As soon as your toddler realizes you're interested in what's on your tablet screen, you better believe they're suddenly going to be very interested in what's happening on your tablet screen, too.
There's a bigger problem waiting for parents than just smudgy fingerprints or dropped phones, though. Once your toddler figures out how to open and play apps on your Android device, get ready for a flood of in-app purchases to destroy your bank account (or for your tablet to be cluttered with hundreds of new apps downloaded accidentally through full-screen ads).
Luckily, there are Android apps out there specifically designed for the little ones that don't have any third-party ads -- or the pitfall of buying extra content -- making them perfect for keeping the toddlers occupied for an afternoon. Here we're rounding up 10 of the best Android apps for toddlers that can't rack up your bill through sneaky purchases or sear their eyeballs with pesky ads.
Not only are these apps fun, but many of them are educational as well, and best of all, 9 out of 10 of these Android apps are totally free!
If you've got your own little toddler-monster who's obsessed with the residents of a certain famous street, then this app is destined to become a favorite. Expect to have to show them how it works a few times before they take off on their own, however.
The goal here is to get an upset monster to calm down, take some deep breaths, and think of what he can do instead of getting angry. After some problem solving, the monster will enact his plan of action and go play nicely with other friends from Sesame Street.
This Android app is actually 90 games instead of just one, so while there aren't any in-app purchases for this one, your kiddo can download more content and potentially fill up your tablet's memory, so be careful on that front.
However, the huge range of games is the big draw here, with Sesame Street, tea parties, Cat In The Hat, space exploration, and much more all available for download. No matter what subject or style your toddler prefers, there will be something here every kid will love.
Most of these Android games have a strong learning element, whether that's focused on math, basic problem and puzzle solving, or even spelling and sounds in any given entry.
You had to know this was one of the apps that was coming, right? Of course, there are LEGO adventures available on your Android tablet!
The Juniors Create And Cruise app is specifically aimed at the younger crowd, letting toddlers and kids swap out parts on LEGO people and construct simple objects to play with in pre-designed levels.
The very simplistic design won't be much fun for adults or older kids, but toddlers getting the hang of things can have a ball figuring out how to construct vehicles, buildings, and people.
Much like how a new LEGO entry seems to hit consoles every couple of months (from LEGO Ninjago to LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean and a gazillion Star Wars entries), there are dozens of LEGO Android apps that toddlers and kids could potentially try out.
Duplo Train is easily one of the best options for toddlers, with bright colors, easy gameplay, and a digital version of the classic train track toys that little kids love. There's some educational skill-building elements here as well, and best of all -- no ads for other games or purchases for extra pieces!
While most of these apps are games first and learning tools second, ABC Kids flips that dynamic around, turning learning into a fun game.
Toddlers will learn how to trace letters so they interact with the tablet more accurately, and of course the app focuses on the phonics sounds of how to use letters and turn them into words.
The app also hides away the menu buttons so your kiddo won't accidentally go back to the main screen or bring up the list of recent apps while trying to trace letters. For little ones learning a tablet who don't know what the buttons do just yet, that's a huge asset.
Toddlers love playing with their food (as my poor kitchen floor can attest ...), and this Android app lets the little ones go hog wild in a digital kitchen!
Kids can grab different types of food from the pantry, then pair them with a kitchen utensil, like a knife to chop, a pan for frying, or a pot for boiling.
There really aren't any rules and there's no way to lose, so this app is fun for toddlers who like to just tap wildly and don't quite know what they are doing yet.
Rather than a crazy tapfest, this Android app is more of an interactive storybook that lets you and your child decide where the story goes. It's essentially a choose-your-own-adventure book mixed with a board game, but in digital form on your phone.
There are around 30 different choices to make as Parker and his cat Pixel go on adventures, and some fun digital trophies for your kids to earn as you read through the story. Toddlers and young children will have a blast trying to get all the possible combos!
Of all the Android games here, this one is probably the easiest for a toddler to pick up and play, and the adorable level design will keep even super young kids glued to the screen.
There's no win condition and no way to lose -- kids just drag their fingers across the screen to move the mini swimmer fish across different environments.
When he meets other creatures or obstacles, a short cut-scene happens. There's everything from getting fed by birds to opening treasure chests and having tea with whales.
Sort of like a digital version of those Baby's First... books that teach new concepts, this ad-free Android app features 65 pictures and 250 sounds to help learn how to sound out words.
The app is super easy for toddlers to figure out, with sounds happening by a simple tap. Kids will learn sounds associated with everything from chickens to hammers and have a ton of fun doing it!
The only Android app on this list that actually costs anything, you'll have to drop $1.99 for this spelling adventure totally free of ads or extra in-app purchases.
The app tasks your toddler with trying to help an alien get his rocket back into space, but before the rocket can be fixed, he needs to spell some words with brightly colored pictures.
The youngest toddlers may have trouble with it, but once they start figuring out letters, this is a great way to spend time with your little one learning how to spell.
With these 10 Android apps for toddlers, your little ones will have endless opportunities for both learning and fun. What did you think of our picks, and have you found any other excellent kids' apps with no ads or purchases? Let us know in the comments below!
Still looking for more games to keep the kids occupied? We've got you covered with all the best kid apps and downloads across every platform: