We’ve just returned from South East Asia and as usual prior to a trip I made sure our iPad was stocked full of goodies for the plane ride and any holiday downtime. So here is my round-up of our favourite 5 apps for May 2012. I’ve included links to the developers site rather than iTunes, as some of these apps are now also available on the Android market.
I mostly let my daughter choose the games she’d like to play on the iPad and Swapsies is one that she has chosen to play many times since Spinlight Media kindly provided me with a copy for review. Most young kids love to dress-up and role play and Swapsies is a digital version of this concept. It’s a basic mix and match game, where you start with a character (there are 3 males and 3 females to choose from) and then you dress that character up. There are 10 occupations to match, or alternatively you can just mix it up and make clever combinations such as a doctor’s hat crossed with fire fighter’s top crossed with a baker’s trousers. If your toddler does happen to get an exact match then an adventure with that particular occupation is unlocked. There’s also a fun interactive quiz section for older toddlers which helps to develop reasoning skills.
This app is free, so Toca Kitchen Monsters is awesome value! My daughter gets a lot of enjoyment from this app and she loves watching the monsters eat her crazy creations. It’s an easy game for her to play on her own, plus she learns about food and cooking in the process. The basic premise of the games is that 2 hungry little monsters have snuck into the kitchen and it is up to the player to feed them. There are a number of ingredients to choose from and you can prepare the food in lots of different ways (dice, boil, fry, cook, blend, microwave, etc.) and then you feed your creation to your chosen monsters to see whether or not they like it. There are no hard and fast rules to this game and the player can be as creative as they choose. A great imagination builder!
I’ve mentioned before that I’m a fan of Duck Duck Moose apps, they always seem to grab the attention of my toddler with their colourful visuals, great music and educational focus. Park Math, is no exception, designed for the 1 – 6 year market it’s an app with a long lifespan. Blue bear is our guide through the park and there are 7 games to choose from that each address a basic mathematical concept such as counting, adding, subtracting and sorting. There are also 2 different levels, one for preschoolers and the other for kindergarten. I have to admit that some of the activities are beyond the current ability of my 2 year old but she loves playing with the different games nevertheless and she learns about basic math along the way.
There are some toddler apps where the music drives me batty and I have been known to tell my kids that the sound is broken on certain apps – Animal Hide and Seek Adventure is fortunately not one of those apps. It actually has fun music, though maybe not everyone would agree! It’s a simple concept built around (surprise surprise) the game of hide and seek. There are 3 different scenes to choose from (ocean, jungle and circus) and the player has to find the five hidden animals. When found, each animal performs a little trick and has a real instrument sound, and when they’re all found a little animation scene is played. Hiding spots constantly change, as do the tricks and sounds the animals make. This game is a simple pleaser for toddlers.
One for the very young. Peekaboo Barn won’t keep an older toddler entertained for very long but it is a great app for keeping very young toddlers and even babies mesmerized. It’s an uncomplicated game of peek-a-boo with barnyard animals. The animal hides in the barn, the toddler taps the screen and the animal is revealed with a cute voiceover of the animal’s name and the sound it makes. It’s available in numerous languages and there is also the option to record your own voice so you can star as the narrator of Peekaboo Barn.