Tablets And Tykes

chartIf you take a minute to look around, more than likely you will see a child with some form of tablet or smartphone. In fact, according to a 2012 Nielsen survey, 70% of households, that own tablets and with children ages 12 and younger, admit that their kids use the device. So this begs the question of what types of apps for kids can you choose from the 300,000 plus iTunes App Store or the 500,000 plus from Google Play. Well, may we suggest these 30 to get you started? (Note: Most links to the apps are to their iTunes descriptions.)

  1. 8 Planets (Free) Young astronomers will enjoy learning about the planets and earning ribbons in games testing their knowledge.
  2. A Little Book About Feelings ($0.99) This book app gives kids a start on understanding feelings and how to express themselves.
  3. ABC Pocket Phonics ($3.99) is a simply-designed app that reinforces letter knowledge. Children are encouraged to trace letter shapes and repeat the sounds.
  4. Alien Assignment (Free) Created by the Fred Rogers Center and a Kindergarten teacher, Alien Assignment is a fun game that encourages problem solving and discovery.
  5. Apps Gone Free (Free) Every day hundreds of apps reduce their price to free for a limited time to try to stimulate excitement and publicity. (Hey, if you can get it for free, that’s always a good thing.)
  6. BrainPOP Featured Movie (Free) features a different animated, short film each day on topics such as Science, Social Studies, Technology, Engineering, Health, English, Art & Music and Math.
  7. Doodle Buddy (Free) future Picassos of all ages will enjoy creating their next masterpiece using a variety of tools including, paint, chalk, stencils, stamps, backgrounds and photographs.
  8. Dragon Box ($5.99) This app introduces fundamental topics in mathematics with an emphasis on algebra in a playful and colorful environment.
  9. Duck Duck Moose apps ($1.99) Duck Duck Moose is an award-winning creator of educational children’s applications, founded with the mission of revolutionizing how children learn, play, and imagine on mobile devices.
  10. Endless Alphabet (Free) Set the stage for reading success with this delightfully interactive educational app. Kids will have a blast learning their ABC’s and building vocabulary with the adorable monsters in Endless Alphabet.
  11. Faces iMake-Lite ($0.99) let your imagination go wild by making silly faces using common everyday objects.
  12. Felt Board ($2.99) This app gives you all the small felt board pieces you need for play without dealing with the many pieces.
  13. Geography Drive USA ($3.99) Students will be delighted to learn about geography in a whole new, fun, exciting way. The visitor’s center has each of the individual states and facts galore. Each state has three different questions to answer. To gain more fuel and money, visit the all-state pass for more questions that are read to the player.
  14. Go Away, Big Green Monster! For iPad ($2.99) Ed Emberley’s beloved and best-selling book comes to mobile! Cleverly diecut with bold colors and overlapping pages, Go Away, Big Green Monster! is an entertaining book that turns scary into silly, and empowers kids to take control of their fears.*
  15. Highlights Hidden Pictures ($1.99) Seek and find the everyday objects hidden within fun, kid-friendly illustrations.
  16. iWriteWords ($2.99) Kids will enjoy following a little bug to form letes and numbers, helping them get started with writing.*
  17. Karaoke Anywhere HD (Free) features a database of free songs or you can pay for more downloads. Remember it is karaoke, so you are getting a karaoke version of the song with background music and words on a screen. This is great for a sing a-long.*
  18. Make It Pop! ($1.99) Learn shapes, letters, colors, and numbers while popping bubbles, balloons, fireworks and popcorn!
  19. Math Doodles ($2.99) Get thinking with a variety of math games that will have kids solving problems in new ways.
  20. Monkey Preschool Lunchbox ($0.99) includes 7 different games that teach kids about colors, letters, counting, shapes, sizes, matching, and differences.
  21. Monster Physics ($0.99) is a unique building app that lets you play with physics! Build and operate your own car, crane, rocket ship, plane, helicopter, tank and more!
  22. Moo, Ba, La La La! ($3.99) Sandra Boynton’s best-selling book of all time comes alive with sound and movement and gloriously unpredictable interactivity. (There are other books by Boynton that have been made into apps: Barnyard Dance; Blue Hat, Green Hat; The Going to Bed Book.)
  23. Overdrive Media Console (Free) Download digital books for read a-longs or link them to a screen for a bigger view. This can help when the hard-copy is too small for a regular read a-long. (Of course we’re going to suggest this. It’s basically the library at your digital fingertips.)
  24. PlayTales(Free) PlayTales’ stories are designed to educate, entertain, and inspire young readers ages 1 to 12.
  25. Reading Raven ($2.99) Reading Raven is an extremely fun and engaging learn-to-read educational game that provides step-by-step reading lessons designed to help young children build a solid foundation for reading.
  26. Shake-a-Phrase ($1.99) Encourages older children to read by way of silly sentences that will help teach vocabulary and parts of speech.
  27. Stack the States ($0.99) makes learning about the 50 states fun! Watch the states actually come to life in this colorful and dynamic game!
  28. Toca Boca apps ($0.99 – $2.99) Toca Boca is a game studio that makes digital toys for kids. We think playing and having fun is the best way to learn about the world. Therefore we make digital toys and games that help stimulate the imagination, and that you can play together with your kids.
  29. Toontastic ($0.99) Take storytelling to the next level by creating cartoons from start to finish, using your own voice to narrate the story.
  30. Word Wizard ($4.99) This is the “Speak and Spell” for the iPad generation. Word Wizard is a unique app that lets kids hear the sounds of letters and words using a talking movable alphabet.

PC Magazine’s Best Free Software

Here you will find a listing of PC Magazine’s Best Free Software.

An excerpt from PC Magazine Online.

Hall of Fame

Adobe Reader
www.adobe.com
This simplest of Adobe’s PDF programs lets you do just about anything PDF-related (besides create new ones).

AIM
www.aim.com
One of the most widely used pieces of free software ever, AOL Instant Messenger offers a ton of capabilities.
 

Audacity
audacity.sourceforge.net
Whether you’re recording or editing, Audacity is all about audio in practically any format.

Firefox
www.mozilla.com
 

GIMP
www.gimp.org
The GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP) does most of what Photoshop does.

iTunes

www.apple.com/itunes
When you’re attached to the top media player in the land (iPod), success is a given. iTunes continues to build sales and refine its organization of songs, video, games, podcasts, and more.

OpenOffice.org
www.openoffice.org
You can spend a lot for Microsoft Office or nothing for this suite with full-function word processor, spreadsheet, database, presentations, even an equations editor.

Skype
www.skype.com
You’ll pay to call regular phones, but if you sign up all your friends, Skype provides easy (and even international) calls and video-conferencing for nothing.

Thunderbird
www.mozilla.com/thunderbird
Mozilla’s no-cost e-mail alternative is extensible, fast, and easy to master. And a wealth of free add-ons means there’s not much this program won’t do, from calendars to encryption.

Ubuntu
www.ubuntu.com
 This Linux-based OS comes with many of these Hall of Fame products (Firefox, OpenOffice.org) preinstalled.

WinAmp
www.winamp.com
After a decade of playing music, the “skinnable” WinAmp has several versions, including one with full CD ripping and burning.