The 11 Best iPad Games for Kids of All Ages

Keep them happy and occupied with great entertainment on iPad

The iPad can be the ultimate family entertainment system, with tons of games and entertaining apps that are perfect for kids of all ages. Every game for iOS has a minimum age rating so that you can tell if the game is right for your child.

Many games are free downloads that offer in-app purchases. Other games cost between $.99 and $2.99, with the expensive games rarely going for more than $6, so you don't have to break into your kids' piggy bank to pay for their entertainment.

Turn off in-app purchases before installing games on iPad for your kids. Some games can seem like a great deal until you get the bill with the in-app purchases. If you're looking for virtual reality games for kids, there's a list for that, too.

of 11

Candy Crush Saga

Candy Crush Saga on an iPad
What We Like
  • Fantastic artwork and unique board designs.

  • Hundreds of new stages.

  • A great take on the classic matching game.

What We Don't Like
  • It's easy to break the piggy bank on in-app purchases.

  • Some levels are nearly impossible to pass.

  • Cost of gold has risen, but the prizes have been reduced.

Appropriate for kids ages 4 and older.

Candy Crush has taken on a life of its own since its release. It mixes the classic connect-the-matching-symbols gameplay with everyone's favorite pastime: eating candy. Candy Crush Saga is good for toddlers, too, because just tapping the screen results in a lot of graphical fun. Older kids will enjoy the puzzles the game presents, and even adults will find it engaging.

Candy Crush is a free download with in-app purchases available.

of 11

Minion Rush

Minion running on a road
What We Like
  • Great costumes.

  • 3D environments based on scenes from the Despicable Me movies.

  • Download and play for free.

What We Don't Like
  • Can be glitchy.

  • Updates may wipe out progress.

  • Slow play without certain minions.

Appropriate for kids ages 9 and older.

The endless runner game has exploded since Temple Rush hit the app store, and although many games in this genre are just Temple Rush with new graphics or a new theme, Minion Rush adds fun new gameplay mechanics and includes the humorous charm of those cute little minions. Kids will enjoy this game because it's quick to play and fun to compete for the highest score.

Minion Rush is a free download with in-app purchases available.

of 11

Miracle Merchant

Miracle Merchant on iPad

What We Like
  • Great graphics and music.

  • Challenging daily tasks.

  • Solitaire-style gameplay.

What We Don't Like
  • Tutorial not much help.

  • Could use more variety.

  • Too difficult for younger children.

Appropriate for kids ages 12 and older.

Miracle Merchant players are apprentices of a master alchemist, where they learn to mix and match different ingredient cards to make potions for their customers. The cards change daily, and daily tasks keep players coming back for more. The gameplay is Solitaire-style and offers amazing graphics and fun music. The basics of the game are easy to learn, but mastering it is difficult.

Miracle Merchant is a free download with in-app purchases available.

of 11

Fruit Ninja 2

Fruit Ninja 2 showing characters, swords, and fruit
What We Like
  • Fantastic graphics and sound effects.

  • Modes give lots of play options.

  • Solid folllowup to the original Fruit Ninja.

What We Don't Like
  • The game is a bit buggy.

  • Lots of ads, especially at higher levels.

  • Some in-app purchases reach $30.

Appropriate for kids ages 4 and older.

Few games have as many customer reviews as Fruit Ninja 2 and manage to stay above 4 stars, and there's a reason for that. Fruit Ninja 2 is good old-fashioned slicing and dicing fun, with a simple concept and yet enough challenge to keep kids swiping. The goal: Slice as much fruit as you can without slicing through a bomb and blowing your virtual finger off.

Fruit Ninja 2 is a free download with in-app purchases available.

of 11

Alto's Adventure

Adto's Adventure game on iPad
What We Like
  • Gorgeous graphics.

  • Play as a snowboarder on never-ending mountains.

  • Interesting story line.

What We Don't Like
  • Is difficult in places.

  • More characters would be nice.

Appropriate for kids ages 9 and older.

Alto's Adventure is a infinite runner-type game, where the player is on a snowboard racing down mountains and doing backflips. The game is not too hard and not too easy. The graphics are stunning and the story is interesting, if limited. This app is designated as an Editors' Choice game by Apple.

Alto's Adventure costs $4.99.

of 11

Where's My Water?

Where's My Water Logo


What We Like
  • More than 200 puzzles for hours of gameplay.

  • Water moves realistically.

  • Easy-to-use controls.

What We Don't Like
  • Syncing with iCloud can be glitchy.

  • Paid app with in-app purchases.

  • Need in-app purchases for the best experience.

Appropriate for kids ages 4 and older.

If cleanliness is next to godliness, Swampy is going to make one fun little deity. Rather than slinging birds at boards and stones, Where's My Water? concentrates on teaching kids the value of bathing by helping Swampy the alligator stay clean despite the actions of Cranky, the antagonist of this story. Where's My Water? is one of the best games for kids on the iPad.

Where's My Water? costs $1.99 and offers in-app purchases.

of 11

Cut the Rope GOLD

Cut the Rope iPad app
What We Like
  • Outstanding graphics.

  • Great way to learn about physics.

  • Lots of levels to keep you interested.

What We Don't Like
  • Difficult for children under 10, despite the rating.

  • Paid app contains ads.

Appropriate for kids ages 4 and older.

Om Nom loves his candy, but he needs a little help getting it. Cut the Rope GOLD is a physics puzzle game in which kids use ropes to move a piece of candy, swinging it across the screen and — with luck — into Om Nom's mouth. Fortunately, it's not as simple as it sounds, forcing kids to think about how to get past the various obstacles standing between Om Nom and his candy.

Cut the Rope GOLD costs $1.99 and offers in-app purchases.

of 11

Slice Fractions

Scenes from Slice Fractions
What We Like
  • Playful learning at its best.

  • Best for kids aged 5 to 12.

  • Teaches important math concepts.

What We Don't Like
  • Challenging for kids under 6.

  • Difficult for kids who learn by listening.

  • Some levels require abstract thinking.

Appropriate for kids ages 4 and older.

Many kid-friendly games are about having fun, not about learning something new. Plenty of educational apps in the App Store can engage a child's mind, but when a game blends having fun with learning, it definitely deserves a mention on this list.

Slice Fractions manages to capture fun inside a game that's all about learning fractions. It's ideal for kids who are ready to move beyond whole numbers and conquer division.

Slice Fractions costs $3.99.

of 11

Bubble Ball

Capture Bubble Ball showing the menu and stop flag

Nay Games

What We Like
  • Create your own levels or play levels created by others.

  • A fun way to learn physics.

  • The first 48 levels are free.

What We Don't Like
  • Won't challenge older kids.

  • Graphics aren't terribly sophisticated.

  • Rudimentary user interface.

Appropriate for kids ages 4 and older.

What do you get when you have an addictive physics-based puzzle game made by a kid rather than just for kids? You get Bubble Ball. Developed by 14-year-old Robert Nay, Bubble Ball enjoyed a million downloads in its first two weeks on the App Store. The game doesn't have the fun graphics found in titles like Cut the Rope and Fruit Ninja, but it does contain engaging play that will please puzzle lovers ages 4 to 94.

Bubble Ball is a free download with in-app purchases available.

of 11

AniMatch: Animal Matching Game

Logo and screens from AniMatch
What We Like
  • Great sound effects.

  • Really holds young kids' attention.

  • A great spin on the classic memory game.

What We Don't Like
  • Won't challenge older kids.

  • Can't turn off sounds.

  • Not updated recently.

Appropriate for kids ages 2-3.

Would a list of the iPad games for kids be complete without a matching game? Whether you use playing cards spread out on a table or cute animals aligned on a tablet, there's just something about matching up pictures that can delight your little ones. AniMatch: Animal Matching Game is a great iPad game that a two- or three-year-old can enjoy — if you can get the iPad away from the older kids.

AniMatch: Animal Matching Game costs $0.99.

of 11

Drawing Pad

iPad showing drawing tools and colored squiggles

Drawing Pad

What We Like
  • Has just about every drawing tool you can think of.

  • Print, share, and save your kids' drawings.

  • Great for kids of all ages.

What We Don't Like
  • The app can be unstable.

  • Parent's need to monitor the app's access to social media sites.

  • Can be challenging to fine-tune colors.

Appropriate for kids ages 4 and older.

Last on this list is an app that's not a game. Drawing Pad is simply a vehicle for an activities that all kids enjoy: drawing and using their imagination. Not only can your kids use the virtual crayons in Drawing Pad, but they can save their work and even share it by email or on social media.

Drawing Pad costs $5.99 and offers in-app purchases.

  • How many iPad games are there?

    As of 2022, of the almost 3.6 million apps at the App Store, 984,000 are games. Games are the most popular App Store category and are downloaded twice as much as the 2nd most popular category (business).

  • Do most iPad games cost money to download?

    Of all the apps at the App Store, 92.3 percent are free downloads (many with optional in-app purchases). The average price for an game that isn't free is under $3.

Was this page helpful?