47 Best ipad games for 3 year olds

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The world of tablets offers a captivating space for young minds to explore and learn. However, navigating the vast app store can be overwhelming, especially when seeking safe and enriching experiences for 3-year-olds.

This article delves into the best iPad games for this age group, focusing on their educational value, engaging features, and overall suitability for little learners.

Spark Creativity: Drawing and Exploration Apps

Spark Creativity: Drawing and Exploration Apps

At 3 years old, children are brimming with boundless creativity. These apps provide a fun and interactive canvas for them to express themselves and explore their artistic inclinations:

Drawing and Coloring Apps:

Apps like “Sago Mini Doodlecast” and “The Monster at the End of This Book – Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” offer an exciting mix of drawing tools, vibrant colors, and playful prompts, allowing children to create masterpieces and explore storytelling through their art.

Interactive Storybook Apps:

Apps like “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” and “Goodnight Moon” bring beloved stories to life with captivating animations, interactive elements, and engaging narration. These apps not only foster a love for reading but also encourage creativity through sound effects and simple touch interactions.

Here are 12 engaging and educational iPad games that are perfect for 3-year-olds:

Sago Mini World: This open-ended world lets kids explore different locations, like a bakery, a doctor’s office, and a monster’s house. They can interact with various objects and characters, fostering creativity and imagination.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar – Play & Learn: This interactive app brings the beloved children’s book to life with colorful animations and engaging activities. Kids can help the caterpillar eat his way through the week, learn about different fruits, and solve simple puzzles.

Sesame Street Sesame Workshop: This app features a collection of educational games starring everyone’s favorite Sesame Street characters. Kids can learn about letters, numbers, shapes, and colors, all while having fun with their favorite friends.

PBS KIDS Games: This free app from PBS KIDS offers a variety of educational games based on popular children’s shows like Curious George, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, and Sesame Street. Kids can learn about math, reading, science, and social-emotional skills through fun and engaging activities.

Toca Life World: This open-ended play app lets kids create their own world and tell their own stories. They can build houses, shops, schools, and other locations, and populate them with characters from different Toca Life apps.

LEGO DUPLO WORLD: This app is a digital version of the popular LEGO Duplo building blocks. Kids can use virtual bricks to build houses, cars, animals, and other creations. The app also includes simple animations and sound effects that bring the creations to life.

Cat in the Hat – Dr. Seuss’s ABC Adventure: This app helps kids learn their letters with the help of the Cat in the Hat. They can play games, sing songs, and watch videos that teach them the alphabet in a fun and engaging way.

Endless Alphabet: This award-winning app is a great way for kids to learn their letters and start reading. The app features fun animations, catchy songs, and interactive games that teach kids the sounds of letters and how to blend them together to form words.

Disney Coloring Pages: This app lets kids color in pictures of their favorite Disney characters, like Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, and Elsa. The app includes a variety of colors and tools, and kids can even save their creations to share with others.

My PlayHome: This app lets kids create their own digital dollhouse. They can furnish the house with furniture, appliances, and decorations, and then play with the dollhouse family. The app is a great way for kids to learn about different rooms in a house and the objects that go in them.

The Cat Piano: This app turns your iPad into a musical instrument. Kids can tap on the cat’s paws to play different notes, and they can even record their own songs. The app is a great way for kids to explore music and learn about rhythm and melody.

Grinchmas Party: This app is based on the popular holiday movie, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” Kids can play games, sing songs, and help the Grinch prepare for a Christmas party. The app is a fun way to get kids into the holiday spirit.

These are just a few of the many great iPad games available for 3-year-olds. When choosing games, it’s important to consider your child’s interests and developmental level. It’s also a good idea to play the games with your child so you can help them learn and explore.

Nurture Early Learning: Games with Educational Twists

Learning through play is crucial for early childhood development. These games seamlessly integrate educational elements into engaging activities, making learning a fun and enriching experience:

Puzzle Games: Apps like “Toddler Puzzles by Duck Duck Moose” and “My First Match” present beautifully illustrated puzzles with varying difficulty levels. These games help develop problem-solving skills, hand-eye coordination, and shape recognition.

ABC and Number Games: Apps like “Elmo Loves ABCs” and “PBS Kids Games” use familiar characters and engaging animations to introduce basic concepts like letters, numbers, and counting. These games encourage children to learn through songs, interactive activities, and positive reinforcement.

Foster Imagination and Play: Games for Exploration and Discovery

Games for Exploration and Discovery

Imagination flourishes at 3 years old. These games provide fertile ground for imaginative play and exploration, allowing children to build their own worlds and embark on exciting adventures:

Open-Ended Play Apps: Apps like “Toca Life World” and “LEGO DUPLO World” create virtual environments filled with interactive elements and customizable characters. These open-ended play spaces encourage children to use their imagination, explore cause-and-effect relationships, and engage in pretend play.

Music and Rhythm Apps: Apps like “The Cat in the Hat – Dr. Seuss’s ABC Song” and “Sago Mini Music Box” introduce children to the world of music through interactive instruments, playful soundscapes, and engaging songs. These apps encourage creativity, explore rhythm and tempo, and spark a love for music.

Choosing the Right Games: Considerations for Parents and Caregivers

While this list provides a starting point, it’s crucial for parents and caregivers to carefully evaluate apps before offering them to 3-year-olds. Here are some key considerations:

  1. Age-appropriateness: Ensure the app is designed specifically for children aged 3 and above. This guarantees the content, difficulty level, and user interface are appropriate for their developmental stage.
  2. Limited advertising: Opt for apps with minimal or no advertising to avoid exposing young children to inappropriate marketing content.
  3. Parental controls: Utilize parental controls to set time limits, restrict in-app purchases, and ensure a safe digital environment.
  4. Offline play: Choose apps that allow for offline play, minimizing screen time and allowing children to enjoy the games without constant internet access.

Engaging in Shared Play:

Remember, the most valuable aspect of screen time for 3-year-olds is the opportunity for shared play and interaction with parents or caregivers.

Engage with your child as they play, narrate the stories, point out colors and shapes, and create a dialogue around their experiences. This not only enhances the learning and fun but also strengthens your bond with your child.


The iPad, when used thoughtfully and with proper supervision, can be a valuable tool for fostering learning, creativity, and imagination in 3-year-olds. By choosing age-appropriate games that prioritize both entertainment and educational value, parents can create a safe and enriching digital experience that complements their child’s overall development.