Appysmarts.com Best Apps for Young Brains


Best apps for kids featuring problem-solving.


Below you'll find the best and most educational apps and games for children that require logical thinking, answering questions along with the searching for different ways to solve the problem. Kids can improve their analytical skills and rational thinking e.g. through scientific experiments, learning the patterns, testing different solutions or carrying on their own investigations. Apps can help kids how to examine and determine the right answer to the given question, how to inquire and find reasonable explanations of certain processes and occurrences.


You may also like our other rankings:

Best creative apps for kids

Best apps for kids for storytelling

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

Shape-O ABC's

Shape-O ABC's
by bellamon

Price: free
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iPad

Overall Score: 97/100

version reviewed: 1.2

reviewed:


Best for: Brain teasers, Attention & concentration, Early literacy, Eye-hand coordination, Interaction, Language, Music & art, Thinking & problem solving, Understanding of the world

What it is: over 100 'woodenlike' puzzles with shapes, words, colors and sounds.

What you do with it: see our video presentation

What we liked: concept, graphics, sounds, smooth interaction, options (colors, autocomplete), number of puzzles.

What we didn't like: -

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Bugs and Buttons

Bugs and Buttons
by Little Bit Studio, LLC.

Price: 2.99$
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iPhone + iPad

Overall Score: 95/100

version reviewed: 1.3

reviewed:


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

What it is: a pack of 18 games and activities concentrating on fine motor skills, critical thinking and problem solving.

What you do with it: please refer to the full list with descriptions available on the producer's website: http://littlebitstudio.com/bugsandbuttons/

What we liked: the concept, great graphics with very realistic animated insects, easy navigation and operation, the number and quality of (most) of the activities, adaptive learning system (difficulty increases or decreases depending on the child's progress), the sound backgrounds, the 'stamp collecting' rewards feature.

What we didn't like: no spoken instructions (in our opinion the 'visual instructions' were sometimes not sufficient). Some activities may require some help or additional explanation from a parent. We didn't like the human-like sounds (when insects are touched), the numerical scoring system with a timer (not very useful for younger kids), the activities where the insects are 'hurt' (caught with fingers or flung with a slingshot). The app could have even more educational value if it contained some real-life facts about the insects (e.g. presented in the Stamps section).

Bottom line: a great set of fun activities for developing fine motor skills, critical thinking and problem solving.

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Fetch™

Fetch™
by Big Fish Games, Inc

Price: 3.99$
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May contain `more apps` links
iPad

Overall Score: 94/100

version reviewed: 1.0.0

reviewed:


Best for: Games, Attention & concentration, Interaction, Thinking & problem solving

What it is: an adventure/arcade game.

What you do with it: help the young boy rescue his dog by solving various puzzles and playing 7 arcade mini-games.

You may wish to have a look at the Publisher's presentation/walkthrough for more details.

What we liked: the game (storyline, gameplay, great number of features, puzzles and tasks). Great graphics and animations. Sounds and sound effects.

What we didn't like: limited educational value. May be too complex for less game-savvy kids (that's why we recommend Parental Assistance).

Please note that it is not a purely educational application although it may be useful for developing thinking and problem solving skills.

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


Pettson's Inventions Deluxe

Pettson's Inventions Deluxe
by Filimundus AB

Price: 3.99$
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iPad

Overall Score: 92/100

version reviewed: 1.1

reviewed:


Best for: Brain teasers, Attention & concentration, Thinking & problem solving

What it is: A set of 66 puzzles containing various imaginary machines (combines all puzzles from the Pettson's Inventions 1 and 2 apps + 6 new puzzles).

What you do with it: combine sets of pulleys, gears, belts, weights (plus some air-puffing and fire-breathing creatures) into working 'inventions' (imaginary machines for washing laundry, turning on lights etc.). Other puzzles require connecting wires, building a road, building a clock etc. There are two difficulty modes (in the difficult mode the puzzles will contain extra 'fake' pieces).

Compete against another player (or against the clock) in the 'challenge' mode.

What we liked: the concept. Number and variety of puzzles. Humor/fun factor. Funny illustrations. Sounds and sound effects. The new '2 players challenge' mode.

What we didn't like: could have more educational value (e.g. could include explanations how the 'machinery' works). We missed some sort of audio or visual clues (to help complete the more difficult 'inventions) - therefore we recommend parental assistance.

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Pettson's Inventions for Android

Pettson's Inventions for Android
by Filimundus AB

Price: free
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Android

Overall Score: 90/100

version reviewed: 1.4

reviewed:


Best for: Brain teasers, Attention & concentration, Eye-hand coordination, Interaction, Thinking & problem solving

What it is: A set of 27 puzzles containing various imaginary machines.

What you do with it: combine sets of pulleys, gears, belts, weights (plus some air-puffing and fire-breathing creatures) into working 'inventions' (imaginary machines for launching rockets, cleaning pigs, pulling cars etc.).

What we liked: the concept, variety of puzzles, humor, funny characters, illustrations, sounds and sound effects.

What we didn't like: could have more educational value (e.g. could include explanations how the 'machinery' works). We missed some sort of audio or visual clues (to help complete the more difficult 'inventions' - otherwise we recommend parental assitance). Bottom line: an excellent brain-teaser with lots of clever puzzles and ... humor. We just wish there were more puzzles!

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Pettson's Inventions

Pettson's Inventions
by Filimundus AB

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

Overall Score: 90/100

version reviewed: 1.4

reviewed:


Best for: Brain teasers, Attention & concentration, Eye-hand coordination, Interaction, Thinking & problem solving

What it is: A set of 27 puzzles containing various imaginary machines.

What you do with it: combine sets of pulleys, gears, belts, weights (plus some air-puffing and fire-breathing creatures) into working 'inventions' (imaginary machines for launching rockets, cleaning pigs, pulling cars etc.).

What we liked: the concept, variety of puzzles, humor, funny characters, illustrations, sounds and sound effects.

What we didn't like: could have more educational value (e.g. could include explanations how the 'machinery' works). We missed some sort of audio or visual clues (to help complete the more difficult 'inventions' - otherwise we recommend parental assitance). Bottom line: an excellent brain-teaser with lots of clever puzzles and ... humor. We just wish there were more puzzles!

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Freddi Fish 3: The Case of the Stolen Conch Shell

Freddi Fish 3: The Case of the Stolen Conch Shell
by Nimbus Games Inc

Price: 4.99$
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iPhone + iPad

Overall Score: 89/100

version reviewed: 1.0.0

reviewed:


Best for: Games, Attention & concentration, Early math, Interaction, Language, Memory, Personal & social, Thinking & problem solving, Understanding of the world

What it is: an interactive strategy puzzle solving game.

What you do with it: help Freddi Fish and his friend Luther collect items, solve puzzles and piece clues together to solve the mystery of the stolen Great Conch Shell and open the Founder's Day Festival in the fantasy underwater world.

What we liked: the concept, number and variety of tasks, number of interactive elements, cute characters, fun factor, great illustrations and animations, sounds and sound backgrounds matching the storyline, overall high quality of the app.

What we didn't like: the audio quality could be better. No clues/instructions for parents (to help kids with the puzzles). Not much educational value.

We rated the app's interface as 'Kid Friendly' but younger or less game-savvy kids will need parent's assistance with the gameplay.

Bottom line: a must-have for all young gamers.

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Pettson's Inventions 2

Pettson's Inventions 2
by Filimundus AB

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

Overall Score: 88/100

version reviewed: 1.0

reviewed:


Best for: Brain teasers, Attention & concentration, Interaction, Language, Thinking & problem solving
Video

What it is: A set of 37 puzzles containing various imaginary machines.

What you do with it: combine sets of pulleys, gears, belts, weights (plus some air-puffing and fire-breathing creatures) into working 'inventions' (imaginary machines for washing laundry, turning on lights etc.). Other puzzles require connecting wires, building a road, building a clock etc. There are two difficulty modes (in the 'difficult' mode the puzzles will contain extra 'fake' pieces).

What we liked: the concept, variety of puzzles, humor, funny characters, illustrations, sounds and sound effects.

What we didn't like: could have more educational value (e.g. could include explanations how the 'machinery' works). We missed some sort of audio or visual clues (to help complete the more difficult 'inventions', therefore we recommend parental assistance).

Free preview: if you are not sure, please see our 'See before you buy' video (below) or try the free version of the app.

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Spy Fox in Dry Cereal

Spy Fox in Dry Cereal
by Nimbus Games Inc

Price: 4.99$
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iPhone + iPad

Overall Score: 88/100

version reviewed: 1.0.0

reviewed:


Best for: Games, Attention & concentration, Interaction, Language, Memory, Personal & social, Thinking & problem solving, Understanding of the world

What it is: a puzzle solving adventure game..

What you do with it: help Spy Fox (the humorous version of James Bond) gather information, piece clues together and solve puzzles to prevent the 'worldwide dairy crisis' caused by William the Kid, who plans to replace cow milk with the goat alternative.

What we liked: the concept, storyline, number and variety of puzzles, tasks and minigames, variety of gameplay scenarios, humor and fun factor, TV/cartoon quality animations and voice acting, sounds and sound backgrounds, overall high quality of the app.

What we didn't like: the audio quality could be better. No instructions or prompts (less game-savvy kids should definitely play this game with their parents). Not much educational value.

Bottom line: hours of creative problem solving fun.

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


Jacky Where Is It?

Jacky Where Is It?
by LookAndFeel

Price: 0.99$
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iPhone

Overall Score: 87/100

version reviewed: 1.01

reviewed:


Best for: Brain teasers, Attention & concentration

What it is: find hidden objects in hand-drawn pictures (created by the cartoonist Jacky Jackson). 3 main categories (animals, people, objects) with 18 puzzles each plus bonus levels (over 90 puzzles in all).

What you do with it:listen to the instructions then try to find a hidden object in the selected picture (drag, zoom in, zoom out for better view). Earn stars (the faster you find a solution the more stars you get) to unlock new levels.

What we liked:the concept, excellent artwork, quality of the puzzles, ease of use, audio 'introductions' for the puzzles, visual tour/instructions, visual clues, overall 'look and feel' of the app.

What we didn't like:the levels have to be unlocked one by one. We would like to see a special mode for kids (timing feature turned off, easier puzzles selected, Twitter/Facebook buttons turned off). Some of the puzzles may be challenging even for parents.

An excellent visual/brain teaser app, best played with a parent available for help with more difficult puzzles.

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