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Ah, summer. The beach, the mountains, the lake, the… long hours in a car or airplane with impatient children. If you’ll be flying or road tripping this summer, download a few new iPhone and iPad apps to help the miles go by a lot quicker.
1. Jacob Jones and the Bigfoot Mystery: Episode 1
Ages: 6 and up | $0.99
Jacob Jones is off to summer camp, where everything isn’t exactly as it seems. Along with his hairy new sidekick, he has to figure out what is going on at Camp Eaglefeather by solving a series of narrative-style puzzles that are just right for young kids.
2. State Plate Bingo!
Ages: 4 and up | $0.99
This app really won’t keep kids occupied for hours, but it’s fun as an ongoing quest on road trips. Can you find all 50 states in a single journey? There’s only one way to find out. The iPhone version works on an iPad, but isn’t optimized for it.
3. Sago Mini Sound Box
Ages: 2 and up | free
Babies, toddlers, and preschoolers (and maybe even some older kids) will love this cute, simple music discovery app. Kids choose an “instrument” (though it could be a puppy barking or a noisy barn). They tap the screen to add the sounds, then grab, fling, bounce and play with them.
4. Road Trip Bingo
Ages: 4 and up | $0.99/1.99
Got exactly two kids? Download the only travel-themed bingo app that lets both of them compete head to head. Your kids can scour the landscape for everything from road signs and blue cars to snow-topped mountains and dogs.
Ages: 8 and up | free
Got three or more kids? Check out this hilarious app that’s a lot like the telephone game we all played when we were younger! Player one types a well known phrase, such as “The early bird gets the worm.” Player two illustrates the phrase with a fingertip drawing. Player three captions Player two’s drawing without seeing the original phrase. And so on.
Don’t think it’s only for travel either. My kids beg me to play every night. Can’t think of a good phrase? The developers have thought of that — just tap the suggestions button.
Animal Planet Hide & Seek Pets is a gently educational pre-reading app populated with six of the cutest pets ever.
Your child can have fun with a puppy, kitten, and rabbit while doing puzzles, coloring, tracing, and playing memory matching games.
This app is beautifully designed and very intuitive. Also? No cages or fish tanks to clean!
There are lots of simple interactive elements too, and a grown-ups corner so you can play and collaborate with your kids.
Want to try it?
HOW TO ENTER
It’s easy peasy. Just leave a comment below by Tuesday, May 14th, 2013. The next day, we’ll choose 3 people at random and gift this app to them via email.
Please note, only readers in the U.S. will be able to redeem the codes. Please don’t enter if you live elsewhere.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post written by Best Kids Apps on behalf of the developer. While we are paid to publish the Win It! series, all opinions are our own.
StoryLines is a creative app that encourages interpersonal, non-competitive play. More importantly, it’s an app that made me and my kids laugh really hard.
Here’s how it works: Player One types a well known phrase, such as “Lie down with dogs, get up with fleas.” Player Two illustrates the phrase with a fingertip drawing. Player Three captions Player Two’s drawing without seeing the original phrase. And so on.
Why we like it:
It’s a lot like that telephone game we all played when we were young, and absolutely hilarious. Especially in my family, where we totally lack the art gene.
Watch out for:
It’s actually surprisingly challenging to think of well known phrases. Once you’ve done, “the early bird gets the worm” and “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree”, you may get stuck. Not to worry, because you can get suggestions from the app. They’ve thought of everything.
There is an option to play online with friends over the internet. Obviously this is a no-no for kids, so explain that to them before handing it over.