About Us
  • Mother and son playing with iPhone app at IDEO
  • Mother and daughter playing with iPhone app at IDEO
  • Child and adults playing together at IDEO: Toy Lab
As a part of IDEO, a human-centered design and innovation firm, Toy Lab believes that design needs to stem from real people, real needs, and real desires. Because of this, we constantly talk to kids and parents, keeping our eyes open for what’s new and important in their lives.

Recently, we couldn’t help but notice a new phenomenon in play: the iPhone. We found it compelling that adults weren’t the only ones loving this new toy and decided to explore the iPhone apps for kids space.

While kids are interacting with a number of different iPhone apps every day, surprisingly few of these applications are designed with this precocious demographic in mind. We put together a team consisting of child development experts, veteran toy designers, and interaction designers to uncover the real potential of iPhone apps for kids for the preschool set, ages 2 through 6. Through interviews and observations, we discovered compelling insights that left little doubt that there was fun to be had in this field.

We hope that you enjoy our iPhone apps for kids (and adults!). Now, go play!



“Those graphics are amazing. How’d they do that?”
– Jill, mom

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“It’s simple but so much fun.”
– Sarah, mom

Mother and daughter playing with smiley iPhone app

The attention that apps can garner from parents makes them attractive to kids. They love interacting with them even if their usage is not what was originally intended.

An adult learning about what makes a great iPhone app from an adult

With Toy Lab interviews, kids are the experts who open the adults’ eyes to new opportunities.

Children engaged by iPhone apps translates into happy parents

Toy Lab testing showed that kids were intrigued by creative Apps while parents were intrigued by positive ways to occupy their child’s attention.



For kids, good iPhone Apps give them a new way to express themselves, turning a simple activity into a full performance.

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