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 will appeal to animal lovers, budding wordsmiths, and anyone who loves a good bedtime story.
Did we miss anything? Please share the name of your favorite newly released edu-apps and games for kids.
1. Who Stole the Moon? ($4.99) — In this interactive bedtime story, published by Windy Day press, readers meet Bertie, a curious little boy who can’t figure out where the moon goes when it isn’t in the sky. The illustrations are top-notch. Games, songs, and karaoke round out the offerings in this original iPad app for 3 to 7-year-old kids.
2. Meerkats — Animal Planet Books for Kids ($3.99) — A joint project of Livo Books and Animal Planet, Meerkats offers young readers a chance to learn more about this fascinating, unusual animal. Kids will learn about the Meerkat’s human-like habits, its Kalahari desert home, and play educational games as they progress through the app.
3. BBC Earth Wonders ($0.99, promo price) — Learn about the many fascinating animals that populate the earth with BBC Earth Wonders, which is currently available to download from the App Store for a discounted price. Readers will find more than 500 images, a large selection of HD video clips that highlight ambient animal sounds, and an interactive 3D globe. Note: the user will need Wi-Fi to download the video clips, so plan accordingly.
4. Gappy’s First Words ($2.99) — Spinlight Studios adds Gappy’s First Words to the developer’s growing list of go-to kids edu-apps like Geography Drive (PadGadget=5 stars). Gappy’s First Word uses a clean, colorful interface to teach pre-schoolers more than 200 three-letter words and progresses to sight words. The child explores different worlds with Gappy, and as he does he will earn items he can use to redesign Gappy’s house in countless interesting ways including a mushroom house or a castle.
5. Word Wonderland (Free) — McGraw-Hill’s Word Wonderland is a free word sort game aimed at early elementary schoolers. The game allows for leveled plays, as well as letting the player focus on a particular area of phonics (e.g. blends, or vowel sounds). Playing as a frog, kids will hop, eat, and even shake the iPad to shoo away pesky bugs. It’s so much fun, they won’t even think about phonemic awareness.
6. Gro Book ($3.99) — With no fewer than 24 different storylines, Gro Book tells the story of Sophie the Sweater and her transformations as she changes hands and shape countless times in this choose-your-own-adventure-style digibook. Kids will enjoy watching Sophie become so many new things from the obvious (vest) to the not-so (bird’s nest), which serve the book’s theme of re-using and up-cycling.
7. Phrasal Verbs Machine (Free) — Cambridge University’s Phrasal Verbs Machine examines phrasal verbs, little parts of speech, such as “sticks with” or “ran into” that can vex native and non-native English speakers alike. This singular edu-app includes 100 different phrasal constructions housed in a fun, circus-themed game that makes this otherwise dry grammatical topic much more engaging.
8. Doubting Dasha ($3.99) — Adventurous young readers will want to follow Dasha as she bravely tries to save her village. This original story blends the narrative gravitas of a fairy tale with expressive animation and all of the interactive elements young readers expect from a high-quality universal iOS app.
9. Yummiloo Rainbow Power ($1.99) — Night & Day Studios prove why they are a perennial PadGadget favorite with the release of the zakka-inspired Yummiloo Rainbow Power game for iOS. Not only is this universal app adorable, it also teaches color recognition and encourages kids to make healthy food choices. Fans of Night & Day will also want The Very Hungry Caterpillar & Friends Stickerbook, which promises to entertain pre-schoolers for hours with its selection of Eric Carle’s art.
10. Puppet Workshop – Creativity App for Kids ($2.99) — Children of all ages (read: even adults) will enjoy playing with Puppet Workshop. This iPad-only app lets the user build countless digital sock puppets. Choose from a wide range of accessories that are realistic or whimsical. Place your puppet in one of the app’s background or upload your own from the camera roll, then save an image of your puppet creation on the iPad camera roll for posterity.