Kids apps and games

Smartphones and tablets are great for entertaining children of all ages, if you're happy to hand over your expensive gadget.

There are hoards of developers and apps out there gunning for your money so we've rounded up five of the best apps and games to keep your kids busy. We've chosen a selection of different types of apps for varying situations which are available at a range of different price points on different platforms.

Toca Hair Salon 2Toca Hair Salon 2

Now onto its second version, Toca Hair Salon 2 is a creative app which lets kids have a go at being a hair dresser. Using the touchscreen, players can cut, colour, wash and style their choice of character before adding accessories and taking a photo. There's no right or wrong way to do it giving children the freedom to play however they want – properly or off the wall. With so many combinations this app will have some longevity. Interaction with the characters is realistic and clever facial expressions and audible reactions provide humour. There are no in-app purchases or ads and Hair Salon 2 uses excellent graphics.

Price: £1.49

Available on: iPhone and iPad

Toca Hair Salon 2 screenshot

Colour & DrawColour & Draw for kids

It's a fact of life that children enjoy drawing and colouring so check out Colour & Draw for kids. Using the touchscreen and a digital canvas, users can draw and colour in a number of different ways with pencils, brushes, crayons and an air brush. The app is packed with features so it's not just a blank screen with a few pencils to choose from. This is an option, but kids can also colour in existing themed drawings and also photos which are stored on your device. There are no adverts and if you want to, there are more pages in the store which can be purchased.

Price: 69p - £1.49

Available on: Android, iPhone and iPad

Colour & Draw screenshot

Little DigitsLittle Digits – Finger Counting

Little Digits is fun but educational app for youngsters which helps them learn to count and includes some simple maths. Utilising the iPad's 10-point multi-touch screen, children can learn numbers by how many fingers they put on the display. The appropriate number is displayed on screen in colourful and cute illustrations. Basic addition, subtraction and number order games give a bit more of a challenge. To answer the questions, kids simply touch the screen with the right amount of fingers. Voice sounds within the app are English but a feature lets you record you own so your child can hear your voice instead. There are no in-app purchases, adverts or social media.

Price: £1.49

Available on: iPad

Little Digits screenshot

Nighty Night! HDNighty Night! HD

For that difficult bedtime routine, Nighty Night! HD aims to give a helping hand in the form of an electronic story book. To help get kids ready to go to sleep they must say goodnight to and put to bed some animal friends. There are a total of seven interactive characters – a dog, pig, sheep, duck, cow, fish and chicken. Around the house, outside and barn, the lights are switched off for bedtime. The app uses stunning illustration and animation by Heidi Wittlinger which is accompanied by melodic lullaby music. There's also narration from actor Alistair Findlay and users can choose between a summer and winter mode.

Price: £1.49 - £1.99

Avaialble on: iPhone and ipad

Nighty Night! HD screenshot

Magic PianoMagic Piano

Kids love music and the Magic Piano app is free so it's worth a download to see if your children like it. As the name suggests, you can play piano on a touchscreen but it's more than just this. You can play on different keyboards and play along to songs of which there are more than 600 with more being added each week. Tracks include pop, rock, classical and songs from movies and musicals. Not all songs are free to play can you can unlock more by playing and watching videos. Furthermore, a game mode means you can score and earn achievements as you play and if you want to, you can share performances with friends.

Price: Free

Available on: Android, iPhone and iPad

Magic Piano screenshot

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