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Kids Apps Showing Diversity
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Kids Apps Showing Diversity

2/2/2017
Help your child to become a person who accepts and appreciates differences in others.

As children grow up, it is important for them to see diverse representations in the media they consume and to learn about other cultures. Diversity in apps helps them to understand that the world around them is filled with different kinds of people. With understanding comes tolerance, acceptance, and maybe even appreciation.

The apps on this list show diversity in many ways. Some showcase a group of friends who are culturally and/or racially diverse (see Dora and Friends, Goldie Blox and the Movie Machine, Middle School Confidential series), while others offer many diverse characters to use in telling stories (see all the Toca Boca and My PlayHome apps). In some, diversity appears as a lead character who isn't white, such as Doc McStuffins and Dora. And in others, diverse characters are just baked into the app (such as Artie's Magic Pencil, Safari School, Daniel Tiger's Grr-ific Feelings, Toca Band, Toca Dance, Reading Rainbow Skybrary, Wizard School, the Thinkrolls series, and more).

Some of the apps on this list focus on sharing multicultural stories. Check out Grandma's Great Gourd for a fun romp about a Bengali grandmother, and Dragon Brush for a stunning interactive story app based on a Chinese folk tale.

Other apps model families that are multi-racial, as those seen in Goldilocks and Little Bear and Cinderella, both by Nosy Crow. Many broaden the stereotypes of career choices for both girls and boys (see Little Farmers, Cool Careers Dress Up for Girls, the SMART Adventure Mission Math series, and Princess Fairy Tale Maker).

Several of the apps on this list offer the ability to create detailed avatars so that kids can design characters that look like them or are delightfully different (see Thinkrolls: Kings & Queens, Mystery Word Town and Mystery Math Town apps, Tiny Pirates, Me by Tinybop, and many more). We also applaud the apps that incorporate characters using wheelchairs, like the ones seen in the Toca Life series and Wee Trains.

Apps with themes about accepting others who are different can have a profound impact on kids. These apps move the needle in teaching tolerance and understanding of others. Check out Wee You-Things, Me by Tinybop, Lucy Ladybird, Brave Rooney, and The Legend of Spookley the Square Pumpkin.

The diversity apps on this list are arranged by age, starting with those for the youngest player at the top.
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Toca Band

2.99

Kids create their own band by dragging quirky musicians on stage and then experiment with orchestration by moving them around to different positions.

Daniel Tiger's Grr-ific Feelings

2.99

Daniel the Tiger helps kids learn to recognize and respond to different emotions.

Wee Trains

2.99

All aboard! For an exciting train time for toddlers and preschoolers.

Safari School by IntellectoKids

FREE

A gentle train-themed learning adventure that introduces colors, sorting, and counting.

Artie's Magic Pencil

FREE

Drawing becomes fun within this creativity adventure where kids help a little boy fix a world by tracing geometric shapes.

Lucy Ladybird

2.99

Born without spots, a little ladybug discovers that being different can be a good thing.

Toca Life: Town

2.99

This funky digital town is waiting your child's exploration. Kids create their own games with its inhabitants, visit six locations, and discover hidden treasures nestled in unlikely places.

Tiny Pirates

3.99

Ahoy Matey! Design your own pirate crew and then play with them in two interactive scenes.

Little Farmers - Tractors, Harvesters & Farm Animals for Kids

2.99

Spend a day on the farm driving machinery, raising crops, and taking care of animals.

My PlayHome School

2.99

Kids rule this school as they fill the classrooms with diverse characters, seek out interactive surprises, and use their imaginations to tell stories.

Toca Life: City

2.99

Kids become urban explorers, joining cool characters from their favorite Toca apps to discover diverse delights in the big city.

Toca Life: School

2.99

Now on Android! From food fights to science experiments, this app lets kids explore a virtual school!

Wee You-Things

2.99

Insightful book app that reveals how people have unique traits that make them different.

Goldilocks and Little Bear by Nosy Crow

4.99

Innovative fairy tale told from two viewpoints -- Goldilocks's and Little Bear's.

The Legend of Spookley the Square Pumpkin

2.99

By being different, Spookley is able to save Halloween!

Cool Careers Dress Up for Girls

0.99

In this eye-opening dress-up game, girls see that they can be doctors, firefighters, and more.

Toca Life: Stable

2.99

Giddy-up for a horse-filled adventure that goes from stables to horse shows and campsites to cafes.

My PlayHome Hospital

2.99

Kids play doctor in an interactive digital hospital playset.

Cinderella - Nosy Crow

5.99

Refreshing version of Cinderella where the prince falls for her because she is nice. Now available in 3 languages!

Reading Rainbow Skybrary

FREE

With consummate storyteller LeVar Burton at its helm, this library app presents exciting stories with professional narration.

Doc McStuffins: Mobile Clinic Rescue

4.99

Join Doc McStuffins on a bicycle race to rescue broken toys where players perform the doctoring and the driving.

Grandma's Great Gourd

0.99

An adventurous Bengali grandma outwits predators in forest in this interactive book app.

Brave Rooney

1.99

A diversity story about an ordinary boy who discovers he is special while attending a school for superheroes.

Dragon Brush

2.99

A plucky artist saves his town by using his imagination and a magic paintbrush.

Dora and Friends

2.99 - 4.99

Girls create and direct their own video stories with as assist from Dora and her friends Kate, Naiya, Emma, Alana, and Pablo.

Princess Fairy Tale Maker - by Duck Duck Moose

FREE

Girls become creators to turn astronauts, doctors, authors, and more into princesses to tell contemporary heroine tales.

Thinkrolls 2

2.99 - 3.99

Kids roll 32 round, spunky characters through vertical mazes as they explore logical thinking and science.

Toca Life: Farm

2.99

Grow crops, raise animals, drive a tractor, and more in this virtual farm app!

Toca Dance

2.99

Kids choreograph dancers to get their groove on.

Toca Hair Salon 3

2.99

Ready your snippers, crimpers, and blow-dryers to create the wackiest hairstyles ever!

GoldieBlox and the Movie Machine (App)

FREE

Kids make and direct their own stop-motion animated shorts.

Thinkrolls: Kings & Queens

3.99

Boisterous ball-like characters roll through magical castles to teach kids logic and science.

Me by Tinybop

2.99

Intriguing app that encourages kids to tell their stories, take stock of their feelings, and value others.

Mystery Word Town - Sight Word Spelling

3.99

Kids capture a gang of outlaws in this rootin'-tootin' spelling game.

Mystery Math Town

3.99

A clever math practice app that uses a mystery theme to get sleuths rearranging numbers to make equations.

Wizard School

FREE

Kids rev up their curiosity and learn about the world by taking on DIY challenges, watching curated videos, and sharing creations.

Middle School Confidential 2: Real Friends vs. the Other Kind

2.99

Second in a series of graphic novels for kids, this book app explores friendships and some of the issues that can come up, including eating disorders, disputes, being used, and other important topics.

Middle School Confidential 3: What's Up with My Family?

2.99

This graphic novel explores family issues in a manner that's meaningful.

SMART Adventures Mission Math 1

0.99

This math game for girls has a cool save-a-space-station storyline presented with sleek graphics and animation, and strong female role models.

SMART Adventures Mission Math 2: Peril at the Pyramids

2.99

Make math your mission in this STEM game specially targeted towards girls.