Appysmarts.com Best Apps for Young Brains

Best apps for toddlers according to Appysmarts reviewers and users.

The ranking presents apps for the youngest kids (aged 0-3). The apps are listed by their Appysmarts overall score.
'Toddlers' is a term which usually refers 1-3 year olds. To create this ranking we decided to combine the best apps for 3 different age groups (to give you as broad range of excellent apps for a very little children as possible):

  • 0-1 year olds
  • 1-2 year olds
  • 2-3 year olds


To see best iPhone & iPad apps for other age groups, please click below:
Best apps for 3-4 year olds.

Best apps for 4-5 year olds.
Best apps for 5-6 year olds.

Best Apps for Young Brains - get our weekly app recommendations by e-mail!

Dr. Panda, Teach Me!

Dr. Panda, Teach Me!
by TribePlay Ltd.

Price: 2.99$
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iPhone

Overall Score: 99/100

version reviewed: 2.0

reviewed:


Best for: Education, Attention & concentration, Early math, Eye-hand coordination, Interaction, Memory, Thinking & problem solving

What it is: a set of 10 educational activities (puzzles, counting, patterns, memory, numbers colors.

What you do with it: touch the elements in one of the four scenes for interaction and sounds (e.g. flying bees, croaking frogs) and to access the puzzles/activities. Sample activities include: counting animals, putting simple puzzles together, finding hidden animals, matching shapes, finding differences, memory game and more.

What we liked:the concept, very nice graphics and animations, cute main character (Dr. Panda), voice instructions, 7 language versions included in the app. The app is very easy to play with, even for smaller kids.

What we didn't like:doesn't work with iPad 1. The language menu is easily accessible to a child. The main music theme can be a bit annoying.

Bottom line: a very nicely put together and easy to use educational app for 2-4 year olds

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  • Length of play:
  • Educational value:
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Bizzy Bear on the Farm

Bizzy Bear on the Farm
by Nosy Crow

Price: 3.99$
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iPhone

Overall Score: 99/100

version reviewed: 1.0.2

reviewed:


Best for: Interactive books, Attention & concentration, Early literacy, Eye-hand coordination, Interaction, Language, Personal & social, Thinking & problem solving, Understanding of the world

What it is: a short interactive story (8 pages/scenes) with additional activities.

What you do with it: there are two modes: 'read by myself' and 'read and play'. For each page you watch a short animated intro, then follow the text and audio instructions and try to complete the task (feed the pigs, pick apples, drive the tractor etc). Touch the objects in the scene for clues or extra interaction (like feeding the birds in the nest).

What we liked: the concept, very nice illustrations and animations, simple but entertaining activities, high level of interaction, audio and visual clues. The app can be used even by smaller children (with parental assistance).

What we didn't like: the words are not highlighted when the text is being read, some of the tasks have more purpose (like picking apples and eggs) than others (e.g. riding the horse). Some of the actions could be more intuitive. A simple reward system for completing each task would make this app even more fun. The story may not be too appealing to older kids (who are supposed to read it themselves).

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  • Educational value:
  • 1
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Colortoons

Colortoons
by Axeva

Price: 0.99$
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iPhone + iPad

Overall Score: 98/100

version reviewed: 1.9.3

reviewed:


Best for: Crafts, Attention & concentration, Creativity, Eye-hand coordination, Interaction, Music & art, Understanding of the world

What it is: a coloring app with 30 ready-made contours (mostly animals) + blank canvas.

What you do with it: fill areas of the picture by touching a virtual paint bucket ('the easy way') or use a paintbrush (for older kids).

What we liked: overall quality, simple enough even for smaller children ('fill the area' option), simple navigation.

What we didn't like: nothing (maybe some sounds could be added?)

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  • Length of play:
  • Educational value:
  • 1
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Best Apps for Young Brains - get our weekly app recommendations by e-mail!


LoonyMobile

LoonyMobile
by Eden Cohen

Price: free
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iPhone + iPad

Overall Score: 94/100

version reviewed: 1.0

reviewed:


Best for: Interactive toys, Attention & concentration, Creativity, Eye-hand coordination, Interaction, Thinking & problem solving, Understanding of the world

What it is: sliding puzzle app - suitable even for younger kids.

What you do with it: slide one of the pieces of the puzzle to create one of the 5 vehicles (or a 'mashup' vehicle).

What we liked:concept, simple operation. The app is free.

What we didn't like:lacks sounds, sliding pieces can loop (instead of stopping at the end).

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  • Length of play:
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  • 1
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The Rooster Who Lost His Voice (The Full Story)

The Rooster Who Lost His Voice (The Full Story)
by iMagine machine llc

Price: 0.99$ (was 1.99$)
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iPhone + iPad

Overall Score: 91/100

version reviewed: 1.0

reviewed:


Best for: Interactive books, Attention & concentration, Eye-hand coordination, Language, Understanding of the world

What it is: an interactive animated story (about 18 minutes long) about the values of caring, generosity and friendship.

What you do with it: follow The Rooster and his Grandma around the farm, interact with the story (e.g. collect various objects from farm animals that are met along the way to help solve the mystery of the Rooster's lost voice).

What we liked: the story (theme, flow, humor), beautiful illustrations and animations, cute characters, great narration and voice acting, background music. The interactive elements don't distract and help to keep the child 'immersed' in the story.

What we didn't like: no text for reading/following the story on your own (we would like to see it as an option), for children and parents used to typical 'swipe the page' interactive books the navigation may not be intuitive at first.

Bottom line: we wish there were more apps like this one...

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  • 1
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Picture Book of Animals - for kids and toddlers

Picture Book of Animals - for kids and toddlers
by Wombi Produktion Kommanditbola...

Price: free
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iPhone + iPad

Overall Score: 90/100

version reviewed: 1.2.3

reviewed:


Best for: Interactive play, Attention & concentration, Eye-hand coordination, Interaction, Language, Personal & social, Understanding of the world

What it is: a simple interactive app with 4 scenes and 31 animals.

What you do with it: choose the scene, then touch an animal to hear the sound it makes and its name. Touch the animal one more time to repeat. Swipe your finger to reveal another animal.

What we liked: simple and really nice illustrations, very easy operation (the app can be used even by the smallest kids), 10 language versions.

What we didn't like: the voices for some of the language versions could be better (more lively and more kid-friendly). The overall quality of the audio could be improved. No animations. Some of the animal sounds (e.g. koala,rabbit) were rather... strange.

Apart from the language versions listed above there are following options: Portuguese, Dutch, Norwegian and Danish.

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  • 1
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Off to bed! Boys and girls - Interactive lullaby storybook app for bedtime

Off to bed! Boys and girls - Interactive lullaby storybook app for bedtime
by DADA Company

Price: 2.99$
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iPhone

Overall Score: 88/100

version reviewed: 1.4

reviewed:


Best for: Interactive books, Attention & concentration, Early literacy, Language, Personal & social

What it is: an interactive bedtime book about a boy going to sleep (14 pages long).

What you do with it: listen to the narrator (or to the parent reading the book). Touch elements on pages for animations and sounds (e.g. change boy's crib into an imaginary airplane, touch stars and play with sounds, touch sheep to 'count' them etc.).

What we liked: the story, beautiful illustrations, 'dreamy' music, interactive elements complementing the story, ease of use, good reading and navigation options (all scenes can be easily accessed from the menu, useful automatic page turn option etc.). Main menu accessible only for parents.

What we didn't like: some scenes could be 'quieter' (e.g. the magic carpet scene). Some sort of 'nightstand' scene with starred sky and dimming lights after you finish the book could be an interesting addition.

Bottom line: beautiful, dreamy book perfect for the bedtime routine.

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  • 1
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Pat the Bunny

Pat the Bunny
by Random House Digital, Inc.

Price: 3.99$
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iPhone

Overall Score: 88/100

version reviewed: 2.0

reviewed:


Best for: Interactive play, Attention & concentration, Creativity, Eye-hand coordination, Interaction, Language, Thinking & problem solving, Understanding of the world
Video

What it is: a set of 14 interactive scenes based on the book by Dorothy Kunhardt.

What you do with it: the 'activities' mode: choose a scene and follow the audio instructions to complete a simple task by tapping or swiping on the screen (e.g. pop bubbles in the bath, make 'music' in the kitchen, find the bunny in the room, play peek-a-boo). In the paint mode: rub the screen to reveal the colors in the pictures.

What we liked: the concept, great illustrations, extremely easy navigation and operation, number and variety of activities, audio instructions, background music and sound effects.

What we didn't like: the egg hunting activity as it may be confusing for smaller children who accidentally tap on the egg (could be available as an option instead).

Bottom line: one of the best apps aimed at the youngest kids we have reviewed so far.

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  • 1
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Cars in sandbox: Construction

Cars in sandbox: Construction
by Thematica

Price: 2.99$
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iPhone

Overall Score: 88/100

version reviewed: 1.2

reviewed:


Best for: Interactive play, Attention & concentration, Eye-hand coordination, Interaction, Thinking & problem solving, Understanding of the world

What it is: a set of construction activities with 8 interactive trucks and machines in a virtual sandbox.

What you do with it: touch parts of the vehicle for interaction (starting/stopping the engine, opening doors, turning on/off lights). Perform various tasks with the help of the machines: put toy elephant's head on it's place with a mobile crane, transport a toy bear and duck with a dump truck etc.

What we liked: the idea, overall excellent quality of the app, beautiful, detailed graphics, lots of interaction and 'little touches' (sounds, animations), simple tasks, simple scoring system.

What we didn't like: we were missing any sort of voice clues, the names of vehicles could be read aloud. Links to Facebook and Twitter on the main screen.

Please note that during our review this app was free but even if the producers decide to charge for it will still be worth purchasing!

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  • 1
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Best Apps for Young Brains - get our weekly app recommendations by e-mail!


Baa Baa Black Sheep - by Duck Duck Moose

Baa Baa Black Sheep - by Duck Duck Moose
by Duck Duck Moose

Price: free (was 2.99$)
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May contain `more apps` links
iPhone

Overall Score: 85/100

version reviewed: 1.0.6

reviewed:


Best for: Interactive play, Attention & concentration, Eye-hand coordination, Interaction, Music & art, Thinking & problem solving, Understanding of the world

What it is: an interactive story with simple puzzle activity based on 2 classic songs (Baa Baa Black Sheep and Row Row Row Your Boat.

What you do with it:go through the screens, touch the objects to see animations and hear extra sounds. Complete the puzzles by dragging items to appropriate places.

What we liked: the concept, overall quality, very easy operation even for smallest kids, simple illustrations, extra interactive elements, humor, the puzzle activity. Additional options for parents (navigation control).

What we didn't like: some abstract/unreal objects and actions (like a bear sleeping underwater).

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  • 1
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