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

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19 thoughts on “The Top 50 Apps for Kids

  1. Create your own alphabet! Any language, Any image, Own pronunciation!

  2. Burr says:

    Gator8, (“A Gator Dun Ate My Boots!”), is an interactive children’s book for the iPad. The 30 pages of art are beautiful, the audio and narration is superb, and the interactivity is so much fun!

  3. Stephanie Lyons says:

    Don’t forget about Medieval Math Battle – a super fun math fact adventure!

    Available on iTunes, Amazon, Windows Phone 8, and Google Play

  4. Nick says:

    Family talk is the name of an app that my kids love. The smallest one is laughing all the time.

  5. kim says:

    A new android app called Hamsters and the Pumpkin Seeds is out:

    Its an animated story book. Real cute and original.

  6. aww says:

    this was cooooooooooooooooooooool man
    im going to play it again
    csr racing is coooooooooooooooooooooooool

  7. Liz says:

    Excuse me what about teenagers duugh!

  8. Prashant says:

    I totally love this! What cute ideas for kids.

  9. Indu says:

    Can someone else suggest me few more good Apps for my 4 yr old .

  10. Brandi says:

    There are several good Lego apps (Free) for 3-10 year olds. Favorites at our house are Lego City, Rapid Rescue. My 3year old loves the sorting games, just search sorting (free also). Angry birds racing game. Aquarium by 22Learn (few letters are free). We ended up buying all the letters. Veggies Tales Lite, my 8 yr old loves Presidents vs Aliens. He learned a ton and we ended up buying the full version for .99.

  11. Eleanor says:

    There are some great apps in this list – my son is particularly keen on creative apps. His favourite is Mister Maker: Let’s Make It. There are so many materials to use and things to do. It’s the best digital craft app we’ve played and a lot of effort is going into creating the perfect make to submit to the gallery.

  12. Sarah says:

    My son loves Tommy´s Farm.

    Is for kids from 2 to 5 years old.

  13. Linda McDonald says:

    Endless Alphabet is wonderful and so educational and FUN! Free version is great; the pay for one is even better!

  14. Arvind says:

    My Kids love this app
    Augmented Reality application

  15. maria says:

    zoopla is great. You choose what apps are allowed for the kid to watch, it also provides random selections of kids clips from youtube to keep them entertained.
    and its free.

  16. John says:

    There are plenty of good educational and fun apps for kids at the Google Play store too: eg

  17. Lucy says:

    This is a stupid website, it has nothing at all but only the comments are useful, nothing else is useful at all. >:-(
    I don’t think this sentence makes sense. I have an amazing app and when you pick a song out of your music library and make a music video to that song. It’s flipping awesome. Bye, Lucy out. That doesn’t make sense either. Bye!!!

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