Sunday, June 30, 2013

Favorites: Apps

In the rose colored glaze of pregnancy I swore I'd never succumb to this screen driven culture with my children. We were going to read and build and explore our imaginations all day long. After a year and a half, we do read, and build, and explore, and then I have to make lunch, or be on a plane for hours, or just have a quiet moment. For those instances, I have to confess, the iPad is my savior. Lately, I've even begun to justify it - it's educational, and fun, and she's reading, and learning. But I'll call it plainly - my crutch. She loves it, I love it. We are a modern family.

Here are the goto apps of the hour:

Endless Alphabet 

By far the app of the moment. Chiquita loves being able to match the letters but she also has the patience to watch the animation/definition afterwards. I love the cute characters and great vocabulary. Yay for spelling with monsters!

Petting Zoo 

The app that started it all. Besides a couple of sad fireworks apps, this was the first one I downloaded specifically for the chiquita. There is a lot to like in this one: music, animation, animals, and it's totally interactive. Leeloo really enjoyed it when she was first getting acquainted with the iPad.

Toca Boca 

We have a bunch of these apps. They are not only faves of the chiquita, but her brothers love them too. Occasionally I even catch D playing them after the kiddos have lost interest. It must be the great characters and their reactions. Either that or all the different options and combinations you can come up with. We have:

Toca Hair Salon 2 In which you can cut, style, wash, buzz, color and primp the hair of all sorts of characters.

Toca Fairy Tales In which you can design outfits for fairy tale characters. Leeloo likes that you can layer patterns on the fabric and not just have to choose one color. She also likes the masks and hat choices.

Toca Kitchen Monsters In which you can choose food, prepare it and feed it to monsters. Simple? Yes. Straight forward? Yes. Fun and adorable? Absolutely.

Toca Doctor In which you play simple little doctor games. Fix a broken leg, zap cavities, follow the digestive tract. We only have the free version, so I'm sure the is even more fun and enjoyment to be had.

PBS Kids

Leeloo loves this app. I mean LOVES. She can easily use it to surf favorite shows like Curious George and Caillou. I know, I know, a year and a half and she has favorite shows? It's a fact jack.

Another Monster at the End of this Book

This is a wonderful interactive story with Elmo and Grover. Not only do the words appear comic book style, but some pages add tasks to add the kids to the story.

BeBop Blox

This is from the same company as Endless Alphabet and Another Monster. It's very well done, interactive and fun. It took a bit for the chiquita to understand, but now that she does she loves to watch the little blocks pile up to make a shape.

Lazoo: Squiggles

There are lots of drawing apps, but this one switches it up a bit. After each scene is complete there is a "Go" button to animate it. There are a series of different scenes as well as blank screens and stickers. Lots of options to make Leeloos sribbles come to life.

Sago Mini Soundbox 

Balls that bounce, multiply, hatch into animals, and make sounds while you touch them. Another simple app that is entertaining for at least ten minutes (an Ageternity in toddler time). 

Agnitus: Games for Learning

This is one of the newest apps we have. Most of it is too advanced for the chiquita, but that doesn't stop her from trying. It's a cute app filled with shape, color and memory games. 

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