ByAlex Ziebart, writer at

Games on mobile phones and tablets are increasingly becoming part of a youngster's upbringing. Older generations are apt to balk at this idea, but the right mobile games can be just as fun, interactive, and educational as any off-the-shelf toy.

Below are some of our favorite apps for toddlers.

1. PBS Kids Games

Platform: iOS, Android, and Amazon

Price: Free

PBS has apps both for videos and games (among other things), bringing your child's favorite shows to a tablet or smartphone. The Games app currently contains a total of 58 small games covering a wide variety of ages and activities teaching basic numbers, spelling, science, and critical thinking. The game pictured above teaches children to recognize colors, asking them to sort each color into its own column. The age range for this app extends beyond 3-year-olds, also providing games for children who are slightly older with activities involving more complex puzzle elements.

The PBS Kids Games app also provides a useful resource for grownups in the form of direct access to a TV schedule for your local PBS station.

2. Funbrain Jr

Platform: iOS

Price: Free

Funbrain Jr includes a total of five games which focus on teaching children letters, numbers, and basic pattern recognition. The colorful characters and helpful audio clues make this an attractive game for young children. The game pictured above combines elements of basic counting and pattern recognition: the player must not only count to 10, but find the correct path to the pool at the same time.

3. Endless Learning Academy

Platform: iOS

Price: $6.99 per month or a one-time fee of $109.99

The previous games on this list have been free, but if you're willing to spend money on kickstarting your child's education through games, Endless Learning Academy is the way to go. Endless Learning Academy includes games as well as educational videos and other materials to contribute to a child's preschool education and beyond. The app teaches math, spelling, reading, vocabulary, pattern recognition, and even basic Spanish.

When looking at the relatively low cost of other mobile apps, Endless Learning Academy's price certainly does seem steep. However, it's not a bad price to pay for a tutor accessible anywhere, anytime. The subscription fee also covers any future additions to the app.

If you don't want the full package, many of the modules included in this app can be found individually on the app store.

4. Reading Rainbow Skybrary Family

Platform: iOS, Android, and Amazon

Price: $4.99 per month or $39.99 per year

Reading Rainbow Skybrary Family isn't a game, but if you're looking for apps for your children, it's another quality subscription app. Reading Rainbow's subscription service provides an extensive digital library of books and field trip videos encouraging children to read, and at the same time, learn about the world around them. Most of us who are now old enough to have children grew up with Reading Rainbox on PBS. The same approach to education through reading is presented in app form for the modern era.

New content is added to the app on a weekly basis. For full details on its offerings, check out the Reading Rainbow Skybrary Family website.

If you have any other apps your toddler enjoys, please share them below!


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