So often it seems like if an app works on your iPhone, it will work on your iPod Touch and inevitably it will work just fine on your iPad. Sure, that may be the case for most apps, but since the launch of the iPad quite a few apps have been designed just for you, iPad lovers. And some of the best iPad apps have been created with kids in mind. From astrology to math to spelling; there’s an app for that…Just for iPad.
Doodling on chalkboards has been a favorite childhood past time since the invention of chalkboards. My Blackboard turns your iPad into a virtual chalkboard where kids can doodle, draw and write without the worry of whether or not they’re going to eat the chalk. Or feed it to the dog. Easy-to-navigate features allow users to select colors of chalk, a green or white board background and whether or not to import a photo from the iPad’s album to draw on. I love the idea of a portable chalkboard without the mess!
Outer space is often a subject of great interest for growing minds, and Star Walk is an exceptional way to learn about all those stars in the night sky. Through the use of a digital compass, app users are able to point their iPad at the sky and watch a display of what they see above them right on the screen. Incredible technology allows the app to identify constellations, planets and stars. As one of the highest rated iPad apps available in today’s market, there’s no denying that this kind of science is just plain cool.
Overall, MathBoard has a similar look to My Blackboard, but with an educational focus on mathematics. Kids are able to practice addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, cubes and square roots in formats that can be tailored to multiple choice or fill-in-the-blank. Controls allow parents, or kids, to select the range of numbers used in problems as well as a time limit. One parent review in iTunes gave a stellar idea: before kids are allowed to use the iPad for fun, they must first complete a quick quiz in MathBoard. Great thinking!
Color & Draw for Kids
Think coloring book come to life. This app not only features a virtual coloring book that makes fingers into crayons, but also gives users the ability to decorate an imported picture with stickers, or draw on blank backgrounds. As much fun as markers and crayons are, this app offers a portable art project with no mess.
First Words: Animals
Children grasp concepts with ease when lessons are accompanied by topics that interest them. Best suited for pre-school to kindergarten aged students, First Words: Animals combines the world of animals with letter recognition and spelling practice. Cute, yet easily recognizable, cartoon caricatures of animals appear on the screen and children are prompted to spell out the name of the animal by moving letters into the correct order. The overall look and execution of this app has garnered high ratings from parents in the iTunes store.
MeeGenius! Children’s Books
This app is nothing short of a bargain. At just $0.99, MeeGenius! Currently features six pre-installed books that are beautifully illustrated and accompanied by enhanced features that enable the ability to highlight words or playback the book automatically. For the purchase price, users can select six additional titles to download ‚Äì that’s 12 books for ninety-nine cents! As kids read, additional titles can be purchased within the app. I like the look, the price and the value that MeeGenius provides.
Fish School HD
If you’re looking for an app to work on letters, colors, shapes, matching and more, Fish School HD is a great choice. A school of cute, colorful fish lead users through each game by moving into place and forming shapes or challenging them to pick out the fish that don’t belong. With a relatively low price tag for an iPad app, this one delivers lots of functionality and a sharp look.
Miss Spider’s Tea Party
Miss Spider’s Tea Party is quite a bit more expensive than the rest of the apps listed in this review. However, parents of preschoolers have given the app high marks and buyers definitely get more than just an e-book. High quality graphics illustrate the story of Miss Spider and her quest to get guests to attend a tea party. Beyond the basic book, users are also able to work on coloring pages and puzzles.
Super Why! For iPad
Another app from the folks at PBS Kids, Super Why! For iPad follows the characters of the hit PBS Show, SuperWhy! on their quest to learn about reading, writing and spelling. Each game is led by a main character, like Alpha Pig or Princess Presto, who will be familiar to children who have watched the Super Why! television program. Although the main focus of the app is education, children are encouraged to do well by earning virtual stickers to store on their accomplishments page. Learning and stickers are always a winning combination!
123 World Geography HD
In the early stages of learning, it seems that geography can often be overlooked. 123 World Geography HD introduces world maps in a format that is easy to comprehend. Users are able to color in maps of various continents and countries while hearing music from the region and hearing the native language. Society is a melting pot of culture, and this app would be a great way to introduce kids to cultures different from their own and explain how lifestyles vary around the world. It also doesn’t hurt to know where Canada is.