I’m not very technologically literate, and I depend on The Narrator to keep me in the loop. He recently acquired an iphone for work, and I inherited his ipod touch. The Narrator has done an excellent job loading his phone with (mostly educational) games for the kids. I cannot tell you handy this has come while waiting in airports, at the doctor’s office, and for a table at restaurants. Some of these games have become family evening entertainment. Here are our favorite games, all of which are found in the App Store in itunes, and most of which are free.
(These links need to be opened with itunes)
1.ABC Animals (Critical Matter) – $1.99
This one is probably my favorite game for pre-schoolers. It’s a flash card letter learning application. As you scroll through the cards a lady will say the letter name and the animal name on each card. Double tap the card to turn it over and she will say the letter and the sound it says. The letter is also shown again but with arrows to show the child how to draw the letter. Your child can trace the letter on the screen and a purple line shows their tracing of the letter. The flashcards feature both upper and lower case letters.
2.Digidrummer lite – free
This one is absolutely T-Rex’s favorite, drums, of course! He especially loves it when The Narrator will hook up his iphone to our speaker system and we can hear the drums LIVE! This program has 8 different circles to tap out rhythms with 2 toms, crash and ride cymbals, kick drum, snare, open hh and closed hh. You can even play more than one at a time. It’s not quite real time, and there is a slight delay to the sound, but the kids love it. My recommendation? Give them headphones!! For learning rhythms, see if they can tap along to a song on the radio or with your clapping or talking.
3.Mini Piano (JY product) – free
With one octave – middle c to the next c, you can teach your child a few simple little songs like “Joy to the World” or “Mary had a Little Lamb” or just let them use their fingers to tap out their own unique melodies. True to a regular piano, you can even play more than one key at a time, and the keys sustain their sound after you’ve tapped them as if you were holding down the pedal on a real piano.
4.Bubbles (Hog Bay Software) – free
Drag your finger across the screen to create bubbles and tap them to pop them, complete with a “pop” sound. The bubbles float across the screen and pop when they reach the edges if you haven’t popped them first. Create a game and see how many they can pop before they reach the edges.
5.Bubble Wrap (by Orsome)– free
Ok, who doesn’t love bubble wrap? Especially kids? Now they (and you) can pop til you drop. This one is actually a game. You have 45 seconds to pop as many of the bubbles on the wrap as possible. The bubbles re-inflate and a few of the bubbles will count for 5 bubbles. The goal is keep your name on the score board – are you a professional bubble wrap popper or just very good?
6.Koi Pond (the Blimp Pilots) – $.99
Let the kids created their own fish pond. They can drag around the lily pads, change how many fish are on the screen, scare them away by rustling the water, or hold their finger very still and wait for a fish to “bite” their finger (the iphone/ipod will vibrate). The background sound is ambient noise and you can choose from birds, wind, frogs and birds. This one is a quieter, calmer game. T-Rex will sit very, very still waiting for the fish to “bite” him.
7. Animals Memory Match (Lima sky) – $.99
This game is like a typical memory match game but with sound effects. Tap the cards to turn it over and it also plays the sound effect of the animal on the card. The cards flip back over if you don’t get a match. When you do get a match the card turns a different color and shakes and then remains flipped over. The animals on the cards also change with each game giving you a good variety of animals to learn. This is great not only for memory, but for learning the animals and their sounds. Little Miss giggled over this game for a long time.
8.Tap Tap Revenge – free
This game is one of the most popular for the touch technologies. It’s like Guitar Hero for the ipod. You tap the dots as they cross the line at the bottom of the screen following the the rhythm of the song. You have the choice of easy, medium, hard and extreme tracks. Our pre-schooler LOVES this game, but it’s a little too much for our toddler yet. And it’s of course a favorite with adults everywhere.