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The Best Kids Apps of All Time

The Best Kids Apps of All Time

Our kids love to play on mum and dad’s iPhones, our girls started before they were one year old.  Within moderation I’m quite happy for them to play games at this age, it’s a lot more stimulating than just watching TV.  Apple recognises this growing market too and their new kids app store has made it easy to access a lot of children’s apps, but it can still be very hard to know which ones are brilliant and which are a waste of money.

Our daughters (now 3 and 6 years old) have been working hard on a three year research project: finding the best kids apps for the iPhone and iPad!  They’ve been playing testing lots of games apps, we’ve made sure they’re wholesome and spam-free, and now we’re ready to share the scores thesis with you.  So here are the top 10 best kids apps, ranked by the time our kids spend on them over the last three years.

Chatter Pix price-tag-free

Chatter Pix App

ChatterPix makes anything talk: a toy, drawing, family member or random inanimate object.  Just take a photo of the object, mark where the mouth should be and then talk.  You can even dress up your object before saving or sharing it.  If your kids are even slightly creative I’m sure you can see how quickly they can get hooked on this!

Here’s the very first ChatterPix video my oldest daughter made when she was five.  It’s her foot singing a song about being a foot.  You can see why this one made the top of our list!

Forest Flyer price-tag-free

Forest Flyer App

This is one of the simplest games on our list and yet one of the best.  You simply drag the bird around the forest but when you let him go he’ll interact with the things around him.  He may play with the other cute animals, eat a cup cake, go for a swim or break into song.  It ticks a lot of boxes for both our three year old and five year old: cute, simple, funny, creative.  I’d equally recommend the partner app called Ocean Swimmer, much of the same but in an underwater setting.

Pet Doctor price-tag-free

Pet Doctor App

An entire waiting room full of dozens of pets to cure: broken wings, swallowed insects, sore eyes, a knotted worm and everything in between.  Both our kids, 3 and 6 years old, absolutely love playing doctors with these cute creatures: it’s a hard combination to beat.

Build a Truck price-tag-free

Build a Truck

You might not think that three and six year old girls would be into a truck game but are they ever!  It’s a simple side-scrolling driving game, no competitors so it’s nice and casual, and plenty of coins to collect along the way.  Where this game becomes exceptional is that kids also get let their creativity loose designing their own trucks.

BeBop Blox price-tag-free

BeBop Blox

In essence this is a fairly simple jigsaw puzzle game.  But the developer has done a fantastic job mixing in cute characters, funny sound effects and a tactile 3D environment.  This game has easily been our youngest daughter’s favourite app while she was two and three years old.

Hair Salon 2 price-tag-free

Toca Hair Salon 2

I think most girls enjoy brushing mum and dad’s hair, and this app lets them take this to another level.  They can colour, shampoo, cut, extend, blow dry and style a range of male and female characters.  There’s also a sister app for the same price which lets you take photos of real people who’s hair you can then style.  While this sounds even better, we found that our girls didn’t like it as much, it was quite hard for them to set up photos to work accurately with the app.

Clumsy Ninja price-tag-free

Clumsy Ninja App

We were cautious in mentioning a children’s game with in app purchases but our six year old gets so much fun out of Clumsy Ninja there’s no way we could leave it off the list.  You can complete missions by training him, throwing him, tickling him, and even tieing balloons to him.  Everything you do helps him level up in the quest to find his missing friend Kira.  Your child needs to have a reasonable reading level to understand the written quest instructions so I’d say six years and older if they’ll be playing unsupervised.

Monster Kitchen price-tag-free

Monster Kitchen App

If your kids enjoy helping cook, this is the best app for them to experiment with.  Your job is to prepare meals for two hungry monsters.  You have complete freedom to choose which foods you serve up and how you prepare them.  The real ingredients and cooking techniques makes it somewhat educational, but as far as our kids are concerned it’s all fun, they love showing us the ridiculous meals they cook up for the friendly monsters.

Herd Absurd price-tag-free

Herd Absurd App

This is the simplest app on our list and not exactly cheap, but there’s something about it which keeps our kids giggling for hours.  You mix and match the head, body and legs of different animals to form crazy creatures.  Tapping the creature triggers a cute little animation which is different depending on the combination you’ve used.  It’s smart, simple and will appeal to any preschoolers.

Toca Builders price-tag-free

Toca Builders App

This is the most challenging of the apps on our list, our six year old started playing this last year and is only now really starting to make the most of it.  It’s a child-friendly combination of Mine Craft and Lego.  The kids have total freedom to build any structures they want using five different construction robots.  You start with a blank slate so it takes a child with a descent amount of creativity to enjoy it.  If your kids like to build their own Lego creations then this is definitely worth a look.

Honourable Mentions

What are your kid’s favourites?

We hope this list saves you some time trawling through the app store and that your kids get a lot of fun out of these apps.  What are the best kids apps according to your kids?  Let us know in the comments below.

Pi Day Giveaway

Pi Day Giveaway

Pi Day is on 14 March 2014 and we want to do our part to celebrate those infinite decimals which make circumferences measurable! So we are giving away sets of 3.14 books. That’s right, the entire My Little Geek trilogy… plus a little extra. We have no problems slicing and dicing a few books in honour of this great occasion!


Just enter your email above to be in the draw to win, we’ll contact you on Pi Day to let you know if you won. If you have any questions or comments about our 2014 Pi Day giveaway let us know below :)

As seen on Hypersweep.com

Training Young Geeks

Training Young Geeks

Every week I hear about another amazing product which teaches kids about technology, programming or engineering. Here’s a list of our favourites, enjoy!

Program a Robot Using Wooden Blocks

There are a lot of good remote-controlled toys and programable robots around, but most require a computer or iPad to enter the instructions.  What I love about Primo is that it’s a physical programming board into which you place wooden pegs to give the robot it’s instructions.  This makes a world of difference for young kids learning the basic concepts of programming.  This is for kids aged 4-7 and does not even require literacy.

Teaching Young Girls to Build

In a world where men largely outnumber women in science, technology, engineering and math… and girls lose interest in these subjects as early as age 8.  GoldieBlox is determined to change the equation by designing a construction toys from the female perspective and introduce girls to engineering in a fun new way.

Goldie Blox + iPad

Goldie Blox teaches primary school girls about engineering.

Robot Turtles is a Programming-based Board Game

Robot Turtles has a sneaky way of teaching kids – as young as preschoolers – the basics of programming. The interactive board game gibes kids the power of playing the programmers while while the grownups play the computer, following commands and making all sorts of goofy boops and beeps along the way! Robot Turtles was a massive Kickstarter success reacing 2,500% of it’s goal and the game is now available for pre-order.

Geek Alphabet Building Blocks

This set of 36 beautifully hand-crafted building blocks feature all sorts of geek culture icons.  There are 134 images of all together including: famous people, animals, monsters, robots, vehicles and devices from some of the best geek movies, TV shows, books, comics and video games.  While this specific set from Jonathan Guberman was just a personal project, you can buy similar blocks from Xylocopa.

A collection of geeky alphabet building blocks by Jonathan Guberman
A collection of geeky alphabet building blocks by Jonathan Guberman

Electronics-themed Colouring Books

Ladyada’s E is for Electronics is a coloring book adventure with electronic components and their inventors.  Makers of all ages can learn, color, and share common parts and historical figures throughout history.

Lego’s Online Build Academy

This online application will train your child to become a Master Builder!  Starting with the basics, you’ll face a series of Lego building challenges in different locations. Before you know it, you’ll be building complex magical worlds of your own.

Lego + Chrome = Build Academy

Learn the Principles of Coding via Games

Code.org is a non-profit online learning website with games which help kids as young as five learn principles of coding through educational games.  For slightly older kids who want to go a step further and even look at actual code syntax, check out Code Academy.

Code.org + Angry Birds

Learn principles of coding with these educational kids games at code.org

DIY Electronics Kits for School Kids

littleBits lets you piece together electronic components as if they were Lego blocks.  This lets you create complex electronic devices with very little engineering knowledge, complete with working motors, lights and sound.  For slightly older kids you may also want to check out check out Makey Makey and Snap Circuits.

Geek Education in the News

Here are a few articles by others on children’s technology education:

What tech toys have you seen lately?  We’d love to hear your recommendations below :)

A Game of Clones

In honour of Game of Thrones finishing today, we decided to make a series of HD wallpapers mashing up the Game of Thrones family mottos with Star Wars characters.  We call it A Game of Clones and we hope you enjoy it :)

A Game of Clones

Download your Game of Clones wallpaper here:

Hodor Ringtone

hodor-600We know everyone’s favourite Game of Thrones character is Hodor, so we made ringtones of his best moments!

Hodor

The original Hodor quote from when he first meets Bran. This is short and sweet and perfect as a looping ringtone.

Download for iPhone or Android

Hodor Echo

Seven seconds of Hodor talking into a well, there’s even a little cameo from Bran at the end.

Download for iPhone or Android

Installation

To install on iPhone, save the file from this page to your computer, open up iTunes, choose Ringtones from the left-hand menu, then drag the Hodor ringtone into the iTunes window, sync with your iPhone.