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The Best Free iPad Apps for Toddlers

Games, Activities, Learning and Entertainment For Your Toddler

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I love free apps. Any time I write a list of apps, I always look for good, quality free apps to put on the list. So when I first went to look for great apps for my soon-to-be two-year-old, I was a little disappointed when reading through article after article of the best toddler apps resulted mainly in paid offerings. I knew there had to be great free apps aimed at toddlers, and after a little searching, I found number of excellent apps that should keep your toddler entertained, and perhaps, even do a little teaching along the way.

The Best Free iPad Apps

But before you go downloading, you should make sure your iPad has been childproofed. The number one thing to do is to turn off in-app purchases, which will keep your toddler from accidentally buying something within the app. Get More Childproofing Tips.

Laugh & Learn: Shapes & Colors

Shapes and Colors

Designed for the Apptivity case, you don't actually need Fisher Price's accessory for your kid to enjoy this app. Shapes and Colors allows your toddler to tap away at the screen touching shapes and making new shapes appear. The app also has a fun keyboard to play along with the shapes and colors song. This one may not go far in actually teaching your child shapes and colors, but it is very entertaining.

Price: Free

Storybook Rhymes Volume 1

Storybook Rhymes Volume 1

Another Apptivity app, Storybook Rhymes Volume 1 includes One, Two, Buckle My Shoe and The Itsy Bitsy Spider. Each story allows you to sing along, or simply read and play. The play mode will have your kid tapping the screen to produce sounds and effects. This is another app that is long on entertainment but short on learning.

Price: Free

Abby Monkey: Preschool and Kindergarten

Abby Monkey

This 'lite' version of a paid app has plenty to do without buying the full version. The app has a number of levels that feature matching shapes, obtaining, making your own train by choosing train carts, and other fun activities. In fact, the free version may be enough to convince you to buy the paid version, but even if you don't, there's plenty of fun in this app. This one is best for 2 year olds, as younger children might have a hard time picking out shapes or learning what to do.

Price: Free

Toddler Soundboard Free: ABC, 123, Colors, and Shapes

Toddler Soundboard

I'm wary of any app that claims it will teach my almost-two-year-old numbers, letters, shapes or colors. I think an iPad can be educational, but until there is more research, I wouldn't suggest relying on it. However, I do think the Toddler Soundboard is one of the better educational apps when it comes to toddlers. A simple app, you simple touch number or letters and the app sounds them out. This simple interaction may be the best for helping your wobbly one to connect the dots.

Price: Free

Our Christmas Wishes

Our Christmas Wishes

Our Christmas Wishes came to my attention when it was added to my iPad App Showcase. An interactive Christmas tale, it soon became one of my daughter's favorites. She loves to touch the screen in various places, making presents unwrap or coloring the Christmas tree. And it doesn't need to be December to have fun.

Price: Free

Agnitus - Games For Learning

Agnitus

Agnitus comes with a number of free games and activities, with more available for in-app purchase. The app also keeps track of how well your child is doing and gives you a report card, which a nice feature, however, it does sometimes get in the way when it pops up after your child completes a level. Many of the activities in this app are best for toddlers aged 2 , though younger kids can tap and have fun even if they don't completely understand the game.

Price: Free

Wheels on the Bus - All in One Educational Activity Center

Wheels on the Bus

Not to be confused with the interactive book of the same name, this activity center has a number of free games and activities to entertain your toddler. And yes, it has a sing-along to Wheels on the Bus. This one will pleasantly surprise you with the amount of free activities you can do without buying anything extra. A favorite activity of my daughter's is the coloring book, which lets her tap a color and tap the drawing to automatically paint an area.

Price: Free

PBS Kids

PBS Kids

My daughter loves watching videos, but that doesn't mean I want her browsing through Netflix or Hulu Plus. The PBS Kids app is great because it lets her pick out videos on her own, and it gives me the peace of mind to know she isn't watching something she shouldn't be watching. PBS also has a Play and Learn app that your kiddo might enjoy.

Chalk Pad

Chalk Pad

Every kid needs a paint canvas, and Chalk Pad is a great free alternative to some of the paid apps on the App Store. Allowing your child to chalk it up with multiple colors, you can even change the chalk size or write one the chalk board using the on-screen keyboard. This is a great alternative for younger toddlers who might not spend as much time freestyling on the chalkboard to make a paid app worth it, but if your toddler really loves to paint, I'd recommend Drawing Pad as a relatively cheap drawing app aimed at kids with good quality.

Price: Free

IF YOU BUY JUST ONE APP: Make it Moo, Baa, La La La!

Moo, Baa, La La La!

If you want to open up your wallet, the Sandra Boynton interactive books can be worth it. You may already be familiar with Sandra Boynton's books, and the interactive iPad apps take them to the next step. Moo, Baa, La La La! is our favorite, but other popular alternatives are Barnyard Dance and The Going to Bed Book.

Price: $3.99

The Best iPad Games for Kids Aged 3

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