The combination of kids and technology sometimes gets a bad rap, but there are many amazing ways that children can learn, discover, and unleash their creative energy through a screen. Interactive and engaging apps are a way to do that, and there are so many to choose from. Whether your little one has an interest in building, drawing, communicating or just exploring, there's an app for that.
We’ve put together a list of our top eight creativity-building apps, each of which offers fantastic experiences for a few bucks or less. Whatever gets your kids excited, engaged, and actively pursuing their passions is great by us. And that’s just what you’ll find here.
Dr. Seuss comes to life in this creative STEM-centric app that lets kids become master creators and engineers. Through inventive activities (with funny names) like Bridge-a-rama, Sorta-ma-goo, and Slidea-ma-zoo, kids can develop organizational skills, explore measurements and numbers, and learn Physics 101. Geared towards kids in Pre-K. (Free, iTunes, Google Play, Amazon Appstore)
Kids get to explore all the sights and sounds of city life, whether it's at a trip to the museum, a ride on a fire truck or a pit stop at the post office. Kids can choose their own adventures in this app and explore everything that a big city has to offer. There are interactive characters that kids can play with, and cute, little animated surprises that keep kids engaged. Geared towards kids aged 3-6. ($3.99, iTunes, Google Play, Amazon Appstore)
Kids want to join in on video-chatting fun and Facebook's Messenger Kids makes it super easy. Your child doesn't need a Facebook account to get started, and you can be the primary layer of approval to ensure all contacts are safe. Plus, there's a colorful selection of stickers and GIFs to get creative with during video conversations. Geared towards kids aged 5 and up. (Free, iTunes, Google Play, Amazon Appstore)
For children who have a little more dexterity and drawing skills, this is a fun game to see if their doodles are recognized by AI technology. Will the app guess your kids' sketches are a trombone? Radio? Horse? They'll see in 20 seconds or less when their doodles are put to the test! Geared towards kids aged 5 and up. (Free, iTunes)
Learning and creativity go hand-in-hand, especially when combined with colorful characters, engaging activities and lots of avenues for self-expression. This app covers all the bases—phonics, math, storytelling, problem-solving, and more—in a way that keeps kids entertained. Parents can view their kids' progress through the app as well. Geared towards kids aged 4-7. (Free, iTunes, Google Play, Amazon Appstore)
Creepy crawlies and the unknown get a whimsical twist with Toca Mystery House, where you never know what lurks in the shadows. Kids can wander through this enigmatic house, mixing potions in one room and discovering strange new beings in the next. Surprises around every corner satisfy youngsters' creative and exploratory instincts. Geared towards kids aged 6-12. ($3.99, iTunes, Google Play, Amazon Appstore)
Learning letters becomes an imaginative and artistic journey for kids with Moji Moji. They're placed in magical scenes that encourage them to develop their literacy skills with activities such as tracing letters and spelling. Education and artistry are combined for a creative letter-learning experience. Geared for kids aged 4-6. (Free, iTunes)
Mindfulness is a valuable skill that kids can develop from a very early age, setting them up for success and giving them the ability to better cope with life's hurdles as they get older. This app provides children with the tools they need to learn this important practice, through Flibbertigibbet, an animated representation of their own emotions. Geared for kids aged 6 and up. (Free, iTunes)