Those lazy, crazy days of summer have arrived. Here are some summer-themed apps for kids to enjoy.
Sand Drawing by Timbuktu is currently $2.99 but it was FREE when I downloaded it. Kids can relax on the virtual beach by drawing in the sand. The app comes with 3 drawing tools and 12 decorations that kids can choose to use. Decorations can easily be mixed, rotated, and resized. Waves clear the beach so to make way for new creations. Simple to use and fun!
I wish the app had a save feature built-in – perhaps that will be an option in an updated version. The good news is that you can save your child’s sand drawing by taking a screen shot of your iPad. Here’s how: 1. Have your child’s creation open. 2. Find your Sleep/Wake button (top right of the iPad). 3. Find your home button (centered on the bottom your iPad’s screen). 4. Hold down both buttons together – it only takes a second. 5. Release them and you should hear a camera shutter sound and see a white screen. 6. Check your Camera Roll – the image should be there!
Now the fun begins… use your creations to as illustrations in story apps, as backgrounds for photo albums of your vacation, as postcards to grandma & grandpa, etc. Get creative!!
Ice Cream Truck Game is another cute, educational app for only $2.99 – Kids utilize their math skills while operating an ice cream truck in this game. They begin by purchasing the right amount of ingredients (cones, ice cream, and toppings) for each day. All ingredients are sold in metric measurement – liters or grams. Then, kids choose a cone size and set a price for the treats. Sales are affected by price and by the popularity of the treats. At the end of each day, the child sees a graph of liquid assets and a graph of customer satisfaction. They can assess what works or what does not work and make the necessary adjustments for the next day. Kids have 10 days in each city. The goal is to make enough money to move to the next city (level). The levels get progressively more difficult. Lots of math skills are woven into this game – money, measurement, estimating, reading a graph, etc. I could see third, fourth, & fifth graders having fun with this one!
Preschool Books – I Like Summer from Grasshopper Apps is FREE! Written for preschoolers, this book is 1 of 20 books in the “I Like” series. Kids will enjoy listening to the story that highlights the joys of summer. They will also love looking at story’s photos. The best part of this educational app is that it can be customized. You can record the existing story in your child’s voice (or your voice). Or… you can completely change the text and record the new story in your child’s voice/your voice. How fun – have your child make up a story to go with the pictures!
4 out of 5 of these stories are about summer!
Now only $3.99 – Stella and Sam Story Pack, a wonderful educational app that was selling for $6.99. The story pack contains 5 Stella and Sam apps (Into the Snow We Go, Rainy Days and Rainbows, Backyard at Twilight, Go There Square, and Cocoons & Caterpillars). They are also sold individually for $1.99 each. Stella and Sam apps are based on the television show and book series by Marie-Louise Gay. The Stella and Sam books have been translated into 15 languages and have sold over a million copies. All Stella and Sam apps are also supported in French.
I love how all of the stories focus on getting kids outside to enjoy the beauty of nature. They are beautifully animated, creatively presented, and such fun for preschoolers!
Into the Snow We Go: In this adventure, kids join Stella and Sam to make pictures in the snow, decorate a snowman, and discover what’s hidden under the snow.
Rainy Days and Rainbows: Once again, kids join Stella, Sam and their dog Fred. They paint with Fred, dig through leaves looking for treasures, and have a pine cone race across Puddle Lake.
Backyard at Twilight: In this adventure, kids play along with Stella, Sam, and their dog Fred as they spend the night camping out in the backyard. They look for bugs, learn about shapes from fireflies, and discover the constellations.
Go There Square: Stella and Sam find magical places with the help of their go-there-square. Kids go along to pop musical bubbles, collect dandelions and build a bridge out of flowers.
Cocoons & Caterpillars: In this adventure, kids play along with Stella, Sam, and their dog Fred to discover the joys of nature – butterflies, birds, and clouds.
Now $1.99 – Torii’s Summer Adventure, a cute interactive book written by an elementary school teacher. Torii is a lovable & curious golden retriever who loves exploring – especially when her family takes her to the lake! Kids will enjoy reading about her adventures. They will have fun discovering the interactivity & sound effects on every page. The book has “read to me” or “read by myself” options. It also has a choice of reading levels – a very cool feature. Kids can search for Torii’s bone throughout the story and the app keeps track along the way. The app also includes additional activity/coloring pages at the end of the story. Who wouldn’t love a dog in pink sunglasses? 🙂