2016 – 2017 RANKING OF TOP APPS FOR KIDS


Intro: Finding the Best Apps for Kids

If you’re a parent, then your kids most likely have learned to use kids’ apps on a smartphone or tablet at a fairly young age.

Children growing up today have never known a non-connected world or one without free apps for kids, and many start using a mobile device while they’re still a toddler.

So it’s more important than ever for parents to get good advice on which apps for kids they should allow their children to spend time using.

According to this article in Fast Company, 75% of kids under the age of eight use mobile devices.

Kids apps have replaced a lot of other activities, like television, that children used to do when bored, in the car or hanging out at home, so finding the best apps for kids is something that is now at the top of nearly all parents’ and grandparents’ lists.

And with so many children now being connected to the Internet through a tablet or smartphone, parents also need to be wary of what their child is exposed to and make sure they are only loading good apps for kids on their devices.top apps for kids-min

In this article, we have researched the best kids apps out there, including the best free apps for kids, the top kids apps that are paid, and also the top apps for kids regarding educational activities, including the all-important math subjects.

We’ve broken down our top 8 list into the 4 best free kids apps and the 4 best paid apps for kids. We will give you all the highlights and reviews and also include some important tips on what to look out for when choosing kids apps.

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Top 8 Best Apps for Kids (Paid & Free App) | Ranking

Apps for Kids

Type of App / Cost

Ansel and Clair: Little Green Island

Paid App

Lego® Mindstorms Fix the Factory

Free App for Kids

LumiKids Park

Free App for Kids

Pango Free

Free App for Kids

Pet Bingo

Paid App

Pettson’s Inventions Deluxe

Paid Apps

Sushi Monster

Free App for Kids

The Everything Machine

Paid Apps

Table: Top 8 Best Apps for Kids |list is sorted out alphabetically


Free Apps for Kids | The 4 Best Free Kids Apps

One thing kids do, just like adults, is go through a lot of apps. Not only can they become bored with an app that is too simple, but they learn so fast that the top apps for kids when your son or daughter was five may soon be boring for them in a year or two.

In this way, free apps can be much easier on your wallet, and the best free apps for kids should be engaging, provide levels designed to grow with your children, and have staying power.

The first half of our article is focused on 4 of the greatest free apps for kids, covering the topics of education, math, and plain old fun. We’ve also included several ratings and parent reviews to give you some background behind each of the best free kids apps below.


LumiKids Park by Lumosity


best apps for kids-min

Source: Lumikids Park from iTunes

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Description: This is one of the best free apps for kids out there, and it allows them to explore an interactive park filled with surprises.

They sort little water critters into the correct puddles based upon color, shape, and size. The game is meant to teach visual-motor coordination and divided attention.

Category: Fun, sorting skills

Cost: Free

Ages: 5 and under

Ratings and Reviews: The best kids apps ratings for LumiKids in iTunes was 4 out of 5 stars and 4.1 out of 5 stars in Google Play.

In one of the best free apps for kids reviews, one dad said, “My kid loved it” and was thrilled at “well-targeted progressive levels.” The mom of a 21-month-old stated that her child “loves it,” and she was amazed when watching him work the game out.

Awards: 2015 KAPi Award: Best App for Younger Children, Children's Technology Review Editor's Choice Award for Excellence in Design, Mom's Choice Gold Award, 2015 National Parenting Publications awards

Downloads: iTunes Store, Google Play Store

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Sushi Monster by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt


free apps for kids-min

Source: Sushi Monster from iTunes

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Description: Sushi Monster comes from the team at Scholastic, well-known for its educational books and materials for children and now also designing kids apps. The game meets Common Core State Standards and features 12 sequenced levels, including addition and multiplication. Kids help monsters make a target sum and earn points, stars, and trophies.

Category: Math skills

Cost: Free

Ages: 9–11

Ratings and Reviews: The apps for kids rating for Sushi Monster in iTunes was 4 out of 5 stars.

One 5-star reviewer said that it “makes mental math as fun as can be.” A 6th grader noted that the level was a little too easy but that the individual’s younger sister “loves this.”

Awards: Parents’ Choice Recommended

Downloads: iTunes Store, not available in Google Play

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Lego® Mindstorms Fix the Factory

by Lego Systems, Inc.


kids apps-min

Source: Lego Mindstorms Fix the Factory from iTunes

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Description: A game by the ever popular Lego Systems that is fun for kids and also teaches important programming and science skills. This is one of the best apps for kids that focuses on making logic skills fun and engaging as kids direct a robot through a puzzling set of tasks.

Category: Fun, science, programming

Cost: Free

Ages: 4 and up

Ratings and Reviews: The top kids apps ratings for Lego Minsdstorms Fix the Factory in iTunes was 4 out of 5 stars, with 3.8 out of 5 stars given in Google Play.

In one best free kids apps rating, a dad said that his 3-year-old loved it and was “getting great logic and coding skills” from the game. Another parent said that it was a “great platform for teaching basic programming.

Awards: 2014 Best Nordic Game Award, selected as Best App by TopBestAppsForKids.com

Downloads: iTunes Store, Google Play Store

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Pango Free by Studio Pango


best free apps for kids-min

Source: Pango Free from iTunes

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Description: This app features five Pango stories in an interactive book to share with your child. It is one of the best kids apps for younger readers that also includes action games, where the story is moved forward through touch, shake, rub, scratch, and tickle actions.

Category: Fun, reading

Cost: Free

Ages: Younger readers

Ratings and Reviews: The best free kids apps ratings for Pango Free in iTunes was 4.5 out of 5 stars and 4 out of 5 stars in Google Play.

One big sister said that the game was awesome for her 3 ½-year-old brother, and he thought it was “super and funny!” Another reviewer said that the game was perfect for learning how to use a touch screen for the littlest guys and “fun for adults too.

Awards: Best Children’s Reading and Book Apps by Parent & Child magazine

Downloads: iTunes Store, Google Play Store

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Paid Apps for Kids | The 4 Best Apps for Kids

For the second half of our list of great apps for kids that parents should check out, we are going to take a look at some paid kids apps.

Although free apps for kids are always nice, sometimes there are some really top kids apps that are worth spending a little money on.

Plus, typically, when you pay for kids apps up front, there is less worry about hidden charges in the app later.

Here are some of the top rated and award-winning best apps for kids you can buy.


The Everything Machine by Tinybop


best free kids apps-min

Source: Everything Machine from iTunes

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Description: The Everything Machine uses visual programming in a fun environment that allows kids to build machines that can interface with just about every component in a mobile device. As one of the best kids apps, it can create everything from a kaleidoscope to a voice disguiser to a stop-motion camera. Kids can also have fun connecting to and playing with friends and family.

Category: Science, programming, logic

Cost: $2.99

Ages: 7 and Up

Ratings and Reviews: The top apps for kids ratings for The Everything Machine in iTunes was 4.5 out of 5 stars.

In its apps for kids review, one person praised the app: “It’s clean, and a pleasure to use.” Another reviewer, a 7-year-old, gave 5 stars in a best kids apps review and said, “this app couldn’t get any better!

Awards: Parents’ Choice Gold Award

Downloads: iTunes Store, not available in Google Play

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Pettson’s Inventions Deluxe by Filimundus AB


top kids apps-min

Source: Pettson's Inventions Deluxe from iTunes

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Description: This app includes 66 total stages of fun contraption puzzle games that kids can enjoy for hours. This latest update includes a VS mode where children can play against a friend or beat the clock and also has most inventions from the kids apps Pettson’s Inventions 1 and 2.

Category: Puzzles, problem solving

Cost: $3.99

Ages: 6–8

Ratings and Reviews: The good apps for kids ratings for Pettson’s Inventions Deluxe in iTunes was 4.5 out of 5 stars, with Google Play giving it 4.4 out of 5 stars.

One of the 5-star best apps for kids reviewers said that it was a “great app for young and older minds.” Another reviewer said that the little one loves these games and to “Keep them coming.

Awards: Parents’ Choice Gold Award

Downloads: iTunes Store, Google Play Store

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Pet Bingo by Duck Duck Moose


good apps for kids-min

Source: Pet Bingo from iTunes

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Description: This is one of the top apps for kids that is math-related. The app incorporates whimsical pets to help teach addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. It includes a Report Card section where parents and teachers can monitor learning, and it also incorporates Common Core Standards.

Category: Math skills

Cost: $1.99 in Google Play, $2.99 in iTunes

Ages: 4–10

Ratings and Reviews: The top kids apps for math ratings for Pet Bingo in iTunes was 4 out of 5 stars and 4.3 out of 5 stars in Google Play.

In the kids apps reviews, one mom said that it takes an “amazing approach in making math fun.” Another said it is a “great game for all ages.”

Awards: 5-star rating by TopBestApsForKids.com, Parents’ Choice Gold Award

Downloads: iTunes Store, Google Play Store

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Ansel and Clair: Little Green Island by Fingerprint


good app for kids-min

Source: Ansel and Clair: Little Green Island from iTunes

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Description: This is one of the best apps for kids that teaches climate science as children create and decorate their own island. It includes 18 unique game levels and allows kids to fix and mitigate pollution events all while having fun planting exotic trees, flowers, and more on their green utopia. 

Category: Fun, science

Cost: $2.99

Ages: 6–8

Ratings and Reviews: The apps for kids ratings for Ansel and Clair: Little Green Island in iTunes was 4.5 out of 5 stars, with Google Play giving it 3.7 out of 5 stars.

In a best apps for kids review by a teacher, the reviewer said that it was engaging and that “We are going to purchase this for our school science iPad set.”

Awards: Educational App Store Certified, Parents’ Choice Recommended, 2014 Family Choice Award, Mom’s Choice Award

Downloads: iTunes Store, Google Play Store

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What to Watch out for in Paid Kids Apps and Free Apps for Kids

As you can see from the list above, there are a lot of wonderful, award-winning apps for kids out there that you can trust to not only keep your children entertained but also teach them valuable skills. However, most likely, you’ll be searching soon enough for more of the best free apps for kids to keep up with your child’s ever-growing and inquisitive mind, so we wanted to share some tips on what to watch out for to make sure you don’t fall prey to less than the best when seeking out free apps for kids.

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Unfortunately, when your child is on a mobile device, an app that looks like one of the usual apps for kids can actually be used by adults and connect your child to strangers. There are also the apps that look like free apps for kids but actually have in-app purchases (also known as microtransactions) in the game that can drain your bank account without your knowledge.

Watch out for some of these dangerous app types:

  • Apps that allow a direct connection with other people’s unfiltered photos, like Snapchat
  • Apps that promote instant messaging, connecting your child with people you don’t know, like Yik Yak or Whisper
  • Apps that may expose your child to online bullying, which can be an unfortunate occurrence on Facebook or After School
  • Free apps for kids that have in-app purchases, which a child may not understand means actual money coming out of Mom and Dad’s bank account, like Candy Crush

Best Kids Apps Conclusion

In conclusion, we hope that you found our “Top 8 Best Apps for Kids in 2016–2017” useful and informative. We searched intently to find good apps for kids that covered all the educational basics of science, math, and reading while also being fun. As you see, whether you choose one of the 4 free apps or kids or one of the 4 paid kids apps, there will be plenty of great entertainment and skill building to keep your child happy.


Hope you’ve found this “Top 8 Best Apps for Kids| Free, Paid, Educational, & Math Kids Apps” article useful.

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