Best Kids Apps


Monster Physics

Let kids play with speed and velocity from the comfort of an iPad
  • * * * * *
  • Age: 8+ |

  • 0.99


Monster Physics is an educational app that lets young scientists play with the laws of physics as they build contraptions and complete challenges.

Kids choose from fifty missions that let them solve such problems as how to get their monster through an obstacle course or feed it fruit.  In the build section, kids can create their own imaginative inventions and then test them out for fun. If they forgot the definition of acceleration, they can refer to the learn section for help.

Why we like it:

This app is like an inventor’s workshop that lets kids engage in creative, open-ended play. There are many ways to build the contraption that will solve a mission, so kids feel free to explore all the possibilities.

Plus you get to create your own monster avatar. It can’t get much cooler than that.

Watch out for:

There may be some frustration. Most kids (and their moms) are excited to start building, but it’s a good idea to go through the tutorial first.

Like this?  Get our App of the Week newsletter.



LetterSchool

A letter learning app that will have kids coming back for more
  • * * * * *
  • Age: 3+ |

  • $2.99


LetterSchool is a “best of the bunch” letter learning and handwriting app that will keep kids coming back for more.  Which is, after all, the whole point.

This is educational technology as it should be!

Subtle audio clues help kids learn the correct way to form letters (paying attention both to order and direction of lines).  Got more than one letter learner in your house?  No problem.  This app can store scores for up to three.

Why we like it:
The app presents kids with a giggling, dancing alphabet.  They choose a letter, say Z.  “This is the letter Z!” enthuses the app, “for z, z, zebra!”  Then, kids have to trace the letter three times.  But it’s not just boring chalk, oh no!  They trace with lights, rockets, gardens, train tracks, chains, and candy necklaces.  Simple animations boost the replay value.

Teachers and occupational therapists will love the fact that they can designate lower or upper case letters (or numbers) as well as choose from three handwriting learning programs.

Once they conquer the blue background level, they’ll unlock the orange background level with many more games.

Watch out for:
It would be nice if we could input kids’ names instead of choosing from the three characters in the settings (which isn’t really very clear).  Maybe for future updates?

Like this?  Get our App of the Week newsletter.



ABC Zooborns

Sure, it's for toddlers, but OMG! Baby animals!
  • * * * * *
  • Age: 1+ |

  • $2.99


ABC Zooborns is a very rare thing.  It’s not every day that an app designed for toddlers and preschoolers captivates an adult.  Trust me on this.  I just spent 30 minutes oohing and ahhing over photos of baby aardvarks and capybaras.

Any child who likes animals will enjoy this app.  If you’re not squealing when you look at this picture, we can’t be friends anymore.  Sorry.

 

 

 

Why we like it:
Not only is this app chock full of cute animal pictures, videos, simple interactions, and facts, it’s very easy to navigate.  For example, if you touch the letter “a” in “panda”, you’re taken to all the “a” animals.  There is no way to get lost.

Pre-alphabet kids can still get around, because there are voice cues like “Help me find the yaks!” and so on.

Watch out for:
The baby aye-ayes are kind of scary-looking.  It pains me to tell you this, because I have so much sympathy for this species (which is endangered because it’s considered a bad omen — and therefore killed — in its native Madagascar).