App Picks - February 2016

Carissa's App Picks for Kids

Monday, February 29, 2016

These are Carissa's app picks from the past month. You can see all of her picks on the Library's website and, if you want to learn even more, come to The Supper Club at the Alicia Ashman Library on the third Tuesday of each month at 6:00. Bring your family, bring your dinner and discover new apps... together!

 
 

Bogga Magic

Reviewed on 02/24/16

 
Become a magician’s assistant as you explore this playful app! You choose the colors, the tricks, the items to combine and then see what magic the bear magician will create. One of my favorites is the star box which allows users to choose 2 objects from a set of 10 options and place each object into a separate box. After waving a magic wand, the boxes slide together and the objects are combined into one new object! (e.g. A frog plus a lemon popsicle turns into a yellow frog on a stick) This particular trick is included in the free “Lite” version.  The full version also includes the ability to choose what color the bear’s outfit is, design his magic wand and add three more tricks. Although the gameplay for this app is fairly simple and older kids will be done exploring the whole app rather quickly, it still delights players of all ages and preschool-aged children will find it to be just right.
 

Age group: Preschool
Platform: AndroidiOS
Keyword tags: AmazonAnimalsConceptsGoogle PlayWriting

 
Red in Bed

Red in Bed

Reviewed on 02/16/16

 

One of my favorite book apps! This simple story about colors has the perfect amount of interactivity. There is no spoken narration, but the printed words are available in English, French, Spanish, Magyar and Japanese. The pictures support the text and reinforce the storyline and the interactions lead kids through from beginning to end without distracting from the flow of this simple tale. The sound effects also support the storyline (e.g. while the rest of the colors make a chiming sound when you tap on them, Red (who feels ill) makes more of a honking noise, as though he has a stuffy nose) and emphasize the emotional response to the action.  One fun little detail is that the colors, arranged in rainbow order, sound a full octave if you tap on them in order (don't miss out on the little invisible dot at the end of the line!) and if you're musically inclined, you can play a song on them like a xylophone. Great choice for sharing together on your next sick day.

 

Age group: Baby/toddlerPreschoolGrades K-2
Platform: AndroidiOS
Keyword tags: ArtBook AppConceptsGoogle PlayGrowing UpMusicNBC15SpanishStories

 
Trucks and Diggers

Trucks and Diggers

Reviewed on 02/15/16

 

Perfect for the construction site fanatic at your house! This app invites players to first choose one of 6 building plans for whimsical houses.  Then, choose which type of digger (everything from a bulldozer to a wood chipper) to use to fill a dumptruck with dirt.  When they’re done filling it (whether or not it’s actually full), they can drive the dumptruck to the building site where it dumps the dirt and the house grows! Once the house is finished, choose the paint scheme, add some details (windows, doors, chimney, flamingo for the front yard….) then take a picture of the new owner enjoying their new home. Filled with clever humor, empowering choices and, of course, diggers, this app is sure to be a hit.

 

Age group: Baby/toddlerPreschool
Platform: iOS
Keyword tags: AnimalsEngineeringThings that Go

 
The White Book

The White Book

Reviewed on 02/12/16

 
A simple, wordless book app that invites players to discover what’s hiding on a white page. Choose one of 15 paint colors, then “paint” the white screen with your finger (or all of your fingers!) to reveal a white line drawing of an animal. Once the animal has been fully revealed, the rest of the page is flooded with the background color and the animal comes alive with a short, often humorous animation. Based on a print book of the same name, the app takes the surprises of the book to a new, interactive level in a brilliant way. The simplicity of the action and the rewarding animations make this book app appropriate for even young toddlers to use, together with a caring adult. Cozy up together to explore The White Book!
 

Age group: Baby/toddlerPreschool
Platform: iOS
Keyword tags: AnimalsBook AppEarly Literacy