Eight Noteworthy Apps for ChildrenBy WARREN BUCKLEITNER
If you coexist with children and iPads, you’ve undoubtedly discovered they have an insatiable “app”-itite (sorry, couldn’t resist). Here are eight recent noteworthy selections for younger users, listed from young to old.
Harold and the Purple Crayon ($5) hands you the crayon (your finger) and asks you fill in each page by uncovering the hidden images. You finish when Harold is back home, safely tucked under his covers, just like he was in Crockett Johnson’s 1955 book. Ages 2-8.
ABC Food ($2) is an alphabet-themed visual encyclopedia, built around rich open-source images and videos. The only problem — it will make you hungry. Ages 2-8.
Toca Robot Lab ($1) lets you mix-and-match robot parts to make a robot that you can fly through a maze. As with other Toca Boca apps, failure is not an option. For ages 2-up.
Cinderella – Nosy Crow Animated Picture Book ($6) raises the bar in children’s ebooks with such touches as an orchestrated sound track and a magic mirror that puts your child’s face into the story, by way of the front-facing camera. For ages 3-up.
Club Penguin: Puffle Launch ($1) is fun, fast and requires quick thinking. And it isn’t Angry Birds. Your task is to aim a set of rotating cannons in order to fire your Puffle (the round pets from the Club Penguin virtual world) through a maze. You can earn coins that are transferred to your Club Penguin account. Ages 6-up.
MadPad ($1 for iPhone, $3 for iPad) from Smule (of Magic Piano and Ocarina fame) turns your multitouch screen into a mix board, with sounds and video (camera required) that you capture from your own environment. Ages 5-up.
Motion Math Zoom (free, with in-app sales) offers proof that a hard math concept can become fun. How? By way of a Silly Putty-like number line that lets you pinch or stretch your way to a particular landing spot, before your time runs out. Along the way, children discover that smaller units like tenths or hundreds are hidden between the ones or 10s. Ages 4-up.
Harry Potter Film Wizardry ($13) can satisfy the curiosity of a Harry Potter aficionado, young or old, with pinch and zoom maps of Hogwarts, movie trailers and artifacts like Harry’s letter of acceptance into Hogwarts. Apps like this help you remember why you spent $500 on an iPad. Ages 8-up.