A quick round-up of some of the latest apps* we’ve been sent to review:
1. The Tale of Peter Rabbit £2.99 (iPhone, iPad & iPod Touch)
We were simply bowled over by this app that takes the charm and ingenuity of Beatrix Potter’s classic and gives it a dusting of iPad magic. It’s delightful to see elements of the story come alive at a touch (Peter’s bobbing nose, birds pecking at blackberries) but wisely they’ve not added too many bells and whistles.
There are also games to play – hide Peter from Mr McGregor! – and 6 scenes to colour. You can record your own voice or listen to narration by Rosemary Leach. The Tale of Peter Rabbit is a must-have for any fan of children’s literature.
2. Punky Goldfish £0.69 (iPhone, iPad & iPod Touch)
This app is addictive. I thought the name and premise (bursting bubbles in a fish tank) sounded a bit daft but that didn’t stop me and the minis from getting hooked. Jed and I literally popped ourselves into a stupor one long train ride home. The game’s based on a ‘classic’ story that’s included in the app, but I have to admit we’ve not made it past the bubble action. Too much fun.
3. Table Tots £1.49 (iPad)
It took me a while to get the hang of this app because it’s so feature-rich that the mind boggles. But take your time with Table Tots and you’ll be blown away by its flexibility – you can create custom tutorials on anything from basic equations to shape sorting, dominoes, base 10 blocks, spelling, tracing and pronunciation.
It’s designed for grown-ups to work directly with young learners, so unlike other kids apps it actually encourages one-on-one time. If you’re serious about schooling the minors, this one’s for you.
4. Operation Math £2.49 (iPad)
From the makers of Tally Tots and Table Tots comes another very cool educational app. I’m no mathlete, but even mama gets a buzz from the slick graphics and Bond-style theme. You’re on a quest to stop Dr. Odd from eliminating the world’s even numbers. Each mission you complete (made up of various sums) unlocks new challenges and rewards, and it’s a thrilling race against the clock.
The app’s aimed at ages 5 to 12, and my 5-year-old got in a bit of a tizzy with the whole ‘beat the timer’ element – so this is one I know he’ll appreciate more as he gets a better grasp of figures.
5. Family Quest FREE (iPhone, iPad & iPod Touch)
We’re big fans of reward charts so I was eager to try out this app, developed in partnership with mobile network Three and our very own ‘blogging family’, Brit Mums (the UK’s largest parent blogging network). Family Quest lets you assign different tasks to each member of the family (your pirate crew) to earn virtual coins, building up to rewards you set yourself e.g. a cinema trip.
This app lacks the range of iRewardChart (another app we own), but its simplicity is a bonus. And I love that it involves goal-setting for every member of the household – not just the kids. Definitely one to add to your New Year’s list.
6. Tweekaboo FREE (iPhone, iPad & iPod Touch)
Any mum that blogs can understand the appeal of tracking and sharing your kids’ early lives and this app is great for mamas on the move. Tweekaboo is intuitive to use and handy for noting photos, videos, first steps, first school, funny sayings and more.
It’s totally secure, so you can share with friends and family on Tweekaboo privately and hold onto those memories that even bloggers don’t necessarily want to blog about! There’s also an option to share via Facebook and Twitter if you just can’t keep schtum.