The holidays are a magical time for kids and if Santa already treated them with tech items such as smartphones and tablets, check out the top iOS and Android apps for kids.

While there's nothing wrong with traditional toy trains, building blocks, and other toys many of us grew up with, today's generation of kids can now enjoy fun and educational games and apps on smartphones and tablets.

There are plenty of good tablets for kids specifically designed with educational purposes in mind, and a slew of apps are also available to round up that experience and offer the best mental exercise while having fun.

If you're not sure which apps to pick for your children, here are the top 10 Android and iOS apps for kids and toddlers.

Best Apps For Kids Aged 5 And Under

1. Sesame Street Alphabet Kitchen

This entertaining app brings the Cookie Monster and Chef Elmo together to create letter cookies, helping kids learn vowels in the process. Kids can have fun coloring the creations and once they finish a letter cookie, they can share it with the two star chefs. The app is available for free on iOS and Android, albeit the full version costs $2.99.

2. Kids Learning Puzzles PUZZLINGO

This app is educational, fun and is also suitable for kids with autism, in speech therapy or with special needs, as it has visual and audio cues to make it more accessible. PUZZLINGO is a puzzle game designed to expand kids' vocabulary and improve their cognitive and memory skills. Supported languages include American and British English, Spanish, Mandarin, and Japanese.

The app is available for both Android and iOS as a free download, but additional puzzles are available at $2.99. A full version with all puzzles available costs $14.99.

3. Storypanda Books

This educational app brings interactive stories with multiple choices, as well as edit and customization options to create new stories, aiming to turn storytelling time into a more engaging and creative experience. The app is available for free on iOS, but offers in-app purchases. An Android version of the app is not available.

4. Artie's World

This drawing app for kids aged 5 and under sparks creativity in a fun manner, offering great visuals and an entertaining adventure. Artie, the main character, goes on a trip across the world and kids have to help him draw various animals and items with his magic pen and connect the dots to make the creation "come to life" with fun animations and great audio. The app is available for free for both Android and iOS and offers in-app purchases.

Best Apps For Kids Aged 6 To 8

1. TeleStory

With TeleStory, kids get to create their own TV shows by putting together background scenes, special costumes, cue cards, special effects and what not. The app sparks creativity and it's a lot of fun, and it even allows recording to save those entertaining TV shows on the camera roll. The app is free, but it's only available on iOS.

2. Wuwu & Co.

This is an interactive story app aiming to provide an immersive storytelling experience that stimulates imagination. Wuwu & Co. allows users to read or listen to a story while the device is facing down, or get a "magical window" into the story world when holding the device upright. The app is available on both Android and iOS at $2.99.

3. Music4Kids

This creative app lets kids compose music, posing 140 "challenges" created by a professional composer. The app can obviously be quite loud, but it should develop creativity and polish your kids' musical abilities, allowing them to write and play music at the same time. Music4Kids costs $2.99 and it's available on both Android and iOS.

4. Toca Lab

This educational game can be useful even for adults, as it makes the periodic table fun. Toca Lab features all 118 elements of the periodic table and turns them into characters, while also allowing users to experiment with virtual lab tools. The app costs $2.99 and it's available for both iOS and Android.

Best Apps For Kids Aged 8 And Up

Lastly, for kids aged 8 or older, two fun apps combine entertainment with educational purposes to quench their thirst for knowledge.

1. Middle School Confidential Series

Appropriate for kids aged 8 to 14, this app actually consists of a collection of graphic novels designed to help kids go through the challenging pre-teen period. The Middle School Confidential is written by teen expert Annie Fox and is available on both iOS and Android either as a three-book bundle priced at $6.99 or at $2.99 per book.

2. Weird But True

Weird but True comes from National Geographic and it makes learning fun, presenting more than 900 facts in an engaging manner. The app is free, but it's only available for iOS.

Such educational and entertaining apps can help kids learn while having fun, and they're a must-have for any child with a smartphone or a tablet. There are many more out there, so if you have other preferences feel free to share your own recommendations in the comments section below.

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