Best Kids Apps

Amazing Ants

Help the cute ants collect all the fruit
  • * * * * *
  • Age: 6+ |

  • free

Amazing Ants is a basic platform game where you guide your ants through a puzzle landscape collecting fruit.

Kids will like the cute sound effects and innocent comic book-style graphics, and parents will like the low-stress problem solving dynamic.

Why we like it:
This is a very scalable app that adds skills one at a time.  First the ants just walk, then they jump, climb, fly, and float…once your child has mastered the previous skill.  Levels can be replayed to practice skills, and this also helps you rack up more coins (which can be spent on “unlockable extras”, like stylized ants and hints).

Watch out for:
In-app purchases are just a fact of life with these freemium games.  Level packs…  Ants in costume… there are a lot of temptations for players old and young.  Turn off in-app purchases if this bothers you.

Also, ads spring up more often than we’d like.  Often — but not always — in-between levels, you’ll see a “And now a word from our sponsor!” message.

Badly Drawn Faces Pro

Quick! Is that Madonna, the Mona Lisa, or Shrek?
  • * * * * *
  • Age: 10+ |

  • $1.99

Badly Drawn Faces Pro is not complicated, but it’s a hugely fun and original way to waste time on your iPhone or iPad.

Sharpy the Narwhal draws real and fictional faces on the screen.  Think you recognize them?  Quickly hit the guess button and type in your answer.  Answer accurately and you’ll get both points (yay winning!) and fish (which can be exchanged for hints when you get stuck).

Why we like it:
Play with your kids and everyone in the whole family will get a chance to feel smart.  You’ll recognize Elton John and George Bush, while they’ll recognize Scooby Doo and Harry Potter.  No one will recognize Kanye West, though.  At least not without a hint.

Watch out for:
Very young kids might get frustrated when playing alone, but it’s low pressure, so we kind of doubt it.  There’s a free version, but we think it’s well worth the $2 not to have to look at soup ads.  You may disagree.

Like this?  Get our App of the Week newsletter.


10 Kids Apps to Download Now

Three wonderful starter sets of apps for kids of all ages

At the end of a year spent playing and reviewing hundreds of apps, it’s fun to look back and call out a few favorites.

We haven’t listed prices because frankly, they change a lot, especially this time of year.  Click through to the App Store for more information if any of these catch your eye!


1.  Little Fox Music Box 

2.  Letter School 

3.  ABC Zooborns 

4.  Princess Fairy Tale Maker 

5.  Peekaboo Barn

6.  Interactive Alphabet

7.  The Going to Bed Book

8.  Elmo Loves ABCs for iPad

9.  Fish School HD

10.  Memory Train



1.  Scribblenauts remix

2.  Toca Tailor

3.  Sprinkle Junior

4.  Word Wizard

5.  The Singing Alphabet

6.  Math Bingo

7.  Toca Hair Salon 2

8.  Barefoot World Atlas

9.  Doodle Fit

10.  My First Classical Music App



1.  Stack the States

2.  Khan Academy

3.  Granny Smith

4.  Hidden Object Crosswords HD

5.  Math Doodles

6.  Beat Sneak Bandit

7.  Temple Run

8.  Clueless Crossword Party

9.  Jumbline 2

10.  Doodlecast for Kids