Tips for this week for finding the best apps for kids iPad and iPhone by Appysmarts reviewers and users.
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This week's apps for kids :
Bugs and Buttons app by Little Bit Studio
What it is: a pack of 18 games and activities concentrating on fine motor skills, critical thinking and problem solving.
What you do with it: please refer to the full list with descriptions available on the producer's website: http://littlebitstudio.com/bugsandbuttons/
What we liked: the concept, great graphics with very realistic animated insects, easy navigation and operation, the number and quality of (most) of the activities, adaptive learning system (difficulty increases or decreases depending on the child's progress), the sound backgrounds, the 'stamp collecting' rewards feature.
Pat the Bunny app by Random House Digital
What it is: a set of 14 interactive scenes based on the book by Dorothy Kunhardt.
What you do with it: the 'activities' mode: choose a scene and follow the audio instructions to complete a simple task by tapping or swiping on the screen (e.g. pop bubbles in the bath, make 'music' in the kitchen, find the bunny in the room, play peek-a-boo). In the paint mode: rub the screen to reveal the colors in the pictures.
What we liked: the concept, great illustrations, extremely easy navigation and operation, number and variety of activities, audio instructions, background music and sound effects.
Freddi Fish and The Stolen Shell game by Nimbus Games
What it is: an interactive strategy puzzle solving game.
What you do with it: help Freddi Fish and his friend Luther collect items, solve puzzles and piece clues together to solve the mystery of the stolen Great Conch Shell and open the Founder's Day Festival in the fantasy underwater world.
What we liked: the concept, number and variety of tasks, number of interactive elements, cute characters, fun factor, great illustrations and animations, sounds and sound backgrounds matching the storyline, overall high quality of the app.
Little Finder app by Innovative Mobile Apps
What it is: a simple game teaching names of various objects.
What you do with it:hear object's name and find it on the screen. You can also play with an oponent (the screen is divided in 2 opposite boards).
What we liked:the concept, good graphics, simple operation. Many configuration options, including 'zen' mode (unlimited time - good) for smaller kids. The excellent idea for the 2 player mode.
Montessori Letter Sounds app
What it is: set of activities for teaching basic reading, spelling and writing skills.
What you do with it: the app contains 4 main activities:
The 'I spy' game: match an object whose name begins with the letter you hear.
The 'Letter Sounds' activity: listen to the letter sound then point to the correct letter.
The 'Mix and Match' activity: match the letter with the beginning sound of the object in the picture
The 'Sound it out' activity: drag the letters/letter sounds into the correct spaces to spell the word you hear.
The app also includes a 'toolbox': the Phonetic Alphabet, the Notebook and the Sandbox for tracing letters and the Image Box (for learning the names of the objects in the pictures).
What we liked: the concept, number and quality of the activities and their educational value, simple illustrations, spoken instructions, extra instructions for parents. The options for UK/US voices.