Mobile games often employ less-than-ideal monetization, even in games targeted at children. So it’s a bit of a minefield to find the best Android games that are safe for your kids. To help you find the best ones, we compiled a roundup of the best kid-friendly games, whether you’re looking for Android games appropriate for four-year-olds or want to dig up a few tablet games worthy of your Fire Tab.
No matter your child’s age, there’s easily a game below that will appeal, from town-building games like Townscaper to games that encourage exercise outdoors like Pikmin Bloom. So get comfy, grab your favorite Android tablet, and prepare to download some incredibly fun games for kids.
Townscaper is a sandbox game about building beautiful Italian cities in the middle of the ocean. Building these gorgeous towns is as simple as tapping the screen; that’s it. It’s so easy that a young child can do it, which is why Townscaper is an excellent game for children. There’s nothing to read, and there are no goals. The game looks great, and it plays great. It’s a perfect game for all ages, and it’s a hoot to boot, so don’t miss out. This one’s a classic in waiting.
2 SpongeBob: Get Cooking
Netflix Games has been making waves by offering monetization-free titles on Android and iOS. The beauty is that all titles through Netflix don’t contain monetization, as they are part of a regular Netflix subscription. So for games like SpongeBob: Get Cooking, titles that once used to offer awful monetization now have a second chance, free of abusive in-app purchases. This means SpongeBob: Get Cooking is a perfect game for children because of its inviting and familiar theme and because this title won’t nag your child to spend your money. Plus, the food-building gameplay is easy to grasp, so children of reading age can pick this up and play without any issues. All around, it’s a solid title for kids. But you need a Netflix subscription for access.
3 Hidden Through Time
Hidden object games, like Where’s Waldo, are great for children. Hidden Through Time offers similar, but with slick animations where you’ll hunt down several objects in each stage. The art is fantastic, the puzzles are challenging (enough to keep kids of all ages interested), and since this is a premium release, it can be had for a single purchase of $3, which is fair for a game that offers three to four hours of gameplay straight through.
4 Deep Loot
Collection games are all the rage, but it’s challenging to find titles that aren’t designed to empty wallets. This is why Deep Loot has found a good bit of success, especially with youngsters. The gameplay is fair, scratching the collection itch without breaking the bank. The goal is to collect loot that can be used to unlock new diving suits and larger fishing boats, which is how the player progresses, by incrementally improving their gear in their quest to unearth the best loot possible.
5 LEGO DUPLO MARVEL
This brand-filled game title may be confusing, seeing Duplo, LEGO, and Marvel team up for one game. That’s what a good superhero game is all about, teamwork. You’ll find a few mini-games, and you can purchase more games once you run through what’s provided. If you don’t want to purchase new mini-games piecemeal, an optional subscription provides access to every mini-game released.
If you or your kid is a LEGO, Duplo, or Marvel fan, there’s a lot to like here that little kids can easily handle. Its bite-sized gameplay offers more than a few enjoyable scenarios starring everyone’s favorite Marvel characters in Duplo/LEGO form.
6 Pokémon Playhouse
Unlike most Pokémon games on Android, Pokémon Playhouse is free and designed to appeal to children. Kids can interact with several Pokémon while exploring various locations. There’s even a grooming aspect that’s similar to what you would find in a Tamagotchi game. This casual exploration game offers a few mini-games designed to target kids between the ages of 3 and 5, so it is the perfect introduction to the property for children that can’t read.
7 Molly of Denali: Learn About Nature and Community
Molly of Denali – Go on an Alaskan Adventure comes from PBS Kids, and it’s a tie-in product for the station’s TV show of the same name. This is a kids game that targets children ages 4 to 8, and it offers mini-games themed around the show where the player explores nature. It’s a free release that does not contain in-app purchases or advertisements. If you’re looking for a fair game for children between the ages of 4 and 8, Molly of Denali is a safe choice.
8 Pet Bingo by Duck Duck Moose
Pet Bingo by Duck Duck Moose is an educational math game for children between the ages of 5 and 10. This title is free to download and use, plus it contains a slew of math skills to learn, including addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, measurements, and geometry. This way, your child should be covered no matter their current learning level. If you would like more content, check out the rest of Duck Duck Moose’s excellent catalog.
9 Little Inferno
Tomorrow Corporation offers several quirky games for mobile, and the quirkiest is Little Inferno, a game about burning toys in a fireplace. Trial and error is often the key to success, so anyone can play, including small children. After all, who doesn’t get a kick out of lighting stuff on fire, especially kids? So instead of letting little Jimmy burn your house down as he experiments with real matches, let the little devil live out his destructive fantasies through this quirky and enjoyable game.
10 Toca Kitchen 2
Toca Boca is one of those publishers that stick to their guns. Its games are free of in-app purchases, open-ended, and gender-neutral. Its most popular release, Toca Kitchen 2, is, in our opinion, a perfect example of its ethical design. In the same vein as Cooking Mama, it is a fun cooking game that allows kids to explore any wacky combination of food they can think of and serves it to an NPC for humorous results.
11 Tornado Time Free
Tornado Time Free is an older game but a good one. It’s simple in scope, as there’s only one stage, and you only have one goal, destroy as much of the town as possible. It’s your job to get the highest score by demolishing a small town. While this type of setup is repetitive, we doubt many children will notice the lack of variety. Plus, it’s super fun to destroy the town over and over again. What kid wouldn’t enjoy that?
Starfall is an educational app that offers simple content for pre-K users through third grade. The app provides many games that delve into popular subjects like reading, math, and singing. An internet connection is required to play, so this is a title best played at home. If your child is just learning their ABCs and 123s, Starfall is a quality choice that won’t break the bank.
13 Pikmin Bloom
Niantic is well known for its augmented reality collection game Pokémon GO and is at the forefront of AR tech. Even though most of the studio’s games follow a similar design, Pikmin Bloom is a little different from the rest. This is a game about walking, and the goal, always, is to walk, so think of it as a fun step counter. What makes it fun is that the entire thing is themed around Nintendo’s Pikmin franchise, and you’ll grow Pikmin from seedlings with every step you take.
Yes, the game contains in-app purchases, but the shortcuts Niantic sells aren’t necessary if your goal is to walk. If you’d like to get your kid out and about with an app that encourages healthy activity, perhaps Pikmin Bloom is what you’re looking for.
14 PLAYMOBIL Mars Mission
Much like LEGO, Playmobil tends to release free mobile games as advertising for its block-building toy line. These games are often delightful, and PLAYMOBIL Mars Mission fits this description. It is an educational game of sorts, though much of the gameplay revolves around collection-based missions. Despite the slightly repetitive gameplay, it’s a fun little game, though we’re not sure how “educational” it is. At the very least, your kids should have a blast as they explore Mars in this PLAYMOBIL release.
15 Thinkrolls Space
Avokiddo is a well-known developer of children’s games. Even though the developer isn’t as active as it once was, Thinkrolls Space is still a standout title few have heard of. This is a puzzle game where you use colorful heroes as gap fillers to roll your way to the end of each stage. It’s a simple maze-like setup any child should enjoy, and thanks to simple controls, children can play this game without help. If you’re looking for something quirky and entertaining for your youngster, Thinkrolls Space is a gem in the rough that shouldn’t be missed.
Kids is an odd little game that only lasts up to thirty minutes of playtime, so be aware that this title is more about the experience than the long-lasting gameplay. Still, what’s beneath the surface is worth the asking price. The black-and-white art is probably the first thing most people notice, which is simple yet striking.
The gameplay, if you can call it that, revolves around moving with and against crowds to see which choices empty the stage first. The mechanics are intuitive, and the black-and-white cartoony design should appeal to children, making this a fun little title to play around with just to see what happens.
17 Teach Your Monster to Read
If you’re looking for something educational and centered around phonics and reading for children between the ages of 3 and 6, Teach Your Monster to Read is a game to check out. It’s monetized appropriately as a premium release, the art is slick, and the gameplay is enjoyable. Plus, your kid might learn a few things, which is always a bonus. If encouraging your child’s reading comprehension is a top priority, Teach Your Monster to Read is a great way for them to enjoy the process.
18 Hidden Folks
Similar to Hidden Through Time, Hidden Folks is a hidden object game. This game is presented in black and white, making the puzzles more challenging since everything offers the same colors. What’s slick about this release is that each puzzle is interactive, where you’ll poke and prod to change the landscapes and uncover what you’re looking for. Any age can enjoy this title, and children will assuredly be delighted by the excellent sound design.
19 Daily Dadish
If your child grows bored with games quickly, a title that offers a new level each day may appeal better. This is what you get with Daily Dadish. The platforming series has seen a good bit of success over the years, and this fresh release offers plenty more of what makes the previous great, with the hook that you’ll be able to play one new level each day to compete for the high score. The controls are simple enough for any child familiar with platforming titles, and the theme is appropriate for all ages. So no matter how you slice it, Daily Dadish is perfect for those who prefer bite-sized doses stretched over long periods.
20 LEGO Star Wars: TCS
Sure, the Lego Star Wars series was recently remastered, but this older collection offers the original graphics and storylines, and it still holds up. That’s right, this is a full-fledged console port available on Android, and since it’s a kid-friendly series, it’s a perfect title for today’s roundup. While there’s nothing educational about this release, it offers plenty of fun that’s appropriate for a child of any age as long as they have the dexterity for touch controls.
Keep your child’s screen time in check with Android
Games are awesome and keep us busy, but sometimes too much time with a screen can have negative consequences, especially for children and their developing minds. So finding healthy activities outside the house can be beneficial. Games like Pikmin Bloom can get your child (and you) outside and walking. Still, it’s recommended to take the time to set up Android’s Digital Wellbeing feature to curb excessive screen use. So even though we all know games and gaming are great, responsible gaming and screen time are still necessary to ensure a healthy mind.