Birthday Picks: Top 3 iPad apps for 2-3 year olds

by Steph K on December 9, 2012

in Tablets for Tots

Our favorite iPad apps for kids ages 2-3

[Update 5/26/2013]

6 months later…

…and we’ve found some excellent new (well, new to us anyway) apps for kids ages 2-3. If you’re searching for engaging, fun and education apps for this age-group, check out the updated list below! And, thankfully, the Purple iPad is still intact 🙂

OMG… B is 3!

…and since our primary app tester is now 3 years old, we’ve updated our tagline — we now help you find the best iPad apps, according to a 3 year old.

In honor of making it through another year with a toddler and an iPad (ahem, see our note below about that), we are revealing our favorite 3 iPad apps for B’s last year (age 2 – 3).

Our favorite apps for 2 to 3 year-olds are…

Interactive Alphabet, Picky Kid rating: 4.7

This is our highest-rated app to date, and is still our favorite. It teaches kids the alphabet in an interactive and explorable game, with great design. It’s continued to improve with updates, and we have very little to complain about! Read the full review.
Download on the App Store

Peek-a-Boo Barn, Picky Kid Rating: 4.4

Peek-A-Boo Barn is a simple game that allows kids to guess which animal is in a barn (if they’re patient enough to listen for the animal noise) and tap to see what’s inside. This app is best suited for very young kids, but is sill one of B’s favorites at age 3. A recent update added Christmas decorations to the barn and animals, fun for December! Read the full review.
Download on the App Store

Tally Tots, Picky Kid Rating 4.4

Tally Tots iPad app: rating 4.4/5We WISH we’d downloaded Tally Tots when B was 2. It’s is our favorite counting app for this age group. Kids learn to count up to twenty with engaging and interactive scenes. There’s even counting up to 100 if you’re really ambitious! Read the full review.

Download on the App Store

Alien Buddies, Picky Kid Rating: 4.3

Age 2-3 is a great time to introduce kids to Alien Buddies… the puzzles, stickers and dot-to-dot activities will keep them occupied if the matching games are too hard. Adults may need to help less-experienced players navigate the game levels, but the multitude of difficulties is one of the things we like about Alien Buddies — it offers room to grow! Read the full review.
Download on the App Store

Lots2Spot, Picky Kid Rating 4.2

Quick, find the purple paper clip! Great, now find the upside-down walrus! Learn vocabulary, colors and counting up to five in this absolutely adorable game that also teaches listening and following directions. Levels 2 and 3 are good for 2-3 year olds. Read the full review.
Download on the App Store

Little Fox Music Box, Picky Kid Rating 4.2

Little Fox Music Box iPad app thumbnailAlthough it has just three songs, the scenes in this app are so beautiful and interactive that they’re fun to explore over and over again. Make sure to try tapping everything. You can make your own music in the Fox Studio, and Little Fox will dance for you if you give him a chance. Read the full review.
Download on the App Store

How did we do when we initially rated these apps?

Well… It turns out that our top 3 for 2-3 year olds are very similar to our top-rated apps ever. The highest rated app that didn’t make this list was Nighty Night! (scored 4.4 out of 5). We still think it’s great, but this interactive bedtime story is a bit limited, and better for younger kids. Check it out for kids 2 and under. A recent update has added a fun Christmas surprise if you get it in December.

In other 2-year-old news, R.I.P. Green iPad.

Our first tablet, aka the Green iPad, was lost to us prematurely when it fell on a tile floor, corner first. Although it still worked fine, we deemed the broken glass too dangerous for B’s use, and took it to Apple Store for proper burial/recycling. We opted for the replacement program (instead of a new iPad), and now have a “new” iPad2. You may have noticed we no longer test on iOS4, and this is why.

The new iPad is called the Purple iPad, because, rather than run the risk of another corner blow, we got a beefier case, the PixelSkin HD Wrap by Speck, in — you guessed it — purple. So far, so good, but it does make the iPad rather heavy, and we have yet to truly test it. (We’ll let you know how that goes when it inevitably happens.)

( 2 comments… read them below or add one )

Nan April 26, 2013 at 12:57 pm


Thanks for your ratings! I have a going to be 2 year old and he is hooked to the ipad already. However its mostly with his 6 year old sisters games and apps! These three should make it more interesting for him!



Steph K April 29, 2013 at 2:01 pm

You’re welcome! And I realized we should add some to this list — we’ve reviewed several great apps for 2-3 year olds since this post came out. Tally Tots, Lots2Spot and Little Fox Music Box, to name a few!


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