Ipad apps for kids these holidays

As much as I would like my kids to just read, swim, run around, make forts, draw, sing in the meadows these school holidays (and they WILL if I have anything to do with it) there will be times when the iPad will be called for. For some quiet time. Some travel time. Did I mention some quiet time? I never know what apps to get that won’t just waste time and money so I’ve got a list for different ages that might just teach them something along the way. Well, I can live in hope at least.

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Some of the classics that MY kids love include the Playschool apps, Daisy has recently become a little obsessed with Toca Nature both worth a look at. Here are some others:

Ages 5 and under
Endless Reader FREE

This app introduces “sight words”, the most commonly used words in school, library, and children’s books. Kids need to recognise these words by sight in order to achieve reading fluency. Each word features an interactive word puzzle with letters that come alive, and then a sentence puzzle with words that become what they describe.


Drawnimal $2.99

DRAWNIMAL helps kids to learn the alphabet and learn to draw. It lets kids expand their iPad by using simple tools like pen and paper. DRAWNIMAL motivates kids to draw around the device and encourages them to think outside of the box.


Pepi Tree $2.49

Pepi Tree is an educational game where children explore tree-dwelling animals and their habits in a fun way. The application has an educational background focusing on a tree as an eco-system or – using simpler words – a home for different animals.


Ages 6-8
Star Walk 2 $3.79

Featured in iTunes Best of 2014. Star Walk 2 is an exquisite stargazing tool that combines astronomical data with premium technology to deliver an effortless journey through thousands of stars, comets, and constellations. All you have to do is point your iPad at the sky.

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The Human Body $5.99

Explore a working model of the body. Every part is animated and interactive: the heart beats, guts gurgle, lungs breathe, the skin feels, and eyes see.

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MSO (Melbourne Symphony Orchestra) Learn FREE

MSO Learn offers interactive audio-visual exploration of an orchestra, featuring the different instrumental families, individual instruments and the musicians who play them.

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Ages 9-11
Brainpop Featured Movie FREE

Learn something new everyday. Watch a different animated BrainPOP movie every day, then test your new knowledge with an interactive quiz.

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High School
Elevate Brain Training FREE

Featured in iTunes Best of 2014. Elevate is a brain training program designed to improve focus, speaking skills, processing speed, memory, maths skills, and more. Each person is provided with his or her own personalised training program that adjusts over time to maximize results.

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But I bet you guys know some other good ones too…so share the love (AND THE QUIET) with other desperate parents these holidays.

Got any you’d like to share?


  1. My girls love the two ABC 4 Kids Playschool Apps. They also like different version of lego apps – all free! They also like the Team Umizoomi app but I bought that one. 🙂

  2. Thank you for saving my sanity. 2 days into school holidays & I was beginning to think I wasn’t going to make it. We downloaded both Pepi Tree & Toca Nature & I am now enjoying some quiet non fighting time for the 1st time these holidays!

  3. My 7 and 10 year olds love Alice Greenfingers and the toca games. My little chap loves Bugs and Buttons, and all the lego games.

  4. My 22 month old daughter loves her iPad, I know people poo poo it for young kids but hey whatever works I say. She plays with it whilst I get ready in the morning and at night when I get her dinner ready. She knows the whole alphabet, numbers 1-10 and colours thanks to educational apps. Everyone thinks I’ve done such a great job as a mum teaching her but hey what’s the difference if the iPad teaches her or I do, he he. Thanks for the list.

  5. There’s one my 3 year old likes and it’s a sorting game. Sorting 3 by Tiny Hands. You have to pay a little for it but it’s been priceless, really. Got us to Korea and Japan and Singapore and back! Just the one app! It’s also really good quality so it held his attention. He’s now really good at sorting and recognising shapes – can’t believe how quickly he picked it up! He begs to play it every time I get the iPad out, but I treat it like it’s a real special treat haha. Highly recommend it. He started playing and understanding it when he was 2 but he is growing with it 🙂

  6. Sago Mini ‘Forest Flyer’ is a great app for two years up, my almost four year old loves it! All their apps are good as are Toca Boca. Check out iTunes weekly for their free app, I’ve picked up some great ones for the kids.

  7. My kids love endless ABC, JS School, Junior Storytellers – it’s a doozey! I’ve written these down to check out as it’s supposed to storm a bit during our beachside holiday.

  8. Such a timely post Beth. Guess what my daughter got from Santa?
    Have downloaded the human body, pepi tree, star walk and toca nature.
    Thanks for all the great recommendations everyone. xx

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