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Making apps child’s play

January 20, 2011

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Ten of the best iPhone and iPad apps for children, from Warren Buckleitner, editor of the Children’s Technology Review, all available in Apple’s App Store.

TODDLERS

Boogie Bopper (ages 1-3, $1.99) puts an eight-note xylophone on your screen, with both free-play and follow-along modes.

Interactive Alphabet (ages 2-up, $1.99) starts with a colorful alphabet strip that is so simple a grownup could use it. Touch any letter to launch a letter-related skit.

PRESCHOOLERS

Popout! The Tale of Peter Rabbit (ages 3-up, $3.99); a retelling of Beatrix Potter’s famous story, with touch-and-hear text and old-fashioned-looking pull-tabs.

Winnie The Pooh Puzzle Book (ages 3-up, 99 cents) combines a good story with a self-correcting jigsaw puzzles, plus the ability to record your own narration.

Park Math HD (ages 3-8, $1.99); seven well-designed math games, in a playground metaphor. Swipe on the swings to count, drop mice on a seesaw to balance a simple equation.

ELEMENTARY

Motion Math (ages 6-12, 99 cents) cements math facts into place by linking your hand motions with right answers as you steer a bouncing ball on a number line.

Little Things (ages 6-up, $2.99) is one of the many hidden object games that work so well on the iPad’s generous touchscreen (see also Pictureka and Where’s Waldo HD in Hollywood).

Magic Fiddle (ages 7-up, 99 cents) turns your iPad into a vintage violin, complete with lessons, a songbook, and a sharing mode so you can listen in on other players in real time, providing your Wi-Fi connection is working.

Solar System (ages 9-up, $13.99) puts thousands of photos, facts, and a working 3-D model of the rotating solar system at your child’s fingertips. From the same studio that made The Elements.

Cut the Rope (ages 7-up, 99 cents) Multi-length ropes suspend a piece of candy; strategically “cut’’ each rope with a finger swipe to get the candy to a hungry frog. Excellent for problem solving.

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