FREE for a limited time – Dino-Store, a funny interactive story for early readers. Leo and his father go to the store to get eggs and chose a carton of HUGE ones. 12 baby dinosaurs hatch out and that’s where the fun begins! Kids can choose to follow along or read on their own as they enjoy the cute illustrations and fun interactions. And…the story line leaves it open for a sequel! This book would be great for teaching story sequence or as a springboard to writing about the dinosaurs’ further adventures.
FREE for a limited time – ToonCamera, a very cool photography app that turns photos and videos into cartoons. Using this app you can apply real-time cartoon effects to record videos, snap photos, or convert existing videos/photos. Your artistic creations can be saved or shared through email, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Tumblr, Instagram, and YouTube. There are multiple effects that you can apply to your photos – cartoon, pencil, stipple, & ink. Easy to use, this app would be great for creating the art to go with classroom projects – for stories, book reports, newsletters, etc. VERY COOL!!
FREE for Earth Day – Earthlapse, turns your iPad/iPhone into a window aboard the International Space Station. The app comes with 7 views of Earth (aurora borealis, a tropical storm, Canadian arm of the ISS, the cupola of the ISS, Earth & clouds, Canada & northern USA, and aurora australis) captured by NASA astronauts. It also has 8 relaxing space soundtracks. Love the music! When you touch the screen, you can control what you see with your finger. You can also enable a clock and/or worldwide weather – a nice feature if you want to use it as a screen saver. It would be great to Airplay this app on a big screen in your classroom when kids were doing creative writing about space, living on the ISS, etc. 🙂
FREE for a limited time – Bogga Easter for kids 2+. Kids look for an egg hidden by the clever Easter bunny. When they find it, they can decorate it & take a picture of it. They can also tap the decorated egg with a magic wand to discover the treats inside. Check out this simple-to-use Easter app for little ones!
Only $.99 – Toca Kitchen 2, another fun educational app from Toca Boca. Kids take to the kitchen to cook for new characters in this sequel to Toca Kitchen. In the frig they will find all new ingredients that they can prepare in a variety of ways. They can slice, blend, boil, fry, microwave, and/or mix the foods together. They can also add seasoning to the food, but they need to be careful not to add too much. Once the food is prepared they plate it up, serve it to the character, and wait for a reaction. Kids will learn which foods each character prefers in a fun creative way. I love the questions and conversations that Toca Boca apps inspire. It’s no wonder that the original, Toca Kitchen, was a Gold Winner of the Parent’s Choice Awards in 2012.
Teachers, use this app to inspire creative writing. Write stories or poems about being a cook and the preferences of your consumers. Or, you could have kids compare and contrast the food preferences of the different characters on a graphic organizer. This app also inspires conversation about healthy eating. There are lots of possibilities for learning while having fun!
FREE for a limited time – Musical Paint a creative, multi-sensory app for the iPhone/iPad. Kids are welcomed into an art museum by a friendly blue walrus with a French accent. There is also an ensemble of lively musicians (underwater animals) at the museum. Kids are invited to paint a picture on a canvas. Each color is a musical tone so when the kids paint, they are painting music! If the child chooses to save his/her painting, it is hung in the museum – a very cute feature. They even get to sign their work. Kids can also share their paintings via email. What fun it would be for kids to send Grandma a picture of their masterpiece that is in a museum!! The app also has a lesson plan section for teachers & parents. Nicely done app for younger kids!!
Six FREE science apps – PEEP and the Big Wide World apps from WGBH, the producers of the animated series of the same name. Major funding for these educational apps is provided by the National Science Foundation. These apps are designed to teach science to preschoolers (3 – 5 years) in a cute, fun way! The games begin simply but become more challenging as kids are successful. Each app also includes a “Try This Anywhere Activity” for you and your children to do together based on the lesson in the app. Your child will LOVE learning with Peep and friends. And you will too!PEEP and the Big Wide World House Hunt: Kids turn over leaves to pair animals with their homes in a matching game. They learn that some habitats are home to many different animals.
Download link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/peep-big-wide-world-house/id536554271?mt=8&uo=4PEEP and the Big Wide World Hide and Peep: Peep and friends are hiding in the tool shed. This app helps kids practice their observation and memory skills.
Download link:https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/peep-big-wide-world-hide-peep/id536312346?mt=8&uo=4PEEP and the Big Wide World Paint Splat: Kids join two quirky characters named Quack & Chirp to experiment with mixing colors in a fun, silly way!
Download link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/peep-big-wide-world-paint/id536621786?mt=8&uo=4PEEP and the Big Wide World Sounds Like Fun!: Kids explore music and sounds as they mix and match sounds with this app. The characters represent different musical rhythms.
Download link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/peep-big-wide-world-sounds/id536623915?mt=8&uo=4PEEP and the Big Wide World Trash Stash: Kids practice their categorization skills by sorting objects using increasingly sophisticated criteria.
Download link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/peep-big-wide-world-trash/id536624731?mt=8&uo=4PEEP and the Big Wide World Quack’s Apples: Kids roll Quack’s apples into a pond – testing and tweaking the design of their route as often as needed. As they play, they are practicing the engineering design process!
Two FREE and fabulously creative apps from Lazoo – perfect for preschoolers. 🙂FREE – Miku’s Picnic, an adorable interactive story designed to support creative thinking. Kids join Bobu, the monkey & Miku, the rabbit on a chase after some jumping beans. The two need help capturing the beans before they bounce away! Along the way, kids learn about using their imaginations and creative problem solving as the Bobu & Moku use “Squiggles” to… make a car go faster, make springs to get to the top of a tree, make binoculars to look for the beans, make a rocket zoom to the moon, and more. This educational app has 2 reading modes – “Read to Me” and “Read it Myself” as well as an option to record your own voice as the narrator. The story ends with a link to the FREE Squiggles app for kids so kids can “take a turn” drawing. I love the way Miku’s Picnic encourages kids to use their imaginations to solve problems!
Lazoo Zoo is another fun educational app. Kids help out with snack time at the zoo where there are 10 animals (lion, ape, chameleon, giraffe, hippo, whale, crocodile, crab, bird, & penguins) to feed. But Lazoo Zoo is not your ordinary zoo, so its animals react in extraordinary ways – the giraffe’s spots change according to what it’s fed, the ape tosses the food it doesn’t like to others, and more! Kids can even create their own foods to feed the animals. And, Lazoo Zoo has a photo booth where kids can snap their picture with their favorite animals. How cute is that?! 🙂 Check out the trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L564yPHM3No&feature=youtu.be
PBS Parents Play & Learn is a great FREE educational app that encourages families to learn together. PBS has designed this app specifically for parents and it can be used in English or Spanish. The app uses familiar locations (in the bathtub, in the kitchen, at the zoo, etc.) as themes. It provides parents with meaningful activities/games for their children. I LOVE that the app includes ideas for different ages (baby, toddler, preschooler) and provides information for parents about the math & literacy skills embedded in the games. The app supports the fact that a child’s parents are his/her first and most important teacher – LOVE it!
Learn with WordFriends is a FREE educational game from WordWorld, PBS’s Emmy-winning show. Kids build and discover words with Dog, Duck, Sheep, Ant, Bear, Pig and Frog. Animal characters and word objects are formed from the words’ letters – a very cool feature! There are 3 puzzles to play: WordRain – grab letters as they rain from the sky to build the word, WordScramble – rearrange the scrambled letters to form the word, and WordMatch – a tile memory game. There is also a WordFriend Farms where kids can interact with the different animal characters. Dog is included with the app and the other animals are available as in-app purchases. A very cute, happy app!
From Budge Studios comes this FREE app (with in-app purchases).
Kids learn about going to the doctor’s office with Caillou Check Up – Doctor’s Office, an adorable app for toddlers/preschoolers. This educational app has 11 mini-games that will teach your child about his/her next check-up. Four of the activities (check height & weight, tonsil check, follow the stick, & eye check) are included for FREE. The other 7 activities (thermometer, ear check, stethoscope, blood pressure, reflex check, medicine shot, & applying ointment) are available as in-app purchases. The app utilizes a variety of mechanics as kids tap their way through the interactive mini-games. After completing each task, kids are rewarded with a colorful celebration. The app is sure to take the stress out of your child’s next visit to the doctor. No wonder it’s featured by Apple as one of the “Best New Apps & Games.” 🙂
From a variety of developers…
Singing crickets! Brainy Bugs Preschool Games is only $.99. This super cute educational app for preschoolers has 4 sections: Cricket Concert, Bee Word Builder, Ant Tunnel Builder, and Spider Dot-to-Dot. In the Cricket Concert section, kids can select a song to hear the crickets sing together or they can tap on each cricket to play the song on their own. In Bee Word Builder, kids hear the phonic pronunciation of individual letters as they use them to put words together. Ant Tunnel Builder requires kids to rotate puzzle pieces so that the ants can march through a completed tunnel. Spider Dot-to-Dot has kids connecting dots in numerical order. Kids collect sticker rewards along the way. This app has a nice combination of learning games for preschoolers – cute, fun, & engaging! Who knew playing with bugs could be so much fun. 🙂
Direct Link: https://geo.itunes.apple.com/us/app/brainy-bugs-preschool-games/id497840635?mt=8From American Greetings comes Care Bears Love to Learn, an educational app for preschoolers for only $.99. Kids join 7 of their favorite Care Bears to play a variety of games that are designed to help children count, build shapes, identify colors, learn beginning sounds, and more. After completing each activity, kids earn Care Bears stickers. These stickers can be saved and played with later. If you have a Care Bear fan in your house, check out this cute app!
Question: What do you get when Stanford education experts collaborate with award-winning storytellers and animators? Answer: Leo’s Pad Enrichment Program for Preschoolers – an interactive series of “appisodes” designed for preschoolers and the first “appisode” is FREE. Kids join 8-year-old Leonardo daVinci and Galileo on an aesthetically appealing adventure called Gally’s Birthday. Interactive games that teach shapes, colors, number sense, drawing, letter identification, etc. are seamlessly woven into the story. They include a mixture of exploratory, creative, and problem-solving activities. Songs are also included which adds to the app’s Pixar-movie-like feel. I love this app for so many reasons – great story, beautiful animations, meaningful interaction, positive messages, catchy songs, age-appropriate skills, the list goes on….
And finally… 5 GREAT preschool apps from Piikea Street LLC.
Only $.99 – Kids lead bees to flowers and learn to count (to 20) using Counting Bees, an educational app for preschoolers. Counting is taught in ranges of increasing difficulty: 1-5, 1-10, 1-15, and 1-20. Using this app, kids also can learn to count in multiple languages – English, Spanish, French, Italian, German, Mandarin Chinese, Cantonese Chinese, and Japanese. Simple to use and nicely done!
Only $.99 – Memory Train is a fun game of concentration for preschoolers and primary students. Kids hop on the train with Spacey the elephant to help him remember what he sees on his way to the circus. They earn stars, badges, and peanuts (of course) as they advance through 10 different levels. This educational app includes slots for 4 players so that friends & family can join the fun. There are no words spoken (just music) so this app can be used by children of all languages. Another excellent educational app from Pi’ikea!
Mask Jumbled Animals is a FREE and fun educational app for kids. It turns their faces into animal faces! Kids look into the app’s mirror and animal parts will appear on their faces. They tap to match the ears, nose, chin, and hair in order to complete 1 of 20 different animal masks. When the mask is complete, kids catch strawberries in their mouths to unlock a new mask. The mask puzzles are really cute for preschoolers who will be delighted to be an elephant, a lion, a panda, etc. But… the best part of this app is the ability to take pictures of kids in their masks which makes this app a fabulous resource for creative writing! Pull those pictures into a story writing app and off you go. 🙂
Also available is Mask Jumble Halloween. It works the same way as Mask Jumbled Animals but with 10 Halloween masks.
Only $.99 – Photo Bobo is an adorable photo browsing app for babies & toddlers. Bobo the monkey swings in and out of photos, drops bananas, and plays funny tricks as little ones browse through pictures. It is safe to let kids browse through camera roll pictures with this app because there is no edit, share, or delete button. That being said, young kids can still tap out of the app so it’s best to supervise. 🙂 When Bobo adds sunglasses, a hat, or a mustache to a pic, they seem to end up in the correct spot which is pretty amazing. Really cute – check it out!!
And last but not least… Xylophone, a toddler-friendly xylophone that helps kids play nine different songs: Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Doe a Deer, Happy Birthday, Ode to Joy, Old MacDonald, Row your Boat, Mary Had a Little Lamb, Jingle Bells, and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Kids just follow the helping hand to play – how fun!