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6 Best Kid Apps That Are a Hit with the Toddler Set

The Elmo app teaches to trace the ABCs.

The Elmo app teaches to trace the ABCs.

I’m far from a phone app expert. In fact, I’m really pretty clueless about cell phone apps and iPad apps and such. Sure, I’ve got the basics like Words With Friends that I’m addicted to, but I’m not the one you’d come running to to ask which apps are the hippest and coolest to download. However, I do have a couple of the best kid apps, ones that are a total hit in our house. So without further ado, here are a few apps that are great if you’re going to be spending any time on a plane or with that great aunt who doesn’t have a single toy in her house. Or heck, even if you just need a moment to drink your coffee.

6 FBM-tested Kid-Friendly Apps

1. Elmo Loves ABCs, $4.99. If your kids love Elmo, this app is a hit. It comes at a small cost, but it’s great for the early alphabet learner. There are ABC videos to watch, letters to trace and other games to play. My daughter wore out a few of the videos…so much that she was able to sing different versions of the ABCs. And even though she’s a bit young for some of the letter games and letter tracing, it doesn’t stop her from trying! And Elmo is freaking adorable, scandal or not.

avery ipad photobooth

My favorite Photobooth picture from our recent session. Seriously. I can’t even.

2. Talking Ben, free. Or Talking Tom. Talking Ben is an interactive dog who will repeat back phrases you say. He eats beans and throws the can, reads newspaper and talks on the phone. Talking Tom is cat who also repeats what you say. You can also pet him so he purrs or punch him until he falls down. I can’t say that I totally get it, but again, my daughter loves it. It was also tested by my neighbor’s son, who was inconsolable one day when his mom left our house. It distracted him and set him on the path to happiness!

3. Doodle Buddy, free. This drawing app lets your kiddo draw and color and squiggle to his or her heart’s content. My daughter loved the stamp-with-sound-effect feature that lets you tap the screen to stamp animals, hearts, trees—you name it—on your work of art.

4. Fruit Ninja, free. This fruit-slashing game is seriously challenging for a 2-year-old, but it really tests hand/eye coordination!

5. MeeGenius, free. This reading app gives you several free books with it, and the reading voices aren’t nearly as annoying as some I’ve come across. The words are highlighted as they’re read to help kids make the reading rainbow connection.

6. Photobooth. My daughter and I started playing with Photobooth on my iPad and both were soon in fits of giggles (see image two for why). Kids are obsessed with their own faces, even more so when their faces are “all sort of smooshy.”

I’m sure there are a bazillion more apps we’d love. What apps have your kids’ seal of approval? —Erin


FTC disclosure: We often receive products from companies to review. All thoughts and opinions are always entirely our own. Unless otherwise stated, we have received no compensation for our review and the content is purely editorial. Affiliate links may be included. If you purchase something through one of those links we may receive a small commission. Thanks for your support!