There are several things to consider while choosing the finest applications for your three-year-old. For instance, select an app with more involvement if your child is more interested in skill-based games than books.
There are several excellent apps available with a variety of options and activities. Other enjoyable educational games can help your youngster learn new ideas while having fun. Several games concentrate on educational goals like communication, creativity, and motor skills.
No matter what app you use, it’s critical to find one that is developmentally and age-appropriate; otherwise, your child may become disinterested or annoyed by an app that is either too challenging or too simple. While it can be difficult to distinguish between high-quality apps and inferior ones at first sight, below are some fantastic recommendations to get you started.
How We Select and Test Apps?
|Age-appropriate content||The app should be created with 3-year-olds in mind and provide compelling, developmentally appropriate material for this age range.|
|Educational value||The software should provide educational advantages like teaching fundamental abilities like counting, distinguishing between colors and forms, and enhancing language and vocabulary.|
|Interactive elements||Children should be able to interact with the app’s content through interactive features, including games, puzzles, and touchscreen activities.|
|User interface||Thanks to its clear and straightforward UI, children should be able to explore and use the app easily.|
|Safety and security||The app should not contain any objectionable material and should be equipped with security mechanisms to safeguard children’s privacy and stop unauthorized purchases or access to external sites.|
|Performance and stability||The software should function smoothly, with few errors or failures, and be appropriate for the platform.|
|Parental involvement||With functions like progress tracking and recommendations for additional activities parents may undertake with their children to reinforce learning, the app should promote parental involvement.|
|Testing process||On the iPhone, iPad, and Android, we evaluate more than 20 apps before using them for a week. To assess the apps’ usability and engagement, we also test them with kids.|
After conducting research and reading reviews for more than 50 apps, we chose 15 to evaluate. Throughout the selection process, we looked for apps that met the following criteria:
- Covered a wide variety of developmental abilities
- Were in the top 100 rankings of an app store
- Were free or had a fair pricing
- Were suitable for kids
Over a week, we evaluated these applications on an iPad, a Samsung S21, and an iPhone 13. During playtime each day, we offered one app to each child. This allowed us to assess each app’s usefulness, quality, and suitability for various devices.
Finding the age range, this collection would cover was the first stage because we wouldn’t likely be able to use something too young or too elderly. Several app developers are willing to offer advice on their websites regarding the intended audience’s age, but there are many differences between them. Some use the phrases “ages 2-6,” “2-5,” “ages and up,” or “ages 3+.” You can be sure that kids from toddlers will like these apps up to third grade because we considered all potential users when we whittled down the selection for our review.
For an app to be high quality, it must have polished graphics and smooth animation. To be creative, the app has to keep our kids engaged while teaching them something they wouldn’t learn elsewhere. And we want each app to be a good deal—worth the money we paid.
In addition to these factors, we also consider the device’s age range listed by the developer. Just because an app is appropriate for kids under five doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily fun or engaging for our three-year-olds. After all, that age group spans a vast difference in maturity level, experiences learned so far, and motor development; certain activities may be frustrating for some kids but not for others in the same age range. To narrow our search based on our child’s abilities and interests, we need to look at apps explicitly targeted at her age level.
The other thing we consider is whether an app is something that she can play with independently or if she’ll need help from us. There are some great apps out there that aren’t as fun or rewarding without adult participation.
We considered each app’s target market and content when deciding which ones to include in our test group. The most crucial step is to pick an app that aligns with your child’s interests. For instance, you should look for an app that includes your child’s interests in the games if they enjoy music or animals. Also, you should confirm that the app has age-appropriate content; if your future toddler still needs to be mature enough to read words on a screen, you should wait till they are. Last but not least, we tested every app with an emphasis on how straightforward it is to use; we want you to be able to discover something right away when you’re in need.
Below are the 6 Best apps for 3 year olds right now
|App Name||Price||Ages/Grades||Why We Recommend||Features||Pros||Cons|
|Shapes||Free||3+||Shapes is a fun and simple app that teaches kids about shapes||Learn about shapes through various activities and challenges||– Engaging and interactive gameplay||– Limited content and features|
|Breathe, Think, Do With Sesame Street||Free||3+||This app helps kids learn how to deal with emotions||Interactive activities that help kids learn emotional regulation skills||– Features popular Sesame Street characters||– Limited content and may not hold kids’ attention for long|
|PBS KIDS Video||Free||3+||This app offers a wide variety of educational videos for kids||Videos from popular PBS Kids shows, including Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood and Sesame Street||– Wide variety of high-quality educational videos||– Requires internet connection to stream videos|
|Silly Street Learn & Play||$0.99||3+||This app helps kids learn and practice important life skills||Mini games that teach important life skills, such as problem solving and critical thinking||– Fun and engaging gameplay that kids enjoy||– Limited content and may not hold kids’ attention for long|
|Toca Doctor||$3.99||3+||This app allows kids to play doctor and learn about the human body||Kids can explore the human body through mini games and activities||– Fun and interactive way for kids to learn about the human body||– Limited content and may not hold kids’ attention for long|
|Bedtime Math||Free||3+||This app makes math fun by incorporating it into bedtime routines||Daily math problems that are related to everyday life and routines||– Engaging way to make math fun and relevant for kids||– Limited content and may not appeal to all kids|
Why We Recommend It: This is a fun game that will teach your child about shapes, colors, and sizes. The game has 36 cards with colorful 3D images of various shapes, such as a star, a triangle, or a heart. Each card also has the name of the shape printed on it.
- This game will help your kid to: Learn colors and shapes
- Learn to differentiate between the main shapes and sizes, as well as their correct color combinations
- Improve attention and motor skills while developing creativity and imagination
- Study the names of the main colors and shapes
Shapes! is an approachable way for your little one to learn about shapes, sizes, and colors. Some figures are easy to guess: a circle is a ball, an oval is a banana, and a rectangle is a book. But it’s also cute that the game introduces some more complicated shapes, like triangles, squares, and pentagons (though your toddler will probably call them “kites,” “squares,” and “stars,” respectively).
There are four different games in the app. In one of them, your toddler has to identify what color a shape is by tapping it with his finger; in another one, he has to guess what shape it is; in another game, he has to find out what shape the screen shows when he taps on any point on it; and in the last game, he has to make all the shapes shown on the screen fall by simply touching them.
The app has three difficulty levels: easy, standard, and challenging. If you notice that your child has successfully guessed what shape or color something is (i.e., if he’s made it past level two), you can set the app up to skip ahead to the next level automatically—thereby making sure that their attention span doesn’t flag or that.
2. Breathe, Think, Do With Sesame Street
Why We Recommend It: The Sesame Street Breathe, Think, Do app helps kids learn to calm down before they get out of control. It’s one of the few apps that help kids learn emotional management skills. Each of the five mini-games is built around supporting the monster in managing his feelings by taking deep breaths and reasoning about his situation. It’s pretty adorable to watch him work through his frustrations—and it works! After playing with this app for a week or so, you’ll notice your little one using many of the same techniques independently.
- The apps from Sesame Street can help kids practice mindfulness.
- Can be enjoyed by young children, but most appropriate for kids ages 3-5.
- Learning how to manage emotions is a life skill that you want to cultivate early since your child’s brain is still developing at this age.
- It helps them develop patience, calm breathing and how to slow down and think things through before acting on a situation.
It is a classic show for a good reason—the characters are funny, the animation is charming, and its message about social skills is invaluable. The show is about more than just learning letters and numbers—it’s about using real-life lessons to apply in your daily interactions with the people around you.
In the educational app Breathe, Think, Do, the famous blue monster from the Sesame series learns how to deal with feelings of frustration and anger. The five scenarios that young children can explore with this adorable little guy are designed to help them learn how to calm themselves down when upset. Through realistic situations like being too short for a slide or having an accident during potty training, kids can experience what it feels like when they’re frustrated or angry and then learn how they can use other strategies besides yelling or crying (like taking deep breaths or counting) to solve the problem.
3. PBS KIDS Video
Why We Recommend It: If you’ve been looking for a way to let your little one watch some of their favorite PBS shows without sitting through an entire half-hour episode, the PBS Kids Video app is your ticket. With the app, kids can enjoy clips from over a dozen of the network’s popular programs—all at their own pace and in moderation.
- The PBS KIDS Video app gives kids and parents access to thousands of free videos, including full episodes and clips from top PBS KIDS series.
- The app includes a timer that allows parents to limit the amount of time their child spends watching videos each day.
- Kids can watch videos of their favorite PBS KIDS characters anytime, anywhere – on the web and in the app.
- The PBS KIDS Video app also includes learning activities that help kids practice skills like letter recognition, exploring emotions and more.
The PBS KIDS Video app is a free, ad-supported video streaming service that provides thousands of full episodes and clips from top PBS KIDS series. It offers something for everyone, with shows suitable for preschoolers to tweens (ages 4–12).
The app features popular shows like Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Dinosaur Train, Nature Cat, and WordWorld. In addition to full episodes, the app offers clips from new episodes and bonus content like behind-the-scenes footage or extra song performances.
To help parents keep their kids’ screen time safe, PBS includes a timer that allows parents to set a time limit for how long their kids can watch. Plus, parents can disable Wi-Fi for each device or use the PBS KIDS Video app as a reward for good behavior.
4. Silly Street Learn & Play
Why We Recommend It: Silly Street is a game that provides kids a virtual place to let their imaginations fly. It’s perfect for toddlers learning about the world around them and concepts like letters, numbers, and colors. It’s available for download on Android and iOS devices. The app is free, but in-app purchases are available as add-ons to the main content.
- It helps kids learn about the world around them, including the importance of kindness to others.
- Empathy, curiosity, situational adaptability
- It helps them learn about animals, geography, weather and expressions.
- One of the most fun things about the app is building your own characters.
5. Toca Doctor
Why We Recommend It:Toca Doctor is an excellent app for young kids because it presents a fun, kid-safe way to see a doctor and learn about their bodies. The puzzles are based on medical aid and healing and can help kids know what to do when they’re not feeling well. Kids can also practice some basic reasoning skills as well as imaginative play. They can examine an animal’s teeth, help it find its favorite snack, and even bath it!
- The app features 22 different medical puzzles and activities, with more being added in ‘free updates’
- If they love animals, they can also try Toca Pet Doctor.
- This app teaches toddlers some basic reasoning skills.
- Give your little ones a safe and fun medical experience.
Patients, nurses, doctors, and even pets are among the lovely characters in Toca Doctor. They can be picked up and moved around the hospital to engage with other patients and specific equipment like an X-ray machine or wheelchair. Check the patient’s file if they have an ear infection or are otherwise feeling off to discover how you may help them feel better.
Children may have fun interacting with all the characters engaged in visiting happen on the app while learning more about why doctors see their patients at various times.
6. Bedtime Math
Why We Recommend It:Bedtime Math has been an excellent way for us to connect with our son at the end of each day and to make math fun! The app is exceptionally kid-friendly and even gives several suggestions for getting started. It’s also neat that there are levels to ensure your child doesn’t get frustrated if they’re not doing well. They can drop down a level if they’re having trouble with a problem or move up if they feel ready for more advanced work.
- The Bedtime Math app includes five levels of stories and questions that’ll amuse and amaze kids from preschool through elementary school.
- There are three questions for different ability levels for each story.
- It helps kids learn to think about math in everyday life—like putting away groceries or counting the stuffed animals on their bed.
- It has three math problems at different levels, so kids of all ages can find the right challenge for them.
Anyone who has tried to get their kids to do their homework understands the challenges of trying to teach math. We have all been there when your child complains, “this is too hard,” or “I don’t like math.” Bedtime Math is an app that can help with this problem. It is a fun way for you to learn and teach your children math at the end of each day.
One of the biggest struggles with learning math is needing more fun ways for students to learn the material and, in some cases, make it enjoyable. Bedtime Math has both! The app features games and story problems that help teach kids math in a fun and exciting way. In addition, parents can directly interact with their children through this app.
All answers are included in case you get stuck. With questions ranging from pre-K to high school, this app can grow your child’s skills. The best part is that you may brush up on your math along the way.
Parvinder Singh is a seasoned IT developer and network engineer with over 5 years of experience. He is also a skilled tech columnist, offering insights on the latest trends and developments in the tech industry.