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 Roundup, we include 10 can’t miss apps that highlight how visually stunning or downright quirky that a kids’ app can be, as well as some that teach valuable life skills.
Did we miss anything? Please share the name of your favorite newly released edu-apps and games for kids.
1. Sound Uncovered (Free) — With Sound Uncovered San Francisco’s Exploratorium reimagines the interactive museum exhibit for the iPad. The app is sure to earn fans of all ages as it escorts the user through a variety of engaging, educational activities that highlight the properties of sound from backward masking to misophonia. Check out our full review (PadGadget = 4.5 stars). RIYL: Color Uncovered.
2. Wild Kratts Creature Math ($1.99) — Inspired by the PBS Kids’ series Wild Kratts, this iPad-only edu-app for kids couches the teaching of basic math in the animal-centric Wild Kratts world. The game saves profiles for up to four users, and adjusts its difficulty level as a child grows proficient. And just like its television counterpart, brothers Martin and Chris Kratt host the apptivities. RIYL the iPhone-only Wild Kratts Creature Power.
3. Magical Music Box ($3.99) — Kidoteca’s Magical Music Box is a universal app that captures the beauty and delicacy of its physical counterpart. Unlike a traditional music box, however, the Magical Music box plays much more than a single song. A child can choose to “crank” the box herself, or set it to auto-play. There are seven different backgrounds to choose from a traditional lullabye theme to more unusual choices including a space theme and an elf-mining theme.
4. Paddington Bear’s Adventures ($4.99) — Paddington Bear’s Adventures brings all of Paddington’s accouterments to iOS devices. From marmalade to his distinctive blue duffle coat, the little bear will surely appeal to any Anglophile-in-training. A player can choose a character, then play from several minigames, where she not only enjoys a virtual tour of London, but also earns costume rewards which she can then use to dress Paddington up in a variety of outfits including a doctor, a pirate, and more.
5. Oh No! Fractions (Free) — It’s been a year for indie developer Curious Hat who already released Oh No! Fractions, and its equally strong kids’ photo app EyePaint MyDiary. Oh No! Fractions blends an intuitive interface with basic math concepts to introduce fractions, less than, and greater than to a pre-schooler or help an elementary student who “just doesn’t get it.” After solving a problem a child can choose to “prove it,” and see a visual explanation of the fraction comparison.
6. AzawhistleKids ($1.99) — This clever digi-book for kids offers appealing Mid-Century modern-inspired graphics, as well as a simple message to kids: clean your room! Rather than a tough-guy authoritarian approach, AzawhistleKids integrates yoga to allow the reader to calm down and gain the focus needed to tackle the dreaded task. Maybe after putting all of Teja’s toys away in the story, a child will be ready to tackle her messy room.
7. Pic-A-Boo (Free, $1.99 to unlock full app) — As any parent who has raised a child knows, babies love pictures and they love to play peek-a-boo. Pic-A-Boo, as its name suggests, merges these two timeless favorites by allowing a parent to create custom peek-a-boo games with pictures from their iOS device photo library. Since there is no greater simple joy than watching your baby laugh, this app will be a hit with users of all ages. Hint: the developer suggests turning off multitasking gestures for maximum baby-compatibility.
8. The Electric Company Party Game – Lost on Prankster Planet (Free) — Lost on Prankster Planet is a digital, multiplayer board game that teaches kids skills including addition, subtraction, telling time, and coin counting, while encouraging collaborative play among its users. Kids can even play as their favorite Electric Company cast member.
9. Seasonfun – Toddlers and Kids learn about Weather and Seasons ($1.99) — There isn’t a lot to Seasonfun, but what it lacks in substance it makes up for in oddball charm. A child can choose between the zakka-inspired pink Plumy or the purple, bear-like Fluffy. Go ahead, just pick one. Gameplay may be simple, but its also entrancing. It’s up to you to give Fluffy or Plumy the right attire for the weather. Sometimes you get to give one of them an ice cream cone, or douse them with water if it’s really hot out.
10. Kids Square ($1.99) — It’s never too early to develop design sensibilities in a child, and Kids Square is a great place to begin. Kids play some game, such as memory or spot-the-difference, while parents get to enjoy the app’s clean, modern aesthetic. Kids Square offer users a choice of English or Français, but at the moment (or should I say en ce moment), the selections are backwards. So if you want English, choose Français, or vice-versa. RIYL the developer’s previous offering The Noisy Book of Games (PadGadget = 4 stars).