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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Elizabeth Street

TAPS FOR TOTS: OUR FAVORITE APPS FOR KIDS

Apr 11, 2012

Taps for Tots: Our Favorite Apps for Kids

We all need an “electronic babysitter” every now and then—something to keep kids happily entranced when traffic is jammed, the dentist is behind schedule, or dinner is still cookin’ away. In the days of yesteryear, the Walkman, Gameboy, and smart phones filled this void, but the iPad has provided a much sleeker, and educationally effective alternative (studies show it fosters kinesthetic learning). Here, Elizabeth Street explores all different kinds of apps, so whether your child is two-years-old or eight, a prima ballerina or an aspiring entomologist, we’ve got you covered. So get tapping! —Lucie Alig

FOR KIDS WHO LOVE MUSIC
Baby DJ
Ages 1 and up
Cost: $2.99

Your little one may be 20 years away from club hopping, but that’s not to say they won’t love mixing up beats with this easy-to-tap turntable. The interface is suitable for even the youngest of kids (it was designed with one-year-olds in mind), and everyone will love the animal-adorned, spinning discs. Best of all—tracks are recordable, and can be played back infinitely. Family dance party, anyone?


FOR KIDS WHO LOVE INSECTS

Miss Spider’s Bedtime Story
Ages 3-6
Cost: $2.99

Every little one has a bedtime routine, and Miss Spider’s bug-a-boos are no exception. Adapted from David Kirk’s beloved children’s book, Miss Spider’s Bedtime Story, the iPad version is optimized for the tablet with lulling music, narrated verse, animated hotspots, an interactive flower web, and other engaging add-ons developed by Callaway Digital Arts—the company behind the chart-topping Monster at the End of This Book for iPad.


FOR KIDS WHO LOVE BALLET

Angelina Ballerina’s New Ballet Teacher
Ages 5-7
Cost: $2.99
Read and dance along with Angelina Ballerina as she learns the merits of open-mindedness in this heartfelt, interactive storybook. Users can color, do puzzles, and interact with animations to their hearts’ content—and learn about grand jetés and pirouettes along the way. What’s more, the app comes with integrated Angelina music videos that are perfect for entertaining several little ones at once.


FOR KIDS WHO LOVE OUTERSPACE

Star Walk
Ages 5 and up
$4.99 for iPad, $2.99 for iPhone

When it comes to extraterrestrial apps, Make a Martian for iPhone may be the best time-killer (think endless combinations of otherworldly eyes, fangs, wings, and ears) but for a true astronomical adventure, nothing beats Star Walk. The built-in GPS finds and uses your current location, so by angling your device up towards the sky, the app will track all constellations, planets, and stars that are within eyeshot. Watch your backyard trampoline transform into Orion’s Belt!


FOR KIDS WHO LOVE THEIR PETS

Pet Playpen
Ages 5-8
Cost: $0.99

There’s no reason to lament the Tamagotchis in the basement now that Pet Playpen is around! Your kids will love playing with, feeding, and grooming critters—their choice between bunnies, dogs, pet rocks, and more. Best of all, caretakers will learn about responsibility, attentiveness, and resourcefulness through this darling yet straightforward functionality. 

Photo courtesy of: Christopher Furlong / Getty Images




COMMENTS

Comments

Submitted by Elizabeth Rago on

This post was so helpful for me! I have 3 small children and am really growing tired of the ridiculous pack up of "distraction items" for the doctors office. My iPhone and iPad is the perfect solution. I'll admit, I have a little bit of mom-guilt when they are staring at a screen, but we are in and out of our appointments almost pain free! :) Great suggestions!

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