Ask Design Mom — iPhone Apps for Kids

August 13, 2009

Ask Design Mom Question:
Design Mom, which apps do your youngest kids like playing with on the iphone? I’ve got a shiny new one in hand and I’m filling it up. Thanks. — Liz

Design Mom Answer:
Great question, Liz. I’ll bet my readers will have great recommendations, too. A couple of my picks: 4-year-old Oscar loves Lightsaber, Bubbles, PacMan and Jirbo Match (although mostly he loves watching his favorite TV shows via the iPod app). And I just introduced 3-year-old Betty to Farm Friends — remember the See & Say toys? It’s like that. For the iPhone.

A few more. If your kids are pre-school age and really into letters, try ABC Animals Flashcards. And two I’ve wanted to try (but haven’t yet) from Duck Duck Moose — Wheels On The Bus and Old MacDonald.

What about you, dear iPhone-using-readers? Any favorite young kid apps?

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{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

1 imelda August 13, 2009 at 8:47 am

My 4 year old loves playing Uno on the iPhone. Will try the other suggestions! Thanks!


2 polkadot August 13, 2009 at 8:49 am

thinking of getting the new i phone…trying to decide between 16GB and 32GB…any thoughts?


3 Cathe August 13, 2009 at 8:53 am

My 3.5 yr-old loves a free flash card app that I downloaded, but that ABC Animals Flashcard app is just so cute.


4 Graham - SBLR August 13, 2009 at 8:53 am

Check out iStoryTime, its a library of narrated and illustrated kids books. Kids love them, guilt free for parents.


5 Mary August 13, 2009 at 9:02 am

i just found a great new blog for iphone apps which helps shed more light on fun apps for all:

i also like your suggestions, thanks for the info!


6 lisa truesdell August 13, 2009 at 9:24 am

my two year old LOVES peekaboo barn – and so do i! the wheels on the bus is a big fave, too.


7 Becky August 13, 2009 at 9:24 am

I highly recommend Peekaboo Barn for young toddlers. It has adorable art, and it lets the child guess what the animal in the barn is by listening to its sound, then touch the barn to reveal the animal. All they have to do is be able to touch the screen. And it's cute!


8 Bowlby August 13, 2009 at 10:09 am

My 2-year-old loves the Toddler Tapping Zoo.


9 A Girl August 13, 2009 at 10:12 am

Thanks for the love, Mary! I'm excited about all of the great new apps for girls that are out.

Our favorite is also Peekaboo Barn! An my preschoolers favorite is Sonic.

A Girl


10 Mandee August 13, 2009 at 10:26 am

First Words by Learning Touch- there are a few different to choose from; animals, vehicles, home. There is also a free option to try before you buy. My 3, 5, and 7 year old all enjoy it.

I have also found some fun options by typing in "kids free" in the search box.


11 Tauni August 13, 2009 at 11:39 am

The three boys in my life love Sponge Bob and Sky Burger, but the youngest (whose three) loves ABC Animals.


12 That's Ms. Amy to You... August 13, 2009 at 11:42 am

My kids (5 and 1) love the Scribble app for drawing, Tic Tac Free for Tic Tac Toe, and Grand Lite. We also have the Animal Flashcards, and like them, but my 5 yo runs through them really fast. Everyone loves the lightsaber!


13 DuckMoose August 13, 2009 at 11:55 am

Toddler Flashcards is cute…I love the illustration. I am the illustrator for the two Duck Duck Moose apps you mentioned — Old MacDonald and Wheels on the Bus. We would love to hear what you think!


14 DuckMoose August 13, 2009 at 12:11 pm

Oops, I meant ABC Animal Flashcards is cute, not Toddler Flashcards :)


15 Sania August 13, 2009 at 12:16 pm

iPhone is a must for long drives these days with my 3yr old.

I don't know if this is something children could use, but the Shoot It! app will upload your iphone photo, print it out on a 4X6 glossy postcard, then snail mail it to whatever address you specify. All for $0.99!

Seems great for grandparents always asking for the latest pictures to hang on the fridge. :)


16 Kate@ Kids and Cocktails August 13, 2009 at 12:45 pm

My 5 year old likes iWriteWords, AniMatch and CuteMath. Of course, she LOVES Tetris. :) She also likes ShapeBuilder, which is like a really easy puzzle but you don't know it is until you put all the pieces in.


17 Randi August 13, 2009 at 2:47 pm

I have a 2 year old and he loves several.

Wheels on the Bus is great.
Lily and Stella is cute.
Five Monkeys is his newest favortie.
I Hear Ewe good for animal sounds.
Letter A to Z is good.

I can go on and on.


18 Erin August 13, 2009 at 3:36 pm

I second the I Hear Ewe. My almost 2 year old loves it. She also likes the sprout player. She can easily navigate from video to video, but doesn't work great unless you are in a wireless zone.

for my older kids we've had success with whatever they have to learn. right now my 5th grader likes the state capitals app and my 3rd grader spends time memorizing on the times tables app.


19 Julie B August 13, 2009 at 5:12 pm

My husband built TowerSmash for our kids (age 3 & 5) to play with. It is like wooden blocks – you just stack them up and then you can knock them down by throwing balls.


20 Kim S. August 13, 2009 at 7:29 pm

We have animatch, kid art, scoops, wheels on the bus, abc animals,


21 Artsy Aut August 13, 2009 at 8:19 pm

my toddler loves one called TT Quizzing. It quzzes him on shapes, colors, letters and numbers and he gets "stickers" when he gets 4 right in a row. Plus its a free app!


22 pascale August 13, 2009 at 10:56 pm

My kids (4.5 yrs old and 7 yrs old) love SpinArt, KidArt, Tic Tac Free, Ichalky, Shape Builder, Adventure, IwriteLite, SnaggleFind, Karma Art. GREAT STUFF!!!


23 NellaBean August 13, 2009 at 11:50 pm

Create A Cartoon Face! Super fun and lots of choices, like a modern arty Mr. Potato Head.


24 liz stanley August 14, 2009 at 1:07 am

awesome, great suggestions I'll check these out. thanks, gabby :)


25 John August 15, 2009 at 3:15 am

I just downloaded OccupyBaby and my 2 year old loves it. Hands down one of the longest attention span keepers.


26 Scott August 15, 2009 at 6:03 am

Here is another link on even more baby apps!


27 Ashley August 16, 2009 at 8:59 am

My 10-month old loves I Hear Ewe – it's just illustrations of animals that you tap to hear the sound the animal makes. He's been playing with it for about 6 months now and still loves it.


28 beautiful things August 16, 2009 at 10:19 pm

Get this, my 6 month old can "draw" using MyPaint Free. I downloaded it for him after he was always grabbing at my phone and trying to touch the screen!


29 Rachel August 17, 2009 at 7:10 am

My 15 month old loves Peekaboo Barn.


30 jill August 17, 2009 at 11:23 am

have you seen Bebot? it's a hilarious little robot that makes all kinds of fun sounds. You might want to add that one to the mix. :)


31 Anonymous August 19, 2009 at 10:43 am

Also, check out Happy Baby – Alphabet learning tool
– English alphabets are displayed sequentially (like flash cards).
– Alphabets are pronounced (Optional switch).
– Pause button to stop at an alphabet
– Reset button to start over
– Timer can be adjusted to delay display of alphabets


32 Ashlyn August 19, 2009 at 1:06 pm

My 12 month old looooves Jelly Car! She even unintentionally beat my hubby's highest score by jiggling it around :)


33 Jen August 19, 2009 at 8:46 pm

hey Gabrielle tks for the mention!! :D


34 bity September 1, 2009 at 10:57 am

My husband just made an iphone app for our daughter Eva (age 3) called Monkey Preschool Lunchbox. Check it out:

or preview it on his site here:


35 Anonymous September 17, 2009 at 11:30 am

We have developed a handful of applications for kids and mainly focusing on education category.

Math Magic: Kids can learn as well as have fun with math. They can practice addition, subtraction, multiplication and divisions. Random problems will be shown to the kids and they need to choose the correct answer

Word Magic: Kids need to choose the missing letters for the picture shown. Best suited for kids from UKG till 2nd standard.

Math Series: Kids need to identify the missing numbers. The numbers could either be in descending or in ascending orders

Match Magic: This application is best suited for younger kids < 6 years. They need to match the pictures/colors/count the numbers by identifying and matching them

Count Magic: This application is also suited for kids < 6 years. This app helps to kids to learn counting. They need to catch the number shown. As they keep counting, audio voice will help the kids in counting.

Think BIG: This app is kids in 5 to 10 age group. A group of numbers are shown. They need to pick up the largest or smallest number.

All of our games have rewards and stickers and scores built to motivate and encourage the kids.

Please check them out at and videos @

Here are couple of blogs on our apps


36 Jen September 19, 2009 at 10:53 am

hey gabrielle farm friends is now in the app store and FREE for a limited time if you want to let your readers know :) jen


37 Anonymous September 25, 2009 at 6:56 am

Best thing is if you can try an app before you buy it. In the case of "Winzki Apps" from, there's a whole collection of apps for little children.

You can try the sounding pictures "Lite Winzki" for free before you decide to buy "Build Winzki", "Home Winzki", "Cute Winzki", "Farm Winzki" or any other…

Have fun ! – And your kid, too !


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