The iPad has expanded our horizons; it’s fun for everyone, from little kids to older adults, great for reading, playing, working and shopping. Here are 50 great apps for kids and moms, organized by who loves them and what they’re good for!
Critteroos By rights, this could be under fun and games, too, but it’s so very educational! Mix and match the various parts of animals to find the “right” combinations, or make hilarious new combos (imagine an emu and a groundhog!).
Cutie Match This is for kids age 5-12, and it is a memory-boosting game that is just so much fun to play, even for older and younger ages!
World of Safari 123 This interactive math game combines learning with animals, always a winning formula when it comes to kids.
Zoo for Kids Little guys can build their own 26-animal zoo in this educational app, coloring them, hearing their noises, and sharing them with friends.
Smarty: Tic-Tac-Toe 1.0 Help your kids learn how to count better and tell time better with this fun tic-tac-toe app.
Fun and Games
Toca Boca The games put out by this company are unbearably cute and funny. The Salon game is hilarious, the Robot Builder game is fun. Paint butterfly wings, be a doctor, the list goes on. These are colorful and irreverent games that even youngsters (2 and up) will love.
HeyHey Colors There are lots of coloring apps out there, but this one is really fascinating and stimulating. Featuring interactive art by the street artist, Blue the Warrior, your child (even young ‘uns) can color, draw and doodle in new and interesting ways!
Doodle Grub This game is similar to “Snake”, where a variety of bugs can be chosen to maneuver around, chasing after apples to eat. Varied and stimulating, and just plain fun.
Virtuoso Piano Free 2HD If you want your kids to learn piano basics but don’t have the space or budget for a real piano, try this app! They will learn the basics of music reading, chords, fingering, and more…and you can plug in the headphones!
iWriteWords This game is technically educational, but it’s so fun I put it in the games category. This will help kids to perfect their handwriting in an enjoyable and stimulating way!
Special Needs Kids
ArtikPiks This flashcard and matching game app is ideal for children with speech sound delay issues
Grace App This app is not just for kids. It is an interface app that non-verbal children and adults can use to interact with the speaking individuals in their lives and communicate their wishes and thoughts. The app uses photos, drawings and has writing and verbal functions, too.
In My Dreams For hearing and non-hearing children alike, this useful and entertaining app helps learn the basics and more advanced principles of sign language.
See.Touch. Learn. Especially made for children with autism and other special needs in mind, this interactive and attractive app helps to track the child’s responses to stimuli, much as picture cards used to.
iPad Apps for the Learning Disabled Here is a link to several other apps for those with learning disabilities, ranked and organized by Match-a-College, an organization that supports kids and adults.
Papa’s Boy This amazing eBook is simply beautiful , with language that doesn’t talk down to a younger child. The animation is fantastic. About a family of mice that live in the leg of a piano, Papa’s Boy isn’t to be missed.
The Fantastic Flying Books of Morris Lessmore Written and animated by William Joyce, who once worked for Pixar, this eBook is interactive and visually stunning.
Nursery Rhymes with StoryTime This interactive book of the most beloved nursery rhymes is ideal for bedtime and funtime.
The Penelope Rose A richly animated and engaging new fairy tale, it’s about a fairy in a mythical forest. Full of beautiful music, animation and entertaining games, even your little boys will love it!
The Cat in the Hat What list of kids’ books would be complete without a Dr. Seuss book? This can be read aloud, will auto-play, and can be read by the child. Check out all the Dr. Seuss classics besides this most well-known example!
Parachute Panic HD Lite This ultra-cute free app looks like flip-book animation drawn out on graph paper, but it is super fun. Rescue your parachutist from the jaws of sharks and other perils!
UConnect Lite An addictive and challenging puzzle game
Cut the Rope HD Lite A mysterious package arrives, with a cute little monster inside, and all it wants is candy! This game is so much fun, and it’s free!
Miss Spider’s Tea Party From the very popular Discovery Kids show, here is a sweet, interactive game with great animation for the little ones who love Miss Spider.
Talking Roby the Robot for iPad Roby the Robot is a customizable robot that you can program to speak words and phrases you type or say in his cute, mechanical voice. Oh, and he dances hip-hop, too!
Intuition: Mom’s Personal Assistant Organize your life with this personal assistant app. Make your to-do lists, shopping lists, organize your calendar, find coupons, and do much more, all in a very colorful and feminine, easy-to-use interface!
Siri Assistant. This virtual assistant can make your life much easier. It works through voice recognition software, so you can tell it to remind you to give to dog his medicine, or what is the best place to get fried chicken in the neighborhood, or call a taxi!
Sit or Squat: Bathroom Finder Everyone’s been there: road trip, someone’s gotta go. This handy app locates the nearest bathroom location—including photos, reviews, etc. It is completely dependent on user submissions so may be lacking in some areas, but it’s well worth the free price!
Lie Detector OK, this should be in entertainment. But it is very useful for parenting: this free app tests the stress levels in a person’s voice, potentially indicating that they’re lying. Whether it works or not at truly predicting the truth is debatable, but it could be very useful for coaxing the truth out of your kids!
OurKids Keep track of all those important family events and moment with this versatile app. Record milestones, vacations, holidays, etc., using photos, text, video and audio—even GPS data! Keyword searchable and chronologically ordered, easy to use.
Mom Maps What mom hasn’t said to herself, what do I do with these kids today? Mom Maps is a free app that helps find fun stuff to do, wherever you happen to be, in the local area.
Craft Finder This free app is put out by Disney, and is indispensible for finding great, fun crafts to do at home with your kids.
iReward Chart In lieu of wall charts and stickers, this app allows you to set up chore/reward charts for your kids on your iPad, then keep track of them. It suggests tasks and rewards, and much more. Customizable, easy to use, and motivates kids to do their stuff and set and follow through on goals.
Pageonce Bills In order to keep your finances in order, use this free app to upload bills and get statements and reminders on when they’re due, plus bill histories, summaries of where all your money is going, and more.
Period Tracker! Lite Women love this app because it helps them remember and predict their monthly cycle, whether for their periods or for ovulation and fertile times. This cute, lightweight, free app can be upgraded for a chartable version.
SMART-ICE4Family Pray you never need this app, but In Case of Emergency, it’s there! It stores all the vital info about your family members (medical conditions, allergies, contact information, etc.), even record an audio message that can play when the app is opened by emergency responders. You can dial 911 from it, and it will sound an alarm periodically when activated, just in case you can’t be found. Morbid, but very useful!
LoseIt! This great app with help you lose weight realistically. Set goals, log in successes and failures, exercise sessions, calories and foods, etc. It will even tell you if your goal is unrealistic or if you’re being too hard on yourself—or too soft!
Merck Manual Although $9.99 is on the expensive side for an app, this is definitely worth it for your typical worrisome moms. This hefty, comprehensive app remembers searches and compiles lists for you, but more than anything it lets you check symptoms and know when something is wrong.
Words with Friends This game is similar to Scrabble, but you play it via iPhone or iPad, with your chosen opponent receiving a push notice when it’s their turn to respond. It can stretch on for days!
How to Cook Everything Mobile I put this in Entertainment because I love to cook, but it’s also super handy. This app version of the actual cookbook has 2000 recipes, including personal picks from Mark Bittman, handy tips and hints, shopping lists, and all kinds of fun and useful info.
Angry Birds This mobile version of this wildly popular game needs no explanation. It’s simply addictive fun!
Crosswords Anyone who loves crossword puzzles will adore this app, which pulls puzzles from newspapers all over the country, including the New York Times, Chicago Times and even The Onion!
Netflix This is the mobile version of the internet service, which is indispensible!
OverDrive Media Console—Library eBooks and Audiobooks For my fellow bibliophiles, this app lets you tap into the digital catalogs of libraries in your area, so you can read and listen to the bestsellers or your faves.
Grocery IQ Use GroceryIQ to create interactive shopping lists by scanning in bar codes from items in your pantry, then check them off as you go. It also searches for coupons, creates menu plans and more.
Target for iPad Say it right: “Tar-zhay!” This awesome all-in-one store is now fully accessible on your iPad, so get all your shopping done, make shopping lists, get updates on sales and specials, and locate stores in your area. Super handy.
Windowshop by Amazon Amazon has everything you could ever possibly need from the net, and it’s all here on Windowshop, but in manageable, customizable, bite-size chunks perfect for window-shopping.
Flipboard This organizes the highlights from your social networks into a single, comprehensive “magazine” for others to follow instead of multiple streams. Fully customizable.
Notebooks for iPad Use this app to doodle, make lists, write on the go, and more.
Home Routines This will keep you organized and efficient around the house, from bills to chores to kid stuff.