We at PadGadget are lucky, lucky people because so many wonderful apps cross our digital desktops that we can’t possibly review them all. In this month’s installment of the Kids’ App Round Up, we include 10 hidden gems that parents might otherwise miss.
Did we miss anything? Please share the name of your favorite sleeper edu-apps and games for kids.
1. Toca Band ($1.99) — Swedish developer Toca Boca excels at making color, creative apps for kids that bring child’s play into the digital age, and Toca Band is no exception. No matter which melodic and rhythmic characters a child chooses, the app generates a variety of catchy tunes that will thrill kids and keep them busy for hours. Even if you already own several other Toca Boca apps, Toca Band is still worth a look.
2. How My Body Works (Free — $9.99) — How My Body Works aims to satisfy a child’s natural curiosity about his body’s many systems. The app includes two 3-D interactive models (male and female). Parents can purchase individual systems in-app for $1.99 each or download the entire set for $9.99. While the graphics may appeal to younger children, the information is in-depth enough to help a child through 8th grade health class or 9th grade biology, and the UI will please users of all ages.
3. Candy Cloud ($4.99) — Candycloud tells the story of the adventure that Hugo, a little boy, and his teddy bear Billy have at a fair when they encounter some candy floss (aka cotton candy to us Americans) that is magical. While the story is simple enough for toddlers, older children will identify with Hugo and Billy. Hélène Mouney’s top-notch, whimsical illustrations will delight fans of digital storybooks for kids.
4. Interactive Telling Time ($2.99) — Telling time on an analog clock is a useful skill that a child often overlooks as soon as she realizes that easy-to-read digital clocks are everywhere. Interactive Telling Time reinforces the skills a child needs to read an analog clock and encourages her to keep refining those skills thanks to adorable digital fish she earns for her in-app fish tank. (The really swim, eat, and grow!) Whether a child is just learning about telling time or simply needs to practice her skills, Interactive Telling Time will help her become a proficient clock reader.
5. Wow! Doodle HD ($1.99) — Wow! Doodle HD is a tracing app designed for pre-schoolers that will appeal to children who love to draw and trace. Kids can choose from a variety of shapes, animals, and toys. As kids progress through the app the images get more complicated, finally progressing to free drawing, so not only does Wow! Doodle HD grow with the child, but he can repeat the drawings as many times as he likes. Take that, disposable coloring book. The app recently added “happy travel” section that introduces users to clothing and food from around the world.
6. Super Mosaic for Kids ($0.99) — Super Mosaic for Kids is a tangram-style puzzle that teaches children shape recognition, colors, and spatial reasoning. Like many games, this universal app is divided into multiple stages that grow more challenging as a child’s skills improve. When a child completes a puzzle the shapes morph into a familiar object such as a dog or a boat. These quick puzzles are a great way for a child to spend a few minutes each day developing problem solving skills in a fun way.
7. Piccadilly’s Circus ($3.99) — Ink Robin, the British devs who brought us Will & Kate are back with Picadilly’s Circus. What’s crazier than a 3-ring circus? How about a circus where the Ringmaster Mr. Piccadilly’s illness spurs all of the circus members to switch jobs! The horse becomes an acrobat, the dancing dog gets shot out of a cannon, and the lions, well, they play table tennis. Throughout this playfully absurd tale children will discover interactive surprises on every page.
8. Calliope, Queen of the Zebras ($0.99) — Calliope Queen of the Zebras tells the story of a plucky zebra who loves to swim and play dress-up. But the coolest thing about Calliope is that she speaks three languages — English, Spanish, and French — and the reader can listen to each page in all three languages in succession if she chooses, making Calliope a wonderful and inexpensive way to expose very young children to the existence of other languages. While Calliope doesn’t pretend to teach foreign languages, this exposure may well spark a child’s desire to know more about a language besides her own.
9. Scott’s Polar Trip ($3.99) — Not only does Scott’s Polar Trip tell an original story about a boy, his cat, and their adventures at the Arctic Circle, it also includes a wealth of facts about the Arctic. Simply tap the magnifying glass at the bottom of the page to learn more about the region, icebergs, and more. With two reading levels geared roughly to ages 3-4 or 5-7, Scott’s Polar Trip is appropriate for a wide range of children.
10. Got It – United States of America ($2.99) — Every child in the US has to learn his country’s geography at some point in school. While some children show a natural aptitude for geography, other may find it boring or even confusing. Got it – United States guides children through the country by region, emphasizing each states shape, location, and capital. It’s an alternative to Stack the States, and may be a good choice for students who simply need to practice their states without the guise of gameplay.