Best Kids Apps

Spelling and reading for…fun? You know it


If there’s one thing we love here at Best Kids Apps, it’s word games.  Our kids like them too, but they’ve got to learn the ABCs before they play Words With Friends.


Luckily, there are thousands of alphabet and early reading apps available.


Here are a few of our favorites to get your kids heading down the road to literacy!

Cartoon ABC

Just the right amount of interactivity for inquisitive toddlers
  • * * * * *
  • Age: 2+ |

  • $1.99

Cartoon ABC is an animated alphabet app that gently introduces kids to letters.

Recognizing that, to toddlers, the letters themselves aren’t inherently interesting, the app keeps things moving with lots of simple animations.

Why we like it:

This is a very open app.  Kids can explore the alphabet sequentially or they can hop around.  Also, they can end one animation and activate the next without having to wait, which is great for little attention spans.

If you’re the sort of parent who likes to see what your kid is up to — and who isn’t? — you can pull up the parents’ area to see how your child has spent her time.  This app has no ads and no integration with social networks, so kids’ privacy is safe.

Watch out for:

Nothing!  This app is pretty much solid gold for the short set.

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Jumbline 2

Fan of Text Twist? Now you can anagram on a smaller screen
  • * * * * *
  • Age: 6+ |

  • $2.99/1.99/1.99

Jumbline 2 for the iPad, iPhone, and Android has finally solved one of the major stumbling blocks of online anagram games: typing answers.

Big fingers and small keypad don’t mix when speed matters.

How did they do it?  With a finger slide mechanism, of course!  Reorder a set of random letters as fast as you can by dragging and dropping them, then swipe your finger below to submit your words.

Why we like it:
Sometimes you feel like racing against the clock, sometimes you don’t.  With Jumbline2, it’s up to you.  You also get to decide whether you want your BIG word size to be 5, 6, or 7 letters.

You get points, but the heart of the game is continuing to advance to the next level.

There are a couple extra anagram games included (Cloud Popper and Star Tower).  They’re fine, just not as good as the Classic game.

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We tested version 1.81, which is compatible with the iPhone, iPod, and iPad. Requires IOS 3.2 or later.  Free versions available as well.  Developer: Brainium Studios LLC. Read our disclosure policy.

Wheels on the Bus

A great first app for the iPad, iPhone and Android
  • * * * * *
  • Age: 1+ |

  • $1.99/$0.99/$0.99

Wheels on the BusWheels on the Bus by Duck Duck Moose is a great musical book for kids with lots of replayability.

This was the first app that my one-year-old has taken a liking to and I would recommend it to moms and dads that want to introduce their child to apps for the very first time.

What’s Hot:
This is an app that your child can grow with. Watch them touch the bus riders to make a guitar sound or a sports whistle one day, and another day they might learn to turn the pages and look for their favorite scene.

The app can be sung in several different languages like Spanish, French or German and you can even hear it without words by selecting a different instrument like Violin.  Take it a step further and record your own voice.

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We tested Version 1.0.4. It is compatible with the iPhone and iPod touch. It requires iPhone OS 2.2.1 or later. Note: The recording feature is available for iPhone and iPod touch (2nd generation, with external microphone)