Best Apps for Toddlers

Before we left for our trip to Seattle, Mal and I brainstormed ideas with his Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) for how to keep him entertained on a nearly 6-hour flight and she recommended a number of apps for my iPad. We ended up downloading all of them and, thank goodness, because they saved the day on the flight home! Some of you guys mentioned upcoming summer travel with your little ones, so I wanted to share some of our favorite toddler apps!

Best Apps for Toddlers

Endless Alphabet – Endless Alphabet (pictured above) is easily Quinn’s favorite app, and we love it too because it’s educational. It helps kids learn their ABC’s and build vocabulary with the assistance of adorable colorful monsters. Each word features an interactive puzzle game with talking letters followed by a short animation that shows the definition. Quinn loves matching up the letters and has even started making their sounds as he moves them. There’s over 70 words to learn, so it’s an app that will grow with and engage Qman for quite awhile!

Smart Puzzles 2 – Quinn loves these kinds of jigsaw puzzle games. After Endless Alphabet, these are definitely a close second. Each one has a different theme (i.e. jungle, animals, cars) with a simple drag-and-drop functionality, which is easy to learn and control for toddlers. The puzzles increase with difficulty, so your little one can continue to challenge themselves. Other puzzle favorites: Kids’ Puzzles and Animal Puzzle <– Quinn likes to yell “nanas!” when he completes a puzzle and bananas fall from the top of the screen.

Toca Kitchen Monsters – Monsters playing with their food? Yep, Quinn loves it. The apps lets you slice, boil, fry, cook, microwave, and mix various foods. Qman’s favorite was ground beef in the blender to which he’d reply: “Eww!” Haha!

Peekaboo HD Farm – This app is a nice mix of fun + learning. It has visual, verbal, and auditory cues that help toddlers learn animal names and sounds. Quinn definitely gets a kick out of this one!

Fruit Ninja –  Ok, so Fruit Ninja wasn’t recommended by Quinn’s SLP, but it’s one that he really likes. And, hey, it’s a fun way for him to learn about different types of fruit. We have Qman play on “Zen mode,” which omits bombs and violent stuff like that.

Busy Shapes – Quinn really likes this app and would often opens it up to play, but he sometimes get frustrated with it as the levels get progressively more difficult. I think he’ll probably enjoy it more as he gets older.

Qman was only kind of into the apps below (or maybe he was still too young for them?), but his SLP recommended them, so I wanted to pass them along. Maybe your little one will enjoy them!

Question of the Day

Parents: What are your kids favorite apps? 



  1. I have to give a shoutout to a free group of pbs preschool math apps called Gracie and friends. It teaches math concepts such as subtizing and equipartition AND one of the characters is voiced by my nephew, the character of Leo with the blonde hair. I don’t feel bad putting on the list as it is a valuable teaching tool, its fun to use, and it is put out by PBS (and he doesn’t get paid if you download the app either). It’s just a very cute series. Photo finish is the best, you can take a pic with your ipad and insert yourself into the game.

  2. Thank you very much for this post! We are flying to Boston at the beginning of October with our 18 month (will be 21 months at that point) for the first time and this is going to be very helpful!!

  3. I always see little ones playing games on iPads and it’s great how distracted it keeps them / helps pass the time on the flight.

    My biggest fear about becoming a new mom is travel (dramatic, I know)..I’m just nervous about attention when the baby acts up. That said, it doesn’t bother me one bit when I see other children on flights get upset because c’mon, they’re kids 🙂

  4. Ben (almost 2) loves the PBS kids apps, Daniel Tiger apps, and Elmo ABC/123 apps. We just made a cross country moved and they saved us! Hooray for technology for travel! 🙂 I’ll have to download some of these for Ben!

  5. I am an SLP also and these are great suggestions! I also LOVE “My PlayHome” – it’s so much fun (for adults too.) Other recommendations: Sort It Out, Starfall Learn to Read and All About Me, all of the Toca Boca games (Birthday, Hair Salon, Band!), ClickySticky Cars, Opposite Adventure, Bag Game! Also for non iPad games – eeBoo makes fantastic board games for all ages that promote language in a really natural way. Enjoy!

  6. Thank you so much for this! Was just thinking the other day that I need to try to find some good ones for those public moments she’s having a moment and needs a distraction 🙂

  7. This is a great post! I’m flying with my 20 month old in a few weeks and I was thinking of getting some apps for my tablet so I’m happy for suggestions . Question – do you have headphones for Quinn? If so, which ones?

  8. Manini app is forgotten. Loved following preschool app for kids. This perfectly motivates kids and helps them become independent. Assists in the training of more than 40 chores through emotional motivation. The app helped teach my son not to defecate in his pants, fold clothes, put away toys, and much more.

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