The Top 50 Apps for Kids, 2012
Whether you're an iPhone mom, an iPad dad, or an Apple-agnostic type who prefers Google's Android operating system, your kids just know you as the one who buys the apps. However, with more than 1 million tablet and smartphone apps available across Apple's iTunes Store and the Google Play market, where do you even start to find the best ones for your kids?
For Babble's annual roundup of the 50 best apps for kids, we looked at some basic criteria that you and your family might also consider before downloading an app. Every app we tested had to have received an age-appropriate rating ("4+" in Apple's case; "Everyone" in Google's). We also considered whether the app allowed parents to participate in, or at least oversee, whatever their kids were doing onscreen. In addition, even if the apps were designed to do nothing more than keep kids busy while you're in line at the store, there had to be some positive or educational element to them.
We've broken down our top 50 kids apps by category, price, and age range (check out the full list here!). (While we tried to eliminate apps that might let kids accidentally make in-game purchases, a few of our apps do offer upgradeable features that cost money.) Apps that are labeled "HD" are exclusive to iPad, but nearly all the iTunes Store apps we selected can be used on any Apple device you own.
We hope you have as much fun checking these out as we did testing them. And if we missed one, be sure to tell us about your favorites in the comments! — Aaron Burgess
38 / 50
Skylanders Cloud Patrol
Skylanders Cloud Patrol’s Rankings
With its seamless integration of onscreen gameplay and real-world action figures, the console-game hit Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure reimagined how kids’ games could be played. Skylanders Cloud Patrol is a little less ambitious than its console cousin — there are no new plastic figures to buy with this app — but the game still adds a fun, fast-paced chapter to the Skylanders story. You tap to shoot, scoring combos and racking up points and coins as you blast through missions and cartoonish fight sequences. (There’s no blood here, however, and the violence is tame at its most intense.) While the app’s admission price doesn’t include new figures, you can unlock achievements with the Skylanders figures you already own, provided you’ve already registered them online.
Get it for iPhone + iPad, $0.99
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