Best iPad apps for kids

With its big screen and hundreds of thousands of apps, the iPad's like candy for kids -- but finding apps that are age- and content-appropriate is the challenge. Here are the most educational and toddler-friendly apps some CNET editor-dads have found.


It's the time of year where we spread some family cheer, and share some of our favorite kid-friendly iPad apps to keep your little ones entertained this holiday.

Editors' note: This post was updated on December 20, 2012 with new apps.

Among the iPad's catalog of hundreds of thousands of apps, there are a dizzying number of them geared toward children -- everything from interactive storybooks to learning apps to games. The question, as always, is finding the apps that are best for you (or, in this case, your kids).

That's where we come in. With the help of our sons, both 4 years old, we've sorted through dozens of these child-centric apps and have separated the wheat from the chaff.

We originally ran this story for Father's Day 2011, and have since updated it for the Christmas season. New to this list are Wreck-It-Ralph Storybook Deluxe, Reading Rainbow, Grids Interactive: Flip, Nick Jr., Draw and Play, and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Road Rally.

We hope you and your young ones enjoy them as much as ours did. Please feel free to recommend any apps we missed in the comments below, and happy holidays!

About the author

Scott Stein is a senior editor covering iOS and laptop reviews, mobile computing, video games, and tech culture. He has previously written for both mainstream and technology enthusiast publications including Wired,, Men's Journal, and Maxim, and regularly appears on TV and radio talking tech trends.

Joseph Kaminski

When not juggling the dual demands of parenthood and playing basketball, Joseph is a life-long Manhattanite who can be found testing the latest tech in the CNET Labs and developing new benchmarks and testing methodologies. See full bio


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