Appysmarts.com Best Apps for Young Brains


Best cooking apps for kids.


Cooking with kids can be so much fun but if would like to avoid cleaning up the kitchen mess and prepare many different meals with your children in a safe way (without dangerous situations like very hot oven), please try apps from the list below! There are lots of apps and games for toddlers, preschool kids, kindergarteners and 1-2 graders teaching healthy eating habits and how to prepare meals. Children can learn about vegetables and fruits or how to cook, boil, stir and bake. Some apps contain even easy to follow recipes to cook simple meals with parents. There are also creative apps for decorating cakes, ice creams and other delicious desserts.

You may also like the list of: Best kids apps for teaching healthy eating

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Lalaloopsy Diner - A Candy Coated Burgeria, Pizza Party Cooking Game

Lalaloopsy Diner - A Candy Coated Burgeria, Pizza Party Cooking Game
by Cupcake Digital

Price: 2.99$
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iPhone + iPad

Overall Score: 99/100

version reviewed: 1.2

reviewed:


Best for: Games, Attention & concentration, Eye-hand coordination, Thinking & problem solving

What it is and what you do with it: arcade/cooking game with the popular character.

4 scenes (burgers,hot-dogs,pizza,pancakes), 10 levels in each scene.

Prepare and serve as many meals (pancakes, hamburgers, hotdogs, pizza) as possible.

What we liked: the concept. Good variety of a diner related activities. Good for resource planning, hand-eye coordination and memory. Features original Lalaloopsy characters. Humor and fun factor. Narration and spoken instructions. Ease of use. Rewards system with buttons and the Store with extras and upgrades. Sound backgrounds and sounds. Overall quality of the app.

What we didn't like: game gets really fast and requires very good hand-eye coordination. Limited educational value.

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Toca Kitchen

Toca Kitchen
by Toca Boca

Price: 2.99$
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May contain `more apps` links
iPhone + iPad

Overall Score: 94/100

version reviewed: 1.1.2

reviewed:


Best for: Interactive play, Creativity, Interaction, Understanding of the world

What it is: a simple interactive kitchen scene. 4 characters, 12 ingredients, 6 ways to 'treat' each ingredient.

What you do with it: select a set of ingredients, then 'prepare' them by slicing, boiling, frying etc then try to serve the 'meal to the chosen character and observe their reaction.

What we liked: the concept. Simple illustrations and animations. Humor/fun factor. High level of responsiveness and interaction. Sounds and sound backgrounds. Ease of use (no instructions needed). No distracting elements. Overall quality of the app.

What we didn't like: limited educational value. Not too realistic (in terms of cooking/food preparation).

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Big Block Party

Big Block Party
by Sesame Workshop

Price: free
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Windows Phone

Overall Score: 89/100

version reviewed: 1.0.0.0

reviewed:


Best for: Interactive books, Attention & concentration, Creativity, Interaction, Personal & social, Thinking & problem solving, Understanding of the world

What it is: an interactive story with Elmo and his friends from Sesame Street.

What you do with it: listen to the story (or read it by yourself, with the narrator turned off). Swipe to turn the page. Touch the text to zoom it. Tap on Elmo to hear what he says on each page (he asks questions related to the story, comments or just laughes/dances). There are 10 recipes related to the story (of course to prepare with parental assistance) at the end of book.

What we liked: the illustrations, high quality narration, nice engaging story and funny likeable characters, smart promotion of healthy eating habits and social skills (e.g. helping each other), extra content (recipes from the story and Elmo's questions), tips for parents (how to enhance the experience with the story). You can easily access any page of the book from the menu. After quitting the app will start from the page which you ended up with. Elmo's laugh! (it's very catching).

What we didn't like: only a few interactive elements (with Elmo), no animations. The text is not highlighted while reading (not very educational as for reading/early literacy skills). The recipes could be also read aloud.

General notes about our book reviews: although when reviewing books, we try not to review the story itself, the general impressions will be reflected in the Overall Score.

The Age Range assigned to books will be usually broader compared to other apps, as they can be useful for both younger (with parent/narrator reading) or older (reading on their own) kids.

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Toca Kitchen 2

Toca Kitchen 2
by Toca Boca AB

Price: 2.99$
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iPhone + iPad

Overall Score: 85/100

version reviewed: 1.1

reviewed:


Best for: Interactive play, Creativity, Eye-hand coordination, Understanding of the world

What it is/what you do with it: a simple interactive kitchen scene. 3 characters, 16 ingredients, 5 kitchen tools.

Select a set of ingredients, then prepare a 'meal': slicing, boil, fry, bake etc. Serve the 'meal' to the chosen character and observe their reaction.

What we liked: the concept. Simple illustrations and animations. Humor/fun factor. High level of responsiveness and interaction. Sounds and sound backgrounds. Ease of use (no instructions needed). No distracting elements. Overall quality of the app.

What we didn't like: limited educational value. Not too realistic (in terms of cooking/food preparation).

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Cookie Doodle

Cookie Doodle
by Shoe the Goose

Price: free
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iPhone

Overall Score: 73/100

version reviewed: 2.17

reviewed:


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

What it is: a virtual cookie making app.

What you do with it: make and decorate virtual cookies.

What we liked: the idea, easy operation, number of available options, it's good for creativity..

What we didn't like: there is not much educational value in this app (good for fun and creativity but not for much more). Occasional problems with navigation. No spoken instructions make this app unusable for younger kids. The 'receipes' part could be more useful.

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Toca Tea Party

Toca Tea Party
by Toca Boca

Price: 2.99$
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iPad

Overall Score: 70/100

version reviewed: 1.0.3

reviewed:


Best for: Interactive play, Creativity, Eye-hand coordination, Personal & social, Understanding of the world

What it is: a simple interactive role-play tea table scene. Up to 4 'real' players (kids or toys) - can be seated around the device and participate in the party.

What you do with it: choose a tablecloth, plates, cups, cakes and cookies. Eat, drink, wipe spilled tea, refill cups, serve more cake and cookies finally wash the dishes.

What we liked: the concept. Great for fun role-play. Simple illustrations and animations. Sounds and sound backgrounds. Ease of use (no instructions needed). No distracting elements. Overall quality of the app.

What we didn't like: limited educational value. The choice of cookies,cakes and drinks could be better.

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Little Panda's Candy Shop - Lollipop Factory - Android Version

Little Panda's Candy Shop - Lollipop Factory - Android Version
by BabyBus

Price: free
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Android

Overall Score: 58/100

version reviewed: 8.6.2

reviewed:


Best for: Interactive play, Attention & concentration, Creativity, Interaction, Understanding of the world

What it is and what you do with it: mix and create your own candy recipes, add colors and flavors then sell your creations to some hungry customers.

What we liked: the concept. Good range of simple interactions. Humor and fun factor. Simple 3D-like illustrations and animations. Sounds and sound backgrounds. Easy operation. No ads or other distracting elements.

What we didn't like: little educational content.

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Little Panda's Candy Shop - Lollipop Factory

Little Panda's Candy Shop - Lollipop Factory
by BABYBUS

Price: free
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iPhone + iPad

Overall Score: 58/100

version reviewed: 8.6

reviewed:


Best for: Interactive play, Attention & concentration, Creativity, Interaction, Understanding of the world

What it is and what you do with it: mix and create your own candy recipes, add colors and flavors then sell your creations to some hungry customers.

What we liked: the concept. Good range of simple interactions. Humor and fun factor. Simple 3D-like illustrations and animations. Sounds and sound backgrounds. Easy operation. No ads or other distracting elements.

What we didn't like: little educational content.

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Flori's Birthday

Flori's Birthday
by Velago GmbH

Price: free
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May contain `more apps` links
iPhone + iPad

Overall Score: 57/100

version reviewed: 1.2.3

reviewed:


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

What it is: An interactive story with additional activities.

What you do with it: listen to the story about a giraffe called Flori preparing her birthday party and help her around the kitchen (bake and decorate the virtual cake, set up the table) etc.

What we liked: the concept of mixing a book and some activities connected with the storyline, nice illustrations.

What we didn't like: unfortunately we didn't like the plot too much (burning the cake, the cake is baked but will not be eaten in the end etc). Limited number of interactive elements in some of the scenes. The animations are very simple. Some of the activities will be rather difficult to understand without parents' assistance. There is no way to exit an activity without completing it first. We would prefer adult narration (even as an option). Text is not highlighted, there is no 'read to myself' option. General notes about our book reviews: although when reviewing books, we try not to review the story itself, the general impressions will be reflected in the Overall Score.

The Age Range assigned to books will be usually broader compared to other apps, as they can be useful for both younger (with parent/narrator reading) or older (reading on their own) kids.

Appysmarts


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


Yum Num's Galaxy

Yum Num's Galaxy
by Goodhustle Studios

Price: free (was 1.99$)
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May contain `more apps` links
iPad

Overall Score: 43/100

version reviewed: 1.1.1

reviewed:


Best for: Games, Attention & concentration, Eye-hand coordination, Interaction, Personal & social, Thinking & problem solving, Understanding of the world

What it is: a simple game promoting healthy eating and teaching food-related vocabulary (contains about 11 recipes: e.g.: salad, apple oatmeal, grilled cheese etc.).

What you do with it: learn about the ingredients for specific dishes by 'hunting' for them in a space-like environment and 'cooking' them in a 'space cooker'.

Alternatively you can browse the 'real' recipes included with the app.

What we liked: the concept (promotion of 'healthy' eating through a game-like experience), funny graphics and sound effects. Two modes of play (easier for younger kids and 'game' for older).

What we didn't like: very limited educational value (just 3 basic ingredients for each dish, no real preparation process explained, the dishes are not exactly 'healthy' - they are just presented as an alternative to 'fast food). The game itself is very simple (just 'shoot' at the objects, no real challenge). Only 11 recipes. The recipes are text only.

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