Last week marked two years of iPad availability. As new owners soon realize, once you own an iPad it’s hard to remember what life was like without one. It happens that the iPad can also be a tool to help kids manage the unbearable anticipation many feel as they wait to be the birthday boy or birthday girl each year.
We’ve selected 10 children’s apps and games that help make your son or daughter’s next birthday (or the inevitable countdown that leads to the big day) even more special. There are classic book characters who come to life, games that let kids pretend it’s their birthday right now, and even a countdown app to answer the question on every child’s lips: “How long until it’s my birthday?!”
1. Parenting Birthday’s Party Playtime ($1.99) – Make any day feel as special as a birthday with this interactive game from Toca Boca. A child can throw a party for herself, a favorite stuffed animal, or even a pesky younger sibling. Playing Parenting Birthday’s Party Playtime gives children a chance to serve cake, give presents, and (of course) clean up, all with the stylish flair that all Toca Boca apps possess.
2. Biscuit’s Birthday ($2.99) – Developing readers will love learning and celebrating with Alyssa Satin Capucilli’s Biscuit, the Little Yellow Puppy. Kids can read, color, sticker, and play their way through Biscuit’s special day, and enjoy seeing how Biscuit — adorable and ever curious — celebrates when it is his birthday.
3. Pooh’s Birthday Surprise ($4.99) – Journey to the Hundred Acre Wood with Pooh for in this universal book app for pre-schoolers. Join Owl, Tigger, Eyeore, and Rabbit as they plan Pooh’s party. This appealing story also reinforces important early reading and math skills while it entertains children as they tap, sweep, and pop their way through the story.
4. Elmo’s Birthday ($1.99) – Sesame Street’s beloved furry little red monster stars in this universal iOS book app. Listen to the story, or even record your own voice telling Elmo’s story as he makes his birthday wish come true by finding a home for the little lost puppy he spotted on Sesame Street.
5. Happy Birthday to You — Dr. Seuss! ($3.99) – Celebrate your child’s birthday with Dr. Seuss’ Happy Birthday to You. This universal iOS book app is sure to make your child’s birthday even more memorable. Don’t forget to check out Dr. Seuss Camera — Happy Birthday Edition, which lets users capture one-of-a-kind birthday photos. It is free to download from the App Store.
6. Cake Pop Party: Rockin’ Pops (Free, in-app purchases from $0.99 – $3.99) – What’s a party without cake? Kids of all ages will love making digital cake pops with an endless variety of shapes, colors, frosting, sprinkles, and more. Cake Pop Party even lets users make and share specially-created cake pops with friends, and uncover surprises after they devour their digital creations.
7. Happy Birthday LUBA HD – Children’s Story Book ($1.99) – Meet Luba. She’s this many (holds up four fingers). Although she’s not as famous as Pooh or Elmo, Luba is sure to work her way into your child’s heart as she worries everyone has forgotten her birthday. Happy Birthday LUBA offers artful illustrations and interactive elements that will please little readers everywhere.
8. Arthur’s Birthday ($2.99) – Marc Brown’s Arthur is kid lit’s most beloved aardvark. Join Arthur in this universal book app for iOS as he faces a conundrum: He and Muffy have their parties on the same day! Developing readers can listen to this story, color and share drawings from within the app, and solve puzzles too.
9. My Birthday Countdown! ($0.99) – Parents who are tired of helping kids count down the days until their next birthday will love My Birthday Countdown. This useful universal iOS app can help pacify even the most excitable child. Customize the app to countdown the months, weeks, days, hours and minutes until the big day arrives. Kids will enjoy checking the countdown to see exactly how many more moments they have to elapse before they celebrate another year of life.
10. Five Little Monkeys Bake a Birthday Cake ($2.99) – Those irrepressible little monkeys are at it again, and in this universal iOS book app the only thing they really want is to bake their mama a birthday cake. Spoiler alert: things don’t go as planned. Children and parents alike will enjoy this story, which is packed with humor and good intentions.