With summer break finally here, it’s inevitable you’ll hear the words, “I’m bored” stemming from your kids’ mouths. Whether you’re occupying them on a rainy day, need something for a long car ride, or need a few minutes to get them out of your hair, here are four awesome apps that’ll keep them interested–with an educational component to boot.
Bobo Explores Light
$4.99, available at the App Store
Bobo Explores Light is a fun new app that combines science with comedy, perfect for school-aged children ages four and up. The app features over a hundred papges of interactive content, from discovering photosynthesis and interactive holograms. There are twenty-one topics, including everything from lasers to lightning, all led by Bobo, a friendly robot that guides kids along the way. There are plenty of hands-on experiments, so they get involved right in the app, and plenty of videos, trivia, and articles to extend their learning. The app is detailed, fun, and interactive, and takes advantage of the new iPad’s retina display. The book style is easy for kids to use, and, frankly, will attract the adults, too.
Toontastic has been upped into the App Store Hall of Fame, and listed as a Top Ten by NY Times and received a Parent’s Choice award and a Children’s Technology Review award in 2011. Kids engage by making cartoons by pressing a few buttons, moving the characters, and telling their stories. When your kid is finished, the app plays back the animation, bringing it to life, and creating a cartoon that your kid has created and can be shared with friends and family. It helps build on creativity with plenty of choices to choose from to attract any child. With it, they will also learn about other cultures, customs and lifestyles by plugging into ToonTube, their Global Storytelling Network, to connect with other kids around the world. They also have recently updated it with a Rock Stars option, letting your kids start their own garage band. Though the app itself is free, the different playsets each cost a bit of cash, though you can score all thirty-four for $9.99.
Dr. Seuss Band
$0.99, available at the App Store
Budding musicians will love Dr. Seuss Band, a musical instrument game that transforms the iPad into a musical instrument. Kids can play along with Seuss songs and create their own, as well. There are over 120 combinations of sounds, with new ones unlocking the more you play. Winning of many awards, including Best Apps for Children and Best Apps of 2011, the app features beautiful artwork inspired by Dr. Seuss, and is suitable for ages 4 and up. Kids can play the music game or use free play, with ten original songs, plenty of instrument effects, three different difficulty levels, and more. It is loads of fun–even for adults–and older kids will appreciate the challenge of the harder levels.
Scribble Press is an innovative app that delves into the book creative process, where kids can imagine, create, and share their own stories with drawing and writing. They can even download their books into the iBooks library! Get them going by creating their own eBook, using one of their fifty story templates or coming up with their own. There are over 500 drawing tools, a sticker collection, access to your own photos, and more. Users can also order a printed copy of the book, as well as puzzles, notebooks, and greeting cards; creations can also be shared in an optional public gallery. Winner of over six awards, including Apple Staff Favorite, the app is dedicated to empowering and inspiring kids–a great way to spend their summer.