With so many amazing family attractions to see, museum exhibits to explore and beautiful NYC parks to monkey around in, it's pretty easy to keep city kids entertained. Sometimes, though, Mom and Dad just need the little ones to sit still and be quiet so they can get a few grown-up things done. Luckily, there are plenty of fun, kid-friendly apps right at your fingertips that will keep them glued to the screen so you can keep your sanity. Here are our picks of the top 8 kids' apps.
By tilting the phone or tablet, kids can guide Doodle the Doodler (a cute alien-like creature) as he bounces on platforms, climbing upward and gaining points along the way. They'll have to avoid black holes, gigantic monsters and floating sea creatures to stay alive, and keep an eye out for such bonuses as a jet pack or propeller hat that give Doodle an extra boost. Free. Ages 4 and up. Compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.
If you've resisted this ultra-addictive app up until now, bravo! Though, the game is no less mesmerizing for kids now as when it was first released. Even seasoned bird-tossing pros will be psyched about this space-themed upgrade, extending the game across 10 planets and giving the characters new abilities—some contigent on the gravity of each new planet. Free. Ages 4 and up. Compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.
The goofy, yellow minions that we all fell in love with from Despicable Me now provide even more giggles with a brand-new game. Kids get to come along as the mischevious bunch gather exotic fruits to make jelly. During fun missions, users help the minions navigate Gru's Lab, ride the Fluffy Unicorn, prep for a mission to the moon and more. Free. Ages 4 and up. Compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.
Where's My Water?
Little ones will love helping Swampy the alligator get water back to his broken shower by manipulating the dirt and sewer systems above him in this colorful game from Disney. Kids won't even realize they're using principles of physics as they carve out paths for the fresh water while keeping dirty and toxic water, steam and ooze out. Free. Ages 4 and up. Compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.
Even the tiniest tots have a knack for mobile apps these days, and this one even teaches them a thing or two while keeping them entertained. Monkey and other jungle friends challenge kids to spell, use phonics skills and pick up on other building blocks of reading and writing while playing six interactive word games that are easy for little fingers. $1.99. Ages 5 and under. Compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.
The ugly, but lovable little monster named Om Nom is back in this sequel, and he still needs kids' help to solve puzzles and get to his precious candy. Users get to explore five new locations—Forest, Sandy Dam, Junkyard, City Park and Underground—and enlist help from "The Nommies" to strategically solve each problem using pulleys and catapults. $2.99. Ages 4 and up. Compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.
Toca Hair Salon
Tots get to play the role of hair stylist, creating cool 'dos for six colorful characters. Using just their fingers, they'll cut and trim hair with scissors, wash and dry it, choose between 12 colors and finish it with fun accessories. With no rules, time limit or set objective, little ones can simply have a blast making wacky styles and sharing them with friends. Free. Ages 3 and up. Compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.
City kids reign over public transportation in this challenging, train-themed game. Kids help Jake, Tricky and Fresh run along the tracks, dodging oncoming trains—sometimes even surfing on hoverboards or whizzing by with a jetpack—to escape from the mean Inspector and his dog. Free. Ages 9 and up. Compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.