November 29, 2014

Stalking the Best iPhone & iPad Apps for Kids: 100+ Helpful Kids App Review Sites

best apps for kids, iphone apps for kids, ipad apps for kids, kids app review, kids app reviewsIf you’ve ever been disappointed by iPad or iPhone apps for kids, welcome to the club. Many parents, grandparents and child-caring adults seem increasingly frustrated by kids apps that over-promise and under-deliver. Hype leads them to purchase a kids book, game or educational app that ultimately underwhelms, overwhelms or simply fails to engage their children. Feeling duped, they want to kick themselves afterward, possibly even others (who shall remain unnamed).

And yet, there’s a simple fix for this: Improve how you search for the best iPad and iPhone apps for kids. Most importantly, upgrade and expand whom you consult for kids app reviews and recommendations.

Do Your Homework (or Borrow Mine)

To improve your search results for the best iPad and iPhone apps for kids, you must first do a little homework. I’m happy to share mine with you below. It’s a  list of more than 100 kids app review sites compiled over time for and in behalf of a little girl named Maya. She’s  a three-year-old whom I grandparent (and spoil) long-distance with FaceTime chats and the best iPhone and iPad storybooks, games and learning apps for kids. So far, so good.

Ironically, the challenge of finding the best iPad and iPhone kids apps begins in the App Store, where the label of “Kids” applies generically to toddlers, tweens and teens. So to make truly discriminating kids app choices  — appropriate to your child’s age, needs and preferences — you definitely need the guidance of kids app reviewers. You’ll find app-smitten parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles among them, as well as “appstute” teachers, educators, psychologists,  therapists, app developers, professional tech reviewers and more. This list should help you identify a few good ones, well suited to you and your children.

But Wait, There’s More — Useful List Features

I’ve compiled the list in such as a way as to highlight helpful quality indicators and search tools that are not usually immediately apparent, including:

  • Kids app appropriate-age gauges, which are sorely missing from the App Store’s “Apps for Kids” listed within its Education category, as well as many of its featured kids app descriptions.
  • Brilliant but invisible kids app reviewers, whom you might never discover unless you clicked through to a distant page of search results.
  • Kids app reviewer credentials, so you can know at a glance who’s behind a kids app review or recommendation before taking it seriously.
  • Kids app reviews by type,  so you can hone in on app reviews based on the specific kind of kids app you are looking for — whether books, games, educational or special needs apps for kids.

Now I don’t suggest that you consult all of the listed sites all of the time. No one has the time to do that. In fact, stay tuned.  I will soon share some of the quickest ways to identify the best iPad and iPhone apps for your kids.

But in the meantime, do make the time to explore these sites. Bookmark, subscribe to and support the kids app reviewers who are a good fit for you and the ages, stages, passions and preferences of your kids. Eventually, you’ll find yourself enjoying better quality kids apps on the other side of your iPhone or iPad “Buy App” buttons and your  kids will love you more for it (if that’s even possible).

 

Help Me Keep This List Updated

  • Share this post with others via Twitter, Facebook and so on.
  • Share your story, input and suggestions in the comments box below.
  • Subscribe to the expanded and regularly updated version of the list, where you’ll also get each site’s related apps and/or podcasts; Google, Alexa and Compete rankings; and links to “Write for Us” or “Submit Your App” forms, where available. All this for just $4.99 per year. If you’re interested, please use this secure PayPal button to subscribe.
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Helpful iPhone and iPad Kids Apps Review Sites

Updated July 2012.

More than 100 kids app reviewers are listed here alphabetically to help you find the best iPad and iPhone apps for your kids. Many focus exclusively on kids apps, while others offer a dedicated section, category or tag to apps for kids. Still others offer much better kids app search tools than the App Store. Familiarize yourself with them and then choose to follow the kids app reviewers that suit you, your children and your search style well.

Please note that no app reviewer has paid to be on this list. It is 100 percent curated based on my own quest for the best iPad and iPhone apps for kids over the last ten months or so. For how best to use this list and important disclaimers, see below. For more at-a-glance information on each kids app review site -- including quick links to site-related apps or podcasts -- please subscribe using the PayPal button above.



SiteBook
Apps
Game
Apps
Educ.
Apps
Special
Needs
Apps
App
Lists
Reviewed /
Rated by
Ages/
Stages
App
Review
Freq.
(1=Most)
A Matter of AppEEducational media researcher and developmental psychologist3 thru 81
App AnnieBGEWeb developers and analytics specialistsVarious1
App CraverBGESNLTeam of:
- Web developers
- App reviewers
Various1
App Star PicksBGESNNetwork of:
- Parents
- Kids App Reviewers
- App Developers
- Educators/ teachers
Various1
AppChatterGApp reviewersVarious3
AppHipMomBGELParent (Mom)Young
kids
2
APPiticBESNLApple Distinguished Educators (ADEs) and app curatorsPreS
thru HS
1
Applicable2UBESNEducator and instructional technology coachVarious1
AppoliciousGELApp reviewers and journalistsVarious2
Apps for Children with Special Needs (A4CWSN)SNLNetwork of:
- Parent (Dad), app developer and app reviewer
- Other reviewers
Various1
Apps for HomeschoolingBESNParent (Mom), Educator and App ReviewerToddler (2-3)
thru High School
(14-18)
1
Apps for iPadsBGEGrandparent (Mother)Various1
Apps HubBELApp reviewersVarious3
Apps4KidsBGESNLParent (Dad)1 thru 71
Apps4Kids
(iKids)
BGEParent Couple (Mom and Dad)5 thru 62
AppShopperBEApp reviewersVarious1
AppSmileGEApp ReviewersVarious1
AppSmittenGELTeam of:
- Web developers
- Entrepreneurs
- Parents
- Educators
Various2
ApptudesBGELApp reviewersVarious1
Appy EduEEducatorsVarious2
AppysmartsBELNetwork of:
- Parents
- Educators
- Child psychologists
- Web developers
- Members
9 mos. thru
around 7
1
Autism SpeaksGSNLOrganization researchersVarious4
Babble KidsLTeam of:
- Online Mag. Staff
- Bloggers
- App reviewers
Various2
Best Apps for KidsBGELTeam of:
- Parent (Mom):
- Other reviewers/
bloggers
PreS thru
HS
1
Best Kids AppsGELTeam of:
- Parents (2 Moms)
0-4 thru
9-12
1
BestApps
ForKids.org
BESNGrandparent (Mother)Various1
Boing BoingEParent (Dad)/ Writer/ IllustratorVarious2
Book DadsBTeam of:
- Parent (Dad), literacy advocate, web designer and writer.
- Other reviewers
Under 4
thru YA
3
BridgingAppsSNNetwork of:
- Parents
- Therapists
- Doctors
- Special Ed teachers
Various1
Children's Technology ReviewBGELTeam of::
- Educators
- Writers
- Researchers
1 thru 152
CNETBGELApp reviewersVarious3
Common Sense Media
BGELNetwork of:
- Educators
- Researchers
- Child dev. experts
- Child advocates
0-2 thru
15-17
1
Cool Mom TechBGELTeam of:
Parents
(Moms)
Kids,
Tweens &
Big Kids
2
Crazy Mike's AppsBGEApp Reviewers/ MarketersVarious1
Curated Book Apps for KidsBParent (Mom)1 thru
10+
1
Daily CandyGELEditorsVarious2
Digital StorytimeBLParent (Mom) / Educator/ Researcher1 thru 10+1
Education.comLTeam of:
- Educators
- Parents
- Child Dev. Experts
- Doctors
PresS thru
HS
1
FamigoBGELTeam of:
- App Developers
- App Reviewers
- Parent Advisors
Toddlers
thruTeens
1
Fingerprint PlayGETeam of:
- App developers
- Educator
- Entreprenuers
Fun
Educational
Apps
BELParent (Mom) and app aeveloper1 thru 12+1
Gamer With KidsGEParent (Dad)Various2
Geek MummyGELParent (Mom) and BloggerBaby thru
PreS
4
GiggleAppsGEParent (Mom)PreS thru
HS+
1
Great Kid BooksBParent (Mom)/ School librarian4 thru 142
I Education Apps Review (IEAR)ESNNetwork of:
- Educators
- Students
PreS thru
HS
1
I Heart This AppGELNetwork of:
- Parents
- Educators
Various1
I Use This AppBGETeam of:
- App reviewers
- Bloggers
Various1
iGameMomGEParent (Mom)1 thru 10+1
iKid AppsLApp reviewers1 thru 101
Imagination SoupBELParent (Mom), Teacher and WriterVarious3
iMoreBGELParent (Mom), Math instructor and app reviewerVarious1
Interaction
Education
ELTeam of:
- Educator
- Illustrator
- App developers
Various3
iPad 4 Kids GEAuntYoung
kids
2
iPad AppsBGELParent (Dad)Various3
iPad FamilyBGELA family0 thru 9+1
iPad KidsGEApp reviewersVarious1
iPhone Application ListGEL- App review
aggregators
- App reviewers
- Member users
Various2
iPhone.AppstormLNetwork of:
- App reviewers
- App developers
- Bloggers
Various3
Kidlit AppsBLiterary agent and children book and writing bloggerVarious3
Kids App WorldBGESNTeam of:
- Parent (Mom)
- Users
Babies
thru PreS
1
Kids Best iPad Apps (formerly Apps for Kids Reviews)ELUncleUnder 4
thru 7-10
1
Kids iPhone App ReviewBGEParent (Dad)1 thru 17+3
Kids ReadBEducatorVarious3
KinderTownETeam of:
- Parents
- Educators
- App Developers
3 thru 8 1
Kirkus ReviewsBLTeam of:
- Book
Reviewers
:
0-2 thru
HS
2
KleinspirationEParent (Mom) and TeacherGrade 13
Love Reading 4 KidsBLTeam of:
- Book reviewers
- Book lovers
Baby
thru 14+
1
Lunchbox Reviews (beta)BGESNLNetwork of:
- Parent (Mom)
- Member-Parents
- App Reviewers
- Bloggers
Toddlers
thru ES
(7+)
1
Mac|LifeGELTech editorsVarious2
MacworldBGELEditors/ Tech reviewersVarious1
Madhouse
Family Reviews
BGEParent (Mom)Young
kids
2
Mashable BGELTech reviewersVarious2
Mind LeapGELCurrent or former teachers and educatorsPreS
thru MS
1
MindShiftELJournalist and Parent (Mom) curatorVarious3
Moms With AppsBGELParents (4 moms)/ App developers/ App marketersVarious1
OWTKBGEParent (Dad)Various3
PadGadgetBGELTech reviewersVarious1
ParentingBGELTeam of::
- Editors
- Writers
PreS
thru HS
2
Parents' ChoiceBGELNetwork of:
- Parents
- Educators
- Artists
- Librarians
- Writers
1 thru
14+
1
ParentsGELEditorsVarious3
PCMagBGELTech reviewersVarious1
Picky Kid App GuideBGEParent (Mom), web developer and designerUnder 2
thru 5
1
Reading RocketsELReading researchers, educators and expertsYoung
kids
4
Review for Dev (beta)GEApp developersVarious1
School Library Journal Touch and GoBSchool librariansChildren
and Teens
1
She Knows/LNetwork of:
- Editors
- Bloggers
Various2
Smart Apps for KidsBGELTeam of:
- Parent (Dad)
- App reviewers
Toddlers
thru 12+
1
SmarTotsETeam of:
- Parents (4 Dads)
- Web developers
- Educators
2 thru 7+1
SmatoosETeam of:
- Educators
- Editors
Kids thru
College
1
SparksBGLParent (Mom)/ Writer/ Illustrator/ App developer/ EducatorYoung
kids
3
Special Apps, Special KidsSNSpecial educatorVarious2
Survive ParenthoodGELParents (3 Moms)Young
kids
3
Teachers With AppsBESNLEducatorsBaby
thru HS
1
Tech Savvy MamaEParent (Mom), blogger and ex-teacherVarious3
Tech Tools 4 MomBGEParent (Mom) and IT specialistVarious1
TechChef4UBGELParent (Mom), educator and instructional technology specialistPreK
thru HS
1
TechliciousGELTeam of:
- Tech reviewers
- Bloggers
- Editors
Various2
Technology for MomsBGEParent (Mom), IT specialist and software developerYoung
kids
2
Technology in (SPL) EducationSNLParents of special needs childrenVarious2
The App AcademySNResearchers and reviewers (evidence-based intervention)Various1
The CybilsBLNetwork of:
- Children's lit. bloggers
- Children's lit. reviewers
Children
thru YA
3
The Horn BookBLTeam of:
- Children's lit.
experts
- Book reviewers
- Researchers
- Educators
- Writers
- Librarians
Children
thru YA
1
The iKids BlogBGELTeam of:
- Parents (2 Dads) / App Developers
- Editor
Various1
The iMumsBGESNTeam of:
- Parents (4 Moms)
t thru 6+1
The iPad FanBGEParent (Dad)/ Web designer/ Tech educatorVarious2
The iPhone App ReviewBGEApp reviewersVarious1
The iPhone MomBGE/Parent (Mom), with help from friends and familyToddlers,
PreS &
ES+
1
The Jewish iPhone MagazineBELJewish culture expertsVarious2
The New York TimesBGESNLProfessional
tech
reviewers
Various3
The RecappBGELTech writers and reviewersVarious1
The Wired HomeschoolBGEParent (Dad), blogger and podcasterVarious3
Therapy App 411SNNetwork of Therapists, including:
- Speech Language Pathologists
- Occupational Therapists
- Physical Therapists
- Others
-
PreS
thru HS
1
Time to Play MagGEToy, videos, electronics, accessories and tech reviewersVarious2
Top 20 Apps for KidsBGELApp directory aggregatorsPreS thru
Grade 3
1
Trending MomBEParent (Mom) and humanitarianYoung
kids
4
USA TodayBGELProfessional
tech
reviewer
Various1
We Are TeachersELNetwork of:
- Teachers and educators
PreK thru
College
1
What's My AppBGEApp reviewersVarious3
Wired (GeekDad and GeekMom)BGELTech reviewersVarious2
YogiPlayETeam of:
- Parents
- App Developers
- Educators
2 thru 81
Ziggity ZoomBGELWeb , book and app developers2 thru 84

 

 

Best Use

  • Use the “Show” box on the upper left to view more than 10 kids app review sites at a time.
  • Sort the data in any column by clicking the little arrows next to a column title. Click once for “ascending” and twice for “descending” sort order. Refresh the page to revert back to its original alphabetical order.
  • Use the search box above the table to find specific terms. For example, “parent” or “educator.”
  • Click on a website’s name to visit it. For sites that do more than kids app reviews, I’ve tried to link you directly to their special kids app or educational app review sections. If you land on a home page, use the site’s search box to find iPhone or iPad kids app reviews and roundups.
  • Click on “Reviewed/Rated By” links to visit “About” pages. Nutshell descriptions are based on information offered in “About” pages. In some cases, links go to a related website with more info about the person or people behind the app reviews.
  • Age groups indicate the age range of the kids apps reviewed at each site. “Various” means that no specific age range is provided, though the suggested age range is often mentioned in the review itself.
  • Use App Review Frequency to gauge a site’s focus on apps for kids.
      • 1 = Constant; kids app reviews are posted daily to weekly.
      • 2 = Regular; kids app reviews are posted bi-weekly to monthly.
      • 3 = Occasional; kids app reviews are posted less than once a month.
      • 4 = A running list or roundup of kids apps updated regularly.

Important Disclaimers

  • This list is not all-inclusive. Please feel free to suggest additions and corrections  in the comment box below.
  • I am not infallible. Despite my best efforts at accuracy, I may have made errors and am counting on you to let me know.
  • Groovin’ on Apps  is not associated in any way with any of the app reviewers that appear on the list. I am neither endorsing nor vouching for the accuracy of any reviewer or website, and cannot be responsible for any damage or data loss that might result from their use.

Comments

  1. Thanks so much for putting this together! This is truly a helpful guide for me. I completely agree that it can be really difficult to find the right apps for her. This is great! :)

  2. Thanks for mentioning our site Apps for Kids Reviews which is now Kids Best iPad Apps.

    Our competitive edge is our iPad app reviews include a written review and a video of the app in use. It should make it easier for parents to select the right apps for their kids.

    Thanks again,
    Mitchell

    • Thanks for the update, “Uncle Mitchell.” I actually noted the change a couple of nights ago while researching the age range of a kiddie app. Besides the name change, you’ve done nice things to your site. And you’re right, your videos do make it easier to choose wisely. Thanks again, keep up the good work and visit often!

      • Diana: I finally had the time to go through your list. Wow-what a superb job! Congrats!
        There truly are a lot of excellent review sites that help parents to find the right apps for their kids. And, there are so many excellent educational iPad apps for kids–I think I read like 20,000+–so it will keep all of us very busy to review the better/best ones. :-)
        Best regards,
        Uncle Mitchell
        -By the way, on our site we cover apps for kids 10 years old and under.

  3. This is really handy – thanks for sharing!

  4. Diana,

    This is fantastic, and we’re glad to be included (iPad Kids). If you, or any of your readers, have any feedback for us, let us know! We’re actively working on our site design / review formats / content, and love to hear from folks.

    Cheers,
    Marc

  5. Hi , nice apps for kids. Thanks for posting.

  6. There is a great website for apps, http://www.educationalappstore.com, which specialises in educational apps for young kids, parents, students and teachers. It is the one I always use when I want to find an educational app, and also the main store for my friends to buy good apps for their kids.

  7. I’m a parent/teacher author app designer who has written this fun guide on teaching pre-schoolers their first words in English through activities, games, songs, rhymes, poems and short stories. The ibook twinkle, twinkle, little star has over 100 illustrations and contains cartoons and audio files.
    https://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/twinkle-twinkle-little-star/id571672332?mt=11
    Follow @iangeorgebolton or @2bandcheese

  8. Parent/teacher author app designer who has written this fun guide on teaching pre-schoolers their first words in English through activities, games, songs, rhymes, poems and short stories. The ibook twinkle, twinkle, little star has over 100 illustrations and contains cartoons and audio files.
    https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/twinkle-twinkle-little-star/id571672332?mt=11
    Follow @iangeorgebolton or @2bandcheese

  9. Very nice site. Thank you, Miriam. Will definitely add it to our list at update time.

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