May 5, 2011

iPad apps - simple is best

The best apps are ones that perfectly pair text and pictures without being too distracting. Here are some of the ones I like:

Cute and charming, this app can be played over and over again without being annoying. Boynton's characteristically adorable animals are aboard a gently rocking ark, preparing to go to sleep. They take baths, put on pajamas, brush their teeth, exercise, and go to bed. Fun interactive elements include turning on taps, popping soap bubbles, opening drawers (send tops and bottoms flying), cleaning fogged up mirrors (the iPad's screen), and filling the night sky with stars.

A simple concept makes for a really cute and funny book. Make a cow moo, sheep baa, or pigs sing la la la. There are also rhinoceroses, horses, dogs, and cats. I especially liked the duck at the end, who makes all the noises (and even yodels)!

The absolute best apps I enjoyed are the ones starring  Marie-Louise Gay's Stella and Sam. What I liked most about them was the placement of the games and puzzles, which flow perfectly with the story. Each replay is different as well, with enough variety to keep kids entertained.

Stella and Sam look for their toboggan. Along the way, you can solve a stick puzzle, decorate a snowman, and look for items under the snow.

It's raining, but Stella always finds something fun to do. Help Sam's dog paint a picture, search for things under the leaves, or race pine cones.

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