Building Apps for Kids

You can help kids learn, grow, and have fun with games, interactive stories, educational materials, and more. Find out how to create kids’ apps that are safe and trusted by parents.

The Kids Category

The Kids category on the App Store is a great way for people to easily find apps specifically designed for children ages 11 and under on iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. You’ll place your app in one of three age bands based on its primary audience: 5 and under, 6 to 8, or 9 to 11. In addition, you’ll need to follow certain guidelines to ensure user safety.

When parents visit the Kids category, they expect the apps they find will provide only age-appropriate content and protect their children’s data, as well as require a parental gate in order to link out of the app, request permissions, or present purchasing opportunities. Apps in this category should not transmit personally identifiable information or device information to third parties, even in sections of the app that are meant for parents or other adults. In addition, advertisements must be human-reviewed for age appropriateness in order to be displayed.

Read the App Store Review Guidelines for details and carefully review relevant laws and regulations around child privacy.

View App Store review guideline 1.3

View App Store review guideline 5.1.4

Parental Gates

A parental gate presents an adult-level task that must be completed in order to continue. The App Store Review Guidelines require apps in the Kids category to use parental gates to prevent kids from engaging in commerce or following links out of an app to websites, social networks, or other apps without the knowledge of their parent or guardian. A good strategy is to randomize the combination of questions and answers each time the gate is presented to prevent kids from memorizing the responses, and below are a few examples to provide inspiration. Please note that the parental gate requirement for the Kid’s category is generally not the same as securing parental consent to collect personal data from children.

Reading Simple Instructions

Some parental gates include simple instructions that describe a specific task or a combination of interactions for an adult to complete in order to engage in commerce or link out of the app.

Speaking Simple Instructions

If your app is intended for pre-literate children, consider using a voice over prompt to help kids know that they need to involve their parent.

Question and Answer

You can also require users to correctly answer questions in order to continue. The question should be age-appropriate or customizable by the parent, so the child cannot easily answer it.

Distributing in Volume

All apps on the App Store are automatically available for volume purchase for the same price in Apple School Manager, where educational institutions download apps for volume distribution. Alternatively, you can can choose to provide your app for 50% of its listed price for educational institutions purchasing quantities of 20 or more.

Learn more

Building a Business in the Kids Category

Originator shares how it built a sustainable business in the Kids category with the Endless series of apps.