Before the digital era, kids used to pretend to be like mommy and daddy by walking around in their over-sized shoes, ties and accessories—and there are plenty of pictures to prove it. But today kids see their parents in a whole new, technology-centered light, which they begin to emulate when they are just old enough to babble into the iPhone speaker and bang on the iPad screen.
They may not have high standards when it comes to preferred iPad apps—quirky noises, bright colors, and funny faces usually do the trick—but kids know what they like and don’t like in an iPad app. And it’s okay to use technology as an aid because it will make children more savvy tech-users once they’re older. More and more life has become more technology driven. From the classroom to the living room children and their parents are using technology for education and learning, as well as for entertainment. Keep the following top five kid-approved apps on your iPad for a helpful and entertaining distraction.
Best iPad Apps for Kids
1. Angry Birds
Thought this app was just for procrastinating college students? Think again. Angry Birds is a family-friendly hit for kids of all ages. Since its debut in 2009, Angry Birds has held the top spot in paid iPhone apps in more than 50 countries across the globe. This popularity can likely be attributed to the appeal the game has for kids, with a fun and user-friendly touch-activated slingshot that allows kids to catapult funny-faced cartoon birds onto piles of bricks and pigs. With 240 levels to beat the game, you can guarantee your kids will stay entertained for years.
Kids love searching YouTube for the latest video memes and funny animal vids, but the loosely censored site can allow them to just as easily stumble upon the latest Cee Lo Green hit, whose lyrics you might not want to hear repeated at the dinner table. The WeetWoo! app delivers all the kid-safe YouTube videos they love, while filtering out inappropriate content. The videos are divided into age range and categories, with large, clear screen shots and simple descriptions to make it easy for kids to navigate the site. The app also doesn’t feature commenting or sharing, so you can ensure your kids won’t be influenced by any uncensored outsiders.
3. Toy Story 3 Read-Along
Make bedtime stories more fun with the Toy Story 3 Read-Along app, which is just one of several interactive reading apps for kids available for the iPad. This convenient and engaging app allows parents to read along with their kids or simply push a button and let the story be read for you. Parents can even record their own voices reading the story, so you can always be there for a bedtime story, even when you’re away. Kids love the read-along apps because of their colorful pictures, fun features and interactive design.
4. Juno’s Piano
You might regret downloading this one after listening to hours of the creative “music” your kids come up with on this virtual piano app, but it’s guaranteed to be a hit for kids of all ages. The app features the beloved cartoon character Juno of the popular DVD series, who cheers for your mini Mozart through every step of their musical experimentation. A clear and kid-friendly interface of basic black and white piano keys allows your child to test out the instrument as they please, or even learn a new song with step-by-step instructions.
5. Drawing Pad
Before they have time to “redecorate” the living room with their colored markers, show your kids the Drawing Pad app on your iPad to let them express themselves in a less expensive way. The app was named the winner of the Parents’ Choice Gold Award and has been featured on the “New York Times” as an “iPad app for little Picassos.” Kids can access a set of artistic tools conveniently located in a drawer on the side of the screen, which include paintbrushes of all sizes, 60 colored pencils, 70 crayon colors and four types of sprinkles. Kids can further embellish their creations with a 140-sticker library, which features animals, toys, cars and other kid-friendly images.
Instead of packing along several coloring books and toys for each visit to the grocery store, you can download these apps and take your iPad with you to keep kids quiet and entertained while you continue your busy day. Who knows? You may even help train them to be a gadget wiz that can one day teach you a thing or two about technology.