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Best Creative Apps

With worries about screen time only increasing, it's hard to find healthy ways for kids to engage with their devices. It seems like every app is repetitive and noneducational. But what if there was a way to channel kids' curiosity and turn a phone or tablet into a tool for creative expression? These apps allow kids to color pictures, edit photos and videos, make music, express themselves in writing, and tinker and build with digital tools. Studies suggest that using apps to create, not consume, can be a great way to turn screen time into learning time. Want more ideas to spark inspiration? Check out our Tech Creation Learning Tools for Kids, and see the creative juices flow.

Browse Best Creative Apps

Sago Mini Hat Maker App Poster Image
Toddlers create hats freely with simple, fun tools.
Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
(2017)
(2017)
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Art Class with Dr. Panda App Poster Image
Fun, directed crafts best as inspiration for offscreen art.
Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire
(2017)
(2015)
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Beck and Bo App Poster Image
Beautiful discovery app combines logic and creativity.
Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire
(2013)
(2012)
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Crayola Create and Play App Poster Image
Delightful creativity and game combo for subscription.
Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
(2018)
(2018)
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Dr. Panda Plus: Home Designer App Poster Image
Kids' art becomes virtual furniture; best with toy.
Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
(2017)
(2017)
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Mac, Izzy & Friends App Poster Image
Kids explore, experiment, create with fun tools and prompts.
Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
(2016)
(2015)
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DRAWNIMAL by YATATOY App Poster Image
Innovative combo of paper, app, and ABCs.
Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
(2015)
(2014)
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Picture Dots App Poster Image
Fun, free tool ignites curiosity, creativity, and STEAM.
Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
(2019)
(2018)
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Sago Mini Monsters App Poster Image
Safe and silly fun for little monster-makers.
Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire
(2014)
(2014)
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Toca Band App Poster Image
Super cute music app lets kids mix beats and sounds.
Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
(2012)
(2013)
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Bord App Poster Image
Nearly flawless chalkboard app with some clever surprises.
Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
(2011)
(2011)
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Bug Art App Poster Image
Beautiful bugs inspire creativity in well-rounded app.
Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
(2014)
(2014)
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Digitalwerkstatt Art Studio App Poster Image
Simple, shape-based creative tool with murky tutorial.
Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
(2019)
(2019)
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Draw and Tell HD - by Duck Duck Moose App Poster Image
Easy-to-use story creator is also a fun art app.
Devices: iPad
(2012)
(2013)
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Drawing Pad App Poster Image
Great drawing app is a window to self-expression.
Devices: iPad, Android, Kindle Fire
(2010)
(2010)
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Elmer's Photo Patchwork App Poster Image
Use camera to create collages; few options for further fun.
Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
(2018)
(2018)
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HEY CLAY BUGS App Poster Image
Create cute bugs from your own clay, or buy theirs.
Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
(2019)
(2018)
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Nick Jr Draw & Play App Poster Image
App promotes creation with cool tools, favorite characters.
Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Kindle Fire
(2012)
(2012)
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Lipa Theater: Story Maker App Poster Image
Create and record stories in cute digital puppet theater.
Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
(2016)
(2016)
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The Complete Fairytale Play Theater App Poster Image
Creative open-ended storytelling, but some drawbacks.
Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
(2016)
(2016)
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DIY.org – Creative Challenges App Poster Image
How-to videos ignite curiosity and nurture key skills.
Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
(2019)
(2019)
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Faces iMake - Right Brain Creativity App Poster Image
Kids make fanciful facial art using everyday objects.
Devices: iPad
(2013)
(2016)
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LOOPIMAL by YATATOY App Poster Image
Create sound sequences with music blocks, cute creatures.
Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
(2015)
(2015)
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Pango Build Safari App Poster Image
DIY safari landscapes come to life in scene-building app.
Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
(2018)
(2018)
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PuppetMaster App Poster Image
Create puppets, craft stories, co-play with cool tools.
Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
(2019)
(2018)
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Toca Hair Salon 2 App Poster Image
More tools, characters, and hair-styling fun in nice sequel.
Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire
(2013)
(2013)
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Plum's Creaturizer App Poster Image
Make creatures and take pics outside for fantastic fun.
Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
(2015)
(2015)
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Build a Truck - by Duck Duck Moose App Poster Image
Rollicking monster-truck fun, minus the noise.
Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
(2014)
(2014)
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Creativas Fashion Design Studio App Poster Image
Fabulously fun fashion school requires printer.
Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
(2015)
(2015)
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Yumi | Story Dice App Poster Image
Cute, open-ended storytelling app can give inspiration.
Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
(2017)
(2017)
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Toontastic 3D App Poster Image
Same great easy animated story creator, new 3D graphics.
Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Chromebook
(2017)
(2017)
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Toca Builders App Poster Image
Well-done Minecraft-style app great for younger kids.
Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire, Windows app
(2013)
(2013)
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Art Set App Poster Image
Deluxe creative tool will wow artists young and old.
Devices: iPad
(2011)
(2011)
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Blox 3D World Creator App Poster Image
Solid world-builder with learning curve boosts creativity.
Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire
(2016)
(2015)
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Pippapips App Poster Image
Paper dolls go high-tech for fashion design fun.
Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
(2017)
(2017)
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TinyTap - Educational Games App Poster Image
Play, create, and share interactive games and lessons.
Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
(2017)
(2017)
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Book Creator App Poster Image
Magically easy way to create and publish books.
Devices: iPad, Chromebook
(2011)
(2016)
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Diary Zapp App Poster Image
Kids capture their days through words, photos, and more.
Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
(2017)
(2017)
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ExplorArt Klee - The Art of Paul Klee, for Kids App Poster Image
Gorgeous interactive book makes art history playful.
Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
(2017)
(2017)
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GoldieBlox and the Movie Machine App Poster Image
Young filmmakers will delight in empowering stop-motion app.
Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
(2014)
(2014)
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iOrnament App Poster Image
Creating beautiful, geometric images fascinates, educates.
Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
(2018)
(2017)
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Minecraft App Poster Image
Worthy spin-off of popular PC game encourages creativity.
Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire
(2011)
(2011)
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Strip Designer App Poster Image
Simple, exciting way to create comic books using own photos.
Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
(2011)
(2013)
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Toca Hair Salon Me App Poster Image
Kids play hair stylist for mom, the dog, or even themselves.
Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire
(2014)
(2014)
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VidMaker - 3D MovieMaker for Kids App Poster Image
Make videos starring robots for fun, learning, or both.
Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
(2017)
(2017)
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Big Nate: Comix By U! App Poster Image
Bright, creative app will inspire kids' inner cartoonist.
Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
(2012)
(2012)
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Mixerpiece App Poster Image
Creativity abounds with bits and pieces of classic art.
Devices: iPad
(2018)
(2018)
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MoShow - Slideshow Movie Maker App Poster Image
Fun, easy, animated slideshows turn kids into movie makers.
Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
(2018)
(2018)
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Comics Head Lite - Create Your Own Comic App Poster Image
Cool comic creator fosters creativity; better to buy.
Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
(2017)
(2017)
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Shake-a-Phrase: Fun with Words and Sentences App Poster Image
Silly sentences promote creative-writing and grammar skills.
Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
(2014)
(2013)
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GarageBand App Poster Image
Powerful sequencer lets kids create pro-quality recordings.
Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Mac
(2013)
(2017)
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Photo Editor by Aviary App Poster Image
Just enough options for shutterbug teens.
Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
(2013)
(2013)
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Style Studio: Fashion Designer App Poster Image
Better than similar fashion games found on consoles.
Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
(2010)
(2011)
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Scribblenauts Remix App Poster Image
Vocabulary-building word puzzle game shines on iOS.
Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire, Windows app
(2011)
(2011)
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Springin' - Create, Share, and Play App Poster Image
Game creator has great potential but steep learning curve.
Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
(2017)
(2017)
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Animoto: Slideshow Maker App Poster Image
Freemium slideshow tool better on privacy than similar apps.
Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Chromebook
(2012)
(2017)
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Magisto - Magical Video Editor App Poster Image
Automated video maker is fast and fun but has limits.
Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
(2013)
(2013)
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Medly App Poster Image
Create, remix, share with powerful music-production tool.
Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
(2019)
(2019)
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Paper by FiftyThree App Poster Image
Beautifully designed digital sketchbook fosters creativity.
Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
(2014)
(2014)
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Procreate App Poster Image
Awesome professional-level tool for digital artists.
Devices: iPad
(2013)
(2016)
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Autodesk Sketchbook App Poster Image
Impressive creation tool for teens serious about art.
Devices: iPad, Android, Kindle Fire, Windows app
(2013)
(2013)
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Lily - Playful Music Creation App Poster Image
Compose pretty, rhythmic tunes, then save and share.
Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire
(2018)
(2017)
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StoryCorps App Poster Image
Capturing and sharing family stories couldn't be easier.
Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire
(2016)
(2016)
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Video Star App Poster Image
Great tool for creating music videos; some sharing concerns.
Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
(2012)
(2012)
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We Are Here DIYdoc App Poster Image
Simple DIY documentary tool helps kids share their stories.
Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
(2017)
(2017)
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ArtStudio - Draw and Paint App Poster Image
Create amazing art with ease; some nudes in online gallery.
Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
(2011)
(2013)
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Likee - Formerly LIKE Video App Poster Image
TikTok rival with racy content, ineffectual parent controls.
Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
(2018)
(2017)
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PicsArt Photo Editor & Collage App Poster Image
Top-notch photo app crams in functionality; some iffy stuff.
Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Kindle Fire
(2013)
(2013)
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