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.

Hopster (Android/iOS)

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.

Azoomee (Android/iOS)

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.

Michel ColaciComment