Safe gaming: 21 family-friendly apps for children
Get Creative from CBeebies (Android/iOS, free)
Art, music and stories are the focus for this new BBC app, with popular characters from the channel.
Sizzle & Stew (iOS, £3.99)
A two-player cooking game in which you can experiment with different foods and kitchen gadgets to create meals.
Train Kit: Wild West (iOS, £3.99)
Children lay out their track and scenery, then switch to a 3D view to ride around their creation.
Bandimal (iOS, £3.99)
A musical composer with dancing cartoon animals that allows children to mix and match drum loops and effects.
Little Fox Animal Doctor (Android/iOS, £2.69-£3.99)
More cute creatures in this beautifully crafted app, in which children get to play vet to seven animals.
A Netflix-style subscription service: parents pay £4.99 a month for ad-free TV shows, music and educational games.
Sago Mini Big City (Android/iOS, £3.99)
Children can safely explore a city in this “digital playset”, from shopping in a market to recycling rubbish.
World of Peppa Pig (Android/iOS)
Swerve child-unfriendly YouTube parody videos with this official Peppa Pig app: videos, games and stories for £4.99 a month.
Nosy Crow Fairytales Bundle (iOS, £19.99)
Nosy Crow’s fairytale apps are a treat for younger children and parents to read and play together.
Lexi’s World (iOS, £2.99)
A new app focused on letters and words: children type words (from “pig” and “dog” to “balloon” and “yak”) to conjure those characters or objects into life on the screen.
Dr Panda School (Android/iOS, £2.99)
Children create their own stories by dressing up a cast of characters and then acting out tales.
A child-friendly hub of games, videos and educational content, bundled into a £4.99 monthly subscription.
Toca Life: Pets (Android/iOS, £3.99)
Like a digital film set: children manipulate characters and objects in five scenes, while recording their voice telling a story.
Teach Your Monster to Read (Android/iOS, £4.99)
This app asks children to educate their own pet monster, a tactic that, alongside fun phonics games, aids their own development.
Khan Academy Kids (Android/iOS, free)
Known for its education courses for adults, Khan Academy has a kids’ version too: reading, writing and maths included.
Talu Space (iOS, £2.99)
This playful collection of space-themed mini-games focuses on counting, matching, sorting, problem solving and logic puzzles.
ScratchJr (Android/iOS, free)
One of the best programming apps for children, based on the Scratch website. Kids aged five and up will enjoy learning to code.
Hey Duggee: The Exploring App (Android/iOS, £2.99)
Pre-school TV show Hey Duggee has its own app, with seven mini-games that test children’s matching, reaction and creative skills.
Squeebles Multiplication (Android/iOS, £3.99)
Known as Squeebles Times Tables on iOS, this is an engaging maths app covering the basics of multiplication.
The Gruffalo Spotter (Android/iOS, free)
This official Gruffalo app wants to get children outside, exploring 26 Forestry Commission sites across England, using augmented reality for selfies.
Fiete Math Climber (Android/iOS, £0.99 – £3.29)
One of the brighter maths apps: it has short exercises and characters to unlock with coins that can only be earned.