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The 9.7-inch screen is a magnet for kids’ sticky fingers, but the huge selection of apps available for Apple’s tablet guarantees that every child loves playing with the iPad.

Whether it’s an educational app or a digital book, an interactive game or a streaming TV service, there are a huge number of apps available for kids to experience on the App Store.

With apps ranging in price from free to $10 a pop, it can be difficult to know what apps are worth spending the money on. Essential Kids has collected ten of the best iPad apps for kids to help you decide.

1. Animalia for iPad
Price: $4.49
Graeme Base’s classic picture book, Animalia, has been given a new lease of life in the form of an interactive iPad app. Find hundreds of different items hidden in the marvelous artwork, search for Graeme within the pages and enjoy fun, engaging sounds while reading the amazingly awesome adventure around the alphabet.

2. Giraffe’s Matching Zoo for iPad
Price: Free
The classic game of memory has been upgraded for the iPad with an animal twist. Kids search for matching pairs of cute cartoon animals, each of which makes an engaging, unique noise when touched. With 25 different animals and a selection of backgrounds, it promises plenty of educational fun for kids of all ages.

3. Scribblenauts Remix
Price: $0.99
One of the greatest handheld games has made its way to iOS in Scribblenauts Remix. Simply type out anything your imagination can come up with and watch it appear on screen, then use it to solve it the posed problem - if you can think of it, you can create it. The iPad version also offers 10 levels not in the original DS game.

4. iWriteWords
Price: $2.99
By tracing a series of numbers around the screen, iWriteWords teaches children how to write letters of the alphabet in the iPad’s screen. Once each letter is completed, a cute drawing to illustrate the letter will pop up on screen, helping your child understand the letter’s place in words.

5. Kid Art for iPad
Price: $0.99
There are literally hundreds of art apps for kids on the App Store, but Kid Art stands out from the crowd. With its engaging backgrounds, bright colours and ability three different themes, it offers plenty of opportunities for your child to explore their artistic side.

6. Lego Creationary
Price: Free
There’s no better toy for kids than Lego, and the brick company’s range of iPad apps show that’s true for virtual Lego bricks too. Based on the board game of the same name, Creationary is like the 3D version of Pictionary, where players have to guess what is being built with Lego. With more than 95 puzzles it’s fun for the whole family too.

7. Elmo's Monster Maker HD
Price: $4.49
Let your kids take a trip to Sesame Street on the iPad, where they can create their very own monster friend to play with Elmo. Select a monster body, then change its face and nose, and when they’re done, the monster will come to life on screen. With the ability to create different monsters all the time, it’s a great way to help your child explore their creative side.

8. ABC iView
Price: Free
It may not be designed specifically for kids, but once your offspring discover the wealth of ABC 4 Kids content available to stream on iView, they’ll constantly be asking you to watch their favourite shows on your Apple tablet. Although not every ABC 4 Kids program is available, there’s more than enough to keep your kids happily entertained.

9. Alice
Price: $9.49
Lewis Carroll’s classic children’s book has been developed for the 21st century, thanks to the amazing app Alice. Children can engage with Alice like never before as she makes her way through the marvels of Wonderland, tilting the iPad to watch her grow and shrink, or helping the Caterpillar smoke his pipe. Stunning animations across 250 pages will keep your kids hooked on this classic tale.

10.  Star Walk for iPad
Price: $5.49
Help your kids discover the wonders of the stars with the high definition version of Star Walk. By using the camera in the iPad 2, you can point the tablet at the sky during the day or night to get a view of the constellations, discovering their names and history. It easily identifies satellites, lets you search for specific planets or stars and offers amazing images from deep space, to satisfy the astronomer in every child.