1st December, 2010 : Added Duck Duck Moose video
24th September, 2010 : Updated to add Duck Duck Moose Park Math App
Ok I thought I would share with you the applications that I have on my the little one's iPad that work really well. I keep on updating it and she is now just over 2 years old and I have 2 screens of apps for her!
- Bus, Itsy Bitsy, Old Mac - These are all interactive applications for the 3 classic nursery rhymes. On each screen you have different things to poke that respond in different ways. Each time you change to the next screen the next verse of the nursery rhyme is sung out loud. She loves them although she is getting bored with Old Mac and Bus because they are a bit too simple. The rely on you tapping an arrow to move to the next screen. On Itsy Bitsy if you tap on the spider he climbs up the water spout and takes you to a different screen. It also has a squirrel that fetches nuts and counts as it goes which she loves
- Fish School - We both love this app because it's the most interactive and educational at the same time. It does counting, the alphabet, shapes, colours, matching, the alphabet songs and a couple of little games all done in fish! Tapping takes you to the next letter, or number, or picks a colour/shape etc. The little one has nearly learnt the Alphabet song from it
- Baa Baa - This is the latest nursery rhyme application from Duck Duck Moose and it is the best so far. It is far more interactive and moving between screens is away from simple clicking on arrows. The little one has it as her new favourite
- Park Math - This app is all around teaching them numbers. It covers simple counting, adding and subtracting. It's another great addition and is really helping the little one enhance her counting which is already pretty good from 1-10. If you only get this and Fish School then you have everything you need to teach them numbers, shapes, colours and the alphabet!
2. Clicky Sticky - a virtual sticker album. Choose from a sea scene, aeroplanes, space, wild animals or good old fashioned dress up dolls. She kind of likes it. She doesn't like the dress up dolls one as much as I expected and things don't "snap" into place so it gets a bit chaotic. She goes into there quite often but only spend a few seconds playing with it.
3. Peek Barn (Peekaboo barn) - She really loves this one. You click on the barn doors and out pops an animal. A voice says it's name and a noise is played for the animal. Worth moving on from the free version to the full version and paying for it because the free version has only a couple of animals and the full version has loads. It also has it in Spanish so you can learn a new language at the same time
4. Talking Carl/Hippo/Tom/Larry/Harry
- a must for an i-thingy owner. You prod them and tickle them and they giggle and yell. If you are on anything but the iPod Touch they take input from the speaker and repeat it back to you. Hours of fun this one. Definitely one of my her favourite apps. They have also taught her to shout (can be useful if they get lost) and really helps develop language because they hear what they say repeated back at them. Larry (a bird), Tom (a cat), Harry (a hedgehog) and Hippo have extra buttons to allow you to interact with them and Larry even has a keyboard that you can play to make him tweet. The little one loves the lightning bolt on the Larry app! Harry is the only one that repeats what you say in a similar voice to yours. I find these ones worth paying for to get the extras. They all have a video camera icon which is really annoying because when you press it you can send a recording of what you've done via email etc. She presses it all the time!
4. The colouring apps - I got a few different ones but she only likes one of them
- DoodleBuddy - Use your finger as a brush to draw and paint. She likes this one. On the iPod touch it's all geared for online collaboration so has loads of annoying screens both to get in and from the menu bar. The iPad version is far more polished and she really loves "drawing". You shake your device to wipe the page clean and start again and she really likes that! It has a gallery of standard pictures which you can paste into your document lots of times and they each make a little noise. You can then smudge them or scribble over them. We spend a lot of time drawing.
- Colouring fun - You have outlines, choose a colour and tap to fill in. She really is far less interesting in this than I expected and would not bother with it again.
From the comments on this post I have since also bought a few additional apps which are definitely must haves.
5. Tozzle - This is brilliant and her new favourite app. It is basically your old fashioned "fits shapes onto a board" toy made current in an app. There are a range of different scenes from shapes, animals and their names, snow scenes to whatever. Basically about 30 in total I think. You pick up a piece from a box in the top right and drag it into the corresponding black outline shape in the scene. It is challenging enough to make her think but not so difficult she get's frustrated and gives up. It has noises that go with it to for that extra edge.
Here is the little one demonstrating how it works:
Here is the little one demonstrating how it works:
|Photo slideshow generated with Smilebox|
6: Animals (First words:animals) - This is my favourite app so far. She likes it but not as much as Tozzle. It's the same basic idea but what you are doing is putting letter blocks into placeholders that spell out an animals name under the picture of that animal. Once more she impressed me with her ability to do this one. Like with Tozzle, you drag the letters and in this case it says them as you drag and place them. I think this is a great way of teaching letters and spelling and she is picking up on the way letters are said really well from it. It has 3 different levels. On the first level it put's placeholder's in for where the letters should go. On the others it doesn't so they have to know how to spell!
7. Kids Songs - Not sure about this one. It plays the classic nursery rhymes with the words and little animations. The animations bear no relationship to the songs which is annoying. It is American voices again which is also annoying. She goes into it a lot but rarely listens to the song all through because there just isn't enough for her to do in there. 8. Puzzles - It is a 3 by 3 grid with different parts of an animals face in each box. You tap a box to rotate it and the goal is to fill the grid with the same animal. At first she found it tricky to grasp mainly because the boxes are so sensitive she was always accidentally brushing one underneath her hand when she is pressing another. Eventually though she really got to grips with it and now loves it.
7. Kids Songs - Not sure about this one. It plays the classic nursery rhymes with the words and little animations. The animations bear no relationship to the songs which is annoying. It is American voices again which is also annoying. She goes into it a lot but rarely listens to the song all through because there just isn't enough for her to do in there.
8. Puzzles - It is a 3 by 3 grid with different parts of an animals face in each box. You tap a box to rotate it and the goal is to fill the grid with the same animal. At first she found it tricky to grasp mainly because the boxes are so sensitive she was always accidentally brushing one underneath her hand when she is pressing another. Eventually though she really got to grips with it and now loves it.
9. I Hear Ewe -There are a number of themed screens (animals, vehicles etc) and when you tap on an icon it zooms in, says the name and plays a sound associated with it. This should be really good but she is not really interested in it.
10. Animatching -This is the classic card game where you can turn over 2 cards at a time and have to match pairs as quickly as you can. Each card displays an animal and plays a sound for that animal when you tap on it. There are 3 different levels with increasing numbers of cards in this. She loves this and impresses the hell out of me with her ability to complete the grid at only 2 years old.
11. Smacktalk - This was recommended to me by good friend Pat over at Justanotheriphoneblog and is very similar to the Talking animals series.
There is a Gerbil (the little one calls him Mousey) a puppy, a kitten and tiny dog. They repeat back what you say in a silly voice. Unlike the Talking animal apps you can change the pitch of the voice with a pinch. The numbers 1-5 across the bottom have some pre-recorded sounds on them (burping and farting noises which make the little one giggle loads) and you can record a new sequence on each on by holding them down for a second until they beep. This is sort of great. I have recorded the alphabet song on one and counted to 10 on another. The reason it's only sort of great is because it's really easy to accidentally re-programme the buttons. I had to re-record the alphabet song 5 times in the space of 5 minutes because the little one accidentally wiped it. She wasn't happy. She was enjoying it! It's not free but it is cheap at 59p so I definitely recommend this and I think it will carry on entertaining as she gets older too. Here is the video of her using it. I'm afraid the sound is very quiet for some reason so it's hard to hear it. You can see her giving "mousey" (the gerbil) a big kiss though!
12. iWrite - This was recommended by RedTedArt and it is, quite frankly, brilliant. When you first run it it looks quite complicated and I didn't think my 2 year old would ever get it.
But it is actually quite simple. The idea is that you drag the crab through the circled numbers in the right sequence and it teaches you to draw letters. When you complete it successful, the letter from the top left drops to the bottom of the screen and you can tilt the iPad to get it into a swirly black hole thing. The little one loves doing that. It also says the letter out loud. It teaches them a combination of numbers and letters and also teaches lower case (or baby letters) and uppercase. It amazes me how effective it is and although it's frustrating for her at times she generally finds it fun. She is learning very quickly off it. There is a lite version which is free and I quickly paid for the full version.
I will keep this updated as I get other recommendations that we really like.