Monday, September 19, 2011

Our favorite kid iPad aps!

Last fall I purchased an iPad.  I wasn't really sure why I did at the time.  Probably because my husband had one...and loved his.  I posted something on Facebook asking friends if I was missing something about why the iPad was such the rage.   I just wanted to get a few opinions about if I was missing something.  There was a REALLY heated debate.  Some friends got really mad as they debated each other.  I felt bad for even posting the question.    What is wrong with doing everything with paper and a pencil?  Nothing.  I still feel that way.  We do quiet well with the paper and pencil approach.

I HATE video games...I don't want my kids...especially my boys... getting sucked into the video game world.  What on earth could my kids do on an iPad?  I was at first thinking video thank you...but as I started to explore the world of iPad aps...I realized that this is a very useful tool to have....but I want to stress it is NOT a must have.  It is just an extra bonus type thing to have.

I am going to share a few of my kids' (and my) favorite kid aps.  We use our iPad pretty much everyday in school to supplement what the kids' are already learning.

Some of the aps are free...some are not.  I am not listing the price next to my reviews, but all of them were under $5.00.  Most only $1.99. 

Toddler & Preschool Aps:
Knee Bouncers Volume 1:  Easton (2 1/2 years old) LOVES this ap.  He could play it all day if I let him.  My friend Megan recommended the computer version of it, but I am a little leary about turning him loose on my the ap is just perfect.

Description:  There are 5 little games included in this ap-- colors, letters, balloon popping, circus animals, and the train.  There isn't too much involved with this ap...just a lot of finger movements and announcements of words, letters, and sounds. 

Zoo Train:  Busy Bee Preschool:  This is Easton's other favorite ap. He actually prefers this over Knee Bouncers most of the time. 
Easton playing his favorite game!
 Description: Like Knee Bouncers there are 5 little games, however these are a little more complex.  Easton's favorite is the train letter matching game.  The train comes out with a word...such as h-o-u-s-e and then on top of the word are the letters scrambled.  He loves matching up the letters and then the program says the word...and he says it too.  Once he completes so many words successfully he can choose a little picture to go on a suitcase.  I looked the other day and his suitcase is quiet cluttered!  Because he gets so focused on this one game, I need toA get him interested in the 4 other cute little games...the others are matching objects instead of letters to create a picture, making your own train track, make your song, and build your own train.

Alphabet Tracing:  Katelyn (4 years) and Easton love this one also.  It is a very simple ap.

Description:  Choose uppercase, lowercase, and numbers and trace whatever appears on the screen.  The ap also says the letter/number and has a picture matching up to whatever letter they are working on. 

ABC Phonics:  Katelyn has kind of grown out of this one, but I still have her use it when I want her to practice writing words. 

Description:  The kids can choose what animal name they would like to write and the word appears on the screen.  The ap says the animals name and they can trace the letters.

Animal Sounds:  This is just a fun little ap that shows pictures of animals and their sounds.

Beyond Preschool: (Kindergarten- 1st Grade):

Math Bumpies:  I use this with Jocelyn sometimes instead of having her use paper and pen.

Description:  This is just a fun little addition and subtraction game.  You can set the difficulty levels to easy, moderate, and hard.  If the child completes so many questions correctly they can move onto another part of the trail. 

Teach Me:  1st Grade 

Description:  This is just a little supplementary program that focuses on math, spelling, and sight words.  It tracks their progress as they go.  Jocelyn thinks it boring, but it just a nice little review of things.

Fishing Studio's Recorder:  (the expanded version)  I use this for Jocelyn's spelling words. 

Description:  At the beginning of the week I record myself saying Jocelyn's spelling words.  When she feels like she is ready to test out, she uses this program and takes the test.  It is nice that if she doesn't pass, I don't have to sit down with her again and read the list off.  I can get a few things done while she is working on the test.  :) 

Clockmaster:  This is just a simple clock program to test Jocelyn on time.  I like it...she thinks it is ok.  She would rather do this that a workbook though:)

Aps for various age levels:

Drawing Pad:  We have used this to write spelling words or practice writing in general.  You can also just draw pictures, put (fake) stickers on the screen, and make your own little masterpiece.:)  We have quiet a few drawing programs, but this is by far the kids' favorite. 

Barbie Fashionista:  Choosing a million different looks for Barbie and saving each picture after you create her look.  Need I say more...this is my girls' favorite fun program. 

Touchy Books:  These are great little books where you can read the book or it reads to you...the kids can touch the screen and something the wind might blow, or a light might turn on in a house if you touch the window, or candy falls.  Super fun!  There are several different books to choose from.

Interactive Disney Books:  We only have a two of these-- The Princess and the Frog and Toy Story.  The kids love these can turn the book into a coloring book, play games, read the story on your own or listen to someone else read it.  All of the kids love this.

This post is getting kind of I am sorting through my iPad, I keep coming across more and more aps that the kids love.  

I would love to hear from you!  If you have any educational or non-educational ones for first grade on down, pass them along to me!  There are thousands out there!

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