What the Picky Kids Think of 11 iPad Apps for Toddlers
December is here, and we thought we'd share our opinions on apps for kids, just in case an iPad is in your family's future!
This is the first in a series of "Review Roundups" - that spell out what we think about toddler apps we have -- the good, the bad, and the ugly! Stay tuned for Roundups 2, 3 and 4.
This post originally appeared on the Picky Kid App Guide -- it has been edited slightly for BlogHer. See the original.
This one goes to 11!
I meant to do this after every 10 apps reviewed, but we just reviewed our eleventh, oh well!
Here are the
10 11 apps we’ve most recently reviewed, ranked in order of their rating, with highlights for each… enjoy!
This remains one of our favorite apps. It has great design, fun interactivity and teaches kids the alphabet in a highly engaging and explorable game. We don’t have much to complain about! Best for picky kids ages 2-4.
We love the illustration style, the simple play (essentially all you do is turn out lights to put animals to bed) and the soothing voiceover. The drawback is there’s not a lot to learn. Best for picky kids ages 2-3.
Fish School is great for teaching toddlers the alphabet, numbers and shapes, and has several other activities, all illustrated with cute fish! Parents will appreciate the relatively mellow background music and the intuitive play. Best for picky kids ages 2-3.
This app scores high marks from us for design, sound and overall user experience. Parents will likely get more out of the sophisticated game physics than their kids, and this app has limited scope, but in general we like it. Best for picky kids ages 3-4.
The good: This book app has a fun story with really great illustrations and tons of interactivity. The bad: There are some VERY frustrating user experience issues — kids have trouble consistently turning the pages forward. The ugly: none, it’s really great looking! Best for picky kids ages 3-5.
5. (tie) Spot the Dot, Picky Kid rating: 3.6
How strange that the two apps we reviewed by Ruckus score the same! Spot the Dot is a simple game where kids follow instructions to find dots. It teaches colors and fine motor skills, good for touchscreen beginners. Best for picky kids ages 2-3.
Once Upon A Potty is a book converted to an app that’s probably better in its original paper form. The story is cute, and the subject matter (potty training) is top-of-mind for many parents, but the interactivity is not as rich or well-executed as it could be. Best for picky kids ages 2-4.
In this game, we help Bo the giraffe get ready for bed. There are some good concepts in the scenes (sorting, color matching and counting) and we LOVE the voiceover. This app would score better if it were more educational and had less technical glitches. Best for picky kids ages 2-4.
This game is a vocabulary-builder with tons of options. It includes vocabulary flashcards, a spelling game and word-match game. The games cover too wide an age-range to make it a favorite at home. Best for kids under 2 or 4+.
This is a simple game where kids touch objects on screen to count them. It scores well for education, but poorly for design, sound and content. Check out the free version before committing, because you may end up deleting this one. Best for not-so-picky kids ages 2 or younger.
Kids can touch the baby’s face to hear the different parts labeled. We don’t recommend this app. There are too many distractions, like in-app purchases, and you will likely be annoyed by the voiceover if your kid plays it much. On the plus side, it’s free. Best for not-so-picky kids ages 2 and under.