquarium app is the empty aquarium. Fortunately, kids get to solve that by drawing and colouring fish with pen and paper, and then scanning them in to swim around said aquarium. Requires a bit of legwork, but it’s great for breaking free from purely electronic entertainment.
Download from the App store ($4.48)

Maily

While it might be a long time before your kids actually need to email, Maily is a great way for young children to keep in touch with other family members. Via a parent-controlled email account, they get to compose drawings, attach self-portraits taken with the iPad camera, and add all sorts of colourful stickers and stamps to messages.
Download from Google Play(Free) or App store ($2.98)

Faces iMake – ABC 

Kids get to work on their letters and spatial/motor skills by “building” their alphabets with household objects like buttons and funnels. The best part? Rebuilding the animal or object adds a level of difficulty and stretches the shelf-life of your app.
Download from the App store ($4.48)

Princess Fairy Tale Maker

The name says it all – kids get to create their own fairy tale with princesses, mermaids, unicorns, and more. There are 32 animated background scenes and colouring pages of 195 patterns (no typo) of rainbows, hearts, butterflies, and even animated sparkles.
Download from the App store (Free).

Bloom HD 

Although it wasn’t meant for kids, anyone can create elaborate patterns and unique melodies by tapping the screen. We guarantee your kids will be enthralled by this part instrument, part artwork, and part composition app. Just between us, you’ll want to get this for yourself.
Download from the App store ($5.98)

Fun Chinese

Chinese lessons just got easier. Entertain kids up to six years by teaching them useful words and writing exercises through the app. Free to download but you can purchase more learning content as you go along.
Download from Google Play (Free) or App store (Free).

Love to Count 

Sure there are 700 math tasks, but the interactive pirate theme will be a sure hit with young counts The kids’ affinity with math will improve with this educational yet fun app.
Download from the App store ($5.98)

More Trucks HD (Free)

Kids who fancy big-wheeled trucks will love this app, which allows them to drive four vehicles, including a fire engine and a crane. We think the latter will appeal the most because they get to build and (more importantly) demolish some structures.
Download from Google Play (Free) the App store (Free).

Curious George’s Town

We know it sounds like a mini Farmville where kids might accidentally buy virtual coins at the expense of your credit card bill. Curious George’s Town will prove you wrong – there are no in-app purchases here! Instead, littlies learn to save money and to accomplish the goal of building their own town.
Download from the App store ($4.48)

Mystery Math Town

Because the difficulty level and sum-types are adjustable to suit the age of your kids, Mystery Math Town is a value for money app, especially if you have more than one child. It involves exploring spooky houses by solving sums using numbers collected along the way, which enables access to various stairs, doors, and windows.
Download from the App store ($5.98)

Discovery Kids 

This app is chock full of kid-friendly edutainment including digital books, educational shows, nature and environmental games and all our kids’ favourite cartoons including Peppa Pig, Daniel Tiger and My Little Pony. The app is free to download and offers a 30-day free trial which we took advantage of, but were more than happy to part with $4.98 per month for a full subscription.
Download Discovery Kids from Google Play and App Store ($4.98 per month)

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