Screen time is inevitable, but these apps help make it a learning experience
All parents need a break sometimes, and there’s no shame in throwing a screen at the problem (aka a toddler who’s bouncing off the walls). But no one said it has to be mindless. With the right apps, your toddler’s screen time can be an excellent tool for learning everything from letters and numbers to social-emotional skills. Keep reading to discover the best toddler apps and how they can help grow young minds.
PBS Kids Games by PBS Kids
With over 250 games featuring your kiddo’s favorite PBS characters, this is one of the best toddler apps with so much to do and learn. Play educational games with the Wild Kratts, Daniel Tiger, Elmo, and more, all ad-free and offline.
ABC Mouse by Age of Learning
Another classic educational app that grows along with kids. The games cover everything from math and reading to science, music, and art. With over 10,000 activities to complete, your kids will be learning new things well into elementary school.
Toca Boca by Toca Boca AB
You can’t go wrong with the myriad of unique educational games Toca Boca offers. The colorful characters and settings are designed to make pretend play even more creative and fun. Some of the best apps for toddlers include Toca Doctor, which helps prepare kids for a check-up, and Toca Life: Town, which invites players to explore daily life activities like grocery shopping, cooking, visiting the park, and more.
Khan Academy Kids by Khan Academy
Follow along with Kodi Bear and her pals on an adventure through learning. Easily one of the best toddler apps you can get for free, it encompasses everything from academic basics to social-emotional learning through games and activities. It even teaches kids the importance and fun of exercise with dance breaks and yoga videos.
Starfall ABCs by Starfall Education
This excellent staple has been around for a long time and remains a staple as one of the best toddler apps. Through colorful graphics and games, young tots can begin learning and recognizing letters and their sounds. This awesome educational app grows with your kids, expanding letters into words and sentences as their reading skills progress.
Sago Mini Friends by Sago Mini
There’s nothing more fun than learning through play. Toddlers can pick up social skills like empathy and sharing through engaging games and activities, like playing dress-up or having a snack. This is also one of the best apps to play together with your little ones. If your little can’t get enough of these adorable characters, Sago offers a whole suite of interactive games perfect for toddlers.
Monkey Preschool Lunchbox by THUP Games
There’s a good reason this is the number-one preschool app in the Apple App Store—this monkey’s lunchbox is full of fun and kids get to pick a new “sticker” every time they complete a few activities. Its colorful design and playful sounds engage kids as they learn about shapes, colors, counting, and comparison through various games and challenges.
Daniel Tiger’s Play At Home by PBS Kids
Pretend play is a fantastic way to help kids learn to engage with the world around them. This app offers six different settings to explore, including going to the doctor, getting ready for bed, and using the potty. One of the best parts is the Feel the Music game, which teaches kids how to express their emotions with music.
Breathe, Think, Do by Sesame Workshop
Toddlers and emotions go together like PB & J, and discovering their emotions is a big part of your kiddo’s daily life. This Sesame Street-themed app is the perfect tool to help tots learn more about their feelings and how to react and self-regulate in different situations. Kids learn calming techniques and ways to express their emotions in a healthy way. Even parents can get a good lesson out of this app.
Moo, Baa, La La La! By Loud Crow Interactive
This interactive e-book invites toddlers to get involved in this Sandra Boyton classic. The board book comes to life with sounds and music. Curious readers can tap on the colorful animals to hear the various sounds they make as the story unfolds. Kids can also tap on individual words to hear them sounded out.
Hungry Caterpillar Play School by StoryToys Entertainment Limited
Help your toddler prepare for preschool with Eric Carle’s timeless character, the Hungry Caterpillar. Kids can explore and develop math and reading skills, as well as learn about science and nature, all through Carle’s colorful artwork and designs.
Musical Me! By Duck Duck Moose LLC
Young kids can discover the fundamentals of music through a variety of games and activities. After a while, your toddler will be able to read and recognize rhythm, music notes, different musical instruments, and more. The music includes popular nursery rhymes and songs, like “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” and “Mary Had a Little Lamb.”
Free on Apple App Store