20 Best iPad Apps for Creative Kids

You got your kid an iPad or an iPad Mini, but now what? You want to make sure they're playing, creating, thinking, and learning with it, right? Here's a list of 20 Art, Science, and Reading Apps that will keep them spellbound and engaged with the RIGHT stuff.

In addition to blowing up zombies and flinging birds, of course.

Art of Glow App
This is a visually stunning, incandescent art app. Draw, then go thru settings for features like speed, shape, and color then watch your kid's brightly-illuminated images come to life. (Free)

Avokiddo Emotions App
Playing with new friends zany zebra, shy sheep and jolly giraffe your kids will enjoy discovering emotions and more by dressing up, feeding, sharing toys and interacting with them using over 100 uniquely themed props. ($2.99)

Brushes 3 App
With the newest version of this Apple Design Award winning app, your budding artist can fingerpaint or create masterpieces with 19 high-quality electronic paintbrushes. There are hundreds of color choices, a range of brush strokes and special effects. She'll learn basic principles of color and design, and can paint without making a mess, which I consider a huge bonus. (Free)

Bugs and Buttons 2 App
This critically acclaimed Bugs and Buttons' update offers a a lot of variety to keep your child engaged while introducing them to critical learning skills at the same time. Bugs and Buttons 2 covers a wide range of critical learning skills such as counting, sorting, pinching, balance, letters and many more. ($2.99)

Crayola Color Studio App
My kid's favorite iPad coloring book. This app does call for using an iMarker, but we just use our fingers in the Try Me mode. ColorStudio HD's world of coloring options includes crayons, markers, colored pencils and more in a convenient no-ink, no-mess, kid-safe package, and the textures they create mimic the real thing. The coloring pages are animated, so they move as you color them. (Free)

Dots For Tots App
An early reader app, this interactive game helps your kid hone fine motor skills in preparation for writing and creative crafts down the road. Watch as your kid connects numbered dots (practicing counting skills) to bring an image to life. Choose from ocean animals, numbers, letters or shapes. (.99¢)

Faces iMake App
Kickstart your kid's imagination with this truly innovative app that creates crazy faces from a variety of everyday objects. There is no wrong answer, in fact there are millions of right answers, with this open-ended approach to collage art.  (.99¢)

MoMA Art Lab App
Kids learn about modern art by playing with this unique set of art tools. They can use bright, bold geometric shapes to create collages which are based on real artists' work. Kids will not only have a better understanding of what constitutes modern art, but they'll learn the process for creating their own.


Monster Physics App
With all the focus on STEM right now, physics and engineering are super popular. How about an app that lets your kid design rockets and robots? Monster Physics uses adorable critters to simplify and teach physics principles through a series of missions. She'll have the chance to sift through lots of creative materials, like magnets, wing nuts, tubes, wood, metal and more to build out her spaceships for missions. (.99¢)

My Dad Drives a Roller Coaster Car App
This interactive picture book combines unique graphics, surprise sound effects, and more to keep young kids playing, thinking and giggling. For the traveling family, it keeps kids engaged and their parents sane, which we all need on the way to Grandma's house. Plus, the illustration style is refreshing like alternative rock is to top 40…a little out there. ($1.99)

PBS Kids App
Your kids can watch videos from their favorite PBS KIDS television series anytime, anywhere (in the USA). The App features more than 1,000 videos from more than a dozen top PBS KIDS television series including Curious George, The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That, Dinosaur Train, SUPER WHY!, Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, Sesame Street and Wild Kratts. (Free)

PlayART App
This clever art app teaches kids about eight masters: Katsushika Hokusai, Paul C├ęzanne, Claude Monet, Henri Rousseau, Vincent Van Gogh, Gustav Klimt, Paul Klee and Amedeo Modigliani, via short videos narrated by children. Then it cuts up pieces of these artists' famous artwork and lets players mash up the parts into their own new original artwork. ($3.99)

Princess Fairy Tale Maker App
This app combines storytelling, literacy skills and art. Encourage your kid to create a short film from 32 backgrounds, featuring animated characters such as princesses, pirates, mermaids and fairies. Kids can add personal artwork with crayon and pencil tools. Learn storytelling, sequencing, illustration, animation, and more. ($1.99)

Sky Guide App
This star and constellation guide has never been more beautiful and easy to use. Just hold it up to the sky to automatically find stars, constellations, planets, track satellites and more. It’s stargazing fun for all ages and experience levels. Plus you don't need Wi-Fi, data, or GPS to make it work. ($1.99)

Storybook Maker App
Storybook Maker lets children express their creativity with words and pictures. Simply said, you can make a book and share it with friends. The app comes equipped with all the tools needed to create original stories with text, drawings, audio photos, stickers, and even 3-D objects to make your original story more interactive. ($2.99)

This Is My Body – Anatomy for Kids App
Actually created by a team of medical doctors, teachers and parents, this super science app features information about the different aspects of the human body. Even non-readers and early readers can use this app because the information is visually presented. But there's a Smarty Pants area for older kids to read more on each topic. ($1.99)

Toca Mini App
Let your imagination run wild in this creative app for kids in which you make scary monsters, fantasy animals or cartoon versions your best friends using thousands of eyes, ears, mouths, hair, accessories, etc to choose from. Dress up, dress down, three eyes or funny feet, the possibilities are endless. Considering my kid can spend hours on the Wii just making Miis, this is a no-brainer for me to download. ($2.99)

Toontastic App
With this set of digital tools, kids can create their own cartoons. They choose their setting, add characters, move those characters around in the setting as they provide the voices, add music -- and as the director of their own cartoons, kids create separate scenes that the app weaves together at the end to create a short animated video.
 The app has great tutorials and the end product is top-notch. (Free)

us-tyme App
us-tyme is a free video call app platform that gets kids and their caretakers (who are perhaps out of town) together to share experiences by reading books, playing games and much more, while seeing and speaking to one another in a real-time video experience. Read a story with grandma. Read a bed time story with your kids while you're out-of-town. Or get moved-away best friends together for a game and video chat. You can buy stories and games in-app to share, read, and play with your video partner for .99¢ and up. (Free)

Writing Wizard App
The very helpful Writing Wizard is designed to help kids learn how to trace letters and numbers through a fun system carefully designed to maintain motivation. The app is fully customizable to suit every child's learning level, and lets you check their progress through a system of reports and profiles. You can even add your own word lists to practice your weekly school spelling lists. ($2.99)

Your Turn: Tell me your favorite kid apps!

That's just MY favorites list. Do y'all have any fantastic apps for kids that you'd recommend? Leave your recommendations in the comments, and we'll turn them into another app round-up post. Thanks!


Phil said...

We love the Playground series by Jan Essig. Great learning games for toddlers and kids.

Christina @ Northern Cheapskate said...

This is a great list! We have the Crayola app with the special marker.. and honestly, the kids hate the marker. They would rather use their fingers or another stylus instead!

Jo said...

Oooo great list. Want to check out the monster physics. Thanks! If you like Art of glow...check out Infant Zoo or or Draw with Sars...they are super!