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Best Educational Apps for Kids of All Ages: Preschoolers and Older Kids

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We are all for raising low media kids. But when we travel, now that’s another story!

When we are travelling with kids, we gather every trick in the book, pack all the travel accessories we can find and let our kids use the iPad for videos and apps.

Here’s our list of the best (mostly educational) apps for kids, categorised appropriately from toddlers to preschoolers to older kids too – and why we love them as parents.

Apps for Toddlers

Breathe, Think, Do with Sesame
Age appropriate: 3 and up
Why my kids like it: My littlest kid loves helping the monster take deep breaths, and problem solve plus there are calm breathing techniques and other encouraging ways to destress.
Why this parent likes it: We love this gentle app which gives kids tools to cope with problems. There’s even a parent section, with free resources for further advice.
Cost: FREE
– Amy

The Very Hungry Caterpillar & Friends First Words
Age appropriate: 1 and up (although 2 if you’re super strict about screen time!)
Why my kids like it: Any child who loves the Eric Carle classic will get something out of this app; from the time our daughter could point and swipe she enjoyed looking at the different animals (when you touch each one they make their respective sound). As she’s gotten older she’s been able to respond to the instructions (“Touch here”, “Turn the page”, etc.)
Why this parent likes it: With calming music in the background and bright illustrations that bring the book to life, it’s as book-like and low-tech as apps can get.
Cost: $2.99
– Kate

Monkey Math School Sunshine
Age appropriate: 3 and up
Why my kids like it:
 Very interactive and varied games covering topics such as shapes, number recognition, counting, patterns, addition, subtraction, comparisons, writing numbers, and recognizing sets. For the prize when your kids answers something correctly they can choose a prize (fish, plants, and decorations) for their aquarium.
Why this parent likes it: Kids learn Maths while having fun!
Cost: $0.99
– Gemma

The Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Collection (4 apps in one bundle)
Age appropriate: 
3 and up
Why my kids like it: 
My daughter loves any and all things Daniel Tiger, and these four apps cover every facet of the emotionally intelligent tiger’s life, whether she’s helping him go potty or brush his teeth, singing along to her favorite songs from the show, or exploring his extensive neighborhood.
Why this parent likes it: 
Daniel Tiger is just about the only TV show we allow our daughter to watch, as it teaches amazing life skills in a thoughtful and respectful way that little kids can totally relate to. There’s seriously a jingle or little song that helps toddlers manage any number of challenging times, from picking out appropriate clothes, to going potty, to dealing with angry feelings. These apps just take it a step further and if they keep our daughter happy, we’re happy, too!
Cost: $1.99
– Kate

Dr Panda Series 
Age appropriate: 3 and up
Why my kids like it: Dr. Panda has so many games, from the airport game to the kitchen game but my daughter’s fave is the vet of course. And the daycare. She loves it cos she gets to do all the different steps to “achieve” the goal and then go to the next step. It’s just simple good fun!
Why this parent likes it: This app keeps my daughter engaged while I read a book on the plane. You can turn the music and sound effects off in the settings menu too for quiet play.
Cost: $2.99
– Nadia

Toca Train
Age appropriate: 3 and up
Why my kids like it:
 Your kid gets to play train driver in this fun and friendly train simulator. The controls are intuitive and there are no written instructions to encourage kids to explore themselves. Just pull the levers, push the buttons and start exploring the island with your train!
Why this parent likes it: Cute game from award-winning play studio Toca Boca – check out their other games too.
Cost: $1.99
– Emilie

Build a Truck – by Duck Duck Moose
Age appropriate: 
3 and up
Why my kids like it:
  Kids get to design their own truck by selecting inventive parts with which to construct trucks, spray-paint and decorate and then they choose a race course, complete with obstacles.
Why this parent likes it: Great for strategic thinking and creativity.
Cost: FREE
– Emilie

LEGO® Juniors Create & Cruise
Age appropriate: 3 and up
Why my kids like it:
 My kids love this app, it’s not particularly educational I must admit but it keeps them busy for hours. They have to build a car and then take it on the road. As they play they get coins and the more coins they get the more options the unlock to customise/upgrade their ride. It’s very easy to use and both my daughter and son love it.
Why this parent likes it: It keeps them busy for hours.
Cost: FREE
– Emilie

Where’s My Water?
Age appropriate: 4 and up
Why my kids like it:
 This is a very clever game for little ones. The purpose of the game is to guide water to a shower by navigating through dirt through increasingly challenging scenarios!
Why this parent likes it: It’s fun plus each level is a challenging physics-based puzzle so I like that it’s educational too.
Cost: $1.99
– Emilie

Apps for Preschoolers

Thinkrolls
Age appropriate: 4 and up
Why my kids like it:
 This app has a great interface and really cute characters. Plus it’s easy to navigate and is a great puzzle game.
Why this parent likes it: Thinkrolls are the 26 smart characters in this award-winning app that is part physics platformer, part puzzle game for logical thinking.
-Amy

Cut the Rope
Age appropriate: 5 and up
Why my kids like it: The games are problem-solving and challenging yet fun to play. Plus the little frog eating candies is super cute.
Why this parent likes it: If a game has an educational aim I feel better letting my kid have screen time. Cut the rope is a series of physics-based puzzle video games so that gets the green light from me.
Cost: Iphone version $0.99
– Gemma

Duolingo
Age appropriate: 4 and up
Why my kids like it:
They love the idea of learning a few words of a new language.
Why this parent likes it: 
This is a great vocab language app from basic to advanced level and keeps the kids hooked on something educational and useful.
Cost: 
FREE
– Andrea

Apps for Older Kids 

Math Slide
Age appropriate: 6-12
Why my kids like it: This app makes Maths fun for kids and there are lots of. different games for them to choose.
Why this parent likes it:
 Math Slide is a fave – it offers four different apps that focus on place value and basic math concepts with different games that focus on a specific skill.
– Su

Old fashioned games turned into Apps like Chess & Scrabble
Age appropriate: 7 +
Why my kids like it: These are great travel games for the whole family. We play the board games at home so the versions on the Apps just make it easy and portable. The App versions have options to play with another family member or solo versing the App.
Why this parent likes it: These are games I used to play with my brother or sister growing up. Just good old fashioned games that mum and dad can play too.
Cost: FREE
– Andrea

Minecraft
Age appropriate: 9+
Why my kids like it: My son in particular loves this and tends to only play it when he goes on holiday as it can get quite addictive. He loves building his worlds using building blocks and resources. He is forever building houses and terrains for the family to live in. We each have our own room and pet!
Why this parent likes it: It doesn’t come with instructions, kids need to just figure out what to do by themselves. It encourages creativity in building, exploring and problem-solving. Much better than those mindless shooting and racing apps that are out there for this age. I would recommend being careful allowing kids using a public server (as other players can create something potentially offensive that younger kids might come across online), but the game can be played solo too.
Cost: Various options from $19.99
– Andrea

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