Best Kids Apps

Angry Birds

It's birds vs. pigs in this fun strategy game
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  • Age: 5+ |

  • $4.99/0.99/free

ipad and iphone apps for kids angry birdAngry Birds will appeal to lovers of Spikey’s Bounce Around and Doodle Jump.  It’s the same kind of physics meets cute characters sort of fun.  If you have an iPad, definitely spring for the HD version.

It’s also the number one paid app around the world, so it’s not exactly a secret.  I’m not sure what took us so long to try it.

Why we like it:
First of all, we love the silly story line.  Evil green pigs have stolen the birds’ eggs and are now hiding out in their castles.  It’s up to your kids to wreak revenge on them using (of course!) little red and blue birds and a giant sling shot.  Huh?

There are almost 200 levels of gameplay, so it’s unlikely your kids will ever run out of fortresses to assault.  Once they conquer a level, they can re-play it to improve their score.  In the (very likely) event they don’t conquer a level on their first try, they can just try again!

After each shot, a dotted line showing their trajectory stays on the screen so they can make adjustments to their next shot.  Also, there are leaderboards for the truly obsessive.

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We tested version 1.44, which is compatible with the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.  Requires iOs 3.0 or later. Developer Clickgamer. Read our disclosure policy.

Fruit Ninja

A juicy action game for the iPad, iPhone, and Android
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  • Age: 3+ |

  • $2.99/$0.99/$1.26

Fruit Ninja is the best iPhone and iPad game we have discovered in a long, long time.  It’s a lot like Doodle Jump (the most downloaded game in the iTunes store) because it’s fun, easy, and very hard to put down.

Using your finger as a blade, you swipe various pieces of fruit that fly up in the air, chopping them in half.   In classic mode, you also have to avoid the bombs.

It’s very simple, but the best things often are.

Why we like it:
We love the fabulous fruit-slicing sound effects and the splattering juice—you get all the violence without the gore and questionable ethics!  At the end of every round, you are served a Sensei’s Fruit Fact such as “In some parts of the world, trained monkeys are used to harvest coconuts!”  Sweet.

For a lower stress experience, play in Zen mode.  You won’t lose any lives if you drop fruit or blow up if you accidentally slice a bomb.  For a more competitive experience, compete on the leaderboards.

The kiwifruits and coconuts are kind of hard to see against the brown background of the dojo, but otherwise you get lots of fruity fun for a low price.  Awesome on the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.

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We tested version 1.3 which is compatible with the iPhone (iOS 2.2.1 or later), the iPod touch, and the iPad. Developer Halfbrick.  Read our disclosure policy.


A fun and creative painting app
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  • Age: 4+ |

  • $1.99/$0.99/$0.99

SpinArtIf your kids love the Spin Art game on they’ll love SpinArt, an app that can travel with them anywhere. Make tie-dye like pictures that you can save to your photo gallery again and again. Or, upload pics from your camera and splatter them with paint.

Why we like it:
There are lots of different colors (and glitter!) to choose from. Pick your color, splotch size, and then  tap the white button and double click on the canvas to start the spinning. Click again to make it spin faster. If you’ve always thought of yourself more of a Jackson Pollock—don’t spin the canvas. Feeling artistically stuck? No worries. Just click on the Star button to access their Flickr Group to see what others have made from their SpinArt app.

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We tested version 1.5.1, which is compatible with the iPhone (OS 2.0 or later) and iPod touch. Developer Brian Smith. Read our disclosure policy.