We adults love our tablets, but they can be great for kids too. Kindle for kids doesn’t just mean leaving them to watch cartoons online. With a ton of great educational apps available, we take a look at some of the best apps for toddlers.
According to a 2012 study, 39% of 2- 4-year-olds to have used a smart device in the US. This is such a crucial time for children’s brain development. Children natural learn through games and playtime. Mobile apps and games can become a powerful teaching tool, especially for busy parents.
The price of tablets and smartphones constantly decreasing, while the power and capabilities are increasing. More parents are turning to educational apps and games to keep their kids playing and learning. Purchasing a Kindle for kids’ development is a smart and affordable option.
Because there are so many options out there for Kindle Fire kids apps, we’ve decided to create a best-of list. Here you will discover age-appropriate games, learning tools, and educational materials. Apps lean more towards free, with some costing only a few dollars.
PBS makes a ton of high-quality kids learning materials, it only makes sense that they have a great app to go with their programming. Their app is actually two in one: you get PBS Kids Videos and PBS Kids Games. Both are free and easy to use.
The apps are great and don’t contain any of the advertisement distractions that many apps suffer from. The app contains a lot of exclusive content as well as archived entertainment. Kids will find all of their favorite shows and characters to interact and play games with.
2The Wheels on the Bus by TabTale
Our love for classic children’s games is digitized with this app by TabTale. All the games in this app are simple, fun, and educational. You have peekaboo games to learn letters, math games that teach counting, and more.
The Wheels on the Bus is a free app, but there is a full version that extends the fun. You won’t feel shorted if you just use the ‘lite version.’
3Moo, Baa, La La La!
Interactive book reading apps like this one are so important for encouraging reading at a young age. Associating books with playtime is a winning formula. Moo, Baa, La La La! is very engaging for both the child and adult. This book will provide a lot of entertainment on its own, and there’s more to follow.
Author Sandra Boynton has a number of her children’s titles in interactive formats. You and your child will fall in love with them all.
There’s plenty of great children’s content on Netflix, and sorting all of it as easy as setting up a child’s profile. There’s a great mix of children’s movies, like their favorites from Disney, and TV shows, like the new Netflix Original ‘The Hollow’.
Netflix also makes it easy to control downloads, that way they don’t accidentally fill up your designated kid’s Kindle Fire.
5Where’s My Perry?
If this game feels familiar to you, it’s because it is based off Disney’s “Where’s My Water?” app. This version is much more of a hit with kids, as it stars the Phineas and Ferb show. Perry the Platypus is on a mission–a secret one. In order to help him complete his mission, kids will need to solve lots of puzzles.
This app is 100% free, but there are only 15 puzzles. If your little whizz kids chew through them too quick, there are 140 total in the full paid version.
If your kids have never played Minecraft before, then prepare for the ultimate Lego set. Only this lego set is 100% safe from being stepped on. Minecraft looks like a silly time-waster at first glance. Dig a little deeper and you’ll see a lot of problem-solving and motor skills development.
Minecraft on Kindle fire is an easier version to play, which makes it accessible to kids as young as three years old. Some kids will even become so invested that they will pursue basic programming skills to help build their virtual worlds.
7Dragon Box Algebra
That’s right, algebra is being taught to kids as young as five years old. Their minds readily absorb seemingly abstract concepts much easier. Dragon Box Algebra is an intuitive learning app that doesn’t present algebra in its raw and abstract form.
Instead, Dragon Box presents equations in the form of a strategy board game. The object of the game is to move designated pieces to the correct side of the board (equation). The game was so popular that it surpassed Angry Birds for children’s downloads.
Keeping up with this advanced-level early education, Scratch Jr is an app that teaches programming. No boring text writing is found in this app. Instead, kids learn to program their interface, make characters move, dance, and tell their own story.
Scratch Jr is half programming and half artistic expression, which keeps kids engaged and inspired. Highly recommended for parents who have young children who don’t feel challenged enough by other apps.
9Geography Drive USA
Geography should be every kids’ favorite subject. Rather than relying purely on memorization games, Geography Drive USA incorporates real road trip themes. Fill up the car and keep it moving as your child learns about each stop along the way.
Visiting each state teaches a number of important geographical features, including abbreviations, capitals, and surroundings. This is one of the most comprehensive geography apps anywhere, not just Kindle Fire for kids. Supports up to three players at a time, which is perfect for a family game night.
If your children find it difficult to stay focused on reading and struggle with comprehension, Reading Trainer is for you. This highly specialized app guides kids through reading via fun exercises and reinforcement. This is an ideal prep tool to get the younger ones familiar with ACT and SAT testing.
This app will teach the most effective ways of reading and identifying important information. Reading trainer is recommended for children as young as five, teenagers, and even highschoolers. It’s a powerful confidence-builder for any struggling reader.
11Squeebles Spelling Test
The silly Squeebles are seriously fun and effective teachers. They make both a spelling test and math learning app. Squeebles Math Bingo is highly recommended, as well, but we’re going to talk about the spelling app here.
An app named “Spelling Test” may not immediately come off as a fun concept, but trust us. Kids love to compete and this app is perfect for a little family competition. Parents or teachers can create tests using the app, inputting words, audio pronunciations. There are also 150 pre-made tests to pick from, too.
Take a break and find your inner Zen. This is a great app for parents that:
- Have their hands full
- Have kids with special needs
- Have kids with way too much energy
- All of the above
Zen Studio provides a place for kids to focus their energy into creative drawing projects. Through the power of finger-painting, kids will automatically be drawn to the freedom to create. Tutorials and progressive lessons accompany relaxing ambiance to provide an experience very few children’s apps can match.
The only real downside to this app is that it comes with only nine tutorials, but you can get over 50 more with a one-time in-app purchase.
13Numbers and Counting
If you have kids who struggle with numbers and get distracted while counting, this is a great app. There are three total games in the app. The first game is called “Groups”, it deals with matching groups of items with the proper number. The second app is called “Numbers”, which just deals with matching the same numerals on two different cards. The final game “Numbers & Groups” combines the two previous games into matching visual quantities with numeral cards.
All three games support the option to reset cards you flip when you get them wrong or just keep all cards face up. The simplicity of this app means quick playtime lessons, but there are only counting lessons up to five numerals. You’ll have to pay to unlock up to 10.
Here’s a learning tool that is fun for the whole family. Bag It! challenges kids to apply real-life skills of maximizing space, accounting for weight, and shape of grocery items. They learn to prioritize and plan ahead, placing heavy items first on the bottom, then lighter items on the top.
This game has over 100 different levels to get through, throwing more combinations and puzzles to solve each time. There are 3-star ratings awarded for successful completion of the levels. This turns your little achiever into an overachiever!
Four game modes keep this simple formula from ever becoming boring. There’s standard, fast-paced, competitive, and endurance modes, as well as the ability to challenge Facebook friends and family.
15Kids Preschool Puzzles
There are a lot of puzzle piece apps out there, but none of them like this one for toddlers. Instead of kids solving a puzzle to complete a picture, they fit pieces into an outline of an object. This makes things much more exciting and challenging.
Your kids will love trying to guess what the object is before completing it. Once they finish their puzzle, they are rewarded with the name of the item spoken out loud. There are over 100 picture puzzles to keep your child busy for hours. There is a good mixture of food, animals, numbers, and letters to solve.
This app combines the game of Bingo with the challenge of solving addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division problems. Children will solve their math problem, then have the decision to choose the number of their answer on the Bingo card.
This opens up another game of strategy, making math necessary and fun for succeeding. All math lessons are designed to work with Common Core standards and are appropriate for up to fourth-grade students. Parents can even get report cards for their progress in the app.
Music is such a great universal teaching tool. Sound Board is all about fun and playing with the sequencing of sounds. Who knows, it could spark a little musician’s inspiration? Sound Board has over 120 sounds to choose from, which can be played in order or simultaneously.
The range of sounds covers all the major categories: animals, construction, human vocals, instruments, weapons, automotive, and etc. The buttons and controls are very clearly labeled, large, and easy to press individually.
18Toca Kitchen 2
Last, but not least is our favorite cooking game on the Kindle. Toca Kitchen 2 is an upgrade over the previous release. This app offers a ton of freedom, is limited only by your imagination, and has hundreds of features for free! Kids can dream up whatever recipe they want to, no rules!
Chop your veggies, boil them, blend them, and create a new dish. Don’t love it? Toss it out and start up something new. The best part is that kids can get messy in their kitchen and you don’t have to worry about cleaning it all up.
Over time, kids will learn what works and what doesn’t in their moments of chaos. Their patrons will express their dislikes and likes when they hit the right combination of flavors. They will learn important lessons in seasoning food that can actually make them better cooks.
More Tips for Setting Up Kindle for Kids
With so many great Kindle for kids’ games out there, it’s important to keep tabs on what your child is installing. You can control anything that your kid has access to. With Parental Locks in place, you can avoid your child accidentally buying dozens of TV shows, games, and upgrades without your consent.
Visit our blog archive for more lists like this and ways that you can improve your child’s learning. Technology is a powerful tool to further the development of children’s cognitive and motor skills.
The power of play should not be overlooked as an important teaching method.