Best Apps for Kids Ages 9-12

The best mobile apps for tweens can provide a rich world of entertainment for growing minds. Our app reviews will guide you toward the best apps for this age group, and steer you away from the ones that aren't worth your time. This is a great time to be the training wheels for your kid as they learn to use smartphones responsibly. Plus, you want their screen use to provide the best experiences possible, since there's a lot of cool stuff out there for them to try. Look for apps that give kids experiences they can't have off-screen. And, ideally, encourage learning from those experiences as much as possible. Review our app tips for more advice, and check out some other top picks for even more fabulous apps for your kids.

Adventures of Poco Eco - Lost Sounds Poster Image
APP

Adventures of Poco Eco - Lost Sounds

age 9+

A meditative musical journey through a lush neon wonderland.

Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire (2016)
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Alto's Adventure Poster Image
APP

Alto's Adventure

age 9+

Stunning graphics bring snowboarding to endless runners.

Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android (2015)
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Box Island - Award Winning Coding Adventure Poster Image
APP

Box Island - Award Winning Coding Adventure

age 9+

Cute coding adventure introduces logic of computer science.

Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android (2016)
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Kahoot! Geometry by DragonBox Poster Image
APP

Kahoot! Geometry by DragonBox

age 9+

Innovative geometry app integrates learning with play.

Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire (2021)
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The Infinite Arcade by Tinybop Poster Image
APP

The Infinite Arcade by Tinybop

age 9+

Design, play, and improve your own arcade games.

Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad (2017)
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Inventioneers Full Version Poster Image
APP

Inventioneers Full Version

age 9+

Excellent physics puzzler emphasizes engineering practices.

Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire (2015)
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Marble Math Poster Image
APP

Marble Math

age 9+

Marble mazes make for fun math practice.

Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Kindle Fire (2013)
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Monster Heart Medic Poster Image
APP

Monster Heart Medic

age 9+

Fab medical sim promotes heart-healthy living.

Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android (2015)
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Arloon Geometry Poster Image
APP

Arloon Geometry

age 10+

Shape up spatial skills with augmented reality tool.

Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad (2015)
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Cargo-Bot Poster Image
APP

Cargo-Bot

age 10+

Challenging puzzler teaches kids to think like programmers.

Devices: iPad (2012)
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A Dark Room Poster Image
APP

A Dark Room

age 10+

Terrifically imaginative game uses text, not graphics.

Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android (2014)
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GarageBand Poster Image
APP

GarageBand

age 10+

Powerful sequencer lets kids create pro-quality recordings.

Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Mac (2017)
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Lumino City Poster Image
APP

Lumino City

age 10+

Stunning visuals and tough puzzles delight and challenge.

Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Mac, Windows app (2015)
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Monster Physics Poster Image
APP

Monster Physics

age 10+

Colorful graphics, fun missions engage as kids experiment.

Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad (2013)
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The Orchestra Poster Image
APP

The Orchestra

age 10+

Stellar videos, interactive features make beautiful music.

Devices: iPad (2015)
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Swift Playgrounds Poster Image
APP

Swift Playgrounds

age 10+

Learning feels like play in sleek, approachable coder.

Devices: iPad (2018)
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Thomas Was Alone Poster Image
APP

Thomas Was Alone

age 10+

Completely charming -- and funny -- puzzle game.

Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android (2014)
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Brainfeed - Educational Videos for Kids Poster Image
APP

Brainfeed - Educational Videos for Kids

age 11+

Curated learning videos still best after parental preview.

Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad (2015)
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Duolingo Poster Image
APP

Duolingo

age 11+

Plentiful, fun, fantastic, and free language lessons.

Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Chromebook (2014)
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HappiMe for Young People Poster Image
APP

HappiMe for Young People

age 11+

Brain-centered mindfulness helps kids learn positivity.

Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android (2018)
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