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
28 / 50
Monster Flip’s Rankings
Part Bejeweled, part hide-and-seek, Monster Flip is the rare matching game that appeals both to kids and to their jaded parents. Swipe rows of monsters to make ‘em flip — if you can line up three or more matches, you score points. Unlike jewels, however, monsters don’t just sit idly while you turn them over. If you don’t flip Monster Flip’s beasts frequently enough, they get downright ornery. Of course, the longer you let the monsters simmer, the more points they deliver when you match them — so gameplay becomes a tricky balance between matching like items and avoiding items’ wrath. Luckily, the game offers several difficulty modes, so you can let the kids build their skills in the slower-paced “Classic” mode while you frenetically try to score in “Sequence” mode.
Get it for iPhone + iPad, $0.99