My top 10 apps for kids

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I hate the thought of my children being addicted to computer games, turning into those grunting types who have evolved bigger thumbs because they spend so long attached to their playstationDS or whatever its called…BUT I LOVE the thought of my kids growing up IT savvy and being able use and enjoy the latest technology to their advantage.

Helping the girls learn and grow in this ever increasingly tech driven world is a bit of a mission for my husband. When we were trying to persuade ourselves that we had enough money to invest in an iPad, and he pulled out the “it will help the kids learn” line, I thought he was clutching at straws but, well – its never easy to admit this but – he was right!
It is amazing / petrifying how intuitive the iPad is and how quickly both my girls got to grips with using it. Since Bea has started school I have also realised that IT is now a major part of their learning. Already in Reception Class they are using the interactive white board every day and are already only a month in, practicing how to log in to one of the school PC’s that they use at least a couple of times each week – a far cry from booking a rare session on the one and only old Amstrad computer my school had!
So, i am a convert! Now I embrace this style of learning and realise that it is surely the way that our children are going to learn throughout their education. We LOVE our iPad.
It has swiftly become part of our lives…. its always around and I have tried not to be too precious about the girls using it. We use it when we are travelling – it has made the ferry or plane journeys to the UK so so much more enjoyable and I have quickly realised that it is an amazing tool for children too.
Whether its toddlers playing simple games, listening to stories or watching Peppa Pig and Charlie and Lola as a treat or pre-school and school age children using them to practice their growing reading, writing and maths skills or to sit together and easily and quickly research something for the little homework projects Bea is getting, really couldn’t imagine life without ours.
Without further a do – here are our favourite Apps so far……….Please comment below with your favourites too.

My Colouring Book

Loads of lovely pictures to colour in. This was one of the first apps we got  and it is still probably Beas favourite – its free, and its a good one to start with to get kids learning how to use their little fingers on the touch screen.

We have since also got my colouring numbers and my colouring letters – also free and another great chance to get those all important letters and numbers  practiced.



Peekaboo Barn and Peekaboo Wild

Another lovely first app. This cute little app is super easy to use and a nice way to learn a few animal names and sounds along the way too. Freya loves it! Night and day studios, the makers of Peekaboo Barn and Wild have quite a few other lovely looking apps we haven’t got ourselves but might add to the collection soon!

Pocket Phonics 

This is an award winner. Its a brilliant app aimed at 3-6 year olds. Introducing them to key letter sounds and using the touch pad to encourage kids to follow the arrow to learn how to write the letters accurately.

Whenever Bea asks to watch TV and i say no, i love that her second request is to do letters on the iPad – it must be fun! (there is a Lite version which is free if you want to just give this a try!)

I wash my horses lite (aka free!)

This is a great one for a short plane ride or car journey! Kids have to swipe their fingers on the screen to soap, rinse and hair dry the cute cartoon ponies. Simple and silly = just right

Talking Tom

If washing ponies was simple and silly, Talking Tom is even more so! The kids LOVE this cat and his friends – there is a dog, giraffe and more! Tom listens to and repeats your words but in his own voice. You can tickle him and he purrs, scare him and he leaps to the ceiling of his house and all sorts of other fun things – my kids are entranced by this and think its hilarious!

My first Puzzles – Snakes

Bea will spend ages doing these puzzles. You can choose the level of difficulty and the harder you choose the more taxing the puzzle and the task, for example, you don’t have to simply get the pieces in the right place but also in number order so without realising it, your kids are learning their numbers too – bonus! I was really surprised to watch what she was able to work out!

Cinderella by Nosy Crow

In a household that is pretty addicted to Disney Princesses, it was lovely to find a Cinderella story that was a bit different and Bea loves it.

The app is VERY clever. It tells the story but also includes loads of cool extras – you can help the fairy godmother collect the things for the carriage in the garden by dragging and dropping the items (the mice wiggle and squeak too, v funny!)

You can change cinders outfit colour, tidy up the kitchen for her and even spot yourself in the ugly sisters bedroom mirror (clever or what!) We love this story and its very oftenplayed.

Kidztory animated books

Goldilocks, the Three Little Pigs and The Tortoise and the Hare are our favourites. These are great little read along books with fun moving animations. We love them for a quick 5 minutes of quiet time while dinner is cooking 🙂

 
Brilliant fun drawing app. Bea loves practicing her writing on this as well as doing drawings

 

Skype

Ok, so I know this isn’t strictly a kids app BUT, my kids LOVE it. We have family in Miami and Gloucestershire and my oldest friend in Switzerland with her kids as well as some other mates dotted around the UK who we enjoy keeping in touch with with Skype. The kids love to actually see who it is they are talking to, its easier for kids to chat to other kids when they are younger i think. They can show their little friends their favourite things, pull funny faces etc.

I have even been at a birthday party where friends have had their granny watching on skype so she didn’t feel like she was missing out – brilliant! There really is no excuse not to keep your kids close to their family even if family isn’t close.

We obviously use these apps on our iPad but most of them are compatible for iTouch, iPhones and probably other android devices….
Let me know what your favourites are.
Love Mum on the Rock


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Post Author: Sarah Thorogood

5 thoughts on “My top 10 apps for kids

    Laura

    (October 11, 2012 - 5:40 pm)

    Hi Sarah, I’m a bit biased but I love Pirate Scribblebeard’s Treasure from Kidoodle Apps. It’s an art activity book that gets kids doodling, imagining and creating. I think it’s fun and silly!

    Mum on the Rock

    (October 11, 2012 - 6:34 pm)

    Thanks Laura, i’ll check it out!

    Becky

    (February 23, 2013 - 1:00 pm)

    AWESOME list!!!!! 🙂 Most of these are new for me!:)

    Appysmarts

    (April 18, 2013 - 2:17 pm)

    Hi! Please take a look at our Top 100 Free Apps for Kids list and tell us what you think:)http://www.appysmarts.com/free_apps.php We’ve just launched it: it’s updated daily and we have apps for children aged 0-6+ (our catalog contains over 16 000 apps for this age group!)

    Josh Myers

    (December 27, 2014 - 10:34 pm)

    I am with you in that perspective. I believe that if we use the technology to our advantage, no ill effect would be produced, especially if coupled with supervision. SimpleK12

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