Best Puzzle and Problem-Solving Apps for Kids [Updated for 2022]
Learn spatial skills, critical thinking and visual perception
We Reviewed Dozens Of The Best Puzzle and Problem-Solving Apps for Kids So You Don’t Have To. Here Are Our Top Picks.
Puzzles stimulate the centers of the brain for spatial skills, critical thinking and visual perception. Download the best puzzle apps for your iPhone or Android and improve your abilities while having fun trying to beat the puzzle. We’ve got a collection of puzzle apps that has been tested and tried by teachers and parents to meet your skill level and challenge your children.
Here are some awesome puzzle and problem-solving apps to keep little minds learning! Our roundup of some of the best puzzle and problem-solving apps for little kids will help your young ones put on their thinking caps and engage their brains. These are not your typical, put-the-pieces-where-they-go puzzles, but more of the creative, problem-solving kind.
Endless Wordplay will quickly become a favorite. Brought to you by the team at ORIGINATOR, the same team behind Endless Alphabet, Endless Reader, and Endless Numbers, this app sets the perfect stage for spelling, word-building, and rhyming.
It will teach children how to recognize spelling patterns and phonograms, which are crucial skills for learning to read and write. There are 3 spelling lessons (9 words) to try for free, and additional lessons available as an in-app purchase. Additional packs are $6.99 and all words are $14.99. The animations and graphics are top-notch. Be sure to share this fun word puzzle with your child!
Puzzingo offers loads of jigsaw puzzles with a twist: each piece is named and helps your young child build vocabulary skills while they play. The app supports learning in a multitude of languages, as well. Let your child exercise motor skills, visual-spatial skills and more as they play. Best of all, adults can easily play with children to expand the learning experience in ways recommended by experts.
The free version of the app comes with ten puzzles, and users can purchase additional sets for $2.99 each or an all-access pass for $24.99. The purchases are protected by a parent gate, so no worries about your child accidentally accessing something that costs money, though.
Pango Hide & Seek is an observation and exploration game for preschoolers. The app includes adaptations of 5 favorite fairy tales, with 3 scenes in each. The scenes support the story, but also have a wealth of hidden secrets that get progressively more challenging. Children will need to explore thoroughly to find all of the hidden pictures.
An in-app purchase of $2.99 will unlock additional stories. Games such as this one nurture a wealth of foundational skills to get your child ready for academic work in school, including concentration, perseverance, fine motor skills, and more.
Shape Gurus: Preschooler Game
Price: $2.99 on iOS App Store; $1.99 on Google Play Store
This app uses shape and color puzzles to teach 2-5 year olds basic readiness skills such as matching, sorting, classifying and more. These readiness skills are crucial to later reading and school success.
Shape Gurus features 27 interactive puzzles with 4 shapes and 9 colors. It supports play in twelve languages, too. The app is very child-friendly, with no advertisements or in-app purchases so it’s perfect for young players.
WinkyThink features 180 puzzles presented in order of difficulty. Players must not only match, but solve problems, use tools, figure out patterns, and much, much more. This app provides hours of fun that will build problem solving skills, coordination, basic readiness skills, logic and memory.
Developers did an outstanding job of finding the right balance for each puzzle, so that players’ skills are challenged, but they will be able to make progress in the game. The puzzles are completely nonverbal, so there’s no need for reading skills or even following directions. Everything is very hands-on, figure-it-out-as-you-go. It costs $2.99 to download.
The Where’s My Water? App has previously won the Game of the Year award. Meet Swampy the Gator; he needs your help guiding water to his broken shower. Each level of this game features challenging physics-based puzzles with amazingly life-like water mechanics. In this kids’ puzzle app, children will cut paths through the dirt to guide fresh water, dirty water, toxic water, steam and ooze to their proper places.
Every drop counts! Can you get enough clean water to Swampy’s shower? There are four original characters, each with their own scenario. Along the way, kids can collect special items they find in the dirt, as well as complete challenges and bonus levels. If you would like to share a new game with your preschooler, be sure to check out this physics puzzler! And if your child finds this one enjoyable, there are several sequels and related apps, including “Where’s My Water? 2”, “Where’s My Perry?” and “Where’s My Mickey?” All are $1.99 with in-app purchases.
Cut the Rope: Experiments GOLD
Price: 99 cents on iOS App Store; Free on Google Play Store; both with in-app purchases
Here’s another great kids’ problem-solving app! Meet Om Nom, the adorable little candy eating monster. With Cut the Rope: Experiments, kids will experiment to feed Om Nom candy throughout 200 challenging levels. The little green monster is hungrier than ever, and kids can team up with the Professor to study Om Nom’s candy-eating behavior through a series of experiments.
There are 8 level packs with 200 levels; all of the levels feature innovative physics gameplay. Kids will use suction cups and lots of other funny devices to feed Om Nom, while collecting shiny gold stars, uncovering hidden prizes and unlocking new levels along the way. If your child enjoys this fun app, look for Cut the Rope 2 and other great sequels. The app has in-app purchase offers to unlock most content.
Inventioneers allows kids to create their own crazy, fun inventions! With the help of the Inventioneers – tiny helpers with unique characteristics – kids can create fun, creative and quirky inventions. This problem solving app allows children to learn about physics while exploring with inventions in realtime and learning the science behind different features, including: air, fire, magnetism and jumping.
In the free version, kids can explore the first chapter with 14 inventions, as well as hang out with the first Inventioneer, Windy; there are 40+ different objects to use in the inventions. With the full version (purchase: one time fee), kids can explore 6 chapters with a total of 84 inventions, 40+ new objects, 10 characters that you can help, and 6 Inventioneers – Blaze, Sporty, Zappy, Bunny, Magneta and Freezy. If you would like to check out a fun creative app, be sure to share Inventioneers with your little inventor! This free trial includes the first three chapters. If you like it, the rest of the app is available as an in-app purchase for $4.99.
Price: $3.99 on iOS App Store; $2.99 on Google Play Store
For older kids, this unique puzzle app might be just the ticket. The app is a story told in comic book-style frames, but the frames are all mixed up. In order to see how the story progresses, players must bring order to the chaos by putting the frames into their correct positions.
The app has won multiple awards. It’s definitely for older kids, due to some mildly-objectionable content, so parents will want to screen the app carefully.
Here are dozens and dozens of kid-friendly digital jigsaw puzzles for toddlers and preschoolers. The puzzles can be adjusted in size and complexity from 6 to 72 pieces, so there’s loads of room to grow and improve. Each puzzle also includes an animated surprise when finished, so there’s always a cool reward awaiting.
An in-app purchase of $2.99 is required to unlock the full game. You can try a few puzzles, then if your child has fun, you can complete the set.
Even if the adults have had it with the Baby Shark Song, children can’t seem to get enough of it. If you have an addict, check out these puzzles based on Baby Shark. The app offers 14 Baby Shark puzzle activities, each with 5 levels of difficulty.
Doing puzzles like this promotes problem solving skills, observation and visual skills, and many other important skills to help your child succeed in school later in life. The app offers a variety of in-app purchases, ranging from $2.99 to remove the ads to a monthly ($8.99) or annual ($59.99) subscription to unlock still more Baby Shark content.
Here’s one of the most customizable jigsaw apps on the market. It includes 2400 pictures, and you can also upload photos from your own device. You can pick the number of pieces and the rotation freedom. While it’s not clear that it would be simple enough for toddlers/preschoolers, the control over the number of pieces will certainly make it a hit with slightly older children as well as adults.
There is an in-app purchase available to remove the ads. Other than that, the app is completely free to download and play. A real bargain for puzzle fans!