5 Terrific iPhone Apps for Young Kids

With thousands of apps available, the iPhone can keep your kids entertained for hours on end. Some of the best kids apps have an educational component that can help them learn the alphabet or count to 10, so they'll get something out of it as well. These apps are designed for kids in preschool or kindergarten, and most are perfect for entertaining bored children in a waiting room or airport. 

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Wheels on the Bus

Wheels on the Bus ($0.99) is one of the most popular iPhone apps for kids. Designed for younger children in preschool or kindergarten, Wheels on the Bus is an interactive book set to the classic children's song. Children can read along with the lyrics or listen to the song in several different languages, including German, French, or Spanish. To keep things entertaining, kids can tap the screen to open the doors, make the wheels move, or even record their own singing. 

What We Like
  • Helps foster motor, language, and thinking skills.

  • Easy to use even for toddlers.

What We Don't Like
  • Lacks option to lock the Home button.

  • Available only for iOS devices.

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Cookie Doodle

There's no real educational component to the Cookie Doodle app ($0.99), but it will keep your young kids entertained for hours. The aim of the app is just like it sounds -- to create your own cookies. Choose from 21 different types of dough (including gingerbread, oatmeal, or red velvet) and then have fun rolling out your dough and cutting it into one of 137 designs. There's also 25 frostings to choose from, as well as other fun stuff like sprinkles, candy hearts, and jelly beans. With so many combinations, the Cookie Doodle app provides hours of enjoyment for young kids (it's also kind of addicting for adults too). 

What We Like
  • Simple, creative fun for kids of all ages.

  • Lots of decorating options.

What We Don't Like
  • No educational function.

  • Might be difficult for some players to earn achievements.

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Peekaboo Barn

There's no better kids' app for learning the names of animals or the sounds they make than Peekaboo Barn ($1.99). The graphics are super cute, and the app includes written and verbal cues in both English and Spanish. Kids can tap on the screen to view a new animal, or guess the name of the animal just by hearing the sound it makes. New animals are added occasionally, and the latest update includes a mouse, chicken, and rabbit. 

What We Like
  • Engaging, appealing graphics.

  • Available in variety of languages.

What We Don't Like
  • No screen lock option to prevent accidental exit.

  • Some pronunciations a bit inaccurate.

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Park Math

Park Math ($1.99) is a new kids app from the developers of Wheels on the Bus, reviewed above. It introduces preschool math concepts, including basic addition and subtraction, for kids ages 1 through 6. Kids can also learn how to count to 20 (or up to 50 in level 2). The graphics and music are great -- the Park Math app includes popular nursery rhymes like "This Old Man" and "Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush."

What We Like
  • Entertaining graphics and music.

  • Educational and fun.

  • Especially helpful for visual learners.

What We Don't Like
  • No data-gathering function for educators.

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Kids Song Machine

Kids Song Machine ($1.99) is a good iPhone app for entertaining your preschool-aged kids in waiting rooms or airports. Like many kids apps, Song Machine includes a number of nursery rhymes such as "Old McDonald", "I'm a Little Tea Pot", and "Row Your Boat". As the songs play, kids can follow along by tapping the screen to unveil the interactive animations displayed as submarines or hot air balloons. The animations don't really correspond to the lyrics of the nursery rhymes, but I doubt your kids will mind. 

What We Like
  • Fun singalong experience.

  • Includes 10 well-known songs.

What We Don't Like
  • Animations don’t match lyrics.