25 best iPhone and iPad apps for kids from August 2013


August was another big, BIG month for new children’s apps on iPhone and iPad. We’ve singled out our 25 favourites from the month, ranging from familiar brands like CBeebies, Ben 10 and Transformers to new apps like Henri Le Worm, PixieDust and Lucy Ladybird.

Got an Android device? We published our August roundup of the best new Android apps for kids earlier this week. Read on for what we think’s been hot in the world of Apple devices.

CBeebies Playtime
“Captain Barnacles and his crew are joined by the Alphablocks, Tree Fu Tom and Justin Fletcher’s Something Special in the new (and free) BBC CBeebies Playtime app… Each show gets its own game within the app, while us parents get a ‘Grown-Ups’ area with educational info and an option to record daily audio messages for our children to listen to.”
Get it now or read our post

Sago Mini Pet Cafe
“Aimed at 2-4 year-olds, it puts them in charge of a colourful cartoon cafe with three customers: a cat, a dog and a bird… Three interactive activities, each with a light educational theme. One sees your child mixing colours to make a milkshake (and then getting the animals to drink it, changing colour in the process). Another gets them to count to 10 and sort items by colour, and another is a shape-matching mini-game using tilt or touch controls.”
Get it now or read our post


Henri Le Worm
“Part storybook and part recipe collection, with some big names involved. Actor Simon Pegg provides the voices for characters including Henri Le Worm, Derek the Ladybird, Sebastian the intelligent Slug and Texas Lou the Spider, while chef Raymond Blanc provides 10 recipes for children to cook.”
Get it now or read our post

Mister Maker – Let’s Make It!
“A creativity app aiming to help children ‘get creative and experiment with hundreds of different colours, patterns, papers, things to glue, funny faces, bits & pieces and stickers from the Doodle Drawers using 8 different tools and special effects’. Characters from the show feature prominently, including the Shapes, Tocky and Mister Maker himself.”
Get it now or read our post

Ben 10 Slammers
“It takes the sci-fi kids’ cartoon and turns it into a card-battling game, where children collect a deck of virtual cards of aliens and characters, then send them into battle with other players. In this case, those battles can be single-player, in a story mode with 24 virtual opponents to compete against, or multiplayer, competing against friends and other players over the internet.”
Get it now or read our post


“A free iPad app that aims to get children creating and sharing their digital artworks using virtual crayons, pencils and paintbrushes. The app’s main screen looks a bit like an Etch-a-Sketch, complete with a slider at the bottom to wipe its canvas dry. Clear buttons make it easy for kids to switch between the different drawing tools and colours to make their masterpieces.”
Get it now or read our post

Jim Henson’s Chatter Zoo
“An app called Jim Henson’s Chatter Zoo must be based on a TV show from the famous Muppets studio, right? Actually, no. This is a brand new set of characters making their debut as an iPhone and iPad app… aimed at 24-42 month-old children, who can play with its four animal characters: Franny the cheetah, Bailey the elephant, Pip the wallaby and Lulu the panda.”
Get it now or read our post

Learn with Homer
“No, not Homer Simpson. Homer here is a cartoon homing pigeon: ‘a poet and a voyager’ who wants to help 3-6 year-olds with their reading. His app went live for iPad this week, and it looks very impressive, styling itself as “the first comprehensive reading app”. It’s partly a collection of stories, but also phonics exercises, mini-games and a drawing section to get children on the path to reading.”
Get it now or read our post

Moose Math

Moose Math
“It covers a range of maths skills for 3-8 year-olds: counting, addition, subtraction, sorting and geometry among others. The game stars characters called The Dust Funnies, and gets children playing five mini-games. They’ll be making smoothies, matching pets, playing ‘Pet Bingo’, sorting shapes and colours, and joining up dots.”
Get it now or read our post

Lucy Ladybird
“If it didn’t say so in its App Store listing, we might have guessed that Lucy Ladybird’s creators were inspired by the books of Eric Carle: there’s definitely a Very Hungry Caterpillary feel of craft about this. The app tells the tale of Lucy Ladybird, a ladybird with no spots, who gets some help from her friends Fred Frog, Carla Caterpillar, Felicity Fish and Bella Bird.”
Get it now or read our post

FableScapes 2
“The app describes itself as ‘a virtual puppet theatre to play with’, getting children to choose characters, scenery and then expressions to tell stories. There are 30 characters and 15 objects – all animated – with three different scenes to use them in: pirate adventures, knights and wizards, and space journey. Scenes can be saved to play with again later, and you can also save screenshots to send to friends and family.”
Get it now or read our post


Wungi Pirates
“A ‘toy-like adventure app for kids in a fun and colourful pirate universe’ that gives children plenty of freedom to play.
They can steer a ship, fire its cannon in cartoonish sea battles, dig for treasure on islands, and even fly a parrot. The aim is to make a “sandbox” game where new activities can be added in future updates.”
Get it now or read our post

The Human Body by Tinybop
“The Human Body by Tinybop is the latest app aiming to help children understand how humans work. ‘Explore a working model of the body,’ explains its App Store listing. ‘Every part is animated and interactive: the heart beats, guts gurgle, lungs breathe, the skin feels, and eyes see.’ It’s aimed at children aged four and up.”
Get it now or read our post

Transformers Construct-Bots
“The app gets children building their own virtual transformers from parts, then sending them into battle. Winning fights earns virtual coins, which can then be spent on more powerful parts. Where do physical toys fit in? Well, Construct-Bots also enables ‘scanning codes found in specially marked Transformers toys’ that unlock more parts.”
Get it now or read our post


There’s a Map on my Lap!
“The latest Dr. Seuss app is There’s a Map on My Lap! and as the name implies, it’s all about maps. The famously-hatted cat hosts, teaching the Sally and Dick characters about cartography. ‘Learn the many uses of different types of maps, including city, state, world, topographic, temperature, terrain and more,’ explains its App Store listing.”
Get it now or read our post

“An ‘open-ended storytelling tool” that “breaks the rules of linear storytelling”. It’s designed to be used by parents and children together, although once you’ve played with it for a while, we daresay kids will also be able to handle it themselves. The app works by scrolling down a collection of characterful drawings, with children ‘locking’ the ones that they like, then recording their own voice for each to tell a story.”
Get it now or read our post

Gorilla Band
“At the time of writing, there is no official ZingZillas app. But fans of monkey-like creatures dancing, singing and playing instruments can rejoice at the release of Gorilla Band instead… yes, a gorilla band, with their own instruments and story to tell. Oh, and two original songs too: ‘One upbeat and one for bedtime’… besides the music, the big draw for Gorilla Band is its 3D graphics.”
Get it now or read our post


Disney Infinity: Action!
“It’s more about children making their own movies starring their favourite characters… Featured characters include Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean, Mr Incredible and Sulley from Monsters Inc. as well as characters and items from Toy Story and Tron. The resulting videos will be postable to Facebook and YouTube (with parental involvement, obviously, for younger children).”
Get it now or read our post

Touch ‘n Sing – Touch and Sing Along Picture Book
“Aimed at 2-6 year olds, with a mixture of numbers, letters, shapes, colours and – of course – songs. The app comes with two free songs – The Hokey Pokey and Alphabet Songs – with others available for parents to buy as in-app purchases. 69p gets you songs like Itsy Bitsy Spider, The Wheels on the Bus and London Bridge.”
Get it now or read our post

Jetpack Journeys
“It’s pitched as a way for kids ‘to explore and experience our solar system in a fun and imaginative way and be inspired about the wonders of Space for the very first time’. It’s not a dry educational app, though. It’s more about galactic exploration: choosing a character (from five available), building a spaceship then flying between the eight planets to see what surprises they have in store.”
Get it now or read our post

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Sneak a Snack HD
“A story about a boy named Alex, hunting for his “giant snack gone missing” with three suspects in the frame. The whizzy bits come in the use of your iPad’s accelerometer and camera, enabling you to tilt the tablet to reveal more of each animated scene in the story: ‘Thanks to the video game ‘techno-magic’,’ as the App Store listing puts it.”
Get it now or read our post

Disney Princess Royal Salon
“We sense there’ll be plenty of takers among young fans of Cinderella, Ariel, Belle and Rapunzel… A dress-up app for children to get the four princesses ready for “a very special event”. They’ll be styling each character’s hair, choosing them a dress and accessories, then saving the results in a digital scrapbook.”
Get it now or read our post

Our Story for iPad
“This app that has been developed by child psychologists and other specialists at The Open University enables young children to take part in fun games which can help develop interests and skills that will be relevant to them when they start to read… Kids can create their own stories in the app, pulling in photos from the iPad’s Camera Roll and recording their own voices talking about them.”
Get it now or read our post

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Writing Wizard
“The aim here: to help children trace the 26 letters of the alphabet in as engaging a way as possible. There are four games, the ability to trace any word you like, a star-collecting system to track progress, and the ability for parents and teachers to monitor that progress, and customise the app to suit individual children, including setting your own words.”
Get it now or read our post

Wombi Math
“As you may have guessed from the title, it’s all about the sums: a wall of equations and answers, with your children tasked with matching them correctly. The app covers addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, with kids able to mix and match the different categories however they like.”
Get it now or read our post

That’s what we liked, but let us know what new apps have your children been enjoying? Give us your recent recommendations by posting a comment.

Buy Apps Playground’s 100 Best iPad Apps of 2013 e-book – £1.99 from Apple’s iBooks Store

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