February 2, 2013

Five kids apps we totally rock on!

Posted in: Tech / Uncategorized
By: Peter Costello

Apps are rad! Yes, I want the boys out climbing trees, but I love this stuff and I think there’s actually a lot of good in it for them too. So I thought I’d put down five of our favourite apps. They all have educational content and are crazy fun, so strap yourself in cause its gonna get all digital up in here.

Robot lab by Toca Boca

robot lab
This one’s rad and hasn’t gotten the littlest bit tired in the 12 months plus that the boys have been playing with it.

The boys love making their own robots, it’s a bit tricky to fly for the little one so the three year-old will help out for that bit. It looks beautiful, works great and there seems to be no end to the robots you can make. I’m sure there’s something I could say about fine motor skills but that’s going to be the case for most everything here:)

It’s by Toca Boca (So you know it’s good!) and is $2.99 and worth every penny.

Count the animals

Count the animals
This is another beautifully crafted app. This time counting from one to twenty. We got the free version of this one day at a café and then ended up buying the full version because of a cleverly placed advert on the final screen.

It’s quite humorous, some of it toilet humor (be warned) and the boys love it. It can get a bit tricky for the fingers on some of the screens as the things to count can get pretty small.

It’s created by appracadabra (See what they did there?) and will cost you $3.99

Lego® Duplo® Zoo

Lego Duplo Zoo
I’ll be honest, I really didn’t like this at first, it’s a branded property and I was all on my high horse about branded content and advertising, rah, rah, rah. (Full disclosure, I work in digital advertising. I know, I know). But then, I realised, that it’s Lego, and Lego is totally rad. It’s one of my favorite toys, let alone the boys, so I got on board. That and the fact that its got a pretty cute story and the little men LOVE it!

Yup, it’s by Lego® and its free. (If by “free” you can accept that it’s branded content)

Monkey preschool lunch box

Monkey lunch box
O.K. This is a new one for us. It’s pretty cute and super educational. This is one that we play with together because it’s possibly a little more educational than we’re used to. It’s very cool though watching him learn while we’re using it.

On the down side, this one doesn’t have quite the same level polish as some of the others. The voice over is a little too high speed, in fact the whole things feels a little too fast and can be tricky for the three year-old to keep up with. Hence playing it together. Also the audio is a little bit mashed together, sort of like an automated phone system.

But… The older lad is learning while using it, he’s having fun doing it and it was 99 cents.

This one’s by THUP Games and is 99 cents.

And finally, Play School Art maker

Playschool Artmaker
Oh man, this is by far and away our favorite app and wait for it it’s free! If you’re from Australia you know about Playschool. It’s an Australian icon on our national broadcaster and is government funded which I think is ace.

The app is really fun! You create pictures out of craft materials and all the Playschool toys from the show. The voice talent is by the actual hosts and it’s just loads of fun to play with.

Once you’ve made a picture you can save it to your scrap book or you can make a movie and animate all the pieces by dragging them round on screen and add your own voice over. Our voice overs generally sound something like “Whahahahaha whoa wha wha whoa”. You can even add your own backgrounds so all the characters can play on top of a photo of your back yard.

Seriously, It’s way cool! do yourself a favour and grab this app. Like I said, it’s made by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation And it’s free people. Go get it, you won’t be sorry.

O.K. So that went on much longer than expected so I’ll just wrap it up by saying um… We’re like totally “out-doorsy” and stuff and hardly ever play with the apps. Please don’t judge us:)

Seriously though, what apps do you use with your kids?