Top 10 Mobile Apps for Children

Following on from my a previous posting I was asked to review the top 10 mobile apps for children. The list has been put together by www.recombu.com, the mobile phone experts. I have an iPhone and iPod Touch and have owned them for a couple of years now. As they are nearly due for renewal I didn’t mind handing them over to Callum and Nathan so that they could play with the apps. Had this been a brand new iPhone, iPod or an iPad I dont think I’d of been so happy to hand them over especially as both boys are known for being slightly heavy handed with things (we’ve already had to replace hinges on Nintendo DS consoles).

Here is a list of recombu.com‘s top 10 iPhone and iPad apps for kids:

 1.  Talking Tom Cat
 2.  Tozzle – Toddler’s favourite puzzle
 3.  Itsy Bitsy Spider
 4.  Winnie the Pooh Puzzle Book
 5.  Create a Car
 6.  Dr Seuss ABC
 7.  abc PocketPhonics
 8.  FlickKick Football
 9.  Crayola ColourStudio HD
10. FishSchool HD

1: Talking Tom Cat
Suits: iPad, iPhone, Android
Cost: Free
Tom is a virtual pet cat, if you stroke him he will purr, if you pour him a glass of milk he’ll drink it. If you are horrible  to Tom he will become very unhappy. If you poke his feet or pull his tail he’ll yowl and if you punch him he will see stars and fall to the ground. Tom will also repeat everything you say. My boys love this app and is one I’ve had on my phone for a while, they say silly things to Tom just to make him say things in his squeaky voice. Thy fall about in fits of giggles so is always one I have to hand if they are upset.
2: Tozzle – Toddler’s favourite puzzle
Suits: iPhone
Cost: £1.49
From aeroplanes, toys, train, boat, duck and car, there are 39 colourful puzzles to choose from, many animated. Your child completes each one by dragging pieces to match a silhouette, gradually building up the picture. The boys love this app it is easy to use and fun to play, they have played with it a few times whilst we’ve been in the car, its a great sweetener when they see we’ve arrived at a shopping centre or supermarket.
3: Itsy Bitsy Spider
Suits: iPhone, iPad
Cost: £1.49
Incy Wincy Spider is one of Nathan’s favourite nursery rhymes so when I showed him this app he was very excited to see what it did. The app uses an interactive version of the nursery rhyme. If you poke the spider he will jump, or climb up the spout, if you tap the sun the rain stops and every time you tap the fly it provides educational information for example a fact about spiders e.g. having 8 legs. There is even the option for you to record yourself singing the nursery rhyme.
4: Winnie the Pooh Puzzle Book
Suits: iPhone, iPad

Cost: 69p/£1.84 Android

My boys really like this app and lets face it what isn’t there to like about a Winnie the Pooh app. It isnt an educational app but it is a great little app. It tells a short Winnie the Pooh story, but within the story are a number of simple puzzles like collecting honey pots and jigsaws puzzles. These will keep any child entertained. The controls are simple to use – especially on the iPad, with a ‘Read to Me’ version for younger children, while older children can record themselves reading the story.
5: Create a Car
Suits: iPhone, iPad
Cost: 69p
This app is perfect for car crazy little boys. Callum loves this app, you have a choice of 30 vehicles including a digger, bus or fire engine. Once you have chosen your vehicle you can customise it by dragging different parts onto the chassis.  Alongside the typical exhausts, tyres and engines are some amazing features like an anti-gravity thruster. Vehicles are then stored in a virtual garage, from here you learn about vehicle parts, which Callum thought was great especially as he wants to be a racing car driver when he grows up (I suppose he can dream).
Callum’s “Master piece”

6: Dr Seuss ABC

Suits: iPhone, iPad, Android
Cost: £2.49/£2.45
Teach your child the alphabet, using words, letters and pictures, based on the classic Dr Seuss ABC book. This is a fantastic tool for teaching children to read – each word is displayed in pink when it is read out and you can tap words and letters to hear them pronounced individually. Callum is a huge fan of Dr Seuss and I’m sure Nathan is heading the same way. They both love this app and have had fun. There is an option to read the story alone which is what Callum does and Nathan uses the read auto read or read along ways so that he can see the letters and the words with which they associate. 
7: abc PocketPhonics
Suits: iPhone, iPad
Cost: £1.99
This app teaches children to read and write using the sounds of the letters in the alphabet. First the sound is read out by the narrator and the child can repeat it, the child can then draw each letter using their finger to follow arrows. Nathan really liked this app as he is just starting to use phonics at nursery to help him sound out letters and words. The app also have a word game where the narrator asks you to press the letters that she says to form a word. This has helped Nathan with his letter recognition.
8:FlickKick Football
Suits: iPhone, iPad, Android
Cost: 69p, 68p
This is an app that both Matthew and Callum like, its been quite hard to determine whose played it the most, neither are huge football fans but this app has definitely kept them entertained. The game is as simple as flicking the ball into the back of the net from different positions; the type of flick you user determines whether you curve or lob the ball.
9: Crayola ColourStudio HD
Suits: iPad
Cost: Free, iMarker ($29)
Crayola ColourStudio HD is a virtual colouring book, where you child can colour in 30 scenes or create their own using the Griffin iMarker.
10: FishSchool HD
Cost: £1.49
This app is great for young children who are learning letters, numbers etc, it is a really simple app . It has a selection of bright and colourful fish that swim across the screen, forming patterns either as letters, numbers, shapes or colours, these are then read out by a narrator.  Callum likes this app but as he already knows all the basics he finds it quite easy and tires of it quickly. Nathan on the other hand has just started learning the alphabet in nursery so this app has helped him to learn his letters, he is already good with his numbers and colours so he could easily play the odd one out game. He loves seeing the fish form the different shapes and letters.
Overall I think the boys favourite app is Talking Tom Cat, but this is definitely closely followed by Dr Seuss ABC and the Create a Car app. All the apps have kept the boys entertained and I will most certainly be allowing them to play them when we go on long journeys in the car. The majority of the top 10 apps are educational so even if the boys think they are playing a game they will actually be learning something too. We will definitely be recommending them to our mummy friends – although they may not want to let their children play with their phones!

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