I like the idea of “thoughtful technology”. Which doesn’t mean that my son doesn’t get to play with my iphone or ipad, just that I try (and sometimes more successfully than others) to turn the play into a conversation. Some of the apps below are better for that than others. And some of them are just better for when you need 10 minutes to get dinner made! I tried to include some favourites that cover a range of ages but we’d love it if you share some of your favourites on facebook or in the comments below!
1. Angry Birds Lite, free.
Villainous pigs and angry birds combine to make a hugely popular game that appeals to kids and parents alike. It’s so popular that it’s spun off into stuffed animals, t-shirts and even cake toppers!
2. Creationary, free.
How quickly can you guess what’s being built from LEGO bricks? A fun one to do together with a smaller child and a fun challenging for older kids, especially those who love lego.
3. Doodle Buddy, free.
Draw and paint with your fingers and then share with friends. It also lets you pick a background, you can even use your own photos, and then you draw and stamp all them! Parents can use it for useful things like designing a logo for their business.
4. Family Matters, 1.99.
This app is not a game, but it is be a sanity saver when you’re waiting in line at the airport or at the doctor’s office. It gives you lots of ideas for games and stories. Great for engaging the whole family.
5. Fruit Ninja Lite, free.
You can wipe your finger across the screen to deliciously slash and splatter fruit like a true ninja warrior. This one is a bit tricky (and violent) for the smaller kids but very satisfying for the older crowd, which may include mom and dad.
6. Kid song Kwiz Game, .99.
A popular kid’s song plays and then the child has to touch the picture that matches the song. This is a fun one to do with your kids and is great for motor skills as well as listening skills!
7. Peekaboo Barn, free.
Inside a little bouncing barn, friendly farm animals are waiting to pop out and surprise your little one. Try and guess who they are; tap the doors to find out! This is a great one for toddlers who are just figuring out their swiper fingers.
8. Talking Tom Cat, free.
If your kids want a pet more than you do, this app might be the answer. Tom is your pet cat, and responds to your touch and repeats everything you say with a funny voice. Children of all ages can occupy themselves for hours but beware, this app can make them very silly!
9. Super WHY!, 2.99.
Have fun learning to read with this collection of four SUPER WHY interactive literacy games. Your child can play along with each of the four main characters from the TV series: Alpha Pig, Princess Presto, Wonder Red, and, of course, Super Why, while practicing the alphabet, rhyming, spelling, writing and reading.