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The Best Toddler Apps of the Year

toddler playing an app

We’ve selected these apps based on their quality, user reviews, and overall reliability as educational tools parents can use with their toddlers. If you want to nominate an app for this list, email us at nominations@healthline.com.

While you’ll have no problem finding an app that’ll keep your toddler busy for a few minutes, how about downloading one that’s also educational? The best apps for toddlers are designed to do just that, with a focus on exploration and open-ended play. That’s how toddlers learn, focus, and engage best.

Not all screen time is equal, so check out our list for the best toddler apps. They bridge the gap between entertainment and education. Between these high-quality apps and your active participation, you’ll meet the key criteria for the updated guidelines on screen time for small children from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

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Endless Alphabet

Endless Alphabet

Endless Alphabet

iPhone rating: ★★★★★ $8.99

Android rating: ★★★★✩ Free

Little monsters help your child learn their ABCs and boost their vocabulary. Choose from 100 words, dragging and dropping the scrambled letters to their correct place. Letters and words react in fun, engaging ways. There’s no high score, time limits, or stressors. Your toddler can set the pace and enjoy the animations.

Peekaboo Barn

Peekaboo Barn

Peekaboo Barn

iPhone rating: ★★★★✩ $1.99

Android rating: ★★★★✩ $1.99

Friendly farm animals are just waiting to delight your toddler. Peekaboo Barn is a great way for little ones to begin learning animal names and their sounds. The app also lets you change voices and languages. You can even record your own (or Grandma’s) voice.

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LumiKids Park

LumiKids Park

LumiKids Park

iPhone rating: ★★★★★ Free

Android rating: ★★★★✩ Free

LumiKids Park gives toddlers a range of activities that’ll hone their sorting skills, hand-eye coordination, and help them focus. In the app, your child will sort water critters into puddles based on color, shape, and size. They’ll also feed flying critters and search for hiding critters. Plus, the app offers parents insight into their child’s play and shares tips for continuing and reinforcing these skills outside of the app.

Toca Life: Town

Toca Life: Town

Endless Alphabet

iPhone rating: ★★★★✩ $2.99

Android rating: ★★★★✩ $2.99

Your toddler will enjoy exploring Toca Town in this app. They’ll do everything from buying groceries at the store to swimming in the pond. Everything is interactive: Lights turn on and off, presents need wrapping, a sun taps on and off for daylight and nighttime, and so much more. With 24 characters, six locations in the town, animals, and open play, the focus is on exploring and learning.

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Endless Numbers

Endless Numbers

Endless Numbers

iPhone rating: ★★★★✩ Free

Android rating: ★★★★✩ Free 

From the same developers as Endless Alphabet comes Endless Numbers. This app focuses on early numeracy learning. Children familiar with Endless Alphabet will recognize the charming animations that reinforce number recognition, counting, and quantity. The app’s interactive puzzles also support basic number skills.

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Magic Fingers!

Magic Fingers!

Magic Fingers!

iPhone rating: ★★★★★ $1.99

This mesmerizing app isn’t specifically designed for toddlers, but it’s something everyone can enjoy. The sensory-driven app lets you use your fingers to create layered patterns with more than 50 graphical effects.

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Sago Mini Road Trip

Sago Mini Road Trip

Sago Mini Road Trip

iPhone rating: ★★★★✩ $2.99

Android rating: ★★★★✩ $2.99

Simple controls put your child in the driver’s seat with Jinja the cat, plus a choice of six destinations and more than 10 vehicles. Along the way, wash the car and fuel up. The app is designed to let children explore at their own pace without rules or a time limit.

Avokiddo Emotions

Avokiddo Emotions

Avokiddo Emotions

iPhone rating: ★★★★✩ $2.99

Android rating: ★★★★✩ $2.99

This app is pretend play at its silliest. It offers more than 110 objects, toys, instruments, and food children can use to entertain their pets. The app makes it easy to explore feelings and emotions, as all four animal characters (a moose, sheep, giraffe, and zebra) are highly and hilariously interactive. It’s also a great way to encourage creative expression, explore cause and effect, practice social skills, and build language.

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PBS Kids Video

PBS Kids Video

PBS Kids Video

iPhone rating: ★★★★✩ Free

Android rating: ★★★★✩ Free

Give your kids a safe, child-friendly place to watch the PBS Kids television channel. Help your child browse videos and find their favorites wherever you have a 3G or Wi-Fi connection. New videos are offered every Friday.

Lego Duplo Train

Lego Duplo Train

Lego Duplo Train

iPhone rating: ★★★★✩ Free

Android rating: ★★★★✩ Free

This app brings your child’s favorite building blocks to life. As the train driver in this station-to-station app, your toddler can load cargo, build bridges, and help passengers. They’ll also fuel up, stop at crossings, and even lay new tracks to safely navigate around obstacles. With toddler-friendly sound effects and animation, intuitive icons, and lots of surprises, this is an entertaining way for children to enjoy imaginative play.

MarcoPolo Ocean

MarcoPolo Ocean

MarcoPolo Ocean

iPhone rating: ★★★★★ Free

Android rating: ★★★★✩ Free

This award-winning app lets children explore the deep blue sea, from the shoreline to the ocean floor. Your toddler can steer submersibles and boats and add marine animals and fish. They can then swipe, drag, or tap them to see natural behaviors and interactions. The app offers children early exposure to science, technology, engineering, and math. Its focus is on the ocean landscape, animal species, and topic-specific vocabulary.


Jessica Timmons

Jessica writes about pregnancy, parenthood, fitness, and more. About 10 years ago, she was a copy writer at an ad agency before switching to freelance writing and editing. She could eat sweet potatoes every day. Find out more about her work on her website.

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