alarming amazing to watch kids navigate their way around an iPhone. Even my 3 year old can open apps, play them, import phots of himself into drawing apps and 'decorate' his own image... heck, he's even signed me up for things and sent an email or two in his time (although those last two weren't intentional...), but you get my drift right?
Well, bearing all that in mind (and considering their growing addiction to my iPad), I thought it might be a good idea to set up a kind of "app-swap-party". I'll tell you my list of favourite apps for the kids (both theirs and mine), and you can do the same telling me yours by leaving a comment! Good idea huh? We all stand to gain a lot from this.... Maybe even a moments peace for a cup of tea... Don't worry, you can all thank me later. Here goes...
This free app is a great one for littlies. Along with a few favourite songs like Old MacDonald and London Bridge, it features an in-app game that the kiddos can make their own music in Little Fox's studio with virtual spoons and insects...
Kids can breed, hatch and raise their own dragons in this one. The game itself gets great reviews and the graphics are perfect for kiddos, but beware the in-app purchases. There are gold packages you need to buy for some parts of the game and they start at $5 and go up to a mind-boggling $99! A good one if you have in-app purchases set to OFF in your settings.
A free app by Disney. No violence, no inappropriateness. We love Disney don't we? And best of all - FREE! Be warned though - the first thing you'll be faced with is an option to buy the full app for $1.99. You need to slide the windows across to get away from this and then you're home free. There seem to be quite a substantial amount of levels available without having to buy anything and my kids love it!
I love this game. Even though it's meant for kids - it has me hooked. The basic idea is to build a street fair. The game starts you off with a small amount of "Snoopy Coins" to buy stalls with. These stalls then earn you an income. There are plenty of opportunities to spend real money within the app, but with your settings set correctly you can leave the kiddos to play worry-free and as long as you have a little bit of patience you can easily earn enough money to build a great fair without spending real cash. One of my favourites!
Fairly simple in concept - this app allows the user to draw a cool doodle in funky neon brights and then replay a movie of the drawing being made - the kiddos love it!
Perfect for the preschoolers who haven't quite mastered the fine motor skills to draw well yet. This app converts their "squiggles" into sheeps wool, fairy floss or the exhaust from a car... Clever!
For once you'll be happy the kids are playing with their food! This free comes from US based Whole Kids Foundation for the promotion of healthy lifestyle choices for kids. It gets them sorting and stacking veges and grains, all the while learning about healthy food choices. There are 32 levels all getting progressively faster and more difficult so even the older kids will find this fun.
Another one of my favourites - this one is great for slightly older kids. Your job is to help find the hidden objects in the mansion to raise funds to bring the grand gardens back to their former glory and win the garden contest. While the list of objects is a written one making it hard for pre-readers to play without help, there are opportunities to reveal the list as picture clues instead. The kids love rummaging through the mansion and purchasing new things to decorate their gardens. You can even run up to four separate gardens on one device! Our whole family got hooked on this one and our only gripe with it was that it ended too quickly. It needs more levels. Check out other games by Playrix, the same creators as well.
An oldie but a goodie. JellyCar is a massively popular app amongst the kidlets. Drive your Jelly Car through the Jelly World and learn about the basics of soft physics as you go. Try it out and if you like it you can upgrade to JellyCar2 and JellyCar3 for 99c and $1.99 respectively.
A better way for the kidlets to watch their favourite ABC4 shows than YouTube. No more worrying about what else they might see...
Obviously there are thousands more out there. I'd love to hear what you think of these and share your own favourites in comments too... Happy Apping!