Your kids can’t keep their hands off your iPad? Don’t worry, it’s not all bad: there are safe apps that are suitable for all ages that will help them learn – and have fun – in total safety.
Although iPads aren’t exactly toys, kids aren’t always so sure. They grab them at any opportunity and spend hours and hours playing with your apps. But this early taste for technology isn’t necessarily bad: the App Store is full of apps that are perfect for your children, appropriate for their age and, as well as teaching them something, boost their creative streak.
Here, we’ll show you 4 apps that manage to encourage creativity while learning about less-than-exciting (but very necessary) daily routines.
Tico Timer: the time in Technicolor [up to 4 years]
When your children are young, it’s always better to play with them on the iPad – you never know when they’ll be overcome with the urge to throw it on the floor, and you’d be surprised at how quickly little fingers can find their way to forbidden territory. Apps that you and child can play together are perfect. One such app is Tico Timer.
This app fills two roles – it catches children’s attention with bright sounds and colors, while also familiarizing them with the concept of time. It’s a really visual way of teaching them to understand how long they have to wait for dinner, when they need to go to bed, or how much longer they need to brush their teeth.
Tico Timer helps your child understand daily routines, and the time you need to spend on them, in a really natural way, and marks the end of boring explanations about watches and clocks that he or she doesn’t really understand.
PicoToons Coloring Book: the definitive coloring book [4 to 6 years]
Most kids love coloring books, which is what makes PicoToons Coloring Book a sure bet. It’s a really good example of an interactive coloring app.
The artistic possibilities of PicoToons are practically unlimited. Your children can choose from a huge variety of pictures categorized thematically (monsters, fairies, the sea, etc.), as well as 80 different colors and 40 textures. Finally, they can decorate their drawings with stickers.
Even though we’ve recommended PicoToons Coloring Book for children between 4 and 6, it’s really an app that a child of almost any age can use. There are different tasks and difficulty levels, more than enough to keep boredom at bay.
Albert: a story for curious children [6 to 8 years]
Albert is the perfect app for children who love stories and reading. The story accompanies the protagonist during one day in his life. It’s not any old day though – it’s packed with adventures, starting out at his house, and ending up on board a hot-air balloon, high in the sky.
Albert is more than just an interactive book, because it also gives your child mini-games that make the most of the iPad. So, for example, he or she might have to make the wind blow with the camera, or move the iPad to get around obstacles.
The great thing about Albert is that although it’s technically a kids game, its lovely collage-style graphics make it enjoyable for adults too.
Shadow Puppet: kid-sized presentations [from 8 years]
Once they hit about 8 years old, lots of kids are already convinced they’re adults, so don’t be afraid to offer them apps that look a little more grown up. Take the example of Shadow Puppet, a sound and image editor that creative children will love.
Shadow Puppet has a very simple interface: your child selects the images they want to use (importing them from the gallery, getting them from the internet, or taking a photo with the iPad), and once they have them in presentation form, they narrate them in real time while the iPad microphone records it all. They can re-do the recording or add or remove images at any time.
Shadow Puppet is the perfect way for your child to share their best memories. They could, for example, make a presentation with photos from their last birthday party, describe the best parts of the day, and send it to friends and family who couldn’t come.
Want to up the security?
All the apps we’ve mentioned have been developed especially for children: the content is appropriate for their age, and making in-app purchases is impossible, because the apps don’t support it.
If you’re still worried about the safety of your iPad, however, you can install Zoodles. This app provides a safe mode that prevents your children from seeing age-inappropriate material, and even lets you limit the amount of time they spend playing with the iPad.