I like things to be easy, don't you? Sure you do! To make your life easier, I've gathered up all of the apps we have rated five stars and I'll be putting them in posts of 25 so it's now even easier to browse the best apps we've had the pleasure of reviewing here at Smart Apps for Kids. Thanks to all the developers who have created apps to teach and entertain our kiddos! In case you're wondering, I'm listing these starting with the newest five star apps and I'm working my way back through older posts, so if you think something is missing, don't fret, it'll be in the next posts. As always, Enjoy and share with your friends!
Hoopa City 2 by Dr. Panda
Bottom Line: I have to be honest, sometimes I have to hem and haw over the pros and cons of an app before writing the bottom line for a review, but this might be the best Dr. Panda app published. The interface is simple and easy to navigate while figuring out what combinations of buildings make larger buildings is like a giant Easter egg hunt. They have thought of everything from ease of play, to turning off the promotions screen, to opening the buildings to interior play and even a night mode. I had a blast tinkering with this app and I'm betting that you and your children will too.
Zap Zap Math
Bottom Line: If there's one thing I love, it's a great math app. Or maybe a math app with a lot of free games, or a math app fun enough to stay engaging, but still maintaining a focus on the skills. No, really, I love a well-designed app for kindergarten through sixth grade that never crashes. Amazingly, these great features add up to just one great 5-star app!
It's FREE to try with 20 learning games available. Pay $9.99 per year to access all content.
Math Galaxy Fraction and Decimal Riddles
Bottom Line: Fun math apps are always a welcome "addition" to the review pool. This app brings riddles and word jumbles to math exercises making it enjoyable to practice. With 500 riddles and 600 word jumbles, there will be no shortage of practice problems.
Reggy's Play Date
Bottom Line: This app is super-cute with a tail-wagging puppy named Reggy that young children can interact and play with to reveal his many emotions and how a child's actions can influence them. This app has lots to discover for one room of play and kids will keep busy while falling in love with little Reggy.
Dr. Panda Farm
Bottom Line: Dr. Panda Farm is the latest addition to the Pandaverse. Dr. Panda runs a little farmers’ co-op, making farm-to-table goods available to all of his friends.
Ready Jet Go Space Explorer
Bottom Line: Ready Jet Go Space Explorer is a brand new app from PBS Kids that allows kids to explore and play among the stars (learning interesting facts along the way). If you’ve got a budding scientist on your hands, this app is a must.
Listening Power Preschool HD
Bottom Line: Listening skills can be very difficult for some kids and Patti Hamaguchi, Speech-Pathologist, has come to save the day with Listening Power Preschool HD. This app is packed with stories, questions and options to adjust everything in between. In addition, this app enables users to create individual profiles or groups and each profile can be set to get harder or easier depending on how well they are doing.
Daniel Tiger's Stop & Go Potty
Bottom Line: If you have a toddler ready for the big leagues of potty-going, Daniel Tiger is here to help! This app is truly gorgeous with great animations, step-by-step instructions, videos, games and a very cool feature that interrupts play to make one of the characters go potty or get a diaper change.
Bottom line: Avaz FreeSpeech is a powerful new app designed to help children of all learning levels and language abilities develop grammatically correct sentences using a simple building block method. A welcome addition for anyone with young writers that struggle with arranging sentences or who have a language impairment that makes it frustrating to communicate.
Bottom Line: Patchmania Kids has delivered on fun without being sneaky about cost, links or purpose. This is an adorable logic-based game that is simple to learn and challenging to master for kids of all ages including middle-aged adults that might have trouble setting the game down to write a review.
Easy Spelling Aid
I could tell you that Easy Spelling Aid is a simple spelling app, and it would be the truth. But the truth wouldn’t tell you the whole story. Easy Spelling Aid is a simple spelling app that has the potential to be a powerful teaching and learning tool at home or in the classroom. It empowers kids to independently spell words and phrases. It’s also pretty helpful for grown up kids who might not remember how to spell antidisestablishmentarianism (or who maybe never learned to spell it).
Zooper ABC Animals
Bottom line: Zooper ABC Animals is a delightful alphabet app that offers multiple, fun ways to introduce your child to each letter of the alphabet. This fun, funny, fantastic new app is a refreshing addition to the alphabet app market.
Bottom Line: A great introduction to Mandarin Chinese for kids age 9+. Simple, easy to follow, informative and effective, Loopskool Chinese by developer Yeddo is a wonderful starting point for kids (and adults) interested in pursuing further language studies, or just learning a few key phrases.
Bottom Line: Tiny Builders - Digger, Crane and Dumper lets the preschool set explore a happy construction site and play to their heart's content. With almost everything customizable and interactive, your little one can create a unique work/play site that will give them hours of enjoyment.
Bottom Line: Ocean Forests contains everything I am looking for in an educational app. It offers information, interaction, beautiful pictures and educational games. With three different sections within this one app, there is sure to be something for everyone. This is a great app for ocean loving children at home as well in a classroom environment.
iPad only (FREE -Usually $2.99)
Bottom Line: Drawp Unlimited is my favorite kid-friendly drawing app. It’s open-ended with multiple options for drawing and coloring. It’s also very easy for kids to share drawings with only the approved contacts, making it a fun app for grandparents, too.
iPad only (.99)
Dr. Panda in Space
Bottom Line: Dr. Panda accompanies kids while they customize a spaceship, zoom through the universe playing mini-games and collect trinkets to play with in zero gravity or feed to some alien buddies. Cynthia has only given a five star review to two other apps in her tenure at Smart Apps for Kids, but now she has three.
iPad/ iPhone ($2.99)
Bottom Line: An incredibly well-designed app to help kids understand how shapes fit together. It's easy to learn, with a fantastic tutorial and an interface that makes shapes fun. Educators and parents, this app is highly recommended and worth downloading immediately.
iPad only ($1.99)
Lucky's Tree of Puzzles
Bottom Line: The best of the best for educational apps, with amazing content, great graphics and engaging game play. It's great for a wide age range, too, with three levels of play for each game. Lucky's Tree of Puzzles costs more than average at $5.99, but it is more than worth it! A must-have app!
Bottom Line: An app to help preschoolers learn a second language, but also useful for use in first language! Follow basic commands and learn vocabulary related to the home. Monki Home is also useful for following directions and language expansion in speech-language pathology. It's free to try, and definitely worth a download!
iPad/iPhone (FREE with IAP)
Bottom Line: A safe and ad-free way for children to view top YouTube videos of favorite characters and songs, such as Elmo, Frozen, Lalaloopsy and more. And it's FREE! No more searching for videos online. Parents can set age limits and viewing times to limit access. Internet connection is needed to view videos.
Door 24 Plus
Bottom Line: A great free app for kids in kindergarten through eighth grade to practice math facts. Two interactive games add to the deceptionally educational nature of this app.
iPad only (FREE)
Bottom Line: An amazingly well designed app to explore size in relation to other common (and not so common) objects. Compare a baby to a giant sequoia, or an ostrich to Charon. Help kids understand relative size with stunning photos and a very smooth interface. At $3.99, it's a bargain for all it adds to kids' understanding of the world.
Tiny Farm — Animals, Tractors and Adventures
Bottom Line: With more than 90 animated features, Tiny Farm — Animals, Tractors and Adventures brings life on the farm . . . well . . . to life for your little one. Aimed at kids five and under, this app lets users examine the barnyard, explore the countryside, or investigate the workings inside the barn. Kids get to help with the running of the farm by doing things like feeding the animals or coloring the chicken’s eggs (wouldn’t it be funny if they really did go to market that way?).
Bugs & Buttons
Bottom Line: Is it possible to give an app more than five stars? The folks at Cupcake Digital have revamped Bugs & Buttons, making it prettier, faster, and (inconceivably) better. I wouldn't have thought there was any room for improvement, but they've given us something that makes most other kids' apps pale in comparison.