Carissa's App Picks for Kids - April 29, 2016

Friday, April 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!

Blue Hat, Green Hat

Blue Hat, Green Hat

Reviewed on 04/15/16

If you love Sandra Boynton’s board books, try the apps for even more to love! The app developer took a very literal approach when developing this book app--the screen is designed to look like you’re actually picking up one of her printed board books and flipping through the pages. However, when you open the book you’ll discover that there are some new interactive elements not available in the print versions.  For instance, on the page where each animal is putting on a shirt, the image starts off with the animals, arms up, halfway into their shirts.  You can tap each animal to pull their shirt down over their head. There are some extra hidden surprises on each page, but since studies have shown that too much interaction can distract kids so much that they lose track of the storyline, it’s a good idea to just read the story straight through the first time and then if your child requests a repeat reading (which they usually do!) you can spend more time on each page, exploring all the silly surprises. If you like this app and you’re a fan of this author, rest assured that all of her book apps are of a similar high quality!

 

Age group: Baby/toddler, Preschool
Platform: Android, iOS
Keyword tags: Amazon, Animals, Book App, Concepts, Early Literacy, Favorites, Google Play, Growing Up, NBC15

Giggielbug's Face Race

Giggielbug's Face Race

Reviewed on 04/15/16

Four silly characters challenge you to match their silly faces!  First, choose which character you’d like to mimic: Gigglebug, City Bunny, Barry the Bear or Papa Raisin.  Next, your character will make five REALLY silly faces and you must do your best to imitate them.  The camera takes your picture each time, then the app assigns you a score based on how well you matched the silly face. Top scoring photos are put into a “highscore” page which keeps history beyond your current play session.  (Note: If you have a highly competitive child, this element may frustrate them and take away from the pure silly joy of the app. You can choose to ignore that feature of the app.) A collage of all five photos are made into a “postcard” which you can save onto your camera roll or share on social networks (access to the social networks is safeguarded, at least from pre-readers). This is an app best played by two or more players as a big part of the fun is sharing how silly you look in the photos!

Age group: Preschool, Grades K-2
Platform: iOS
Keyword tags: Animals

Toca Hair Salon Me

Toca Hair Salon Me

Reviewed on 04/09/16

Toca Hair Salon Me is actually the third hair styling toy app that Toca Boca has developed and the element that is unique to this version is the ability to add your own photos to the app.  This allows you to try out crazy hairstyles on your own head, your mom's head, your baby sister's head, even crazy hairstyles on your pet! Another feature that makes this app unique on the market is that the facial photo that you use actually gets animated.  The eyes close when you're adding spray-on hair color, and follow your finger as it moves around the screen, the mouth opens to utter appropriate exclamations (not really word-based, per se, to keep this app accessible to users not matter what language they speak at home), all of which add some really solid humor to this already fun app.  There are seven different stations in this hair salon, including cut (and grow, yay!), curl, wash/dry, color, photograph & accessorize.  You can change the look as many times as you want, no time limits, no right or wrong way to play. If you enjoy this app, be sure to check out Toca Hair Salon and Toca Hair Salon 2 where the clientele are diverse and open to all of your hair styling recommendations.

Age group: Preschool, Grades K-2, Grades 3-5
Platform: Android, iOS
Keyword tags: Amazon, Creativity, Family Play, Favorites, Google Play, Growing Up, NBC15