Top 10 Apps for Toddlers

In my post on Apps for Preschoolers, I admitted that I have really fought against my kids using the iPad/iPhone. I finally conceded for a variety of reasons, but mostly because I want to use technology as a tool for helping my kids learn (within reason and with time limitations, of course). I had several people ask if I would share apps for kids of other ages (besides preschool), so I thought I would start with the only other age of child I have–a toddler! I have compiled our top 10 apps for toddlers below. Seven of the apps you must purchase and three of the apps are free!



Although I am sharing with you these apps that I have found beneficial, I want you to remind you to exercise extreme moderation with how much time you let your child sit behind any screen.  Hands-on, creative learning will ALWAYS trump electronic learning (in my opinion anyway). I encourage you to use these apps as a tool for no more than a few minutes at a time.



Paid Apps    


1. Peekaboo Barn (iPhone or iPad–$1.99) This is a very simple app for young toddlers than introduces a child to animal names using a peek-a-boo format in a barn (hence the name). The animal name is said by the most adorable toddler voice. The animal does make a sound right before its name is said, but it is much softer than the name so it is difficult to hear.


2. Signing Time ASL (Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad–$4.99) We taught both of our boys sign language, starting when they were about 9 months old, and I personally think it makes a big difference for a child’s language development. We checked out a few of the Baby Signing Time DVDs occasionally from the library when our boys were little (before iPads/iPhones) and this is the same company who created this app. The app includes 48 words and their corresponding signs.
  3. Learn to Talk (Designed for both iPhone and iPad–$1.99) This app would be appropriate for very young toddlers who are just learning to talk. The app includes several commonly said words or phrases along with a picture illustration for each word/phrase. If your child has any language delays, this might also be a helpful app. It is relatively simple and not overstimulating.
    4. Shape-O ABC’s for the iPad ($1.99) and Shape-O ABC’s for the iPhone ($1.99) This app is lots of fun. It comes with several templates for various “puzzles”. Your child slides the individual pieces to complete the puzzle. There are also letter tiles at the bottom of each puzzle that spell the object (which is obviously too mature for toddlers, but would be great for preschoolers as well). This is one of my 2-year old son’s favorite apps.
  5. TallyTots (Designed for iPhone and iPad–$2.99) This app is super cute and is great for one-to-one correspondence and number recognition (which is developmentally appropriate for older toddlers and preschoolers). For every number, there is a different task. On Number 1, the child has to turn on ONE lightbulb (by holding it down). Other tasks include:  blowing bubbles, watering the flowers, watching the mice run, etc.
    6. Memory Train (Designed for both iPhone and iPad–$1.99) This is an excellent app for visual discrimination! The child must watch as the train passes by a certain object and then a few seconds later recall the color, face, etc. by choosing between three options. As the child gets more correct answers, the train speeds up and the recall images get a bit more complex. This just might be my favorite app on the list!
  7. 123 Color (Designed for both iPhone and iPad–$1.99) This app is basically a digital coloring book. Children can choose the image that they would like to color and then select the colors. The app tells the child the color name whenever they switch colors. It also includes other options such as alphabet and number practice. Overall, a fun app that is much tidier than a coloring book and markers (although those are still important to play with as well)! :)
Free Apps
8. Jellytoon’s Toddler Skills:  Bobo’s Birthday Challenge for iPad and Jellytoon’s Toddler Skills:  Bobo’s Birthday Challenge for iPhone This app starts off with a cute little intro on Bobo’s birthday , however if you accidentally close the app, you must go through the whole 15-second intro again…a little irritating, but nothing to get too worked up about. Each of Bobo’s friends have their own games, some that incorporate fine motor control, some one-to-one correspondence and number recognition, and still others that  require sorting and visual discrimination. Overall, a great app! I would definitely download this app while it is currently free!
    9. I Hear Ewe (Designed for both iPhone and iPad) This app is basically a library of different animals and modes of transportation. When the child clicks on an individual animal/car, it makes the corresponding sound. I believe there is a strong correlation between animal sounds and the language development of young toddlers, which would make this app an obvious choice for parents of toddlers!
    10. ABC Alphabet Phonics (Designed for both iPhone and iPad) At first glance, this app is pretty basic. The app tells the child to touch a certain letter and praises him/her when doing so. If you go into the settings, however, you can turn on the entire library of options:  uppercase letters, lowercase letters, animals, etc. to grow with your child. This app is good for introducing letter names to your toddler.
Not reviewed, but recommended by readers:
Endless Reader
Endless Alphabet
Endless Numbers
My PlayHome
My Little Town
Lazoo ZOO
ZOOLA Animals
     A FINAL WORD:  Please remember that iPhones and iPads are just like computers–meaning that you must be vigilant about ensuring your child isn’t exposed to any inappropriate content. SecureMama shares a step-by-step guide for ways to secure your iPhone or iPad. Read and implement these suggestions!
What is your favorite app for toddlers???  
*Please note:  The links in this post are my affiliate links. Please read my full disclosure policy.  


    1. Hi Becky – I just directly clicked on the links from each title and downloaded all three for free! It might be worth another shot!!

      Great compilation of educational and fun apps! Thanks!

  1. Our favorite free ones are Mickey’s Clubhhouse Road Rally, the Fisher Price ones, and Zoola Animals. My DD is just 1.5 years so the more educational ones don’t interest her yet.

  2. L’s faves have been TallyTots and AlphaTots, Mickey Mouse’s Road Rally, the World World PlaySquare app, the various Peekaboo Barn/Wild, Where’s Gumbo (I think it’s silly, but she loves it), or at least these are the ones off the top of my head.

  3. So glad to have discovered your blog via Pinterest. We recently purchased an iPad and some of our fave apps are: Pluto Piano, iTot cards (flashcards for numbers, letters, objects w/the option of english, spanish, chinese, etc.), and ReadMe (stories that allow you to record them in your own voice. Although not completely educational, my toddler loves Making Pancakes, Making Cupcakes, etc.

    1. If you look up above, she mentions she hasn’t used an Android and she only will talk about personal experience – I think that’s great! Maybe someone else who reads this has used an Android system w/ toddlers and has some ideas?? (I would love to hear them as well!!)

  4. Thanks for these great apps. I would like to add two to your list:
    Pepi Bath( .99) or Pepi Bath lite (free), and Monkey Preschool Lunchbox, (.99).
    I teach I pad class to 4 year olds at a mothers day out. They love these two even though I have plenty of great apps, these are the “go to” every day.

  5. My son is 19 mths and isn’t into the educational apps yet. I have an Android though and thought I’d share that he loves the game ant smasher!

  6. I was pretty stoked about this post till I realized all your apps were only APPLE PRODUCTS… What about us mommies who have the Androids?

    Could you maybe make a post for us?

  7. There is a great app called Endless alphabet that has been helping me teach my 2yo letter sounds and the names of the letters at the same time. Check it out. It’s really cute, too!
    -Also, I love the blog makeover!

  8. There is an awesome new app called kona ice. My daughter is crazy about it! It’s a reader app with educational games embedded into it. It’s full of color and cute animated characters and its FREE! Plus at the end of the app you receive a coupon for a free kona ice. I think my daughter and I will argue over who gets the coupon. I love kona ice as much as she does. lol

  9. My 3yr old boy has the I Hear Ewe app and I’d like to add that it has an option to change the language (which we discovered by accident as he was randomly pushing buttons!) He currently uses both the English and Spanish options which I love.
    Two other great apps are Let’s Color and Squiggles –

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