iPad Apps of note for younger kids

Okay, so there are moments when all my kids think an iPad is good for is playing Monsters Run or watching Netflix videos, but sometimes they actually do enjoy and learn with these educational games I've stored away in the Sass & Pearl folder.

Top 5 iPad apps currently burning up screen time for Sassafras and Pearl:

Stack the States: Orients kids to states and capitals, and they also get to mildly experiment with physics by strategically dropping the states in an attempt to build them up to a certain target line. 

Awesome Eats: Gives them little challenges to practice sorting different foods and meeting certain nutrition-related goals. What I like about this one is that it gives them exposure to relatively unfamiliar vegetables that I want them to know about but am not necessarily going to put on the table in this house. (Kale is leafy trash that should strictly be used as garnish, y'all...I don't care what you crunchy granolas say. Leeks, eggplant, broccoli, spinach, onions, avocado, tomatoes, brussel sprouts, peppers, celery...all of that is just wonderful. Kale?! Trust me on this. It might be this fabulous health fad today, but the whole organic world is going to be issuing a huge "My bad" on kale in about a year.)

Now, the really cool thing about this app is that it is put out by the Whole Kids Foundation, which is a nonprofit division of Whole Foods Markets. They send out great little newsletters about kids' nutrition and also give away grants for school gardens. Parents and teachers, this would be an awesome grant to win for your child's school! 

Puppet Pals HD: Kids can choose certain elements of a plot and even record themselves narrating a story. I like that it provides them the structure of a tale but still leaves plenty of room for creativity.  

Learn with Homer: We have no less than three billion literacy apps, I kid you not. I might be a tad biased or whatever, but the ability to read and understand is the key that will unlock a lot of doors in this educating life. Plus also, if I can get two post-graduate degrees and literally not be able to make change from a $20, then I rest my case. Math is what my iPhone is for. Or The Captain. {Ahem.} So, as I was saying, this isn't the only reading app we have. What's special about this one is that it brings in content from science, music, and art in order to support the efforts in making the user literate. Sassafras loves it because there are fun songs to sing, and there are activities in which she dialogues with the app in order to make up a creative short story OR respond to a science lesson. It's amazing, this thing. I also hear tell that the website has printables. 


Pet Vet Doctor: Really fun pet care app where kids can explore the steps a vet takes to diagnosing and treating common ailments in doggies. They can investigate their chosen dog's illness or injury by touching the animal, taking their temperature (oral), taking an x-ray, or using a magnifying glass. When they find the cause of the pup's woes, the app then leads them through treating it with stitches, cream, or other medicine. I love the way it holds the girls' attention and guides them to solving a problem, not to mention all the empathy they can learn from treating an animal in distress! 

And, as an added bonus, the 3 I wish they would use:  

Earth Science Through Photography: Teaches children about various earth science concepts (wind, rain, soil, etc.) through interactions with actual nature-based photographs. This one also has free in-app purchases, for now.

MOMA Art Lab: I love everything about this app! A huge value for its cost (currently free...down from $3!), it permits kids to create artwork by selecting from a wide variety of materials. They can draw, experiment with paint, design mobiles and experiment with balancing them, and on and on. It's so complex that I would mark this one off the list for younger kids, but it includes a lovely little secret weapon by including a pervasive readaloud option for every page. 

Disney's Creativity Studio: Includes videos and tutorials from actual Disney cartoonists. Anybody can draw Disney with this app! 


So what about you? What's on your i-whatever that your kids just love?