Age 5, Age 6, Age 7, App Reviews, Free Apps

Free App: Toca Nature

Screen Shot 2015-05-10 at 8.12.41 pmThis beautiful open ended nature play app is Apple’s Free App of the Week. Designed for kids 6-8 but fun for younger kids as well, this app enables them to design their own little world of nature and animals. They are presented with a plain piece of land to which they can add mountains, water and five types of tree. The trees provide habitats for different animals. They can spin the globe in the corner to look at the land from different angles or tap Continue reading “Free App: Toca Nature”

App Reviews, Book Apps, Co-playing Apps, Giveaways

What makes a good Book App? Reviews plus Giveaway

IMG_6270With the Easter holidays looming, many of us are planning a little getaway, so now’s a great time to stock up the iPad to help entertain the kids during travel and downtime. Rather than fill up your cases with heaps of the kids favorite books, try out some great book apps to help lighten the luggage load. The iPad lends itself wonderfully to the reading of an ‘eBook’ – a digital interpretation of a traditional book. Indeed book apps are an excellent way to engage less motivated readers and to develop early literacy skills. So you’d think all the enhancements that book apps can bring to a digital story would deepen the engagement of readers and generate enthusiasm for all things bookish, yes? Or do the facts agree? Continue reading “What makes a good Book App? Reviews plus Giveaway”

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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App Reviews, Preschoolers, Science Apps

The Human Body App

The Human Body App

What a fantastic app! Your child can easily explore the different body systems, zooming in on different aspects of each system, with a few special activities for each system, eg the eye uses the camera to show the image of your child looking at the screen being flipped upside down. A wonderful intro to learning about the body and a great way to help answer those first questions like, where does my food go?

Apps for Grown Ups, Preschoolers

Have you discovered Monument Valley?

Have you discovered Monument?

Hands down one of the most beautiful apps currently out there. I bought this one for myself but L Star soon assumed control and LOVES this app. So do I. It’s based on the drawings of Escher, so optical illusions abound, great for stretching those lateral thinking muscles. The object is always simple, press a button, enter a door, but how to get there… The graphics move slowly and elegantly, the design is exquisite and the music is ethereal and relaxing. L Star and I play a couple of screens of this before bedtime stories. Love it for its ingenuity and peaceful play style.

App Reviews, Preschoolers, Toddler Apps

Apps Montessori Style

Apps Montessori Style

In a rather special collision of old style meets new world we have the delightful range of Montessori apps, designed with minimal, well, everything. Muted colours, simple audio and best of all, made to look like they are constructed from wood. Are these not a bit dull compared to all the whizz bang other apps provide? Not at all. The are a perfect intro to apps for your little learner and both mine found these apps to be clear favourites. Simple, elegant and well priced. Covering many subject areas, this stable of apps will last you for a few years with apps for toddlers – primary.
Click on image to read about them and hunt them out in the iTunes store.

App Reviews

Kids Media App – Apps rated and reviewed for all ages

Common Sense media have released an awesome free app to “See in an instant what’s OK for your kids to watch, play, read, do, and download” Highly recommended. I found some great apps here for L star, including Alien Assignment which involves lots of activity as he scoots around the house trying to find things to take photos of to fix the alien’s spaceship. Really simple but a nice take on involving movement whilst playing an app.

Check out the Kids Media App: http://www.commonsensemedia.org/mobile