GLOBAL – Following on from our Too young to text? story last week, if you lend a mobile to your youngsters, then make sure there’s apps onboard that help them make the most of the experience. Don’t just leave them with Snake!. We’ve rounded up ten child-friendly apps from Ovi Store that’ll have your kids learning, being creative and having some fun in the process.
Like the classic game of hangman, the idea is to solve the predetermined word by filling in the missing letters, although this version has done-away with the “hanging man” and replaced it with a rabbit, much more suitable for children, I guess. This game is much easier than the original too, as there are images displayed on the screen to help the little one link the word to the item shown. This app also has a child lock feature, which seems to be a must on games or apps targeted for children.
A fun and creative way for children to make music from the sounds around them. Loop can turn the sound of your washing machine, the doorbell or even the cat purring into a musical masterpiece with little effort. Everything is controlled by just pressing the circle in the centre of the screen, however timing is important to get a steady beat but we think it’s a great way to encourage children to express their musical abilities.
This one is for the slightly older kids, and has little in the way of visual aids or references. Being maths it’s all about solving arithmetic problems and finding the correct answer, hopefully improving calculation speeds to get the result in a faster time. If your child is a competitive one, then you’ve got the ability to compete with people across the world to achieve a high rank, but if they’re not quite ready for that there’s the nice function of being able to set the difficulty rating down lower according to their age.
Astroller V2, £1.50
It’s often hard to teach children about the night sky, particularly if you live in overcast England when the stars are often shrouded by a thick layer of cloud. Astroller uses the digital compass in your phone to locate the stars up above and displays the constellations on the screen of your phone, so there’s no need to actually have clear skies. Obviously it’s better to teach your children how the constellations look in the real night sky, and you can by just comparing the image on your phone to the stars you can see amongst the darkness of space. The great part of this app is that it knows where you are and shows you the stars that you’re likely to see, move the phone around and it’ll show you more stars in a different part of the sky.
Touch Baable Free, £Free
Take a photo, add some clipart, a speech bubble followed by some facial warping and you’ve got yourself a fun way of capturing the world. With simple to use on-screen buttons, it’s easy for a child to turn anything into something funny or different.
Joyeye FX Touch, £6.00
With lots of camera filters and imaging techniques, Joyeye FX Touch is a fun app to take photos with different effects allowing your child to be creative. Kaleidoscope, Fish eye, mirrors and colour changing options give your images a different look in which children would undoubtedly spend their time taking photos of the pet dog, transforming it into a two-headed beast with a yellow tint, or something similar.
Developed and created by 12 year old Fahma Waluya Rosmansyah from Indonesia, ENRICH is created by a child, for children. If anybody knows what kids want, it’s people of a young age and this app allows kids in Indonesia to learn how to speak English by using colourful images that any child would be able to understand. Flick through the images of animals, fruits and other items to hear how they are pronounced in English and Indonesian.
Jigsaw Puzzle, £Free
Jigsaws has been a classic game for many, many years. There’s something addictive about piecing back together an image that’s been deconstructed into little small parts. Although there are thousand piece jigsaw puzzles, this is a simple game with children in mind. Starting at nine pieces your child will soon be eager enough to try their hand at the 25 piece puzzle, proving they’ve mastered the game. Again, there’s no need to worry about handing over your phone as there’s a nice little child lock to stop your child wondering around the phones menus.
Aimed at the younger child – much like ENRICH, but not just for Indonesians – Kiddo teaches children the alphabet and numbers in a fun and interactive way using images, music and voice. Images appear on the screen an it’s the task of the child to determine how many of that item he/she sees or what letter of the alphabet the item begins with. This app also features a child lock which means you can hand your phone over without fear of long distance phone calls or any unknown downloads from the Internet. Very useful when you have kids.
Smart Educational Games, £4.00
Let you child improve their calculating speeds with maths puzzles, improve their memory and explore different parts of the world. Geography is a topic that can be quite hard to understand as a young child as it’s quite an abstract thought. It’s hard to imagine we’re just a dot on a map, and that map is a small part of the whole world and the geography part of this app helps children learn about cities, countries and states. Once they are comfortable with the difficulty level, up the ante and increase the challenge settings.
Don’t forget to let us know how you get on with these apps and if you think they’re suitable for kids. And we’d love to hear suggestions for more!