Here it is — Our sixth kids app review roundup! After every ten (or so) apps we review, we publish our roundup showing how they stack up based on our ratings. Lots of ties this time! Enjoy…
Sharing with Duckie Deck is an engaging and well-produced collection of activities for toddlers and preschoolers that are loosely based around the concept of sharing. There are six different games, giving this app a lot of bang for your buck! Best for picky kids ages 2-4.
Monkey Math School Sunshine is app jam-packed with math-based activities for preschoolers. Ten different games teach different math concepts. We’ve found it to be highly engaging and educational, though the voicovers are a bit annoying. Best for picky kids ages 3½-5.
If Monkey Math School looks too advanced for your child, try Ladybug Number Count! It’s a simpler number recognition and counting game for toddlers. We love the photography and the stop-motion style animation that makes the ladybugs look alive. Best for picky kids ages 1½-3½.
Little Genius presents memory matching, matching, puzzles and coloring activities that get progressively harder as they’re completed. There are twelve different levels to complete, and as they’re completed you can check your progress on a map with the super-cute “little genius.” The drawback to this style of game is that there’s no way to pick a specific activity. Best for picky kids ages 2½-4.
In Dr. Panda’s Veggie Garden, kids can help grow vegetables, fruits and grains. It’s a good introduction to the steps required for gardening (prepping, planting, pest control, watering and harvesting) and reasonably accurate, even! (Except that it all takes minutes, not months.) One drawback is that you cannot pick what to grow yourself. Best for kids ages 2½ – 3.
In this app, kids can learn about comparisons and opposite works in a story, song and activity. The illustrations are quite cute and the song (a music video, actually) is quite catchy! The content is a bit limited though, there are only four different scenes in the activity. Best for kids ages 2 – 3.
If you’ve got a dinosaur-fanatic in your family, this app may be worth checking out! Most of the math problems are too difficult for preschoolers, but there are five other dinosaur related activities that are good for budding paleontologists. And, if you can keep them interested until first grade or so, then you could tackle the math problems! Best for kids ages 4 – 5+ (maybe up to 7 or 8).
iDollhouse gets kudos for having an insane amount of interactions — it’s a valiant attempt at recreating the experience of having a real physical dollhouse. But some things are difficult to do (for example, you must put a person in exactly the right place to get them to ride the rocking horse or go to bed), and there are some awkward user experiences. Patience, and help for small hands, is necessary. Best for ages 3½ – 5+.
Piano Ball is a music-making app with some cool features, mainly the namesake “balls” that you can spin to navigate. But it’s difficult to use (at least at the time of review). If you try this one, be sure to read the (pages of!) instructions, and be prepared to help kids with it. Best for not-so-picky kids ages 2½ – 4.
Highlights Hidden Pictures is a hidden object game suitable for preschoolers. Except that it’s connected to game center, and that it’s sometimes nearly impossible to tap an object when you find it. (Keep trying, you must be very precise to tap on small items!) On the bright side, there are lots of puzzles included. Best for not-so-picky kids ages 4 – 5.