I will never forget the release date of the first iPad, because it was the geekson’s due date – May 28th 2010. The geekdaddy had pre-ordered his iPad, and there was serious concern that the baby might arrive first, meaning we weren’t home to receive his precious new parcel. In actuality the iPad arrived a day early, and the geekson appeared a couple of days late, so we never had a problem. What this tells me is that the iPad will be two years old at the end of this month, and over the two years we’ve owned it we’ve bought a lot of kids apps. Longer than that actually, as we were buying kids apps for the iPhone before the iPad release. Along the way we’ve found a few favourite app developers, who we will pretty much buy anything they make. I told you about a couple of these in a previous app roundup, and today I want to tell you about another one…
We’ve been fans of Duck Duck Moose ever since we got their Wheels on the Bus – Duck Duck Moose (iPhone / iPod Touch only – 69p) app for the iPhone when the geekdaughter was little. We have since upgraded to the HD iPad version (iPad only – £1.49) for the geekson, and both kids have had a great amount of play from both apps. So when I heard this week that the developer had released a new app I investigated immediately. And when I discovered it was a motor-vehicle app I just knew that the geekson would love it. I was not disappointed. Trucks HD – by Duck Duck Moose – Duck Duck Moose (iPad only – £1.49) is a collection of 5 mini games, all involving motor vehicles. Your child can wash a car in the car wash, tow a car away and fix its flat tyre, sort and collect rubbish, dig with diggers and watch and interact with a car parade. Bright colours and smooth animation make for a really engaging app. I was sure the geekson would love it, but I wasn’t expecting the geekdaughter to be so taken with it as well. Both kids enjoyed all the mini games, which I would say are well pitched for a toddler or pre-schooler. Certainly the geekson found some easier than others (it took him a while to get the hang of sorting the rubbish out, for example), but I’m happy with that because it shows the app will be another great long-lived app.
The video below shows what happened within a few minutes of my showing the app to the kids for the first time:
(If the video above is not visible, you can watch it on the web here)
The geekson loved this app so much that he tried to take my iPad to bed with him last night as he didn’t want to let it go. I’d definitely recommend this app, particularly for car-loving toddlers!
Here’s a quick roundup of the other apps we’ve been playing with this week:
The geekdaughter has taken a bit of a shine to happyKids – Veterinarian HD – William Paten (iPad only – £1.49) recently. It reminds me a lot of Toca Doctor HD – Toca Boca (iPad only – £1.49) except it is set within a veterinary clinic rather than a doctor’s. It lacks a bit of the style and simplicity of the Toca Boca app, but it’s entertaining and contains a good selection of mini games for older toddlers or pre-schoolers. The app does contain a fairly easily-accessible screen with a list of all the developer’s other apps, plus links out to them in the iTunes store, and I’ve already had the geekdaughter asking me to buy them all for her…
I picked up a copy of Flori’s Birthday – Velago GmbH (Universal – 69p) when it was free for a short time, and the geekdaughter has found it mildly entertaining. It’s an interactive storybook starring animals, and the story centres on Flori the giraffe who is having a birthday party. From an adult point of view I find it a little inconsistent in the way you interact with the book, and I find the child’s voice narrating a little irritating (but it is a UK accent which is a plus). The app comes with both English and German narration, and I’d say it’s best suited for pre-schoolers, but there are better interactive storybooks out there (although to be fair they’re mostly more expensive). The app contains one screen promoting another app from the developer, which includes a link out to download that app from iTunes. The app also offers the child the option to take a picture of some of the things they create as they work though the book – thankfully these are not saved to your camera roll, but there is an option to email pictures to people (this option can be switched off in the options screen).
I was sent a promo code for Animals – Coloring, Matching, Spelling & Learning Activities for Your Creative Baby or Toddler – Kandoobi* (Universal – £1.99) recently, and the geekdaughter has enjoyed playing with this app. It’s a collection of 4 different games – Colouring (Choose from the 100+ page animal coloring book or blank pages), Matching – (pick the animal that matches the silhouette), Letters (drag and drop letter matching) and Scratch & Fill (swipe the image and colors fill in the animal drawing). The app has been well designed for kids, with brightly coloured animations and clear and easy navigation. There’s no advertising or links out to other apps or websites, but there is an option to save a colouring picture to your camera roll, so watch out for an assortment of strange pictures appearing in there! Narration is done with a US accent, but I didn’t find this overly distracting. This is a nice app for toddlers or pre-schoolers, and I’d recommend it.
Disclosure: An asterisk (*) denotes an app I for which I received a promo code and thus did not purchase myself. The links above incorporate my iTunes affiliate ID. If you make a purchase after clicking on a link it doesn’t cost you any more money, but you contribute a few pennies towards the upkeep of this site. All prices were correct at the time of writing.