Best iPhone and iPad games for kids

Playing with an iPad
Playing with an iPad (Image credit: iMore)

Kids are always learning, grabbing, and playing with things, and chances are this includes your iPhone or iPad. While there are plenty of different physical items you can buy your Kids for your iPhone or iPad, there are also plenty of games on the App Store that can help your kids learn or keep them entertained.

"Kids" is a bit of a broad term and a 10-year-old will likely find little interest in a game that's better suited to a 3-year-old. I plan on breaking down my selections of the best games for kids into age groups to use as a guideline (not a strict rule because all kids are different).

Ages 2 - 4

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Busy Shapes

Busy Shapes is an award-winning puzzle game specifically designed for young children.

By moving different colored shapes into the various colored holes, kids are learning problem-solving skills as the play around. The game gives positive encouragement throughout, and its bright colors keep kids attentive and having fun.

Busy Shapes also knows that toddlers will often be touching the screen in some way, so there's no menus or buttons they can accidentally activate while playing.


While it's not technically a game, Kidzongs will sing to your child and help them learn classic, simple songs.

You can choose to have the app sing, or when your children are a bit older, they can decide to sing along to the music. All the lyrics show up on the screen to help them along, so they shouldn't feel lost.

All the songs are done acoustically and shouldn't leave your child with any extra adrenaline, perfect for a little sing-song time before bed.

Farm 123

Farm 123 is another award-winning educational game that helps your child learn how to count.

By counting along with the game, your kid will earn stars and move up "levels" to count different animals.

Its fun, bright, and simple animations will captivate your child, and the positive reinforcement will help keep them coming back to count more.

Ages 5 - 8

Disney Crossy Road

A Disney twist on the super popular Crossy Road is a little easier that the normal game because it's geared more towards children.

Your kids can escort their favorite Disney (and Pixar) characters across the road and get them safely to the other side. Playing as Wreck-It-Ralph, Sully, or even Buzz Lightyear is bound to put a smile on any kid's face who loves the popular animated movies Disney and Pixar produce.

Toca Nature

Toca Boca AB is a popular game developer that produces a ton of great educational games for children. Toca Nature is a great game for the 5-8 age range because it allows your kid to use their (most likely overactive) imagination!

Your child will get to shape a colorful and unique-looking landscape and make nature come alive. They can plant trees, place mountains, and make the rivers flow, all with a few taps of their fingers.

Some of the animals will even talk to your kids and ask them to feed them certain foods, teaching them a little bit about the wilderness around them.

Cut The Rope

Although Cut The Rope has spawned several harder sequels, the first one remains a simple game that will challenge your kids, but not frustrate them.

The object of the game is to cut the rope to release the candy with the hopes that it ends up in the mouth of the tiny, cute alien known as Om Nom (you can't make this stuff up). It's bright, colorful, fun, and each level builds on itself. So even though it's getting a little more difficult, the problems never get too far out of reach.

A good lesson in cause and effect never hurt anybody, and it will also help your child build on his or her problem-solving skills.

Ages 9 - 12

Pokémon Go

Pokemon Go Curve Ball Screenshots

Pokemon Go Curve Ball Screenshots (Image credit: iMore)

The ever-popular Pokémon Go just won't quit and is an incredibly fun and simple game that kids (especially ones who watch the TV series) just can't resist.

In case you are unfamiliar, Pokémon Go is an augmented reality game that uses your iPhone camera and GPS location to find Pokémon in the real world. The game involves a lot of walking, which is a nice way to promote a healthy dose of exercise into your kids routine.

I personally play the game and see a ton of family walking around outside and playing together. Fair warning the game takes a lot of data and has some quite tempting in-app purchases.


It may be a bit of a stretch to call this a game, but Duolingo is an extremely fun way to learn a new language.

Whether you actively want your kids to be multilingual or just love the idea of being able to teach them something new, Duolingo uses little game-like activities to teach your children to speak another language. French, German, Dutch, Russian — all the languages you could want to learn are included.

Duolingo has won plenty of awards, and on top of learning a new language, it will encourage your children to keep coming back by awarding bonuses for multiple consecutive days playing. Perfect for helping kids establish a routine.

Hey, That's My Fish!

The official iOS version of the popular board game, Hey, That's My Fish is the perfect game for kids who like a fun strategy game.

Forget the setup and leave the board at home as you embark on a journey to collect the most fish. Waddle your penguins across the hexagonal board, leaving holes in the ice and cutting off your opponents from collecting the tasty seafood. While Hey, That's My Fish is very simple to play, the strategy required to dominate your opponents will force your kids to use their brains and use their problem-solving skills to avoid losing.

It makes a great party game as well! You can play it with up to 4 players, meaning your whole family can compete to be the penguin with the most fish at the end of the game!

What are some of your favorites?

What do you let your kids play? Let me know in the comments below!

Luke Filipowicz
Staff Writer

Luke Filipowicz has been a writer at iMore, covering Apple for nearly a decade now. He writes a lot about Apple Watch and iPad but covers the iPhone and Mac as well. He often describes himself as an "Apple user on a budget" and firmly believes that great technology can be affordable if you know where to look. Luke also heads up the iMore Show — a weekly podcast focusing on Apple news, rumors, and products but likes to have some fun along the way. 

Luke knows he spends more time on Twitter than he probably should, so feel free to follow him or give him a shout on social media @LukeFilipowicz.