12 Great Free Apps for Kids – Part 2
Last week I wrote about six of our favourite free apps – you can find the post here.
If you are looking for free apps, review sites can be a good place to start. For a regular supply, check out Smart Apps for Kids free app of the day which highlights permanently free apps as well as those on sale. It’s a great way to discover new titles and developers. You can also sort the large number of reviews at Digital Storytime to see free apps only. Each Friday, don’t forget to check out App Friday on Facebook or hashtag #appfriday on Twitter for 24 hour free apps and deals. Quality can vary but there’s usually one or two good apps available.
Now to the rest of the list! Here are six more free apps we have enjoyed. As far as I am aware they are all permanently free, but if you find one has started charging do let me know.
This is an energetic, modern and noisy version of the traditional fairy tale. Jack is too busy playing video games to listen to or help his mum. So when he sells their cow for magic beans, can he turn into a superhero and defeat the giant at the top of the beanstalk? There is a lot for the reader to do on every page, including tilting the iPad to make Jack zoom up the beanstalk, and finding places for him to hide in the giant’s castle. This is an app we have come back to time and again since downloading it over a year ago.
Compatible with iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad.
This is a fantastic series for early readers as a reading resource, and for all children as a story writing tool. There are eight free apps in total including Playing, In the Garden, and My Bike Ride. The best feature of the apps is the Story Creator mode (shown right). This allows you to pick backgrounds, characters and objects, move and resize them and then add text to create your own story. You can also record your own narration. It’s very easy to use and brilliant for creative play. The apps also include hints and tips to help parents and children with learning to read. Compatible with iPad.
Available from http://collinsbigcat.com/apps
Chipper is a small mouse with big plans. Even though it is raining, he’s determined to have a fun day and he wants you to help him choose what to do! Little Miss Chatterbox, aged 3, loves the fact that she can direct the story by choosing one of three variations on an activity for Chipper at each point in the story. Every page has simple, fun interactivity just perfect for young children, such as the hide and seek games shown in the picture, building forts, or giving Chipper a bath. Compatible with iPad.
This game is a tie-in for the new book series The Grunts written by Philip Ardagh and illustrated by Axel Scheffler. It is easy to play, but horribly difficult to master! Definitely one for parents as well as children, you flick bees on to Mr Grunt’s face to build the biggest beard possible before the time runs out. Watch out for the birds, butterflies and flowers trying to stop you. Compatible with iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad.
There are many dressing-up apps in the App Store, but this one stands out from the crowd because the central character is the Duchess of Cambridge, aka Kate Middleton. Dress the Duchess is actually a spin-off from a story app celebrating the marriage of Kate to Prince William. I really like Adam Larkum’s charming illustrations and the way the Duchess is superimposed on photographic backgrounds. Little Miss Chatterbox (yes, I’m afraid Mr Tall isn’t so interested) enjoys choosing from the wide range of hairstyles, clothes and background scenes. You even get Prince William and a corgi thrown in as a bonus. Compatible with iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad.
As December draws closer, what better way to close out this list than with something Christmassy. A free version of the popular Toca Hair Salon, this app lets you cut, colour and style Father Christmas’ white mane or a Christmas tree’s branches. You can then decorate them with a wide choice of Christmas baubles, ribbons and bows. As with all Toca Boca apps, there are endless creative possibilities and it’s a great app to have on standby for kids if the Christmas festivities turn a little fractious. Compatible with iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad.