[dropcap size=big]W[/dropcap]e rely on apps to enable our family to function a daily basis. As anyone with two children will know it is not always possible to provide them both with stimulating activities and messy play opportunities. Sometimes you just need five minutes peace and this is when the use of apps comes into its own. We own an iPad and have done since the birth of our 3 year old daughter Lucy. She loves using it and we feel that games can provide a bit of fun and sometimes a bit of learning thrown in for good measure. I have chosen 3 of the most used apps in our household that you might like to give a go.
Puzzingo the greatest Puzzle on earth?
Our daughter simply loves puzzles and this game has been used regularly and skills transferred from the iPad to practical puzzle solving. As a free app initially we have just stuck to what’s on offer for free as i am sure you will appreciate…every penny counts in our household.
The initial welcome is from the cheerful clown Puzzingo. When choosing the ‘let’s play option’ you are presented with a lively and colourful map with three options to choose from Jungle animals, dune buggy, and picnic.
Upon selecting any of these options you are launched straight into a screen where shadows of objects need filling, the item is then dragged across the screen and as you successfully position the pieces the complexity of the shapes grows.
Finishing the puzzle allows for a bit of food throwing fun trying to feed the clown that you were welcomed. Good fun and semi-educational too.
Cbeebies is a recent download for us as previously we have felt that some of the games seemed a little boring. That was until dinosaur week on the Cbebbies channel was launched. Our daughter became fascinated by the pre historic world of the dinosaurs.
Initially a little slower than others to load, the first screen allows you to choose your own hot air ballon even with your own photo if you wish, something which is a little difficult for our daughter to do herself but once set up it is there each time the app is opened. Once your hot-air ballon has landed a wheel is spun to choose which of your favourite characters you would like to join.
Each area focuses on a different skill and some are just a bit of fun. Andy’s dinosaur adventure is great as you can decorate your own dinosaur and then record your very own roar!
The paint-a-picture game is more in depth as you can choose a picture or add you own and then are given a variety of tools to add colour and texture to your picture. Aside from the usual paintbrush and eraser options, Icons introduced a stamp mode and a ball of paint that can be rolled around the screen. Other games within the app take you on an adventure with Nina and the Neurons, Mr Tumble and many more. Whilst I had hoped for more from the Mr Tumble app (a simple bubble pop game) it appears to be updated regularly and so is well worth a look.
App Link: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/bbc-cbeebies-playtime/id684211403?mt=8
Paint Sparkles Draw
This app does what it says on the tin, it is painting game with an added bit of sparkle. The app comes on its own or as part of the Phone for kids – All in One Activity app (also free but you’ll need to pay to remove annoying adverts). The app allows you to either create your own picture or to colour in a template. Each time your finger hits the screen the name of the colour that you are using is repeated, informative I suppose, even it it does become a little irritating to listen to after a while. The type of pattern you use can be changed to include a variety of shapes.
The one plus of this game is that it recognises more than one finger stroke and lights up ‘sparkling’ at every move. Not a game to keep your little one entertained for hours but certainly good if you need five minutes to get something done.
Give them a try when you need to change your babies nappy, need to get someone dressed, or simply want 5 minutes peace. All are well worth a look!