Let’s face it, smart phones and tablets are awesome. Even more awesome are the growing choices of educational kid-friendly apps that are easily available these days. Don’t get me wrong, I still love me some good old-fashioned Candy Land, Chutes & Ladders and Uno, but having the iPad pumped up with fresh books, games and other interactivity can sure make a difference when we’re on a 3+ hour plane ride or a cross-country road trip.
Here are my top kid iPad app choices for a guilt-free few hours of education and entertainment.
Agent Magic Investigates: Punky Dunk and the Goldfish
If you’ve downloaded the Talking Tom repeat-everything-your-kid-says app, then you’ll LOVE the interactivity of the little mouse detective who guides kids along the story, asks questions, records answers and (best of all!) is a great reading buddy. The design of this app is based on the concept of ‘dialogic reading,’ an approach that is scientifically proven to improve kids reading and verbal vocabulary. Available for iPad ($2.99)
Ultimate Dinopedia: Complete Dinosaur Reference
ROOOOOAAARRRR! That is what I used to hear multiple times a day. My now 7-year old thought he was a dinosaur about three years ago and has since spent an enormous amount of time filling his head with dinosaur facts. Me? I got nothin’ for him. But, this app? It’s great to help answer those five-million questions about where in the world a Triceratop once tromped or how many teeth a T-Rex grew over the course of his lifetime. Available for iPad ($4.99)
Imagine my surprise earlier this year when I picked up my 4-year old from his Montessori school and was given a multiplication worksheet he had finished. What? My 4-year old knows multiplication? Well, he really *almost* does. In school they use bead boards and as a result both my boys are obsessed with counting and numbers. Math Bingo helps feed that number addiction. Available for iPhone and iPad ($0.99)
Learn The States With Flat Stanley HD
Hubby and I have long been known for our dorkiness. At one time we gifted each other Almanac’s every year and would read each other random facts when we traveled. I have every intention of passing that curiosity gene (can you forcibly pass a gene?) to my kids. That’s why I am tickled pink (see? big dork) to download this Learn the States app. My kids are going to learn every capital, state bird, tree and flower… and Flat Stanley is going to help! Available for iPhone and iPad ($2.99)
Oh boy we love our word games in this family and Chicktionary is a hoot! Players unscramble a roost full of letters to create as many words as possible. There are two modes: speed play and traditional long play. The graphics are fantastic and we love the clucky noises the chickens make. (I should note that I may like this game more than my kids – it’s quite addictive!). Available for iPad (Free)
Dr. Seuss’s The Cat in the Hat Color & Create!
Broken crayons, dried-out markers and ripped paper litter my art area. Even though I love when the boys get creative, sometimes the aftermath of the mess can be frustrating. This app helps me minimize the mess and they still get to magically create with the characters that we know and love. Available for iPad ($3.99)
With 300+ new apps available every single day in the iTunes store, I’m sure our list will grow as will our travels. I can’t wait to see what technology brings us next!
What are your favorite apps for kids to keep them occupied while traveling?