If you have ever travelled with children, then you are certainly going to know the importance of this one! Whilst there are many hand held games that you can play, having them all in one place is just something incredible. 

As a parent, I’ve never been a massive fan of just seeing children in front of a screen, but when I see children with them whilst travelling, I completely get it! There’s not much worse than a child getting really upset because they are bored. And let’s be honest, sitting in one seat for an incredibly long time is just boring! 

In this post, we have reviewed some of the best apps and games for kids that don’t need wifi or internet. We’ve gone to the trouble of testing each one of them, although some I am pro at so that you don’t have to. We’re continually updating our list but we currently have:

  • YouTube Kids
  • Lego Duplo Train
  • Duplo Town
  • Lego Creator Island
  • Lego Juniors

Why choose apps and games that don’t need wifi?

If you are one of the adopters of the iPad, like us, there is a chance that you won’t have cellular built in which will render most of the apps that you are going to use somewhat useless. Well, meet apps that don’t need wifi. They are simply great! These can be used exactly the same in aeroplane mode as they can be in normal mode.

How much do these apps cost?

There are some of them that will require further purchasing in the app. However, don’t worry, we have listed these here so that you can make all of the preparations that you need to before you switch on the aeroplane mode. Believe it or not, some of the free apps work just fine without it. However, if you are looking for one of the video subscription apps, these may require to you pay in advance before using them. Although, these days, most of them use have a monthly subscription that you can cancel at any time – this probably means that you won’t spend more than £10 to use it for the time that you are away. You can also take advantage of the free trials – just don’t forget to cancel it.

How to use accessibility mode for children for free

If you didn’t know this one already, then it is certainly something that you should learn about when it comes to allowing your children to use an iPhone or iPad. It’s actually something that a lot of parents are unaware of. It prevents wandering hands from touching the home button and going into apps that they shouldn’t be! This wonderful feature can be accessed and activated from the menu by going into:

Settings > General > Accessibility > Guided Access ( at the bottom of the page)

It’s worth noting that the settings for guided access are not actually in the menu. You can only access them by activating guided access (by triple tapping the home button). There will be an options button there. This will allow you to:

  • Allow/Disallow control of the volume
  • Allow tilting of the device to change the screen. This will lock it if using in landscape mode
  • Choose whether or not the keyboard can be used
  • Whether touch is unable on the screen
  • If the home button can be used to exit the app
  • Set a time limit if you don’t want them on it too long.

Once you have it all set up, deepening on your device simply triple tap the home button or the side button. And the same again to turn it off (you’ll need a password for that bit though).

The apps

Here’s our recommended apps you can use without wifi – All tried and tested! Yes, this has taken a very long time!

As we come across more apps, we will be sure to add them on.

YouTube Kids

You Tube for Kids

For ages: 4+

In app purchases: Free & Subscription Based

App store score: 4.6 out of 5 (June 2019)

YouTube is the app that we all know and love but this one is designed for children. Whilst the free version cannot be used off wifi, the subscription based version can. We’ve only included this because if you were to take out the free trial on youtube, you will also be able to use the premium settings on YouTube kids. The app also has some inbuilt settings that can either be protected by the parent completing a times table equation or you can set your own password. Once in, you will be able to set a timer for use and also set the age of the videos that appear on the home screen. This app is perfect when used alongside the accessibility functionality. Oh – and yes, you can turn off the music it plays, it tends to stick and you randomly hear it in your head!

Pros: 

  • App has an inbuilt timer
  • Able to set age of home screen videos
  • Very easy for children to use.

Downsides: 

  • Free version contains advertisements
  • There are sometimes videos that you might deem outside of the age range.

LEGO DUPLO Train

For ages: 4+

In app purchases: No.

App store score: 2.9 out of 5 (June 2019)

Lego DUPLO Trains is a simulation app where children can control a train from a side on view. Once the carriages have been selected for the train, it will move along the train track going from activity to activity. Along the way, there is a crane to put cargo on the train, a tipper, a bridge to build, tickets to stamp for the passengers, and a fuel stop. The controls for the game are really simple with a joystick that will control the train with a speed of 1 – 10. Once the train reaches its final station, the app will go back to the beginning.

Pros: 

  • A simple app that younger children will be able to manage
  • No wifi required other than the installation
  • Easy to follow with good prompts to guide play

Downsides: 

  • The app is quite limited in terms of what it can do
  • Repetitive in nature

 

LEGO Creator Islands

For ages: 4+

In app purchases: No.

App store score: 3.9 out of 5 (June 2019)

Lego creators is one of the more sophisticated apps out there from the lego set. On opening the app, there are a number of islands. The idea of the game is to build over time using the bricks that you harvest. The game can be quite slow to start so if you are planning to use it travelling, it might be worth introducing it a little bit beforehand so that some buildings can be built, this will provide better gameplay. Due to it being a little more complex, some guidance might be necessary to get them started.

Pros: 

  • A simple app that will entertain for hours
  • No wifi required other than the installation
  • The more play, the more buildings to development

Downsides: 

  • Only has three islands – cannot expand further
  • Once all is built, only changes to objects can be made.

 

Lego Juniors

Lego Juniors App

For ages: 4+

In app purchases: No.

App store score: 4.2 out of 5 (June 2019)

The lego juniors app is a simulation game where firstly you choose the outfit of the character and then build the car that they are going to drive in. Once the car it built, there are simple controls that drive the car along a track. As the car drives along the track it will collect little gold coins. Once you reach a certain amount of coins, another car part will unlock. At the end of the road, the car goes back into the basement. Whilst driving along the road, there are characters that the child can tap to animate. As well as cars, there are also helicopters and police cars that you can build. It is a fairly repetitive game but will provide entertainment for hours. Be warned, the noise that the man makes will stick with you!

Pros: 

  • A simple app that will entertain for hours
  • No wifi required other than the installation
  • Continuous play opens up more vehicles

Downsides: 

  • The app is quite limited in terms of what it can do – same principle
  • Repetitive in nature

Duplo Town

Duplo Town

For ages: 4+

In app purchases: No.

App store score: 3.4 out of 5 (June 2019)

This app is definitely designed for children that are just starting out with learning about technology. It has 5 different scenes that can be built using large Duplo bricks. There is a number of houses as well as an airport. Once the building are built, you are able to tap on items and the people to animate them – the pizza one is quite funny! It’s certainly one to get them started but I don’t think that it is going to entertain for very long.

Pros: 

  • App is easy for little ones to understand
  • No wifi required other than the installation
  • Very simple design

Downsides: 

  • Has limited play

 

 

 

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