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Best iPhone & iPad apps for kids 2016: 47 awesome children's iOS apps

Craig Grannell | March 21, 2016
These apps promise learning, creativity and fun

What are the best iPad and iPhone apps for kids? I'm looking for something educational, but fun, too.

Put a child in the same room as an iPad or an iPhone and they will instinctively reach for it. Perhaps it's the bright colours and the feel of using a touchscreen; the simplicity of the iOS interface also plays a part. But kids love messing with smartphones and tablets.

That's great news if you want to entertain and educate your offspring. But not all apps are created equal. Some are expensive to buy or contain in-app purchases designed to tempt unwary kids. Others aren't appropriate for youngsters.

For this article we've trawled the App Store to pick out some of the favourites of our editors and their children for learning, creativity and fun. But we'd also love to know of any great apps you know for kids. Drop us a line with your recommendations in the comments below.

We've divided the list into three quite broad age groups.

Best iPad & iPhone apps for kids aged 5 and under
Best iPad & iPhone apps for kids aged 6 to 8
Best iPad & iPhone apps for kids aged 9 and over

We've also compiled lists of the best iOS games, as well as the best free iOS games for the older kids (and adults) to enjoy.

Lou Hattersley, Simon Jary, Lewis Painter and Matt Egan all contributed to this article.

Best iPhone & iPad apps for kids: Ages 5 and under

We'll start with the youngest age group. Here are our recommendations for children aged 5 and under.

Age recommendations are approximate, of course, and you won't need to be told that kids learn and mature at different speeds. Check out our choices on the App Store (have a look at screenshots, any available preview videos and so on) before spending any money, to see if the difficulty, complexity and reading level are appropriate for your child.

Best iPhone and iPad apps for kids: Blackboard Madness: Math

Free (Download Blackboard Madness: Math)
Rating: 4+

Got a maths-whizz child who wants a challenge? Blackboard Madness is a set of fast-paced, quick-fire maths challenges, taking in addition, subtraction, division, multiplications, algebra, and > (more than) and < (less than) questions.

This is a great test of mental maths skills, logic thinking and reaction. It's like Live Mathletics on speed. You have to slash the correct answers before they drop off the blackboard. There are kung fu sound effects to make you feel like a martial arts maths black belt. Don't give this to a child just strating out on maths as the pace is pretty frenetic, but mental maths reaction speed is a great skill to teach more experineced maths students.


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