If you have an iPad and a child, chances are the two have met. Kids love ipads (and iPhones). As a parent of a child with an iPad, I am always looking for new apps for him. So, I have compiled a list of apps that are child-tested and mother-approved. These have gotten me through lots of long plane rides and road trips with my son.
Angry Birds: Yes, the perennial favorite rings in at number one for kids. They love it. I would recommend Seasons, as it gives you cute new updates for each holiday. There is also some variety depending on what you want to spend, with a HD version for $1.99, standard version for 99 cents, and a free version.
Ant Smasher: This is a very simple but satisfying game. As the title suggests, you smash the ants as they run across the screen. It makes a cool sounds and the guts of the ant splatter on the screen. It’s free and there’s a Christmas version.
abc PocketPhonics: This application helps kids who are learning to read. It teaches basic phonic skills. In addition, it helps kids learn to write letters, which has been very helpful to my son, who struggles with small motor skills. If you get it wrong you are encourage to try again and if you get it right, you are reinforced with the very satisfying sound of applause. The full version is $2.99, and there’s also a lite version.
Stack the States/Stack the Countries: If your child is interested in geography or needs to learn it for school, this game is great. These is one version for the states and one for countries. It teaches various information, including shape, capital, landmarks and location. It is fun and addicting, in addition to educational. The game is for best for children who can read. The full version of Stack the States is 99 cents, and the full version of Stack the Countries is $1.99. They both also offer lite versions.
Talking Carl: I have to admit, as a parent, that I am not a huge fan of Carl. Carl is a squarish red guy who repeats back what you say. It is super amusing for kids, and slightly annoying for adults. There are also variations of Carl, including a talking dinosaur that you can feed and play fetch with. It is 99 cents on the iPad.
Virtuoso: This app turns your iPad into a piano. It is very cool and fun for everyone. Let your child’s inner Mozart come to life on Virtuoso Piano Free 3.
Intro to Math: Montessorium: This app is a wonderful introduction to the basic concept of math. It is also beautifully designed. It’s a little pricey at $4.99, but worth it.
Cut the Rope: This is one of my personal favorites to play. It involved levels in a similar format as Angry Birds. There is a very cute little frog that you are trying to feed with candy. In order to get him candy you have to figure out how to cut a rope to get the candy to the frog. It’s available for 99 cents, and there’s a free holiday gift version.
Gears: My son was hooked on Gears for a long time. This game is graphically intense and stimulating. It actually makes me a little dizzy. The object of the game is to roll a ball through a series of tunnels and gears. It’s available for $2.99.
World of Goo: I have no idea how to explain this game. It is basically a game of physics in which you construct shapes out of balls of goo. I know it sounds bizarre, but give it a shot. World of Goo is $4.99 in the App Store.
Casey’s Contraptions: This very cute game is perfect for budding engineers. It also involves various level during which you build contraptions (a la Rube Goldberg) to accomplish tasks, such as popping a balloon or getting a ball in a basket. The fun part of this game is that it allows kids to build their own level, which is my sons chief complaint with Angry Birds. This app is available for $2.99.
This is a list of ten of the favorites around my house. I am always looking for new and cool apps for my son, so please let me know your favorite apps for kids in the comments!