FREE Kid Tested & Parent Approved Apps

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Hey all! It’s Chelsey, one of Collin’s sidekicks.

I have a three-year-old daughter who loves the world of technology (OK, who am I kidding, that’s just a fancy way of saying she likes to be on her iPad).

While we do limit iPad time, and we often keep an eye on what she’s watching, there are times, like in the car, when we’re not able to pay super close attention. (Gasp! Horrible parents, I know! Just kidding – judgment-free zone here!) With that said, I thought I’d share some of my favorite kid-friendly apps that are parent approved!

Some of the things I’m always looking for in kids apps are…
  1. Don’t require in-app purchases
  2. Can be used in the car
  3. Have an educational component to them.

While these won’t always apply, they’re my general criteria.

All of the apps I’m sharing with you today are FREE!

favorite kid-tested parent-approved kids apps – adding a mustache to a dog character in a game

Sago Mini World

iTunesGoogle Play – Amazon

This app is a cute little combination of games that allows players to pick an animal. Then that animal travels to different areas and they can play games like changing outfits, bathing, feeding, and more! Plus, there are a ton of Sago Mini apps, however, the one mentioned above is the only one that is always free. Even better, we don’t need internet to play any of the games.

favorite kid-tested parent-approved kids apps – choosing a PBS kids activity
PBS Kids Games

iTunesGoogle PlayAmazon

This app allows my kiddo to play games with her favorite PBS characters like Daniel Tiger, the Kratt Brothers, and more! Some of the games are too old for her to play on her own, but there are a lot of games she can play. Plus, she loves that they feature her favorite characters. One drawback is that we have to download the games, and even on WiFi they can take a minute or two, so she usually just plays the same ones she’s already downloaded.

favorite kid-tested parent-approved kids apps – Daniel Lion story with captions on the screen
PBS Kids Video

iTunesGoogle PlayAmazon

This is a great app because our kiddo can watch her favorite PBS shows on the app. The only drawback is that we have to be connected to the internet. However, as cord cutters, this is a great way for my daughter to watch shows that are age appropriate and include educational content. I simply chose the location of my local station when first downloading the app, and we watch the videos at no cost, which means we don’t have to have a paid subscription to a cable service!

favorite kid-tested parent-approved kids apps – Disney digital story books
Disney Story Central

iTunes –  Google Play

This app has both free and paid options. However, we redeem book codes and never have to pay a dime! (How do we get these free codes? Check out this post and this post!) Plus, we checked through our books at home and found some of our coloring books had codes in them! A few of the books in the app are even Storybook Reader books, which means if we select that option at the beginning, the book will be read to us! This app can only download books when we’re connected to the internet, but once they’re downloaded – we can pull them up at any time!

favorite kid-tested parent-approved kids apps – YouTube kids showYouTube Kids

iTunesGoogle Play

YouTube and I have a love/hate relationship, but I would be lying if I said my daughter didn’t love this one. While I do keep an eye on this app a lot more than the others, I love the fact that I can set a timer and the screen is locked once her time is up. We do limit the types of shows that she watches, but it’s great to be able to watch a kids show that we may not otherwise see since we don’t have cable.

favorite kid-tested parent-approved kids apps – Netflix menu for kids


iTunesGoogle Play – Amazon

This app is free, however the subscription to watch shows isn’t free, but, it’s great for kids. My daughter isn’t allowed to watch Netflix on the app when at home, but when we are traveling we can download shows and they will work without internet which is a great way to keep her occupied. Please note that we select the shows for her as she’s not allowed to navigate the app on her own.

Side note: Our iPad is a few years old – it’s a refurbished one that we scored a nice deal on from GameStop (you wouldn’t have even known it was refurbished, it looked brand new)! Plus, the case you see in the pictures above is amazing! While the actual case is no longer sold, I found this kids iPad case on Amazon, and it looks to be pretty similar. It has a carrying handle and is thicker than your iPad, so if you (or your kiddo) drop it, the screen won’t touch the ground, keeping it from breaking! Ours is made from the same material, and let me tell you, it has been through a beating and still looks great (the iPad and the case)!

I know that these apps may not work for every kiddo but they have been tested time and time again by mine and I can say she loves them.

UP NEXT: Tired of Paying For DIRECTV? Bryn Just Saved $600 w/ 5-Minute Phone Call!

Join The Discussion

Comments 7

  1. sunela

    We have had the case from Amazon that you linked to for over a year and it’s been great!

  2. Tammy

    Thank you!

  3. MHeinz

    I love this post! Very helpful! Thank you!!!

  4. Trin

    Usually you guys put a snippet about who wrote the article, I don’t see that about Chelsey and if she doesn’t mind I’d like to know. Curious minds? Love ❤️ to know about sharing in struggles with this age of media. I have grands and can’t imagine being the parent. They love me most for the love ❤️ of course but the electronics but I don’t want to break all the parents rules. I greatly appreciate your writing and sharing!!!! Post more like this for parents and grands!!!!

    • Holly (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Hi Trin! That’s a great idea to add more about the author! I have passed this idea along to the team. 🙂

  5. GabbyO

    I am looking for a shockproof cover for my daughter’s RCA Atlas Pro S 10.1 inch (the one from HSN). If anyone knows of one compatible, I would appreciate the suggestion. Thanks Yall

  6. Gvice

    Thank you for sharing this! I am gifting my 3 year old grandson a iPad (refurbished) for his birthday Sunday and hoping his parents will let him use it. He told me he wanted a computer, so that’s what he gets! 😊

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