Best iPad and iPhone applications for children of all ages

As an iPad and especially an app addict I have been trying out a huge amount of apps for my own entertainment, work, tech experiments and of course for my child and friends’ children. Trust me, part of the fun of having an iPad is sharing it with your child.
Having tried to find relevant information about iPad and iPhone applications for a while I discovered that it was a very difficult and time-consuming task. The Apple iTunes search is not very sophisticated and in the end you just find some lists, oriented towards more commercial apps and not as complete as they could be. Hence, I decided to come up with my own list. When choosing apps for your iPhone or iPad the important thing is to customise the apps that you find are more relevant for your children. Think about what makes them happy and of course understand how you can leverage the entertainment and education factors.

iPad with on display keyboard

Image via Wikipedia

So here is my list of my favourite applications for children of all ages. I have other apps I like as well but this is a fairly big list to start with. Just choose the ones you find most appropriate for your children and their ages and have fun.

Nursery Rhymes with StoryTime, By USTwo, iPad, paid app
This app is a powerhouse both because of its graphics, illustrations but also for its innovative angle to tell stories in an age of globalisation and innovation without loosing the magic world of childhood and storytelling! The Nursery Rhymesapp with Storytime is a wonderful tool for parents, like me, in an tablet age, that can use it to ensure they never miss the special intimacy of bedtime with their children, no matter where they are. Done by the creative an innovative marvel agency / studio USTwo. (I will write more about them in the future).

Smule Magic Piano, by Sule, iPad,  paid app
“From concert pianists to curious cats”, a Piano powerful app for the iPad. Contorted, bizarre, gamelike piano apps.

The Cat in the Hat – Dr. Seuss by Oceanhouse Media, iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch, paid app
The Dr. Seuss classic “The Cat in the Hat,” one of the top selling children’s books of all time, is now available. Won 2nd Place in 2010 Best App Ever Awards for eBooks. “On a cold and wet day, two children are visited by a mischievous cat, wearing a tall, red and white-striped hat. To entertain the children, the Cat performs wacky tricks, creating a mess of the house. Will mother find out about the Cat and see the mess?”

Three Little Pigsand the Secrets of a Popup Book, by Game Collage, LLC, paid app
As the title indicates ‘Three Little Pigs and the Secrets of a Popup Book’ is a gorgeous book. It combines classic-style illustrations with paper popup like interactivity and motion with a very interesting ‘x-ray goggles’ mode where you can actually ‘see through’ the pages and understand how the popup is ‘working’. Best of both digital and paper in a totally new-fangled take on the pop-up book”  HuffingtonPost.com. Video: http://tinyurl.com/pigs-video

AlphaBELCH – A Children’s Book About Burps, by Stephen White,iPhone/iPad, paid app
“Kids love animals and kids love to laugh at burps and belches. Put them together and you’ve got AlphaBELCH – an A-to-Z gallery of animals who burp on the land, in the air, and under the sea! Writing, narration and sound design by Stephen White, who has entertained millions of children with “Barney & Friends” television episodes, home videos, feature film and children’s books.”

Alphabet Fun by John Cotant, iPhone/iPad, paid app
This education app comes filled with over 70 full-color images and large, easy-to-read text. Alphabet Fun provides an excellent funny and educative platform for preschoolers. You just scroll through the letters, colors, and numbers with the swipe of a finger. Explore how each character is written by tracing over it. You can even practice writing entire words with ease.

Jack and the Beanstalk Children’s Interactive Storybook by Ayars Animation Inc. Made for iPad it works in iPhone/iPod, paid app
Experience the legendary Jack and the Beanstalk story like never before in this powerful and wonderfully illustrated storybook, featuring over 30 pages of interactivity. Trust me your child will enjoy this a lot. This timeless tale app that comes alive with audio narration, read-along text, and interactive games and features. Each page contains a hidden surprise! Come and dive into the pages of Jack and the Beanstalk and join Jack in his adventure to defeat the giant!

Astrojammies, by Demibooks Inc, iPad, paid app
“Follow Jimmy into outer space in an action-packed storybook adventure. Jimmy has magical pyjamas that have the power to turn him into an astronaut! What sort of things will he encounter when he flies past Saturn, Earth and Mars? In this Demibooks™ book app written and illustrated by Stacey Williams-Ng, the fantastic tale of Jimmy and his magical jammies are brought to life in richly-textured paintings and rhyming verse.”

Alice for the iPad by Atomic Antelope, iPad, paid app
The cleverest iPad book yet … For the first time in my life I am blown away by an interactive book design.” – Gizmodo.com

Disney Fairies Fly, by Dysney Publishing, iPhone and iPad, free
“Fly with the Fairies and discover a world of adventure and fun.” This magical game captures the excitement of the changing seasons in the heart of Never Land, in a place called Pixie Hollow”. A stunning game to play around with interesting multitask features and where you are able to use the iPad or iPhone as a moving device that affects the game performance.

Toy Story Read-Along by Disney Publishing Worldwide. iPad, free app
A fully interactive reading experience from the timeless Pixar tale packed with Games, Movie Clips, Coloring Pages, Sing-along Tunes, and Surprises on every page.

Labyrinth 2 HD by Illusion Labs, iPad, works with iPhone or iPod Touch, paid app
The sequel to the original labyrinth game is available for your iPad, now with new levels fitted perfectly for the bigger screen. For children a bit older than 4.

Where’s Wally? The Fantastic Journey by Ludia, iPad, works with iPhone or iPod Touch, paid app
The first game in the Where’s Waldo? franchise, Where’s Waldo? The experience the game that rocketed to #1 in 9 different countries! Some of the

experience design might be for children older than 5.

Goldilocks and the Three Bears– Kidztory animated storybook, iPhone and iPad, paid app
“This story is not too hot and it’s not too cold. For encouraging a love for reading in your child, it’s just right. And when you read Goldilocks and the Three Bears to your child, you’ll relive the delight you experienced when you first heard it as a child.”

Talking Tom Cat by Outfit7, iPhone or iPod Touch, free app
Thefunnier app of all. Trust me everyone will adore it. “I was literally rolling on the floor after about 2 seconds, the more I laughed the funnier it was, my ribs now aching and I still can’t breathe!!” ~ Alfapixie

Animals 360 by YED28, iPhone or iPod Touch, free app
Animals 360. A 360° view on the world of animals, a fantastic new application to discover animal features, habitats & sounds. Marvellous images, quiz and habitat tours & puzzles of different difficulty levels.

National Geographic’s Ultimate Dinopedia: The Most Complete Dinosaur Reference Ever, iPad, works with iPhone or iPod Touch, paid app
“Love Dinosaurs? Dig into more than 700 dinos with National Geographic’s interactive Dinopedia! Based on the award-winning National Geographic Kids Ultimate Dinopedia: The Most Complete Dinosaur Reference Ever, this app goes beyond any dinosaur encyclopaedia you’ve ever seen. Just what makes this dino app so extreme? More than 700 dinosaurs, astonishing artwork, the latest discoveries, amazing interactives and video!”

Theo and the Letter Eater, iPad, works with iPhone or iPod Touch, paid app
“People in town have stopped speaking right! What’s happened to the alphabet? What’s the legendary letter valley? Where is it? Help us, Super Theo! This is work for you! A fun and enticing story, a beautifully illustrated animated book for your iPad. English, French and Italian versions included in the same download.”

WordWorld eBook: Duck’s First Sleepover, iPad, works with iPhone or iPod Touch, paid app
“Enjoy WordWorld’s eBook, Duck’s First Sleepover, based on the Emmy Award-winning television series on PBS KIDS®. WordWorld is funded in part by the U.S. Department of Education and has been demonstrated to significantly improve early literacy skills, including print awareness, letter knowledge and comprehension. WordWorld is just as it sounds: a magical world made up of words where fun rules the day.”

Color & Draw for kids HD, by Tipitap, iPad, works with iPhone or iPod Touch, paid app
An artistic springboard with 4 apps in 1 for iPad. 1.A drawing and sketching app with white and black backgrounds
2.A coloring book app with 50 exquisite drawings of fun topics including animals, professions and landscapes (no TV cartoons, they watch enough TV as it is…) It’s an Artistic Springboard where some drawings are “incomplete” so children, guided by voice over instructions, can creatively interact with the drawing. 3.A photo decorator where kids can draw over your own photos and decorate them with stickers. 4.Letter and number tracer.

AlphaBaby: iPad, works with iPhone or iPod Touch, free app
This app available for just $1 will be very addictive for younger kids. They press the screen and a letter, number or shape appears and the fun starts right away. If they press it, a voice says it and it grows or shrinks, moreover, these objects can be sent flying across the screen. Record your own voice or your child’s voice and add images from your camera http://www.ipadshouse.com/how-to-import-photos-and-videos-to-your-ipad-using-the-camera-connection-kit/ – it can be hilarious!

Miss Spider’s Tea Party: iPad, By Callaway Arts & Entertainment, works with iPhone or iPod Touch, free app
Watch the classic in an complete and fascinating app. This picture book http://www.ipadshouse.com/top-5-free-books-for-ipad-part-2/ costs $10 but is absolutely amazing! Your child will read, watch, play and listen. It incorporates painting, puzzles and 3-D animation http://www.ipadshouse.com/need-for-speed-for-ipad-racers/ the whole family will gather to watch the story. Touching the images reveals multimedia surprises your child will love.

Cartoon Classics Lite By Paul Dabrowski,iPad, works with iPhone or iPod Touch, free app
The perfect sample of classic cartoons in an app. Bored at the bus stop or boardroom? Check out Cartoon Classics Lite and enjoy Bugs Bunny, Superman, Betty Boop, Felix the Cat, and Popeye! And have fun!

Cartoon Classics: Superman (1940’s), By Paul Dabrowski, iPad, works with iPhone or iPod Touch, paid app
It’s a bird….it’s a plane…it’s Cartoon Classics: Superman (1940’s)! Cartoon Classics presents everyone’s favorite man of steel in over a dozen full vintage cartoon episodes. Created in 1932 Superman is a comic book superhero widely considered to be an American cultural icon.

Cartoon Classics: Betty Boop (1930s), iPad, works with iPhone or iPod Touch, paid app
Cartoon Classics presents the queen of all cartoon vixens, Betty Boop, in over three dozen vintage videos. Cartoons include Minnie the Moocher, A Song a Day, Poor Cinderella, Betty Boop and Little Jimmy and many, many more!

Cartoon Classics: Popeye (1940’s) By Paul Dabrowski, iPad, works with iPhone or iPod Touch, paid app
Cartoon Classics presents the brawny, spinach eating sailor Popeye in over three dozen vintage videos. Cartoons include Insect to Injury, Poopdeck Pappy. I’m in the Army Now, Popeye the Sailor Meets Ali Baba’s Forty Thieves, Assault and Flattery, and many, many more!

Uno, By Gameloft, iPad, works with iPhone or iPod Touch, paid app
play the world famous card game in the most faithful recreation ever! Gather up to 4 of your friends around the table and play using a single iPad with the new “One Device Multiplayer” mode. Of course, you can also connect with your friends’ iPad or iPhone devices for local Wi-Fi multiplayer.

Asphalt 5, By Gameloft, works with iPad, iPhone (iPhone 4 enabled) or iPod Touch, paid app
Take the ultimately game ride in over 30 of the fastest, most prestigious cars you’ve ever dreamed, from manufacturers like Ferrari, Lamborghini, Audi and Ducati. Highly polished HD graphics let you see every detail and animation of the track as you speed over snow, mud, dirt and more in 12 beautiful locations around the world including St. Tropez, Aspen and Las Vegas. Discover hidden shortcuts and jump off ramps!

Food Fight! – An Interactive Book by Glenn Melenhorst, works with iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch, paid app
“Food fight is a wonderfully bright original tale which tells the story of Tim, a boy from earth and Sammy, a sausage from somewhere else altogether. They meet and instantly dislike each other, but are they so different after all? As they work through their differences, Tim and Sammy deal with issues of one-sidedness, prejudgement, food intolerance and, ultimately, conflict resolution all in a light hearted, fun story.”

The Night Before Christmas presented by One Hundred Robots, works with iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch, paid app
“Bring some holiday magic to your iPad this Christmas with a story that will entertain children of all ages. For generations, Christmas wouldn’t be complete without family and a reading of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. Now, this cherished classic is brilliantly recreated in a charming, contemporary way that captures all the enchantment and “joyful good cheer” of Saint Nick’s annual visit.”

Dora’s Christmas Carol Adventure, works with iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch, paid app
“Experience Dora’s Christmas Carol Adventure like you never have before! This interactive episode brings the experience of reading, watching and playing together in one fun-filled App. Join Dora as she helps Swiper get on Santa’s nice list and as they travel through time to learn the true spirit of Christmas. The app features activities, animation and songs and is narrated by Dora herself!”

Least but not least an important secure note. Make sure you protect your iPad and iPhone against smudges, scratches and blows. Check the link about how to protect your screen and ipad. I wish you a happy and wise geek journey in the funny train of parenthood!

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