Calming Apps for Kids

There are no shortage of apps out there that make kids really hyper. And any parent knows how hard it is to pry an iPad out of a kid’s hands when it’s time for bed. So we rounded up some end-of-day options that are a good compromise: Whether they play relaxing sounds, or teach simple-to-follow meditation techniques, they can lull just about any amped-up kid to sleep.

  • Smiling Mind

    Smiling Mind (free)

    It’s not just adults who are susceptible to anxiety. This brilliant app helps the 7-to-18 crowd tackle everyday stresses through psychologist-developed mindfulness meditations, which can be accessed anytime, anywhere. Each session starts with a quick series of questions to focus the mind, followed by simple, easy-to-follow meditation exercises. As a result of consistent use, the hope is kids are more focused in school and develop healthy sleeping habits. Plus, the app keeps track of progress, so they get a nice sense of accomplishment. And yes, adults can use it too.

  • Sleep Meditations for Kids

    Sleep Meditations for Kids (free)

    Transform bedtime stories into relaxation tools with help from celebrated yogi, Montessori teacher, and Calm for Kids founder, Christiane Kerr. The guided meditations (the app is preloaded with four meditation stories, extras can be purchased later) are designed to relax and children of all ages by tapping into their minds’ creative side.

  • My First Yoga

    My First Yoga (free)

    Introduce little ones to the calming effects of yoga by way of this nifty flashcard app. The colorful illustrations are great for getting (and keeping) fleeting attention spans, the animal-inspired poses (strong dog, proud lion, quiet turtle) boost focus and quiet the mind, and the gentle narration is engaging and super easy to follow.

  • Relax Melodies

    Relax Melodies (free)

    Though it doesn’t target youngsters specifically, this ambient sound app serves as a great relaxation aid. Rather than just pump out white noise, it allows you to curate personalized mixes from a rich sound library. The timer comes in handy when using the calming melodies as background music during study sessions, to soothe colicky babies, or to speed the onset of sleep.

  • Take a Chill

    Take a Chill ($1.99)

    This user-friendly app arms teens and tweens with a slew of tools to help manage stress-inducing situations, whether its tackling schoolwork, issues with peers, or general anxiety. The idea is to gradually incorporate mindfulness into daily routines with simple stress assessments, quick meditations for in-the-moment stress relief, and motivational quotes. There’s also a reminder feature that gently prompts users to check in and practice mindfulness throughout the course of the day.

  • Baby Shusher

    Baby Shusher ($4.99)

    Moms and dads who swear by The Happiest Baby on the Block parenting approach know that shushing (a rhythmic whooshing that mimics what a baby hears in the womb) is a tried-and-true method for soothing a fussy baby. The Baby Shusher app is designed to do all the work for you by emitting the sound from your phone (you can customize timing and record your own shushes, too). What’s truly revolutionary, though, is the app’s intuitiveness: It automatically readjusts shushing volume if the baby’s crying gets louder.