There are parents who want to keep their children far away from all sources of audiovisual stimuli for as long as possible, and that’s fine. But before I go any further, I should tell you that we belong to the other camp. Our digital natives are growing up with iPads and iPhones – in small doses and with adult guidance. We also always use parental controls where possible. I explain how to set that up here.
There are a huge number of excellent, entertaining and also creative apps for kids, which surely connect one synapse or another. And here they are, our 10 favorite apps for kids:
Peekaboo is a classic. First you see the barn shake, then you click on the door and you’re greeted by a farm animal making the corresponding sound. This game is simple, super and ad-free.
The same series is also available with Halloween figures, refrigerator contents, etc. Available from Night & Day Studios for around $2/2 CHF in the App Store. Suitable from the moment your child starts to show interest in your iPad up to around 3.5 years old. Another app I can highly recommended, with stunning graphics: Peekaboo Forest.
As its name suggests, it’s all about building simple towers. The free version has about five towers unlocked for use, but the full version is definitely worth the money. Older kids should try out the slightly more challenging version, “Towers II,” while kids aged around 3 and up can play “Sorting” with colors, shapes or pretty pink squirrels.
By Tiny Hands Apps Educational Learning, from around 12 months to five years depending on the version. Around $7/7 CHF in the App Store, the test version is free.
#3 Baby’s Musical Hands
This app makes music and is full of color – it was even awarded best “infant app” back in 2011. It’s particularly ideal for very young kids who don’t happen to have a xylophone at hand.
Developed by Streaming Colour, available for about $1/1 CHF in the App Store. Suitable from the moment your child starts to show interest in your iPad up to approximately 2 years old.
#4 Petting Zoo – Interactive Picture Book Fun
These 21 wonderfully drawn animals at the petting zoo wriggle around in all possible directions when you poke them or pull at them. Great fun, even for us adults!
Developed by Fox & Sheep GmbH, available for around $2/2 CHF in the App Store. Suitable from the moment when your child starts to show interest in your iPad up to around 4 years old.
If this had been around back when I was a kid, I would have played it for hours on end. In the waiting room, 15 injured animals are standing in line to be treated and fed. Each animal poses a new challenge for your mini pet doctor, be it pulling worms out of a stomach or sticking a Band-Aid on a cat’s ear. Once all the pets are happy and healthy again, the fun simply starts over.
Created by my favorite team of developers, Toca Boca AB, and available for about $3/3 CHF in the App Store. Suitable for kids aged between about 2 and 99! Toca Boca has created countless apps, such as “Train“, “Kitchen Monsters” and “Hair Salon,” and I can recommend them all.
# 6 Nampa Holiday
Ride on the train, paint a VW camper van in bright colors or fly on an airplane – this is an excellent app developed by parents, without any text. And best of all, without any in-app purchases.
Three different apps are now available from Nampa Design AB. Available in the App Store for approximately $3/3 CHF. Suitable for kids aged between around 1.5 and five years old.
# 7 Sago Mini Space Explorer
The little astronaut dog in outer space meets kissing aliens, sniffly giant worms and, of course, rockets, meteorites and shooting stars. A game without a fixed beginning or end, all about exploring and discovering.
Developed by Sago Mini, available in the App Store for about $3/3 CHF. Suitable for kids aged between three and five years old.
# 8 Toca Boca Boo
My daughter’s favorite game. A little girl dresses up as a ghost and haunts her house. Slightly older kids can find hidden options (like eating purple cucumbers that activate burp mode), while little ones simply love to float around with their ghost.
By Toca Boca AB, available in the App Store for about $3/3 CHF. Suitable for kids aged around two and up but also fun for bigger kids.
#9 Fun English
Anyone who wants to learn some English while they play should have a look at this app. Ten different lessons focus on fruits, the house, animals or the garden. Each category offers games, songs and dexterity activities with different levels of difficulty.
Developed by Studycat, the first two games are free in the App Store, with more available as in-app purchases. I recommend forking out the roughly $16/16 CHF for the full version, but you can also buy individual lessons for about $3 each. It’s well worth the money. Suitable for kids aged between about three and 10 (according to the developer).
Yippee! Finally, “my” favorite kids’ TV show is available as an app! The “Octonauts,” underwater explorers, go on adventures in the depths of the ocean and help different marine animals (all of which our son now knows the names of, more than both his dad and I combined) – all without seeming too obviously instructional. In this game, players can feed the dolphins, free sea snails from rocks or help Dashi take perfect photographs.
Developed by Night&Day Studios, available in the App Store for around $4/4 CHF. No in-app purchases. Suitable for kids aged approximately 3 and up.
And what are your favorites? I’d love to read your tips in the comments so we can put together a huge collection of recommendations!zu den Kommentaren