The continuing adventures of Beau Yarbrough

Kid-friendly iPad games

Tuesday, May 10, 2011, 10:25
Section: Geek

My sister-in-law recently got an iPad 2 and asked me what games we have on our various iOS devices that James likes. Here’s what I recommended:

Apps James likes on the iPad, some of which you probably know of via the iPhone or Android phone:

Angry Birds/Angry Birds Seasons/Angry Birds Rio – You know these. Each continually is updated with more content (Easter was just added to Seasons). Note that Seasons is meant for people who’ve beaten the original game and is tough.

Bugsy the Blue Hamster – A cute cartoon hamster educational game, with counting, colors, etc.

Cut the Rope – A simple game like Angry Birds, but with cutting ropes to let candy get to the mouth of a cute frog-like monster. Like Angry Birds, they keep adding more free content all the time.

Fish School HD – An educational game featuring fish in the ocean.

Headspin: Storybook – A cute timed “spot the difference” game. The look and feel is that of a pop-up book of fairy tales.

Itsy Bitsy Spider HD – Another educational game, set to music. Note that, by default, kids can record their voices (it’s meant to be for the parents singing the song instead of the pros), which can make it an annoying noisemaker until you turn that feature off.

Monkey Preschool Lunchbox – An incredibly polished educational game with colors, matching, learning what’s less and what’s more, learning what’s bigger and what’s smaller, etc.

The Monster at the End of this Book – An iPad version of the classic Sesame Street story book (featuring Grover).

Plants vs. Zombies HD – Possibly the best game of 2009. Cartoon plants protect your home from cartoonish zombies. I don’t think anyone, of any age, doesn’t love this game.

Talesworth Adventures – A puzzle game of helping a hero (styled like an early 1980s videogame character) find his way through mazes. I would have thought this was too hard for James, but once he figured out the basics, he fell in love.

Tiki Towers – Incredibly charming physics game where players build structures out of bamboo to let monkeys get bananas and get to the other side of the level. (Note that it’s possible for the monkeys to have cartoon deaths falling into lava.)

World of Goo – One of the greatest games of the last few years. A physics puzzler where one has to create structures to help balls of goo reach their destination. Impossible to overstate how good this is, but note that the tone can be a tiny bit dark.

I would definitely look at at least one Angry Birds game, Cut the Rope, Plants vs Zombies and either Tiki Towers or the superior but darker World of Goo.

(EDIT: Greetings, Wired readers!)


  1. Would you like to try our brand new kids ipad app? I can send you a promo code if you’d like.

    Comment by Shimon Young — May 29, 2011 @ 6:33

  2. My 2 1/2 year old loves PBS’s Super Why and the associated iPad app. Lots of spelling and letters and whatnot.

    Comment by RevRagnarok — May 29, 2011 @ 8:05

  3. I would love to have a promo code to try the kids iPad app.

    Comment by Sharon — June 14, 2011 @ 12:19

  4. @ Shimon Young
    I know I’m a little late, but I would love to try your new kids app!!

    Comment by Sue — July 6, 2011 @ 21:26

  5. You should also try Kids Jigsaw Puzzle Megapack

    Comment by Martin — January 10, 2013 @ 9:49

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