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10 great tablet apps for pre-schoolers

We all know the attraction that tablet computers have for very young children. The easy-to-hold dimensions, the bright colors and the intuitive touchscreen controls all combine to make tablets the ideal learning and entertainment platforms for pre-schoolers. And parents are only too happy to hand over their iPads and Android devices, knowing that a little tablet time can almost always be relied on for some much-needed peace and quiet!

As a result, app developers have responded with tens of thousands of apps for this huge and potentially lucrative market. There are get-ready-for-school apps, drawing apps, musical apps and a never-ending stream of interactive storybook apps. Here are just a few of my favorites:

Preschool: 15 in 1 Kids Pack

If you want a complete pre-K educational app, then look no further than the Preschool Kids Pack. 15 apps in 1, featuring alphabet games, numbers, animal sounds, sketching exercises, days of the week, 100+ words to learn, and much, much more. Highly ranked by various children’s publications and recommended by numerous parents and teachers.

Platform: iPad
Price: Free

Biscuit’s Birthday

This favorite bedtime story is magically brought to life with animations and sound effects on every page. Biscuit’s Birthday features two different “Read to Me” or “Read to Myself” narration options, and text highlighters help improve early reading skills. In-story games encourage active participation and a finger coloring book adds to the interactive experience.

Platform: iPad, Android
Price: $2.99

Phonics Awareness

Designed to give kids a head start on first grade literacy, Phonics Awareness uses a variety of friendly-looking bugs to teach words and sounds through animation, sound and touch. The app includes lots of personalized feedback to encourage your child and allow you to measure his or her progress. The multi-sensory learning approach was developed by reading specialists and is designed to keep you child fully engaged.

Platform: iPad, Android
Price: Free


Tribal Nova’s iLearnWith program provides a fun and educational experience but it also tracks the child’s in-game achievements, adjusting the level of difficulty in order to adapt to a child’s specific developmental needs. Parents can monitor their child’s progress through e-mail alerts and compare it with children of similar ages. Start your child with the free Planet Boing, a friendly space-age adventure, and then move on to the other iLearnWith apps.

Platform: iPad
Price: Free/$1.99

Grandma’s Garden

Help grandma take care of her garden with this 6-games-in-I app from Fairlady Media. Kids can learn letters, numbers, colors and shapes, all through the healthy vegetables that grandma grows in her garden. Grandma’s Garden is the perfect app for preschoolers to get comfortable with all the basic learning concepts that they will come across in kindergarten.

Platform: iPad, Android
Price: $0.99

To the farm!

A wonderful new storybook app designed to stimulate young children’s language development. Beautiful illustrations are accompanied by music and real animal sounds for an entertaining and immersive experience. To the farm! includes 5 different user modes are available to precisely match the age and learning abilities of your child.

Platform: iPad
Price: $1.99

Reading Raven HD

Another fun reading app that is fully customizable for different ages and learning levels. Reading Raven includes eleven different games and activities take kids on fun-filled adventures, where they will encounter everything from fly-eating frogs to space robots to underwater sea creatures. A series of progression-based reading exercises include letter and word matching for younger kids and reading aloud and voice recording for older kids.

Platform: iPad
Price: Free

Happy Street

A wonderful game that has been described as “The Sims for toddlers!” Discover Billy, Zoe and Pepin and help build a happy village where you can play games, fish, make crafts, trade with friends and much more. Happy Street is clearly targeted at younger kids, but be careful – you might just become addicted to this one yourself!

Platform: iPad, Android
Price: Free

Monster Coloring Book

No list of kids’ apps would be complete without a good coloring app and Monster Coloring Book is one of the best. There are over 170 monsters to color and decorate. Young kids can touch spaces to fill them with color or paint with their fingers. Everything is accompanied by soothing classical music. Images can be saved to a personal photo gallery, printed out,  or shared with friends and family via e-mail.

Platform: iPad
Price: $2.99


Described as YouTube for pre-schoolers, Kidobi includes thousands of fun and educational videos, specifically curated for kids by experts and parents. Subjects include science, math and literacy skills, and there are videos on cooking, crafts and even yoga! The videos are completely ad-free and parents can see a customized report of all the videos their kids have watched. Requires a Kidobi account to access the video content.

Platform: iPad, Android
Price: Free

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