Pre-School Apps for iPad and iphone

(87 Posts)
Leo03 Fri 02-Dec-11 14:14:10

I have been looking for something nice and simple for a long time for my toddler to use on the ipad. Finally I found Shape Up! by busythings which he adores. All he has to do is trace shapes on the screen to make characters come to life. The Nosy Crow fairy tales are also fabulous for toddlers. I have found there are so may dull apps out there for very young children. Can anyone recommend any other apps for this age group?

lindsell Fri 02-Dec-11 14:21:26

My Ds (2.7) loves tozzle which is a puzzle app - the free version only has a few simple puzzles which he could do easily at 18mths (but worth a try to see what it's like), the full version has some quite complex ones and he really enjoys it.

Betsysmummy Tue 06-Dec-11 14:22:10

My 2 1/2 year old currently loves Animatch as well as Winterpop. Think they were both free ones.

NatEdwards Wed 07-Dec-11 15:55:51

We've recently downloaded the Louie app. It uses the characters and beautifully animated environments of the Cbeebies programme to teach very basic letter writing and drawing.

My 3 and a bit year old adores it, and I'm more than happy to let him giggle away at something that I know is doing a world of good!

Tanith Sun 18-Dec-11 15:49:13

DD adores the DuckDuckMoose apps: Incy Wincy Spider, Wheels on the Bus, Baa Baa Black Sheep etc.

Bohica Sun 18-Dec-11 16:00:19

Our 3y old enjoys pocketphonics, splingo,cut the rope and labyrinth.

Swimminglikeaduck Wed 04-Jan-12 20:31:36

2.2 yr old loves tocaboca - free version is really good!

NinjaP Thu 05-Jan-12 08:56:40

Try Go Count! for iPad - it's great for learning to count up to 10 objects.

thistlemuncher Sat 07-Jan-12 07:15:00

I just came on to post the same question! We have the Nosy Crow fairy tales and Thomas and Friends Misty Island Rescue all of which which he loves. Especially the puzzles in Thomas. Tozzle - he also loves (but I think it's far too easy for him now, he manages to finish the puzzles so quickly). We have the Sound Touch which fascinated him when he was younger, but not so much now. DS is 25 months.
I've just got him Animatch which seems really good, although he's not yet finished by himself, he sometimes seems to get the idea of it!

I'm looking for one/3 apps which are colour, alphabet and counting oriented, but it's hard to know which ones are good as there's so many around (and which ones have British accents). Shall look up some of these suggestions.

CaptainMartinCrieff Sat 07-Jan-12 07:30:11

My DS loves the Thomas and Friends apps... They're not especially educational but he likes the painting on them and the matching game. We just downloaded Postman Pat SDS, it's great value for money but a little too old for him.

CaptainMartinCrieff Sat 07-Jan-12 07:30:53

Look up Boynton... Her interactive books are great.

My 22 month dd loves all the toca boca apps. Paint my wings, toca kitchen, toca doctor, and tea party. The toca hair is a little advanced but she loved the free Christmas hair app because of Santa.
She also loves duck duck moose apps and ITNG app. And one called 'nighty night' where you turn off the lights.

whatstheetiquette Sat 07-Jan-12 07:45:51

will try these, thanks

SharonGless Sat 07-Jan-12 07:58:47

Iwritewords is good app for letter and number formation. My 3 yr old Loves it

ReeBee Sat 07-Jan-12 08:19:44

Another vote for Duck Duck Moose apps and Thomas, both Misty Island and Hero of the Rails. DS is 2.7 and has loved them all for months.

Am going to keep an eye on this thread though as I don't mind never hearing them again it would be good for him to start something different.

needabetternickname Sat 07-Jan-12 08:38:48

Ooh, great thread. Just marking my place for now, so I can come back and steal all of these suggestions!

purcellfan Sat 07-Jan-12 14:02:18

Ds (2.5) likes "my very first app" which has snap style games with Eric Carle characters, and also "Count with the hungry caterpillar" although the higher levels are too hard atm. Just downladed the free vsn of fizzle so he can try it later!

flussymummy Sat 07-Jan-12 20:52:11

Fantastic! Currently looking for things to occupy my 22 month old on a 12hr flight- this thread's a great place to start. Any suggestions for our 4 year old?

pranma Sun 08-Jan-12 21:25:48

will these alao work on Acer Iconiatab A500?

pranma Sun 08-Jan-12 21:25:57


zacherena Thu 12-Jan-12 08:44:08

Have you checked out Word Wall HD from Punflay?

phoebemeryll Sun 15-Jan-12 12:05:16

Another vote for toca boca here, my DD loves the shop and the tea party ones, not the most educational perhaps but fun for us to play together. She' 3. Would be keen to hear some British alphabet ones, we hae A to Z wildlife and food which are very American.

debjud Wed 18-Jan-12 09:33:26

Got Go Count for 3 year old nephew -loves it!

These two apps are both stylish and cool and work well for dd, she just plays through them, no need to choose levels or anything:

Count the Animals. You touch the black animals in each picture, something amusing happens and a laid back lady says "one", "two", "three" as you go. Only problem is that it goes up to twenty, takes a while.

Spot the Dot. App shows a coloured dot, then challenges you to find it in the next screen. Varying levels of difficulty, dd can't complete this herself. But it's lovely to look at.

These books have high quality interactivity (in my view):

Harold and the purple crayon. Magical. DD likes the porcupine a lot.

Sandra Boynton books. Carefully thought out "appy" additions to every page. You won't find them all on first read through.

Miffy's garden. Slightly less appealing for the adult, I have to say, but dd does seem to like it, there are constant invites to touch the screen to do a bit of gardening of your own.

IWantSummer Tue 15-May-12 15:11:02

Marking place grin

Inthesleeplessnightgarden Tue 15-May-12 15:21:08

My 18 month old loves glow draw, it's free, kind of like a new fangled etchasketch.

isw Wed 23-May-12 17:04:43

Wow thank you for the shape up recomend. Peace here for the last 20 mins which is unheard of !!

I have just downloaded Singing Letters by The Ministry of Letters. It is too advanced for my dd, so pass on the idea for those dcs who are actually interested in the sounds letters make. It's pretty simple, but sort of wonderful. The letters all sing their own sound to a funky beat - you can have as many of them or as few of them singing as you like.

Sorry, just realised its called The Singing Alphabet.

MDM Tue 29-May-12 21:26:42

Great thread. Try itot cards (flash cards with various themes). Mine loved the animal ones.

chocomolic Thu 31-May-12 22:09:47

Thanks for the glow draw recommendation (and to everyone else who contributed)! This is a brilliant thread.

Has anyone tried these piece me puzzles? One of them is free just now, so I had a look at it last night. They are very beautiful, but I thought the puzzling was quite confusing, they don't work quite like a jigsaw, some bits go on top of other bits and bits can get a bit lost. Perhaps it will all be clear to dd, though, she might not be comparing it to a jigsaw, just playing with it!

I've just found out there's a whole other shop to browse in the iBooks. There seem to be very few books for very young kids that have been published here, but it might be worth a look. This caught my eye, but it's a fiver. Anyone tried it?

moojie Sat 14-Jul-12 21:29:51

I came on here to ask a similar question and have got some great ideas so thanks. My 3 yr old loves ( and has learnt loads) from an app called Maths 3 to 5. He has been playing this since about 2.5yrs and it is much more than Maths. He has learnt all different shapes, matching, drawing straight and curved lines and now starting on the early Maths bit. There is a free version and although the full version is pricey it is well worth it!

Primafacie Mon 16-Jul-12 16:43:38

Another vote for Maths 3 to 5 here. Brillilant app, the full version keeps DD entertained for ages the appropriate amount of time grin

jetheather Wed 01-Aug-12 20:39:20

I like Thomas tilt and go, very very easy to play. And twinkl phonics app for my older child. He loves it!

robynsmith Fri 17-Aug-12 21:18:30

Has anyone tried Splash Math apps?

bessie26 Wed 22-Aug-12 22:22:17

<marking place>

Thebox Thu 23-Aug-12 16:34:49

Yes this is super valuable! Love Duck Duck Moose (Wheels on the Bus), Tiny Crow (Busy Bear's farm), Peppa's party, Peppa's sports day (both paid) Itsy Bitsy Spider (Duck Duck moose) for younger kids works well in cars/planes.. Apart from that Paint Sparkles to do colouring, and one where they can guess all animals and hear the sounds, forgot the names..

Thebox Thu 23-Aug-12 16:36:28

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YouShouldBeDancing Sun 09-Sep-12 20:13:00

Re the maths 3-5 I have downloaded a free version but it wants 6.99 for each subsequent 'level' am I downloading the right app or am I just being a stingy mare

BirdyBedtime Tue 11-Sep-12 15:51:13

Planning to buy an iPad soon and was going to post a similar thread, so thanks! I too am going to steall all of the ideas here.

chocomolic Tue 25-Sep-12 09:34:43

I've just read through this thread too & it's fantastic - thanks everyone! Has anyone found an app that's good for colouring shapes or joining dots to form letters and shapes?

Johnnycake Wed 17-Oct-12 12:58:38

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MummyTurtles Sat 24-Nov-12 08:54:14

Great suggestions here! Just downloaded Icky Mr Fox for my 2 yr old DD and she loves it! A lovely story book with interactive options.

mamacheeks Fri 07-Dec-12 15:40:34

Hairy Letters is good for learning phonics and joining dots to draw letters.

DS 2.7 loves Toca Boca Robot but I would warn against it as it seems to be much more addictive than the other brilliant toca boca apps.

LaLake Thu 03-Jan-13 20:59:57

Our 2yr old loves the interactive books. Leo and the Windy Day is her favourite at the moment. It's got a (mercifully pleasing) soundtrack she can add to and lots of interactive things on every page. Keeps her busy for ages!

Pascha Thu 03-Jan-13 21:03:45

DS likes My First JCB app, its full of puzzles, memory games, racing, colouring, there's easy stuff for 18mth-2yr olds and more complicated construction stuff for older preschoolers.

He also likes Wheels on the Bus from DuckDuckMoose.

Summersbee Sun 06-Jan-13 14:40:34

How about 'Maggie and the squirrel' - a fun little story online for ipads etc.. which you can listen to in French, English and Spanish ... Go online and you will find it straightaway. Another one is 'Hola me llamo Billy' - all about a lovely cocker spaniel.

Summersbee Sun 06-Jan-13 14:42:37

On reflection, 'Counting to 10 with fruit and monkey' is also a good one for little ones. Again, just put it into Google.

Nux Sun 06-Jan-13 16:41:52

Another vote for all the Toca Boca apps - DD has loved these (she's 3.5) -favourites are the tea party and birthday party, hair salon and doctor.

rathlin Sun 06-Jan-13 16:45:26

Have used hairy letters..must try out some others.

BetsyTrotwood Mon 07-Jan-13 12:00:14

Just what I've been looking for. I think we've got all the Toca Boca apps out there but that's about it so this thread is very useful. I've heard Leo and the Windy Day mentioned before so I'll definitely check that one out. The multilingual ones sound good too although probably more for me wink

SucksToBeMe Mon 07-Jan-13 12:17:41

I'm the same as you flussymummy. I have a looong flight to South America with 4yr old DS this month! Also marking place!

Summersbee Fri 11-Jan-13 12:52:45

Hey 'SucksToBeMe'! Off to South America!! If your DS is not already a fluent Spanish speaker, why not get the headphones out and listen to Spanish songs. Find good ones on Amazon by searching for Spanish songs with translations or look up Spanish listening for kids online - don't know about any Portuguese ones though if it's Brazil you are going to ..!

Nevercan Fri 11-Jan-13 21:11:00

Not language related but my dd likes cupcake maker and donut maker which are freebies

leelteloo Fri 11-Jan-13 21:30:46

My daughter had been playing Puzzingo recently and lives it. Quite a clever, nicely put together app where they have to fit pictures to shapes. Tocabocca are great as lots of people have said. She likes Monkey Preschool too, there are a few of these; quite educational but fun.
Look forward to looking up all the other apps suggested on this thread smile

Needalifeagain Fri 11-Jan-13 21:48:16

Tozzle is a huge hit with my 22 month old.
Another vote for Boca Boca too.

MammyKaz Sun 13-Jan-13 22:12:23

Just what I've been thinking about!! Lots of great suggestions, will be checking them out.
If you get Counting Bear you can adjust settings to start at any number up to 20 & record your own "cheer". DD loves the individualised praise smile

Bakingtins Wed 16-Jan-13 12:12:16

Thanks for recommending Maths 3-5, it's great. New levels are £2.99, not £6.99 as someone posted, and I think it is good value.
We also like Hairy Letters and The Singing Alphabet.

bbgames Thu 07-Feb-13 13:10:17

Hey, I'm an app developer and decided to make an app for my little girl who is 9 months old. I looked on the App Store but a lot of what was there was pretty poorly produced and deceptively tried to get kids to hit the In-App Purchase buttons.

I hope you guys don't find it spammy, and also hope it's not against the forum rules, but here are the links to the apps. There is a free version which gives you 1 rhyme and supports buying the rest from the app or there is a version you can buy outright with 6 rhymes. The app works on iPod touch, iPhone and iPad.

Free Version:

Paid Version:

I am also including 5 "promo codes" that allow you to get the paid version for free. The links should show if the promo code has already been claimed.

Any feedback is appreciated.

bbgames Tue 19-Feb-13 13:40:32

I can't seem to edit my post so I'll have to make a new one, there is still 1 active code if anyone wants it:

bbgames Mon 25-Feb-13 16:00:46

Thats all the promo codes gone now. If any one has any feedback about how I could improve the app in the future it's always welcome.

Jezzawdh Sat 30-Mar-13 21:44:57

If you want a game that will keep the little and bigger kids entertained, easy controls and lots of fun have a look at Alpine Train 3D for iPad, a delight!

You get to drive a train around the mountains and blow the whistle, even change tracks.

I find some games aimed at kids can be over complicated with two many controls and menu screens.

Marking place to read later!

animator Tue 09-Apr-13 12:17:53

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harryhausen Tue 09-Apr-13 14:18:49

My ds is 5 now but had liked apps since he was about 3.

Another vote hear for Nosy Crow. However they do much more than Fairytales (although the Fairytales are v good). Try looking at-

Axel 'Gruffalo' Sheiflers - Animal SnApp Farm (a great mix up animal game) by Nosy Crow

Bizzy Bear on the Farm
Bizzy Bear builds a house

Rounds Franklin Frog

Pip and Posy

(All by Nosy Crow)

My ds also still loves one called Nighty Night where you simply gently put all the animals on the farm to sleep by switching off lights (but my ds loves the fact that the fish glow and make dinging sounds and the goat poops!)

jaabaar Wed 24-Apr-13 01:11:14

Just found Montessori letter sounds. I thought it is so clever in its simplicity! Then again what we mums live is not always what our DCs find entertaining.... But my 3 year old loves it!

Anyone used it?

bbgames Wed 24-Apr-13 21:45:21

Hey guys,

The next version of my nursery rhyme app is out.

The rhymes in the app are:

•A Sailor Went to Sea, Sea, Sea
•Sing a Song of Sixpence
•Little Bo-Peep
•Incy Wincy Spider
•Polly Put the Kettle On
•Baa, Baa, Black Sheep
•Hey Diddle Diddle
•Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary

There are 3 free copies here using these codes. The app is for iPad or iPhone:

If you miss out on a code you can try the free version of the app here:

jellysmum77 Wed 01-May-13 15:14:24

Hi all
I haven't read all the posts so apologies if I repeat anything;

Fudgy Bear is a lovely one for younger children- it has puzzles, a story, matching games etc.

Mr Thorne Does Phonics has lots out there for younger and older children- word wallpaper is a nice one for drawing, there is phonics pairs and spellbook for older children.

Maths for older children - there is mathelona and total maths.

Katiebeau Thu 02-May-13 15:49:09

Hello. I have the singing alphabet but no sound (sound is on othe apps) and the ssshh in the upper left corner and the pencil in the lower left corner don't do anything when pressed. Any advice welcome!!! thanks

Nevercan Sat 04-May-13 18:56:49

Have you tried pressing a letter. Each time you press one a musical note should appear above it and the it starts its musical note. You then press another letter and so on... The sshh then stops all the music so you can start again. The pencil doesn't do anything. Does that help?

DobiAndMilo Thu 09-May-13 15:20:05

I'm seeking feedback on our Language Independent FREE iPad App for young children, Lonitoy, my (much older!) kids love it but I'd really value some feedback from Mums with younger children.

alice105 Sun 26-May-13 11:55:48

Try 'First Phonic Sounds' for the iPad, really fun educational app for kids learning the alphabet, really simple and easy to use!

All letter sounds are in English accent with matching hand drawn animations that animate when you match the correct letter sound with the image.

Definitely recommend this app for toddlers! Have passed on to all my friends with babies already.

BazilGin Sun 09-Jun-13 22:40:55


My DD likes:
All Toca Boca,
Little fox-great fun, good quality app
Peter Rabbit-book with activities
Amimal Snap by Nosy Crow and gruffalo ilustrator, farm puzzle with great animal stories
Endless ABC

louise54 Tue 13-Aug-13 14:03:32

The Niles Snappington app looks good I've seen played around on a free download version for android, my little boy is looking forward to the full version coming out. Lovely art work and sound!
Not sure about the Nosy crow apps that are out at the minute, found the animation a bit creepy and the games didn't seem to tie in with the story. I have enjoyed reading through the Dr. Seuss range with my kids.

Niles Snappington free version:

Dr Seuss £3:

louise54 Wed 04-Sep-13 19:23:24

My kate has been enjoying grin the Niles Snappington app on my Samsung Note, theres a free version to download from the android store...


vulcanicity Mon 30-Sep-13 18:29:33

The Animals of Mossy Forest, Nighty Night and Little Fox Music Box. All lovely, well crafted apps: Hand illustrated, nicely animated and good music (and not chintzy). Our daughter is three now and I think the first two mentioned above were the best when she was a little younger. Little Fox is probably better for three and get the most out of it anyway.

ChickenLickenSticken Tue 01-Oct-13 21:04:35

Glad I found this - and also glad no one is all judgey for us letting toddlers play on phones/iPads etc!

SGCmum Mon 24-Mar-14 09:07:03

Hi You all must try out hip hop hen's apps - available on app store. Really fun and educational. My three year old is obsessed.
Also pip and posy's app is fantastic but not as educational.

babiesAloud Fri 04-Apr-14 09:24:08

I couldn't find anything musical that was fun for all of us to crowd around. My kids love dancing to their own voices...! Thank goodness

Mistamo Tue 06-May-14 21:36:04

Hi there, I developed this app for preschoolers learning their first words. Its a memory match game with just over 200 words in English and French, more languages coming soon. I appreciate any downloads and constructive reviews, Thanks!

Word Match - The Language Game:

Mistamo Tue 06-May-14 21:37:02

Hi there, I developed this app for preschoolers learning their first words. Its a memory match game with just over 200 words in English and French, more languages coming soon. I appreciate any downloads and constructive reviews, Thanks!

Word Match - The Language Game:

MonsterPhonics Sun 31-Aug-14 09:57:33

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

BazilGin Wed 03-Sep-14 21:30:11

'Endless' series is amazing. We have endless numbers, Endless Alphabet and Endless Reader. Fun animation and lots of learning at the same time.

Marking place

Thankgoodnessforcheerios Mon 06-Oct-14 14:50:20

Also marking place, my ds likes playkids and ABC pocket phonics

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