Best App for Virtual Toys for Kids



Fill ’er up: Each animal starts off as an empty balloon. Blow into the iPhone’s microphone to fill it up, or swipe the screen to move to a new color (and a different balloonimal). After you’ve blown up your balloon, shake to knot it into a critter neatly rendered in 3D graphics.

Balloonimals Screenshot


Poke and pop: Each of the animals has one or more animations that your kid can discover by poking the balloonimal in different places. Here, the crab snaps its claws or skitters across the screen. When you’re done torturing your balloonimal, a pump appears, letting you inflate it until it pops to get a fresh balloon.

Balloonimals Screenshot

Top Pick


Version: 1.2
Website: IDEO ToyLab

Nothing distracts the preschool set better than a balloon or a pet—except, wait for it, a balloon pet! Balloonimals gives kids a whimsical set of animated balloon animals to play with, buying harried parents some downtime, no clown required. The app gives you an empty balloon; blow into the microphone to inflate it, then shake to twist the balloon into one of seven animals. They do tricks, too: Tap the dinosaur to make it roar, or nudge the fish to blow bubbles.

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