This is just the start of our BEST of 2016 series. Stay Tooned as we tackle the other categories listed below, and please share this list and help get the word out about the latest and greatest in the app world, thanks and HAPPY HOLIDAYS!
codeSpark Academy with The Foos – coding for kids by codeSpark is the #1 learn to code program for kids 4-9! This award-winning app has been downloaded and played by over 4 million kids in 201 countries. codeSpark Academy teaches the basics of computer programming through a variety of interactive learning activities including puzzles, games, step-by-step creative projects, game design and offline printables – all of which can be monitored by parents. Who exactly are the Foos, you ask? They are little creatures that live inside computers, just waiting to be given direction for what to do in regards to solving problems and overcoming that dastardly character, “The Glitch”. In the structured section, kids learn out basic sequencing and how to set up commands. Read Full TWA REVIEW→
HangArt: Play Hangman, Draw Pictures, Tell Stories by Literary Safari Play Hangman, opens to a screen with a drawing pad and the classic layout of hangman. There is no clue how to proceed, and so the art of learning through experimentation and discovery begins. Some of the features that we love from classic games like Scrabble, Pictionary, and Mad Libs and combines them in one app cohesively. There are a lot of learning objectives packed into this educational app. Kids K-3 will not even realize the extent of what they are taking in because the app is centered on play. There are 3 modes to choose from, Classic Hangman, Word Gallery (intro to grammar), and Story Studio; and each one is addictive. Plenty of research has gone into the creation of this app and it is well thought out and polished. Read Full TWA REVIEW→
Artgig App’s newest, Jump! A Game of Numbers. Another great math app for practicing Math Facts, you may say? No, no, this is NOT merely an app that aids in the retention of basic math facts or sought out for the pure pleasure of playing with numbers; it is about saving a species. The background story is that our friends, the Snortles, have been blown from their volcano home, and are now floating in the ocean. They need help in finding a new home, and it is up to you trusty hero types to “Use Math as a Path” to rescue them.This app is heavy on refining strategies and problem-solving skills. Read Full TWA REVIEW→
Camping with Grandpa by Fairlady Media will get kids excited about getting outdoors and learning about the natural world by giving kids a taste in planning and participating in a camping trip. This has been a HUGE hit with the preschool set and had more than a few adults waxing nostalgic over trips from long ago. It seems everyone has something to say about it, and the app brings out a bit of the natural explorer in everyone, young or old. What we’ve come to love about this series are the opportunities for child-driven learning as well as how easy it is to segue into either small teaching moments or going all out for setting up a project based learning experience in the classroom. Kid’s love being in the know, and learning how the world works. Read Full TWA REVIEW→
Busy Water by Edoki Academy is truly an original app that just screams problem-solving, sequencing and creativity. These are all the core skills for navigating through everyday life as well as the core foundation for coding. The app is based on gravity and makes full use of all the features the iPad/TV/Watch has to offer. The third in the line of Edoki’s superb “Busy” series for enhancing kid’s cognitive skills, this one is just as fabulous as the others. Intended for kids, a little bit older, both children and adults will enjoy playing the 100+ levels of puzzlers as they try to help Archie, the fish, escape from that pesky cat. Read Full TWA REVIEW→
Tinybop’s newest app, Me by Tinybop is a safe space for kids. A series of fun, inspiring prompts guides kids to make a dynamic self-portrait. Kids can choose to download and share what they create and who they share it with.Create avatars for yourself, your BFFs, family, and pets. Write crazy jokes, silly songs, or wild poems. Share your likes and dislikes, LOLs, wishes, and secrets. Doodle your favorite things. Imagine your future. Remember your dreams. Write, draw, and record anything and everything. No personal information or data is otherwise shared or distributed outside of the app. Answer 100s of questions with drawings, photos, text, or recordings.
Motion Pen by Wide advantage is an open canvas set up in a notebook style to make lists or use photos that can be annotated. The pages can then be shared via facebook, dropbox, or emailed to friends or work partners to exchange ideas for collaboration. “Hovering” the stylus, allows for zooming in to magnify portions of the page for ease of viewing details.for creating and capturing ideas and images on the go with your iPhone. Create notes, annotate photos, diagrams, or drawings and share them with your friends by email, Facebook, or Dropbox. MotionPen works with your stylus as well as just your finger. MotionPen is the pen designed for those who want interactive and engaging features with out the hassle. The Motionpen does not require batteries or bluetooth or any pairing. Its simplicity you can depend on. Read Full TWA REVIEW→
Fuzzy House by Fuzzy House Aps is an imaginative doll house app that brings together digital and physical play. It is a playground where kids can be kids! When you enter Fuzzy House, you enter a timeless world, that you can change and vitalize yourself. Kids can explore Fuzzy House, use their imagination and create their own stories as they play along. What is going to happen in the house is up to you – is there going to be a tea party, is it time to tug the fuzzies to bed, take a bath or just sit by the fireplace and play the guitar? In Fuzzy House you will meet no in-app purchases and no advertisements. Fuzzy House is all about free open-ended and imaginative play. There are lots of things to discover and interact with and therefore plenty of replay value. Bonus: Knitting patterns for the Fuzzies can be purchased, the website is also a source for DIY inspiration.
Daniel Tiger’s Stop and Go Potty by PBS is for “When you have to go potty, stop and go right away. Flush and wash and be on your way.”Daniel Tiger and his friend Katerina Kittycat are like a lot of young children – they don’t always want to stop playing when they have to go to the bathroom. It can be hard to stop when they’re having so much fun. But when they start to wiggle, it’s time to Stop & Go Potty! With Daniel Tiger’s Stop & Go Potty app, children will practice stopping their play when they have to go potty and learn about their important bathroom routines at the potty and sink. “It can be hard for children to stop what they are doing to go to the bathroom. It helps them to know that what they were doing will be there when they return.” -Fred Rogers
Sago Mini Planes by Sago Sago is the most magical, fun-filled airplane adventure for kids! Pick a plane, load your passengers and take flight! Catch some sun at the beach then cool off in the arctic, pop balloons as you weave through the mountains. Fly up high to reach outer space! Does flying make you hungry? Chomp a delicious pizza planet then fly through a giant ice cream for dessert. This trip has the best in-flight snacks. With over 40 playful moments and tons of beautiful scenery to explore, young kids will love flying through the sky. Let your imagination take flight.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar – Shapes and Colors by StoryToys is gentle, enchanting, and elegant. Continuing with Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar as the main character, StoryToys has now increased the demands of play and expectations on little learners, while still keeping the awe and wonder of discovery as they have with the other apps in the series. The artwork is outstanding, and something that StoryToys excels at producing with each and every app. It is rich and delicious, but not so busy or cluttered that kids go on visual overload and can’t complete the given task. Play centers on 6 learning centers: basic shapes, colors, scale, patterns, advanced shape challenges, and Tangrams. One can either allow the flow of activities to organically evolve or select from a menu. Read Full TWA REVIEW→
RelationShapes by vizuvizu Play the visual way™ Develop young children’s visual-spatial reasoning and creative problem-solving skills through open-ended play! Build a strong foundation for school readiness with RelationShapes™.
RelationShapes offers two interrelated areas that invite children to play and replay:
• Match It – Exploration and discovery have free reign as children manipulate abstract and figurative shape combinations to make a match – any way they choose!
• Picture It – Creativity and delight abound as children use their imagination to personalize their shape pictures with vivid accessories and backgrounds that add humor and context.
Arte’s Magic Pencil by Minilab Ltd is an interactive learning adventure that teaches children the fundamentals of drawing to inspire them to get creative both on and off the screen! By matching up the dots and tracing the shapes, children will see lines and shapes come to life! There’s a monster on the loose and it’s destroying everything in its way! Save the day and help Artie to rebuild his world, using a very special magic pencil. In a land where basic shapes are the building blocks, children can be the heroes while learning how simple triangles, squares, and circles come together to create everything they see around them, from a butterfly to a building, and a car to an ice cream shop! With a fun story and delightful handcrafted animations, Artie’s Magic Pencil will help children learn the power of art and of helping others.
Thinkrolls 3 – Kings and Queens by Avokiddo As with all the Thinkrolls episodes, it is filled with puzzlers challenging your abilities to think logically using your super powers and knowledge of physics, mechanics, and most all – how to have fun.The focus is on building executive functioning skills of memory, persistence, inhibition and patience to learn from your mistakes and adapt accordingly.This episode begins with classic Thinkroll play set in a castle with a friendly giant pet dragon. Gameplay is driven by the basic goal to move your Thinkroll through a series of mazes and overcome obstacles in the path to grab a key and unlock a gate to the next level. All levels are built with lessons learned from previous levels and introduce the ability to generalize knowledge. READ full TWA Review→
Tiggly Chef Subtraction: 1st Grade Math Game by Tiggly has made the sciences come alive by transforming their purpose into something relevant and tangible. Love, Love, Love this idea, as it shows that there is more to some jobs than meets the eye…and when it comes to cooking – a foundation in math, the sciences, and chemistry make for tastier treats. And what’s this? The Chef’s invited you to come into the lab and share your expertise to help him devise some new recipes.There are so many careers that use chemistry or measurements and playing early in a child’s life gives them the opportunity to lay down the basics and later have these concepts shaped for generalization to an extended task. Read Full TWA REVIEW→
COMING SOON: More Lists of Best of 2016
- Best Thinking Apps – Logic & Coding
- Best Math Apps
- Best Reading Apps
- Best Book Apps
- Best Suites of Apps
- Best Apps for Special Needs