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January 25, 2013

App roundup: Keep the kids entertained when they’re stuck indoors

When I was a kid and the weather was so miserable that I couldn’t go outside to play, I’d mope around the house complaining about how bored I was to anyone that would listen. If you’ve got kids stuck indoors this winter, here are some apps that might help keep them busy.

PuzzleTouch Jr.

Main menu in PuzzleTouch Jr.

I spent many a cold winter day building jigsaw puzzles in the living room. For whatever reason (most likely my sister), a number of my puzzles had pieces missing. PuzzleTouch Jr. solves the missing piece problem (but unfortunately, not the sister problem). Kids can try puzzles ranging from six to twenty-four pieces, or create their own puzzles using their photos. They’re timed on how long it takes them to complete each puzzle and can then try to beat their own best time – all without the worry of losing any puzzle pieces.

GuruCool PlaySchool

Menu for GuruCool PlaySchool

Preschoolers move at such a frenetic pace I doubt that they ever get bored. But if you need to find that next activity to keep them occupied when they’re stuck indoors, GuruCool PlaySchool can give toddlers something to do and teach them something at the same time. Your kids will learn all about shapes, colors, letters, and numbers while playing fun games and trying different activities.


Menu in Nick

The names iCarly, SpongeBob SquarePants, Big Time Rush, or Winx Club aren’t critically important to me, but they likely are in your household if you have kids. The Nick app gives your kids another way to enjoy their favorite Nickelodeon shows. They can watch behind-the-scenes video clips, view photos of their favorite characters, and play games based on those shows.

Draw Free!

Drawing in Draw Free!

Draw Free! has an impressive number of different colors, special effects, and animations available to create unique pieces of art. You can draw free hand on a blank canvas or start with a photo and add crazy visual effects, often to hilarious results. One thing’s for certain, my ten-year-old niece will love this app. She’s quite the artist already and I can’t wait to see what masterpieces she’ll create with it.


Game play in BallFallDown

BallFallDown is a unique open-ended game (no timer, no points, no goals) where you construct a play area using tubes, beams, bumpers, pinwheels, pegs, and teleporters, and then introduce different types of balls and marbles to see how gravity and physics affect them. Once I started playing, I was immediately sucked in by the mesmerizing frenzy onscreen and can easily see any kid with a curious mind spending hours playing this game.

I’m pretty sure that these apps will help keep your kids entertained this winter, I know they would have helped me!

Note: Some apps might not be available in all countries or regions.