Thursday, February 3, 2011

More fun apps for your iPod or iPad for kids!

Here is what Lolly is choosing regularly on the iPad/her iPod lately.  She is nearly 3. 

Madera and Figaro Save the Day
Many books on the iPad only really give the same experience as a paper book, with someone else reading the text.  That's fine!  But many are billed as "interactive" when really you just touch words or characters and get a single unchanging sound or movement.  I don't know about your kids, but mine finds that interesting for about 2 seconds.  It's the truly interactive apps that she loves.  Something with variety, where she sees that she is affecting what is happening, different levels of challenge, bright and cheery.

Lolly is nearly 3 now, and definitely more interested in story than she was.  So, we love these two apps from Lyn and Line.  They are some of the few "book" apps that are really stretching what a book means given the new technogies we use to view and truly interact with them.  There is a central storyline, with activities on each page, interactive things to touch, things that move and dance (we love the mice!), puzzles and elements to move on the story line onwards.

Even some choose your own next step stages, where you can choose between three options to do next.

Just a great and challenging app/book.  One of the best apps I've seen for toddlers and young children.

They have another game, but this was made for iPhone, which means it's not as speccy on the iPad: Madera and Figaro: The Rescue of Ginger.  Still awesome though! 

Bartleby's Book of Buttons:
Okay, I'm including this one though it's a little too advanced for Lolly to get the most out of, but it too is an awesome app that is stretching the technology available on the iPad. 

At the moment it's a little complex for her, but there are some stages she is really enjoying, and I see her choose it on the iPad often just to have a look and short play, so she is obviously attracted to it. It would be a great choice for slightly older children.

Clicky Sticky:
This is one of the best of the 'sticker' apps available, with lots of screens and stickers to choose from, and interactive "stickers" to use.  Lolly loves it too as she is very keen on "ocean animals" at the moment, so she loves the ocean scene.

You can save and email the pages made too, which is very cute.  A simple app, but Lolly chooses it reasonably often.  The plane page is cute too, and makes some good sounds with simple animation.  A good sticker app for young kids.

Park Math:
By Duck, Duck, Moose, who have some great apps for kids.  Again, this is an app for iPhone, so we miss the high definition graphics.  But Lolly likes this app a lot, it at the same developmental level as she is, she gets challenged by it and often chooses it to play.

**Oh I just noticed they have an iPad version now!  Yay! *goes to download*

It has simple maths, counting, addition, sorting from large to small (and small to large), with nice clear graphics and an easy-to-use menu.

Sorting from small to large -

Feeding the hippo (counting, discrimination) -

Lolly loves this last one, the food you aren't supposed to feed the hippo gets stolen by ants and carried off, and she thinks this is the height of hilarity.  If you hold your finger down on the "wrong" food, the ants can't get it.  I think she thinks this is the point of the game!  Very funny, and she totally cracks herself up "stopping the ants from getting it!".

Their other games are also well worth it, Lolly also loves Fish School (now with an iPad version), and Baa Baa Black Sheep (the latter is iPhone only).  This developer is doing some great work on children's apps, for a reasonable price.

Dora's Christmas HD:
Okay, I have some issues with this one, it's based on a "naughty" or "nice" dichotomy which I totally disagree with, and have never used with Lolly!!  But she is obsessed with Dora (and Diego) and saw an ad for this on an episode of Dora I'd recorded off Foxtel.  It's relatively pricey at $5 or so, and other than it's terrible "naughty" message, is a great little app, a simple story with interactive steps along the way that kids have to solve or do to further the plot.

It has Santa in it, and we don't "do" Santa, but I don't mind this so much as we just talk about Santa as a character, and she's used to charaters not being real.  It's the "naughty/nice" crap that drives me crazy if she plays this.

Other than this major flaw, which if I'd know about, I wouldn't have bought this!!, a nicely presented app with plenty to interest your toddler/young child.  Miles better than the terrible rainbow game app they had prior to this one!  So boring!  We recently got the new Dora colouring app, too, which is nice, but far too expensive for what is basically just another colouring app.  Lolly rarely chooses these, she's not a huge fan of colouring in.  She basically just chooses it to see Dora and Boots.

Toddler Counting for iPad:
This is the simplest app EVER, but both girls LOVE it!  Its just a nice friendly voice counting as you touch different things.  As you touch the objects (there's a huge range) they grey out and the number appears.  You can set it to below and above 10.  I also like that is often does "one" and the voice says "there is only one" - good for her learning, and also cracks up this Highlander fan :D.  The repetition must be interesting to Lolly, who has recently been mastering counting, up to ten anyway, different objects, as she chooses this app a lot.

Snail also loves it, as it's simple, responsive, and she feels she gets a result from simply pressing the screen.  She absolutely cracks up with laughter, it's VERY adorable!

A popular app round our place!

What apps are your kids choosing!?

You might like to read my previous posts on Apps - Great iPod/iPad Apps for Kids and the Montessorium Apps.


Alina said...

You may also like We search HD:

Anonymous said...

Great post, I had forgotten how useful software can be with kids, ever since mine graduated away from magic school bus and a pony game to more mature applications and now face book.

Selene said...

Thanks! We can hardly get our 15 y.o away from WoW, so perhaps we're creating a monster! :D

Debbie Neale said...

For older kids who like colouring try Click N Colour, 70's Art and Lettering for the IPad. It features an Art Alphabet with art inside each letter making great names that can be emailed and printed out.