Parenting children is the hardest job on the planet, and while there are countless amazing resources out there, who really has the time? Most parents need advice at their fingertips, in small portions, that can be tackled while cooking dinner or during the daily 2 minutes of (hopefully) quiet bathroom time. Thank goodness there are tons of fabulous apps out there to help educate parents, provide online protection resources, and encourage socialization. Let’s take a look at the very best apps for parents, including parental control, organization, education, activity, and much more!
Don’t let anything get in the way of the adventure!
Parenting is one of the most rewarding things you can do, but sometimes the hard work gets in the way of the adventure. Take a moment to truly bask in the family glow with our Adventure From Scratch: Family Edition! This unique puzzle book was created with the sole goal of bringing families together in the comfort and joy of their homes. It has tons of cool games, tricky challenges, and creative quizzes for you and your family that will help you bond and create long-lasting memories!
Best Parental Control Apps
The apps in this section focus on parental monitoring of social media, location tracking for family members, and setting boundaries for the virtual world. Safety, both physical and emotional, is a huge part of parenting, and a tricky line to walk. These apps are customizable so that each family can find their preferred level of security.
Qustodio is one of the leading apps in parental control. The web-filtering technology is one of the best out there, and the platform is well-organized, intuitive, and visually appealing. The app has family tracking, and content monitoring for cyberbullying, sexual predators, mental health issues, and much more. You can even track calls and SMS for both IOS and Android.
Details: Qustodio is a free app with in-app purchases for certain features. It’s available for Mac, Windows, and Kindle as well.
Bark is one of the best parenting apps in this field. It has won just about every award imaginable and has been featured on CNN, CBS, Forbes, etc. It allows parents to manage screen time, filter inappropriate websites, monitor text messages, email, games, YouTube searches, and over 30 other platforms. Parents will get alerts for any activity that suggests suicidal ideation, sexual predation, or cyberbullying. Bark also has location tracking for the whole family. They also offer a informative blog to keep you up to date on new threats and help find problem areas and boundaries that the whole family can be comfortable with.
Details: There are two subscription levels for Bark, and both are below $15/month.
Rated number one in identity theft protection by Security.org, Aura is another great parental protection app. Aura focuses more on protecting your family’s personal information. According to Javelin’s research, 1.25 million children were victims of identity theft in 2021, so it’s a formidable problem. Aura filters and sends alerts for any virtual danger zones that your family has wandered into.
Details: Aura does have a $37/mo price, which includes VPN, Antivirus software, 24/7 customer support, and $1M of identity protection insurance.
4. Google Family Link
Google Family Link is a free service that allows parents to implement a few looser controls. While it does not have all the control levels of Bark or Qustodio, it does allow you to set screen time limits, turn on location tracking, and approve or deny downloads on your child’s device. It also gives teacher-approved recommendations for appropriate games and apps you can add to your child’s device.
Details: Family Link is easy to use, can be downloaded quickly from Google Play, and is totally free.
eyeZy boasts some really big claims. It reports to be “the most powerful phone monitoring software on the planet,” and “the only monitoring app you’ll ever need.” With screen recorders and a keyboard capture system, parents can know every keystroke their kids are performing, with extraordinary AI software filtering and sending you notifications for anything that is out of line. They pride themselves on constantly updating and staying one step ahead of virtual dangers. You can also monitor your child’s mobile device without ever being detected if that’s how you want to play it.
Details: With multiple levels of membership, you can choose a plan that is right for you, with some plans as low as $1 per day.
6. Find My Kids
If you just need a good tracking app for your family, then Find My Kids is one the best apps for that. It’s easy to use and doesn’t feel intrusive. The app allows you real-time location detection, as well as location history logs for your family members, giving you peace of mind that everyone is where they are supposed to be. It also has a geofencing function that will alert you if your child leaves the designated area they are supposed to be in.
Details: Great location tracking for IOS or Android in the free version, with in-app purchase upgrades.
7. Family Time
Family Time is another well-rounded parental control app, featuring geofencing and location tracking, SafeSearch, web filtering, the ability to block apps, pornographic controls, and the ability to set bedtime, homework, and screen time regulations. It’s compatible with Apple, Android, and Amazon products, and allows you to add other caretakers like babysitters or grandparents to the controls. It’s a great app, and it’s free.
Details: Free and easy download with quick account setup.
Best Apps for Organization
We know you’re busy! It’s a struggle just to keep everyone in the right place at the right time, and sometimes it feels like an absolute circus. If it’s time to get your schedule in order and whip the house into shape, check out some of these awesome organization apps.
8. Cozi Family Organizer
Cozi is a wonderful organization app for parents that coordinates the whole family’s schedule and allows communication between all members. The app also allows you to compile and track your ever-changing grocery lists, correlate to-do lists, and keep everybody on the same page. The shared calendar system is easy to use, even for young children. There is also a journal section where parents or kids can add notes for keeping everyone in the loop. Cozi also allows you to make task lists and assign chores, keeping your home organized, as well as your schedule.
Details: The app is free, with ads, and available on all major software systems.
Quirl makes chores fun by turning daily assignments into a quest game. Unlike many others, the app is child friendly, with impressive graphics, competitions, and achievement levels that encourage children to meet their parent-assigned responsibilities. The game gives rewards and allows kids to earn allowances too. Parents can approve or deny completed tasks, based on the thoroughness of the work, and children can choose items they are saving up for and make parent-approved, in-app purchases. Quirl is a great app to teach financial and home-based responsibilities, without having to nag your children repeatedly.
Details: Available on IOS and Android with a free trial. The app is free, with in-app purchases. Apple users rate this app much higher than Android users.
Earnit! is a simple task management app for older children. They will receive a concise list of chores and their due dates. They will then check tasks off the list and notify parents with a photo. Parents can approve tasks, send reminders, set goals, and limit screen time until chores are complete. Parents do complain about it being slightly buggy on Google and Apple Reviews. It’s not a comprehensive parent control app, like some of the others. EarnIt! is for you if you just want a simple task list.
Details: Earnit! is free with no ads or purchases, however, there is a premium upgrade with more advanced features for a small subscription fee.
Evernote is a full-organization app that is similar to an old-school journal, but much more organized. Busy parents keep work emails, party plans, reminders, and even school reports in one giant, tidy platform. The platform allows you to import photos, documents, and audio information from several platforms, compiling them all in one easy-to-search software. Complete with its search engine, everything you need is right at your fingertips. It’s a workhorse of an app for those who need everything in one place quick to find.
Details: Free with in-app purchases.
Best Activity Apps for Adventurous Parents
Finding kid-friendly activities can be a chore. Many parents admit that the options are overwhelming, and so they often just end up staying at home. These apps can help you organize your adventurous ideas, find family-appropriate adventures, and plan every detail quickly and efficiently, turning you into a family of weekend warriors.
12. Let’s Roam Scavenger Hunt App
Let’s Roam is all about quality family time. Our Scavenger Hunt App is filled with amazing adventures all over the world. We explore cities through fun-filled hunts, complete with photo, video, and trivia challenges, but scavenger hunts are not our only card to play. Our app includes indoor family night ideas, Murder Mysteries, art walks, and even virtual escape rooms and game nights. Let’s Roam has an incredible Explorer Blog, and our sister website, Adventurebook.com has even more great articles on family adventures and parenting. Our app is a one-stop shop for wholesome family fun!
Details: The app is free to use with in-app purchases for scavenger hunts and events.
AllTrails is a famous hiking app that is a must for active families. It details more than 350,000 trails around the world, so you never run into surprises. Assess the distance, difficulty, and elevation change before agreeing to tackle that trail with the toddlers. In-app navigation assures that stay on the trail, and hiker reviews give you the best possible idea of what you’re in for.
Details: The Basic version is free to use, and is appropriate for most weekend warriors. For more serious explorers, the Pro version is around $30/month.
Komoot is a fun adventure app that combines trip planning with collecting memories. From hiking and biking to road trips, Komoot has in-app navigation, in the form of turn-by-turn voice instructions. You can choose your route based on your preferences and ability. Plus, it all works offline if you lose coverage. The thing we love about Komoot is its video journaling capabilities. Komoot logs your entire journey, with pinpoints, and links to photos and videos that you take to each pin. At the end of your journey, you can make quick social media videos with ease and pair them with a large collection of music. It’s an easy way to document and share your adventures with family and friends, without hours of video editing.
Details: Basic Komoot is free, but you’ll not get the offline capabilities, voice instruction, and map updates that you get with the premium version. There are a few payment options. Users can pay for the use of a single region for $3.99, or buy the full premium, worldwide version for $59.99 per year.
15. Outdoor Active
Outdoor Active is another exploration app that includes a community of adventure lovers that share information and even join up for hikes. The app is loaded with information from live webcam views, travel stories, avalanche reports, and information on places to eat, drink, and sleep. It’s a well-rounded and very informative app with a well-written complimentary blog.
Details: Free to use with paid Pro and Pro+ subscription options.
16. Playground Buddy
If you’re new to the area, or you move around a lot, then check out Playground Buddy. This unique app contains information on playgrounds all over the world. There are over 200,000 playgrounds detailed by the app, allowing you to see a street view and take a virtual tour of the grounds before going. It also gives precise direction and has a rating system where you can store your favorites and arrange playdates by sharing with friends.
Details: The app is free on iOS and Android.
Trekaroo provides families with quick and easy travel ideas that are appropriate for the whole family. The app contains kid-friendly activities, hotels, and restaurants, with reviews from other parents. The app is linked to booking platforms so you can research, design your itinerary, and book your whole trip in one easy-to-use app.
Details: Awesome and free!
Best Educational Apps
This section focuses on healthy minds, both parents and kiddos. While no handbook can teach you to be the perfect parent for your kid, it sure helps to get expert advice from health professionals and other parents along the way.
18. One Globe Kids
One Globe Kids is such a cool platform to teach children about culture and make friends around the world. The app allows kids to explore the world without ever leaving home. The team behind the app travels the world to visit real families and spends several days collecting their stories and recording aspects of their lives. The purpose is to help children connect by seeing what they have in common. The platform lets kids record themselves trying out their new friend’s language too. There are free ELA Common Core lessons for ages K-2. If you can’t give your child a physical international education, this is the second-best option!
Details: Free for a 2-week trial, followed by a $39 yearly subscription fee.
19. Kid Coach
Ever pick up your child from school and get nothing but one-word or “I don’t know” answers? Pulling information from young children can be like pulling teeth! Kid Coach is a conversation app for children 6-12 years old that helps solve that problem with expertly-crafted conversation starters that spark creativity, improve problem-solving, and work on social confidence. The app has over 1,000 fast and fun questions to ask your kiddos. The topics cover world events and offer educational moments too. The app also offers guidance notes and information for parents when the conversation gets stuck, which is invaluable! They also have a wonderful blog, podcast, and flashcards for more options. The system helps tired parents make sure that they get a little quality conversation each day.
Details: Free 2-week trial followed by monthly subscription.
20. PBS Parents Play and Learn
PBS Parents Play & Learn is different from other “kid’s apps” because it allows parents to take an active role in their child’s play. The app comes with several mini-games that focus on common daily activities like bath time, park visits, or eating in a restaurant. The idea is to give parents easy “teachable moments,” in a fun and interactive way. Each game is equipped with notes and suggestions to help parents with the math or literacy skills in the game. The app is completely bilingual in English and Spanish and has a social sharing feature. It has a playful interface that is geared toward small children.
Details: Totally free to use.
21. Parenting Hero
The Parenting Hero App provides parents with expert advice from Joana Faber and Julie King, highly acclaimed communication specialists. The app teaches practical parenting skills identified to improve parent-child communication. Some of the focuses are getting children to cooperate without bribes, coping with your child’s negative emotions, and setting limits without causing turmoil. The app is designed for children 2-7 years old and is free from ads and in-app purchases.
22. Dadnatal-Formally Dad AF
This one is for the guys. Dadnatal is a support hub for new and expecting dads. The app includes a chat feature, allowing members to correspond with other dads who have tackled the problem or are currently in it too. Plus there is an information portal, providing expert advice on the most common parenting problems and infant through toddler milestones. There is even a shopping portal, with reviews of essential tech items and products that all dads need. They also have an Instagram, podcast, excellent blog, and ebooks on all things dad!
Details: Free with in-app purchases
GoHenry covers an all-too-overlooked area of education: teaching kids about money! The app is a banking system and education platform for families. It allows children to earn money by completing chores and spending money under parental authorization. Kids will have a Mastercard, but every purchase is parent-notified. There is expert advice on savings accounts, responsible spending, and ways to donate. You can also set spending limits and instantly send money to your child’s account at any time.
Details: Free for thirty days, followed by a $3.99 per month subscription
24. The Happy Child
The Happy Child affords parents easy access to child development research and accredited parenting advice. The lessons come in bite-sized portions, a small lesson a day, so it doesn’t take up a lot of your time or valuable mental energy. If you’re the type of parent who wants to be up-to-date on the latest neuroscience, psychology, and pediatric studies, but you don’t have hours to spend reading, The Happy Child is a great alternative.
Details: Completely free
Instead of daily tips, Weldon offers parents live access to parenting experts. The app features a live chat where you can ask questions and talk through solutions. Weldon also offers positive goals for your family and provides age-appropriate, child development activities for your family. Weldon focuses on evidence-based information and covers the most common parenting problems.
Best Apps for New Parents
Babies change so fast, and there is so much to learn as a new parent. These handy apps can help!
26. Baby Connect
Baby Connect allows you and all your verified caretakers to say on the same page regarding your baby. Track daily information about feeds, mood, medications, and activities. Securely sync info with co-parents, family, and daycare staff, and exchange messages and photos via a secure platform. The data is collected into easy-to-read graphs and helps new parents to monitor development and find gaps in care.
27. Cloud Baby Monitor
Turn your mobile device into a baby monitor with Cloud Baby Monitor. The app is available on all mobile devices, including your Apple watch. It’s easy to use and provides two-way video audio and video so that you can communicate with your baby at any time. Play your babe a lullaby, or get notifications on their activities by noise and motion alerts.
Details: The app is $4.99 and can be used over 5 shared devices.
Kinedu is a milestone-tracking app that allows you access to experts in the field. The large database of educational videos and guided activities will keep you and your child on track and help identify any problem areas early. With the premium version, you can add up to five children for monitoring. Milestone goals can be shared with family members and caregivers.
Details: Free with in-app purchases
29. Wonder Weeks
The Wonder Weeks app is the number one best-selling parenting app for new parents, and it has won just about every award possible. The app includes a milestone tracker with a diary, personalized schedules, and expert insights. It also includes a wifi baby monitor, ebooks, audiobooks, and much more. It’s a truly great app for newborns and their parents.
Details: One-time fee of $4.99
Best Apps for Health
Keeping your baby healthy, whether they are a newborn or a teen, is priority number one! Put your mind at ease by downloading a few of these health-related apps.
31. Instant Aid
Instant Aid provides some peace of mind for parents with concise and easy-to-understand first aid knowledge. The app provides step-by-step guidance in emergencies, common safety advice, and necessary first-aid supplies.
Details: Free with in-app purchases
32. ICE- In Case of Emergency
ICE is a critical information storage system in case of emergency. It stores your medical history, allergies, insurance information, and physician’s contact information, as well as provides GPS capabilities to alert your emergency contacts in a serious situation. The app will pop up a notification in an emergency that will let first responders see all your necessary information, even if your phone is locked.
33. Doctor on Demand
Keep a doctor on call with Doctor on Demand. Not only is the site full of valuable health information, but you can schedule an online consultation with a registered physician or therapist through video chat at any time! The service is available 24/7 and accepted by most major insurance.
Details: The app is free, however, payment for services varies.
Best Apps for Memories
Artkive is a modern way to deal with all those preschool art masterpieces. When you get a good collection, you order an Artkive box. You send in all the originals, and their professional photographers will photograph and design a mosaic or artbook filled with your child’s creations. While you’ll certainly want to hold on to a few of your favorite originals, this is a great way to archive your child’s works without physically keeping them all.
35. Tinybeans Family Photo Book
Tinybeans is a family photo-sharing app that allows you to share photos from pregnancy through adulthood. There is a fun photo editor, allowing you to turn your photos into shareable stories, and the ability to collect photos into printable albums. It also provides tons of information from city guides to activity suggestions, to your child’s new favorite restaurants. It has it all!
Details: Free 2-week trial, followed by a $4.99/month subscription
Recently is an iOS app that allows you to create your own monthly magazine. The app snags all your current photos and arranged them into a glossy magazine for you, telling the story of your life without having to upload all the photos to an album-making website. You can edit the magazine before printing. The magazines include 25-150 high-quality images per printing period. You can compile photos between family members as well. It’s an easy and really fast way to document your memories.
Details: Free app with subscription and no printing fees, shipping not included. Separate subscription prices depending on how often you want to print. The monthly plan is $12.99.
Best Apps for Socialization and Support
Mush is an interconnection app for mommas. Parenting should be a shared experience, and no mom should go through it alone! Mush unites local moms into pods of five members, ensuring close support and intimate friendships between like-minded moms. The app offers a huge resource hub too, but the heart of its socialization is for moms.
Details: Totally free on all mobile devices
Meerkat is another social support app that helps parents find their tribe. After getting to know each other virtually, new friends can hook up for play dates or local events. The purpose is just to connect like-minded parents to enjoy life with. In a group of people going through the same challenges, parents find support and friendship, making parenting much more enjoyable.
Details: Free service that is currently only available for iOS
39. Pepper: Social Cooking
Oh, the dreaded decision of what is for dinner! Pepper can help you out, and provides some much-needed adult socialization too! The app is a combination of a social media app and recipe finder focused on engaging food, giving users the ability to share recipes, create digital cookbooks, and search by dietary restriction. You’ll design your page, follow other chefs, post photos and recipes, and interact through the comments, just like your would on Instagram.
Details: Free for iOS and Android.
Hope you have access to good WiFi! With all of these awesome options, your phone is going to be busy for a while. Whether you choose one or two or download them all, just remember that help is out there. At times, parenting can be as frustrating and isolating as it’s rewarding, so don’t go through it alone!
For a few tips on talking with your children, check out “A Parent’s Guide to Connecting With Kids of Any Age.” And with the rainy season soon to be upon us, be prepared with “45 Riveting Rainy Day Activities for Your Bored Brood.”
Frequently Asked Questions
The best parenting apps for virtual control and tracking are QuStodio, eyeZy, and Bark.
Absolutely, there are tons of great parenting apps! Try out Aura, Wonder Weeks, and The Happy Child for several different perspectives!