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15 Great Educational iPhone Apps For Children

The wealth of apps available for children on Apple’s smart phones, tablets, and other mobile devices is staggering. So is their success – Apple state there have been around 50 billion app downloads to date! These apps aren’t all about mindless escapism, though, as many provide advanced learning opportunities.

Here are a selection of the greatest apps for kids; animals, art, trucks, and silly voices all play a part here, and these fun apps are suitable for toddlers, teens, and parents. You can find most of the following apps on iTunes, at the Apple Store, and some are on Google Chrome. Most of them will come at a small price (usually around the $1.99 mark), but some are completely free and, even with a charge, they offer months of fun based earning.

1. Alphabet Animals

Described as a ‘slide-and-peek adventure’, Alphabet Animals is a picture app featuring the beautifully colourful artwork of children’s author and illustrator Suse MacDonald. The alphabet is represented by animals whose names and shapes correspond to each letter. Children tap the screen to hear the name of the animal and the alphabetical letter. 

This is a great app that is both fun and educational, helping children learn the alphabet and the names of animals, and can also prompt discussion between parents and children about animals, colours and shapes. 

2. Mask Jumble Animals 

Mask Jumble Animals is another great animal-themed app that employs a real time video mirror to allow children to see themselves with a variety of animal parts and masks. There are 20 animal masks with 80 individual pieces so children can mix and match different types of ears, nose, chin and hair to find their favourite animal or create a completely new creature. 

3. Pocket Frogs 

There are many animal-orientated apps out there but one of the most attractive is NimbleBit’s Pocket Frogs. Children can breed and nurture over 35,000 different frogs, trade frogs and habitat items with other players and earn 60 different awards by completing challenges. 

Children can customize and decorate the frog’s habitats and the whole environment is rendered in gorgeous Retina graphics. 

4. Cut The Rope 

With 100 million downloads already Cut The Rope has been wowing everyone since 2012. It’s an outstanding physics-based game in which a little monster demands candy; in order to feed the beast players must cut a rope and release the candy. 

The award-winning app features 14 boxes across 350 fun levels, lively graphics and reactive in-game physics. It’s a game for all ages, but for children it will prove excellent as a problem solving initiative. 

5. More Trucks 

Duck Duck Moose present the sequel to their award-winning and hugely popular Trucks app. In More Trucks players can take to the wheel of a fire truck to save the city of San Francisco from a raging inferno, race monster trucks and jump obstacles such as the Eiffel Tower and a giant hotdog, drive a flatbed tow truck around a junkyard, and operate a crane and bulldozer to build houses and pyramids on a construction site. 

More trucks is great fun for kids but also has educational aspects such as sequencing and problem solving, all set in a charmingly colourful game world. 

6. JellyCar 3 

The hit platform driving puzzle game JellyCar is now in its third inception with 50 new levels, new types of car appearance and sound customization and brand new racing features. Players achieve goals in their JellyCars whilst tackling an amazing squishy jelly world. In addition to the 50 levels that are provided with the app, there are two new weekly levels released each Tuesday and made available for download. 

7. Infinite Maze 

Infinite Maze is an excellent maze game that employs an advanced physics engine to facilitate puzzle solving – players tilt their phone to guide a marble through mazes with astonishingly realistic movement as the ball rolls through the maze. 

Every time you play on Infinite Maze a new randomly generated maze is created so you never explore the same maze twice. There are also four different difficulty levels which can be set to suit players’ puzzle solving skills. 

8. Wacky Safari 

Wacky Safari is a mad fun time app suitable for any animal-loving toddler. The app contains five different games, all based around a safari trail theme offering laughter and learning in equal measure as players mix and match picture puzzles, speak to animal friends over the Wacky Phone, listen to sounds from the animal kingdom, and enjoy animal related facts and jokes. 

9. Checkers 

Draughts or checkers is the classic board game and now children can learn to play and compete with the Checkers app. There is the option for one or two player modes so you can either play against friends or compete against a computerised opponent – the artificial intelligence that controls these virtual players has been created by AI expert Martin Fierz.

Players can also play against Game Center friends or randomized challengers with the multiplayer function.

 10. PLAY123

 PLAY123 brings shapes, colours and numbers to life in an app that educates and entertains children. The app’s brightly coloured graphics and simple interface helps children learn the names of shapes, colours and numbers by performing simple actions and entertaining, child-friendly activities. 

11. Toca Birthday Party 

This app provides the opportunity for kids to throw a birthday party, give a surprise present, blow out candles on a birthday cake, and all the other fun associated with birthday parties, but without the mess – all the celebrations take place on your iPhone or iPad. There’s even a final section of the party that involves cleaning up and putting all the plates and cutlery in the dishwasher. 

There are a choice of three themes in which to style birthday parties – Pandas, Dragons or Rainbows – and the entire child-friendly interface is presented in exquisite hand-drawn graphics. 

12. American Museum of Natural History: Dinosaurs 

This is the perfect app to keep any budding palaeontologist occupied, providing access to more than 1,000 images of the American Museum of Natural History’s world-class collection of dinosaur fossils, specimens, and artefacts. The app offers a virtual tour of the dinosaur collection and, if you’re lucky enough to travel to the museum, the app can be used to plan your visit.

 13. PlayART 

This art app educates children on the history of art and releases their own creativity by introducing the work of five of the most important painters: Vincent Van Gogh, Paul Cézanne, Claude Monet, Henri Rousseau and Paul Klee. 

Children can view 25 canvases by these master artists and each painting has numerous elements that can be moved, rotated, duplicated and resized to arrange fresh combinations. Young artists can then mix and match elements to create their own compositions using parts of paintings from different artists and present them in their personal virtual gallery and share their images online. 

14. Scribble Lite 

Scribble Lite is the perfect app for keeping little doodlers busy. Scribblers can draw with their fingers, select from a variety of colours and pen sizes, and even draw on top of their own photos, then simply shake the phone to clean the screen and start again. 

15. Tetris 

Finally we have the legendary Tetris, which is arguably the most famous video game in the world. Developed by Alexey Pajitnov in 1984, it has since become a worldwide phenomenon with hundreds of millions of people having played it. It’s addictive, fun, and scientific studies have shown it has positive health benefits for the brain! It’s also great for all ages, so adults can play, too.

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Alex Morris is a writer for an ink and toner cartridges firm in Manchester, England, where he keeps an eye on social media networks, business, technology, and our printer supplies. His favourite apps from this list are the sublime Tetris and the wacky Cut The Rope.

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