Mother and Baby

13 best apps for toddlers that are educational and fun

Section: Play
Best apps for toddlers: child on tablet

Though we can understand your reservations about getting your little one addicted to mobile-media before they're out of nappies, with the right toddler-friendly apps you can help your child learn, as well as develop their motor skills, problem-solving and reaction times.

Related: Tablets for kids: the best children's tablets for 2021

And while it's important to limit screen time and give your child plenty of other outlets to channel their imagination and energy, there's no denying that in this digital age, early mobile literacy will be a valuable skill.

13 educational apps for toddlers round-up:

Ages up to 

Now that you know which apps are well designed, educational and can be counted in your guilt-free screen-time quota, it's time to find out more about them... 

13 toddler-friendly apps:

 

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1) First Words UK, Free, Google Play

If you're looking for a resource to help your tot with their speech or to teach them different words, then you must download this app. Not only does it have UK spelling and pronunciations of over 110 words, but all of these are clear for your little one to understand. It boasts amazing features, including two-gender voice recordings, resizable text that is easy to read, a quiz mode to test their learning and even autoplay, so your tot doesn't have to worry about navigation. 

We love that you can change how the photo images appear, changing from cartoon to real-life images. It's also a great app for little ones with autism, as you can turn off the background colours and animation to make it a calmer learning experience. 

Buy the £1.99 version for over 360 words and a lot more fun!
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2) Elmo Loves 123s Lite, Free, iTunes

This colourful app is free to download and is full of games, activities and videos which help your child's development. The games include number tracing, counting objects and problem-solving. It's suitable for ages 4+ and you can download the full version for just £4.99.
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3) ABC Kids Tracing & Phonics, Free, Google Play

A simple education game that's suitable for ages 5 and under. This kid-friendly app is brightly coloured to teach your toddler how to trace the alphabet and learn phonics.
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4) Jack and the Beanstalk, £4.99, iTunes

From British books and apps publisher Nosy Crow, this fairytale makes reading all the more fun by actively encouraging children to make up their own ending! 
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5) Disney Junior Play, Free, iTunes

With over 20 games, this magical app encourages problem-solving, imaginative play and observation skills. The 'Disney Juniors Pack' is completely free; if you want more Disney content, then in-app purchases are available, which only adults can purchase. This app is also available on Google Play.
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6) Gruffalo Games, £2.99, iTunes

With six Gruffal- themed mini-games, this educational app is designed to develop logic, problem-solving and reaction time for children aged three and above. There are no in-app purchases, so your kids can enjoy everything on the app.
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7) Teach Your Monster to Read, £4.99, Google Play

This award-winning game is designed to help your kids to read! Let them create their own monster and play games that help their understanding of phonics and word blends. It covers the first two years of learning to read, from matching letters and sounds to enjoying little books. Also available on iTunes.
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8) CBeebies Storytime, Free, iTunes

Discover free books with CBeebies characters that parents and children can enjoy together, with guided interaction points that your children will love. 
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9) 123 Numbers, Free, Google Play

This fun app teaches little ones how to count and trace numbers and learn shapes, with no in-app purchases!
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10) Playtime Island, Free, iTunes

There is something for everyone on CBeebies Playtime Island and it's jam-packed full of fun games for kids - for free. With games from all the CBeebies characters, this app is suitable for ages 4+ and is available on Google Play.
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11) EasyXylo Xylophone App, Free, iTunes

This is suitable for kids from one and up. If your little one is showing signs of being the next Mozart, then give them a headstart with this fun-to-use app. Beware of in-app purchases and tutting fellow bus passengers.
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12) Hey Duggee: The Big Badge app, £2.99 Google Play

We all know how obsessed kids can get with their favourite TV characters, so it's great news that apps offer up a whole new way to engage with their friends from their favourite shows. This Hey Duggee one is great for problem-solving and virtual 'collecting'.
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13) Peppa Pig: Paintbox, Free, Google Play

Similarly, this is a great way for your kids to get creative without the added hassle of cleaning up after them.

More related articles from Mother & Baby:

How much screen time should my child have?

“By its very nature, the internet provokes what we call a ‘Butterfly mentality’; where the brain flits from thing to thing without having to focus for very long,”says Martina Barrett, Managing Director at VAKS: Tuition & Revision Centers.

"When children are constantly on iPads and smartphones, it’s no surprise they find it increasingly difficult to sit in a classroom and concentrate for up to an hour at a time. We are finding that children become tired quicker, their engagement with printed texts is not as great, and even their motor skills are suffering from the constant use of touch screens as opposed to toys and tools that require manual manipulation.”

For more information about what's healthy for your child in terms of screen time, click here.

 
  • Author: Samantha Ball Samantha Ball
  • Job Title: Freelance writer

Samantha is a mum of one, in a house full of boys. Her hobbies are long hikes, coffee tasting, and being a bit of an *obsessive* cleaner.

She also runs a blog Student Mum Diaries about what it’s like to be a student mum. 

 

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