Stuff We Like: Awesome Apptivities for iPad
There are plenty of apps for kids on the market, but apptivities take the phenomenon one step further by transforming your iPad into a toy that interacts with the accompanying game(s) you’ve downloaded, giving your kids the full gaming experience. Below are 5 awesome apptivities for little ones:
Thomas and Friends are chugging onto iPad’s everywhere thanks to Duo Games’ new Steam Team Station ($39.99). The device turns your iPad into a train station for active and passive apptivities. Games that accompany the free app that comes with the Steam Team Station include Steam Engine Relay, Sodor Spot-it, and Seek and Find. Other related apps can be purchased from the app store. Each game has kids hopping in place or skipping around the room while solving puzzles and learning. For Ages 3 and older.
They’re back! Furby, the ’90s fad, has returned with new ways to play. Not only does the new Furby (Hasbro, $59.99) interact with you and others of its kind, but it now also interacts with your iPad or iPhone. The Furby apphelps you understand and get along with your electronic gremlin. While you’re teaching the little imp English, you can download an app to translate Furbish so you can understand what it’s babbling. “Feeding” these toys has also gotten more interesting. Instead of tapping its tongue with your finger, you can slide it a cupcake across your iPad. With all these new choices, Furby can get picky and ask for cake instead of broccoli for dinner. If your kids are feeling a bit mischievous, they can feed Furby a chili pepper and tiny fires will spark in its pixilated eyes. But beware…playing tricks on your Furby may cause it to become snarky and less likely to behave. (Small wonder, then, that the toy’s tagline is “a mind of its own.”)
The Dora Let’s Play Backpack (Duo Games, $39.99) is a two-player game that encourages kids to play and share together on the iPad. The Backpack device adds another level to play. It’s easy to use and set up: Just download the app, place the backpack on the screen, and let the kids loose. Kids place their tokens on the color that corresponds with the correct answer and it drops into the backpack. The Let’s Play Backpack is simple, has no clean up, and is an interactive game that teaches kids Spanish. Different games work on different skills used to learn another language: There’s Let’s Listen, Let’s Pack, Let’s Match, and Say it in Two Ways. The app itself is free and comes with three different games for each adventure mentioned. If you just can’t get enough Dora and Boots, you can purchase additional games through the app store.
There are plenty of drawing apps and photo manipulators, but Crayola’s collection of DigiTools have kids using actual art equipment rather than their fingers. Three DigiTools packs have been released so far – 3-D, Airbrush, and Effects – each of which interacts with free app downloads. Use all or just one and inspire the inner artist in your kids without breaking out the paints, glue, and newspaper. Recommended for kids 3 and older. ($39.99 for the Deluxe Creativity Pack)
Have your kids ever wished they were Batman? There’s an app for that: The Dark Night Rises Apptivity Starter Set(Mattel, $19.99). The starter set comes with Batman and his flight vehicle and additional packs come with Catwoman and Bane. Playing with any of these characters offers a different perspective on the game and unlocks secret areas. With Batman, kids get to play through The Dark Night Rises in nine levels plus two quick-play mini games. Guide Batman over the iPad surface and use the crosshairs to target villains while reliving the story. Kids ages 4-12 will appreciate Batman’s iPad adventures most.