Saturday, December 7, 2013

5 Awesome iPad Apps For Toddlers This Week

The more we get closer to Christmas, the more we have a chance to find magical apps in the store.
Here are the most elegant and free apps I discovered this week. And I'm very happy to see the so needed attention to parental control on most of these apps.

Sago Mini Forest Flyer:
A new and snowy version to the wonderful Forest Flyer by Sago Mini. Kids follow the cute Pink Bird while she explore the area, through lots of interactive surprises along the way.
From my experience this app won't stay free for a long time, better to grab it now. I also advise you to check Sago Mini other Applications, because really, all of them are super great.


Terri's Coloring Pages:
There are so MANY coloring apps in the store today, why would you download this one? Simply because the pictures are beautiful and original, the coloring pencils are easy to function, and there is no distraction, nor ads, nor nothing. Just a really good coloring book app.


Lipa Zoo:
Learning about animals of all kind is just so easy with this app. Children learn about group of animals and the areas they live in. Their are 10 different animal groups, and kids need to go through 10 levels to see them all. Cute, colorful, and suitable for kids at the age 1 to 3.


DuckieDeck Baby Tunes:
Baby Tunes designed for toddlers as young as 12 months, who are getting to know different sounds in their environment. The apps shaped like a piano with colorful keyboard, make it extremely easy to play with. Make sure to click three times on an element to change it.

Savanna Animals:
This app is not about much. In fact, it's just a page with some animals and their sounds. However, kids at a very young age can't interact much with the iPad, so to have them listen to a bunch of a cute animals might actually be enough. You can find many similar apps on the store, I just bump into this one today and thought it worth trying.

Friday, August 9, 2013

17 Best Free iPad Apps For Kids, Of All Time!

It's been a while since I started to cover Apps for children, and since then I tried hundreds of applications. I usually download 10 apps every time I get the chance to try something new, but often delete most of them from my device. Why? They just not good enough.

I believe a lot of developers don't take under consideration that applications for kids require a certain amount of UX knowledge and I guess most of them don't even try their app on kids before they take it to the store. To be more specific: looks like those apps are trying to make money on your kids back. So no, I'm not saying kids apps shouldn't make money, I just really doubt the in-app purchase model when it comes to children. Can you honestly tell me that A Wagon Of Smurfberries worth $99? And if you must have ADS on your apps could you at least make sure they are kid-friendly?

Too bad Apple is not doing anything to increase the level of quality in their store because the amount of garbage is such a waste of time for parents.

You want to make money from your app in a decent way? Build a better App. Allow the ability to try one or two sections from the app before the payment, and don't use extra ads while doing it. Promote an app that cost money inside one that is free if you have several apps. But most important, keep the experience clean, and it's best to have parents zone if you are aiming for the little ones.

All the Applications in my list today are Free (still) and so worth the download. Most of them are for little kids as I believe bigger ones (age 7 and up) don't really need any recommendations from me or you. They know how to find apps themselves.

(age is just a suggestion)

Melody Street - (age 1- 5)
A beautiful interactive story to teach kids about music instruments. Tapping on the characters brings more sound options which makes the story more interesting and fun to use. The graphics and animations are lovely and colorful, and because the story is told by a kid it makes the whole experience magical.




Mozart Interactive (age 1-5)
From the same developers (Melody Street) this wonderful Application takes children into a magical journey where they can decide what happens next. A great music interactive experience that I yet seen before on the iPad. (done with Interlude technology)




Monster Chorus (all ages)
It's not the first time that I recommend Monster Chorus, it is just that good. Every monster plays a different sound and together you can play or record any song you like. Please note that you can close the ads on this app (for free) as well as any other option that annoys your kid.



Tap & Sing (all ages)
Very similar to Monster Chorus (no recording option though), with more characters and a list of sound style to choose from. Fun activity for the whole family, and the most cute characters you'll see in an app.



Cool Coloring (age 2-4)
A very easy coloring app, where kids just needs to pick a color, click on a section, and it fills with the color of their choice. In the color plate you'll find a special color that changes itself on every click, which is very useful for younger kids.


Maily (age 3+)
I wrote about Maily when it first launched, and since then it seems like the core concept stayed the same (which is good) but the design has changed, and I must admit that I liked the old version much better than the new one. Having said that, Maily is still a great solution for little kids to communicate with their friends or parents.

Great British Chefs (age 5+)
A wonderful and very delicious App, with many recipes and innovative ideas for kid parties or just to encourage children to get more involved in the preparation/cooking of their meals. The app also includes a series of How-To videos, four of which are pre-downloaded, specifically created to help children learn some of the basics as well as some of the more complicated techniques involved.



Let's Create! Pottery (all ages)
The only app in the store that its free version is good as its full version. If you never downloaded this app, you must do it now (even if you don't have kids) - this app is all about fun, and the experience is like something you never seen or had before on an iPad.


Toca Tailor Fairy Tales (age 2+)
I love Toca Boca. Their games are all very beautiful and original, and they always releasing free versions to make sure everyone will try and see the quality within their apps. And it works. People buy their apps simply because they are good. Toca Tailor Fairy Tales is the mini version of Toca Tailor, and one that my nephews are so in love with. Pure fun.

And while writing this story I bumped into this (which means you can download Toca Hair Salon for free till tomorrow)



Christmas Jigsaw Puzzle Pango (age 2-4)
Pango apps are the most thoughtful and magical for kids. This one contains several jigsaw puzzle that together build a larger puzzle which encourage kids to finish all the puzzles in the game. Cute, smart, and very Christmassy.



Pango Playground (age 1-5)
This has been at the top of my list for a long time. Another app that its free version worth downloading, but the full version is way much attractive. A game that your kids will want to play over and over. My almost 3 years old nephew and I are playing this constantly!


Freckleface Strawberry Monster Maker (age 3+)
There are so many book apps in the app store, but this one is unique and will lead your kid into an interesting adventure that finished with the creation of its very own monster. Can it get better than this?




Baby Finger (age 1+)
There aren't much apps in the store for toddlers at their very early age, but I remember I played this with my nephew when he was just 6 month old (maybe even earlier). It's just a blank screen where toddlers can tap and see all kind of shapes and hear all kind of random sounds. It's pretty amazing to see their reaction to this game.


Palace Pets (age 3-6)
This game is all about Disney Princesses and their Pets. Since we're talking about Disney here, the graphic and animation are of course superb, and this is the only app that I feel is more suitable for girls, but I could be wrong here :)


PBS Parents Play & Learn (age 2-6)
Designed specifically for parents, this App provides more than a dozen games parents can play with their kids, each themed around a familiar location – including at the grocery store, at home, in the kitchen, and many more.


Leo's Pad (age 4 and up)
The reason it took me so much time to write this post is because of this app! So much fun, and lots of activities along what seems to be just a video, but is not. Very enjoyable, your kids will LOVE it!

TinyTap (age 4 and up)

A Disclaimer: I am working with TinyTap as a product consultant.
But even if I weren't, I'd still recommend this as an awesome app to download, especially when it is one of its kind.

Kids can easily create games in Tinytap and share them with the Tinytap community. I personally believe kids creativity is endless, and we've seen it through the many ways they use the app to express themselves.

There are so many things that I can say about this app, but the best way would be for you to actually try it. It's fun, it's creative, and educational - three things that go well with an iPad.












Thursday, June 20, 2013

Toca Boca Builders Can Build Pretty Much Anything!

Ever since I watched this video last week I wanted to try this game:
 
Now that the game is out the only bad thing I can really say about it, is that you or your kid  is going to waste a great deal of time on it.

I would first say this is probably a game for kids at the age of 5 and up. It's not easy at first, but once you get the idea, it's like having a mini version of minecraft on your iPad. A colorful, and awesome one though.

There are six builders that you don't really need to know their names, but it helps to know how does each of them works:
  1. Blox: Great at dropping and smashing blocks
  2. Cooper: A fantastic painter (my favorite one!)
  3. Vex: Amazing at putting blocks in stacks
  4. Stretch: Specialized at placing blocks anywhere
  5. Connie: Enjoys lifting and moving blocks
  6. Jum-Jum: Loves to spray paint
This is by far the most interesting game released by Toca Boca - and one that kids can spend hours playing with (unlike their other applications), so if you look for a great time-waster this weekend, this is it! and again, it is NOT just for kids.

App costs $0.99 but based on Toca-Boca history, it might be free sooner or later. But hey, why wait?? It is definitely an app worth a download, now


Friday, June 14, 2013

This Weekend Top 5 Wonderful iPad Apps For Kids

Weekends are great for spending some time on the iPad, and usually kids have the extra time to do so. Therefore, there is no better time to download some apps that you (the parents) might have missed.

I got an email from a nice mom the other day, with this message:
My husband and my daughters - ages 6 and 8 - have been working together to create some apps. One of them, MixUp DressUp, gives even the most uncoordinated of hands the opportunity to create an elegant and fun dress-up creation with just a swipe of their fingers. The app also provides an easy way for kids to record their own fashion-forward comments about the outfits they create. MixUp DressUp is a collaborative project between the app developer and his two daughters, Anna (age 8) and Ava (age 6). The girls designed all of the dresses and added their voices to the app; Pop did the programming and user interface.
I adore creativity, and when parents let their kids be involved in the process the outcome is magical.
This cute app is free, but you have the option to buy more collections from Anna & Eva's dress shop.




Apple free app of the week is the wonderful Hair Salon 2 app by TocaBoca, and when it comes to their apps, no need for a long introduction, you just go ahead and download it. I learned that no matter if your kid is 2 or 11 years old, they can both enjoy the app. That is why I like TocaBoca apps, they are very intuitive to toddlers, and at the same time, older kids find them interesting as well. Not to mention this 40 year old blogger.. 

This musical box of sound surprises is perfect for toddlers! Introduce children to sound and music with this magical app – just shake, rattle and tap! Listen for cheerful chimes, horns, drums, animals and more. Your little one is sure to laugh and giggle as they play. Best part it is free, with no in-app purchases or third-party advertising so you and your child are free to discover without interruptions.

What is better than your kid singing? Your kid singing and you get a video of this special moment! Singa (what a great name for an app!) is all about having fun and treasure the moments. Just choose the song and sing along - click on the recording button, save videos of the whole family singing, and create great fun memories together. 


Last but not least (and the only app that is not free), is the Imaginary Car by the wonderful Pango. First, if you don't yet downloaded Pango's other apps, you are missing on some great adventures. Their apps are the most awesome kids apps in the store today.

The Imaginary Car allows children to build their fantasy car, Choose between fifty different objects: a tractor wheel, a fridge, a truck horn, rocket engines ...Combine them and create the car of your dreams. There is no limit to your imagination. You can also build from existing templates such as a fire truck, helicopter, or a robot submarine.
I personally think this app is genius:


For easy download and preview of all the apps, click here or use the widget below:

Thursday, March 28, 2013

7 Free Games and Activities Worth Downloading This Weekend!

For this weekend I gathered some cool applications for kids of all ages. From toddlers, to bigger children. The applications are free so you can download them all and let your kids deiced what they like best, or maybe not like at all. I found out that no matter what age I suggest, kids have their own way of experiencing games, and it's not always based on their age..

Like always, most of the apps clean of advertisement.

Zolo
To continue what I mentioned before, this app for example, can be considered as a toddler app, or an app that unleash bigger kids creativity. In anyway, it is a cute applicatios that enables to create all kind of pretty odd characters from unusual interactive pieces. The interactivity and sound effects makes this app so fun to play with. Strange in a way, but oh so cute.





















Tap & Sing
OK, this one is fun for the whole family. Just choose the melody and start sing with a bunch of cute little characters. Very much similar to another great App called: Monster Chorus (a must download as well), but here the chorus is larger and can sing in several voices. Funny, animated, colorful, is what this is.




















Paint & Music
The App Store is loaded with coloring books of any kind and it is really hard to judge what is the best App out there. I'm sure there are several and the list just continue to grow every day. However, I thought this one worth the mention for its very clean layout. Kids can choose from a group of themes (in app purchase is also available), open the music player, and paint in a relaxing atmosphere. Overall, a very pleasant app.




















Little Fox
What LittleFox has to offer I haven't seen anywhere else, and it is a really fine content. Lots of it. In fact, the App features 200 animated stories and 30 animated songs, available for free. Plus, a new free story every day. And no, the content is not coming from Youtube unlike other video apps I know. Kids can browse the content, and save favorite to bookshelf. Parents can see their kids progress and usage of the app through a build in analytic. Highly recommended, for hours of good entertainment.



My Own Stuffed Animals
This App reminds me of Shidonni - A playground for kids where they can play with friends and animated characters that can come to life through their painting. This App is doing the come to life part. Kids can paint whatever they like, and order their paint as stuffed animal to deliver to their house. Now, how lovely is that?





















Busy Dad, Hi Tech Dude
I'm not a big fan of TabTale apps. They are always full with advertisement mostly to promote their other apps (which is ok, but it feels just too aggressive to me). I'll ignore it this time because of this specific story. Seems to me that a lot of kids can probably relate to the fact that Dad is just too busy for them. If you that kind of Dad, read this with your children and see their reaction.


Team Awesome
I personally love games when you can navigate through your fingers and not necessarily have to shake your iPad.. this one is the absolute perfect! Lots of missions, heroes, hidden surprises and fun fun fun! Not for toddlers, but anyone who can fly an hero with a touch of a finger, can play this Awesome game. Even you!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Disney Tales on the iPad - Extraordinary Reading Experience for Children (now on sale)

Once upon a time.. Tablets were not exist, and therefore there wasn't much need for book applications. Today, it is a whole different story. Oh wait, it is the same story, only on the iPad!

Seriously, who doesn't love Disney classics? They are the stories that made us fall in love with Disney characters and faraway lands that will be in our imaginations forever.

Book applications are very dear to my heart and it always amazes me how they comes to life when adding a layer of interactivity, and additional tools such music, paint, and games. It doesn't mean kids won't use their imagination anymore, if anything, their imagination will only grow stronger. The story is more realistic, but children are likely to imagine what more is there? What is like to live on the Jungle? How does it feel to fly like Dumbo? Can I be a pirate too?

I have downloaded five Disney stories to my iPad this morning: Dumbo, Jungle book, Peter Pan, Bambi, and Aristocats. Two hours later I realized I'm still playing with the books like a little kid. I just couldn't stop listening to the magical stories that I grew up with.

Each story is accompanied by magnificent paintings and videos of the original characters, and a very pleasant music that plays throughout the story. Just like you can expect from Disney!

My most favorite book app is The Jungle Book, but all of the Disney books are worth downloading, then you and your kid can go on a magical adventure travel together (a pretty long one as the books are not that short)

One thing that I would like to advise Disney is to add a pause button to pages. But this is the only negative thing I could find.

You can download the apps for only $.99 cents each (ridiculous price for such books). The sale runs until Monday, March 18th.




Here are some free codes for the first lucky readers:

Dumbo Disney Classics: EHRH4Y6XRPW3

Jungle Book Disney Classics: N6L7R9N6XTWP

Peter Pan Disney Classics: LR33RNWE4PKJ

Bambi Disney Classics: MANWJ4JK39TF

Aristocats Disney Classics: 3FLFERJRYF6Y

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

A Magical Memory Game With Pillows Instead Of Cards


Who said you can't find quality apps for free on the App Store? Meet Memollow, a truly wonderful application with amazing graphics and somewhat bizarre yet cute concept of using pillows instead of cards to showcase elements on the board.

I believe this game is best suitable for kids at the age of 2 to 5 where they can practice their memory and focusing skills, and when a kid finishes a game he get to play a short and sweet animation video as a reward.

Feature list:
  1. 10 popular themes including: cars, ponies, transport, dolls, dinosaurs, alphabet letters and more
  2. More than 100 images on pillows
  3. Special rewards 
  4. Hand-made graphics and animations
  5. Pleasant music for children
  6. Cute iPad backgrounds to download as freebies

On top of all these, the app is advertising free - Download here.