7 must-have iPad apps for kids

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Got an iPad? Got a toddler or a pre-schooler at home? Trust me, the iPad is made more for them than us folks. They seem to take to the device like fish to water – I guess the touch interface, the ease of use and the magic of audio, video and interactivity on that big screen makes the experience ‘magical’ for them, as His Steveness promised.

My daughter, all of 5, gets wide-eyed about using the iPad. Sometimes, its used as a bribe for getting her to do things. Worse still, when she comes to know that I will be going out of town, she enquires if I plan to take the iPad with me. These kids seem to have figured out how to operate the device all on their own, get into levels within apps which I never knew existed. Here are her favourite apps (mine too!). What I liked about them: the interface,  sophistication of graphics, cleverness of the concept and the ability to never bore the kids.

1. 123 Color HD

Created by Steve Glinberg, I would rank this as the No.1 kid app, especially for kids who have an arts orientation. At that age, they all do, I guess. What I liked about it most is the painting system: freestyle finger painting with Perfect Paint™, a patent-pending technology that makes it impossible for kids to paint outside the lines. There are truck loads of other features too. Must buy ($1.99).

What you need to watch out for are the in-app purchases. Thankfully, iTunes asks for your password before your kid happily clicks on those.

2. 123 Sticker

This is from the same guys who created 123 Color HD. What my daughter seems to like about it is the interactivity – one can create one’s own beach scene or carnival scene by adding little stickers provided. There’s a lot of flexibility – you can resize, flip and move the stickers with ease.

123 Sticker is a steal at $0.99.

3. Creationary

From the makers of LEGO, this is a fun app, where you have to guess the LEGO object being built. What’s more, its free.

4. iWriteWords

iWriteWords ($2.99) is the kind of app parents feel good about buying for their kids. It’s a fun app where one has to trace alphabets, words & numbers.

5. Word Magic

Another spelling game, with lots of options in level of difficulty (3-letter words, 4-letter words etc.) it’s a boon – comes in handy when you need some peace & quiet at home.

Word Magic’s paid version comes in at $0.99.

6. LunchBox

Fun game for pre-schoolers teaching them about colours, matching, shapes, counting and letters.

7. Pocketphonic

Great if your kid goes to a Montessori school, where the emphasis is on phonics.

PocketPhonics is available for $1.99 (a free lite version is also available).

Other note-worthy apps (highlighted in a box) include:

Hope you enjoyed the collection. Anything I missed?

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  1. Indeed iPad is an awesome toy for my 3.5 year old. I didn't need to teach her angry birds, she was like blasting levels after levels in no time.
    Liked the phonics app you mentioned, my kid will like it. Also do check out the slate app.

  2. Very nice, and excellent list. I have just got an iPad and was looking for kids app recommendations for my 5year old daughter.

  3. Flash Cards by InKids is also a great app that my 2 yr old daughter loves!! She has learned Shapes, Things and Animals with it …. I will try 123 Colour …

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