Best travel apps for toddlers: Our family recently returned from a long road trip with the kids. We managed to make a 13 hour car ride fun and manageable for our almost two year old daughter and our three boys. Worried about how we would entertain the kids for such a long trip to the east coast, I decided to do some app shopping at the Apple store. We over-bought in anticipation of the long trip, and after over 30 hours of in car play time, have decided on our favorites.
I did a lot of Google searching on best travel apps for toddlers. I found a lot of articles on great toddler apps. As a blogger I am well aware that many times app developers solicit us for a review. But despite this, I still made a few purchases based on blogger reviews. Unfortunately, many of their recommended apps fell flat with my toddler. Instead of focusing on blog reviews, I went back to the Apple store with a new focus. I decided to keyword search several popular terms to find apps with consistent and solid positive user reviews. This is how we found our favorite and the best travel app of all time.
Best Travel Apps for Toddlers: Our Top Pick
We love a game released in December 2012 by Toca Boca. It’s called Hair Salon 2.
If you have a Kindle Fire or Google Play, you’ll also be able to purchase Hair Salon 2, which is only around $2.99 in the Apple Store.
If you are looking for a fun game that won’t frustrate your little one, Hair Salon 2 will do that.
It’s a simple to use click-n-drag game that is a perfect travel app for toddlers. As a matter of fact, you will find yourself playing with it too, (like I did).
All your older kids will love it. It’s relaxing, creative, and fun. The game features six customers. Your toddler will be able to choose a customer and cut, grow, color, curl, or straighten their hair. The app also includes accessories for hair, hats, glasses, and earrings. Color options are varied. You can wash, blow dry, and towel the hair, too. Once you’ve played it, you’ll understand why Hair Salon 2 is our number 1 favorite best travel apps for toddlers pick.
Check out a handful of pics we created using it:
With Hair Salon 2, your kids can ‘take a photo’ of their work and email it to dad, aunts, uncles, and grandparents. It will entertain in long car rides, at sporting events, in restaurants, and waiting rooms. If you are looking for the best travel apps for your toddlers needs, this one is it.
More of our Best Travel Apps for Toddlers Picks:
Kids Doodle Pro, 2nd Best Travel App for Toddlers
Second on the list of best travel apps for toddlers is Kids Doodle Pro by Bejoy Mobile that sells for under a dollar. On the home page of this app there are buttons that advertise additional apps. I clicked “new” and passed the app on to my toddler to draw and play without ever having an issue with in app purchase clicking. We ranked Kids Doodle Pro app second because it has many easy to use features, including a video option. With this app, your toddler can draw an elaborate picture with his or her fingers and then play back a video of the process. This app is easy to use without adult supervision and has a low frustration threshold. This makes it second on our list of best travel apps for toddlers.
My Little Town and Firefighters are 3rd and 4th Best Travel Apps for Toddlers
My 22 month old toddler was able to find the app icon, click on it, and begin playing without any prompting from anyone.
Both the Little Town and Firefighters apps have a series of scenes for your child to choose from.
In each scene there are animated and stationary objects.
When your baby clicks on objects they will come alive. For example, clicking on the phone will make it ring, click on a window and watch it open to reveal a person. These apps are wonderful for independent on-board entertainment. There are no lessons to learn, no wrong answers with these travel apps for toddlers.
I only found one downside. Once the objects were all found (which will take a while), my toddler lost interest in these apps. The company has additional seek and find apps for toddlers, too. All their toddler apps cost between $1.99 and $2.99. In our opinion, it is well worth the price. Combined, the apps cost less than a good picture book would.
Play Lab, 5th Best Travel App for Toddlers
Play Lab by C J Educations also deserves an honorable mention. It’s a great learning app for toddlers and preschoolers, but it’s not a stand alone app to hand over in the car for independent play. My toddler loved this app, but she needed a lot of prompting to play it. It is simple, colorful, and has narration built in to instruct children on how to play. If you’ve got a 3 year old, or you can sit next to your child while traveling, consider this as a fun travel app. Play Lab app for toddlers and preschoolers teaches hand eye coordination, numbers, shapes, and colors. Be aware that this app offers in app purchasing at the end of game play if you have the free version. The full version is only $1.99.
Please also read about Yummiloo, another favorite app of ours that is great for preschool aged children.
Healthy Family was not contacted to write a review for any of the games we chose to highlight as the best travel apps for toddlers. We paid for the apps and decided to offer a review to help our readers find travel apps for toddlers that they can enjoy. If you’ve got an app you’d like to share, please comment on it.