Free Apps, Music Apps, Toddler Apps

Sanity Savers! Apps and Ideas for Entertaining Toddlers on a Plane

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Entertaining little people on a plane!

I’ve been asked by a few slightly, shall we say… apprehensive parents which apps I would recommend for their 1 or 2 year old to entertain them on a plane journey. I mean really, what are they worried about…? Cue droll laugh. In my mind any flight over about 6 hours with small kids is akin to one of those mad endurance challenges that people put themselves through where they have to crawl through mud for 20 kilometers carrying three tyres on their head or swim under arctic pack ice with no wetsuit. No that is not melodrama, that is… traveling with kids. If you are thinking the in flight entertainment will sort them out, well sorry, they don’t sit and pay attention to that until around age 3 I reckon, when the fact Continue reading “Sanity Savers! Apps and Ideas for Entertaining Toddlers on a Plane”

Age 5, Co-playing Apps, Music Apps, Preschoolers, Toddler Apps

Bubl Draw: your art makes music!

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I. LOVE. THIS. APP. Which is fairly self evident since I’m posting it on my blog. But I just love it when you come across that happy symbiosis of super fun apps that also promote creativity and curiosity. Plus it’s a fun one for kids and adults to use together and apps that promote co-playing are always a good thing. This app seems pretty simple and well, actually, it is! It is simple to use straight away but rewards deeper investigation. That’s one hallmark of a well designed app in my book.

Bubl Draw is an enhanced drawing app, every mark you make creates music. Experiment with colours, with different areas of the page and with different shapes. All will contribute to a fun composition based on three musical styles: Classic, Disco or Rumba. The instruments naturally complement each other and are always in tune (thankfully).

Both my kids (age 2 and 4) love this one and have even been known to play it together. For a short time… let’s not set expectations too high here! I enjoy playing it with them too but they definitely love to take charge with their own compositions!

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Music Apps, Preschoolers

Toc and Roll: Cool and easy songmaker for kids

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We’ve just been away on holiday and I prepped our iPads with a few new apps to try on our trip. This was one I couldn’t wait to try with L Star, an app that makes music sequencing accessible for kids. Genius! Users can easily compose songs using a library of simple and catchy loops from a variety instruments (piano, guitar, drums etc) and even add effects such as delay and reverb to individual instruments. I wondered whether it might be a little advanced for L Star but I needn’t have worried. This beautifully designed app intrigued him from the moment we opened it. The simple design layout made it easy for him to understand what was required, whether adding instruments or adding loops to our instrument tracks.

Best of all you can record your own voice and add that to your composition. It was so much fun working it all out with trial and error. It encouraged L Star to really explore and be creative with the options. The cute graphics help too, the red record button jumps up and down when in use, apparently hilarious, which motivated him to keep recording his beautiful voice.

The first time we tried it out was on the aeroplane, you can imagine the background noise we were contending with! Not the ideal environment but L Star throuroughly enjoyed himself and played with it for at least 30 mins, super proud of himself each time he made another recording. Then he had to try out all the effects and add them to most of the instrumental tracks. Oh yes. We made some truly, er, mind bogglingly… interesting compositions!

A bit more practice and a quieter environment and our skills improved rapidly. We learnt it was a good idea to lay the drum track down first so we could sing over that and get the beat of our singing right. Additionally headphones would be a good investment for recording so the iPad is not recording the sound coming out of the speakers, only the sound of the voice. This is a fantastic app on many levels and one that the adults enjoyed using with the kids, which was an added bonus as it became a family activity.