04 March 2009

OWTK Reviews iPhone Apps for Kids - Part 2

...and here is the 2nd and final installment (for now) of OWTK's iPhone Apps for Kids Review. Miss Part 1? No worries, get caught up by clicking here.

Signing Time! ($9.99) - At ten bucks, Signing Time! is by far the most expense app I've ever purchased. My girls have recently become addicted little ASL students thanks to a single Signing Time! DVD and this app is the perfect on-the-go compliment to the video instruction. The Signing Time! App features flippable flash cards that allow you to take your ASL studies with you. A vibrant picture of a word or action is on one side and Rachel Colman's instructions are on the other, simply touch the screen to toggle between the two. A 3-10 second video clip of the sign is also available from the flash card screen for each and every sign, along with 3 music videos. I'm hoping that, for a 10 dollar app, more music and more words/signs are added in future updates. Overall, this is a wonderful app with more educational value than your average iPhone app (see "iFart").

iFluff (free) - a scaled-down, free webkinz/Nintendo DS' "Nintendogs"-esque game that is okay for about 5 minutes. After your child pets their frog/dog/cat/penguin/etc, feds him or her, wins a race, and buys some more food the animal will likely scoff at after eating, your kid will get bored of iFluff much like the Bear did. Yes, it's free so there is no downside but expect to delete this one shortly after downloading it.

iKids Play ($2.99) - A very creative application for kids that marries 5 function in one, all centered around a story. Kid's can have a book read to them as the pages turn on the screen, they can read the story themselves while recording their voice, color the pages or rub the pages clean (displaying the images underneath). There is also a blank canvas painting option. Currently there are two apps to purchase, each offering the same concept with a different story. OWTK purchased The Catepillar's Dream and is very pleased with it. Because there are so many things to do, including the ability to record your child reading aloud (with no time limit) as the words appear on the screen. Unlike most adults, the Bear loves to hear her own voice as she reads aloud.

iSteam (free) - a clever little app that lets you mimic the fun of writing your name and drawing pictues on foggy car windows or a shower door. With iSteam you blow into the iPhone microphone to steam up pictures from your own photo library. Pretty fun for a free app, if only for the neat ability to create steam by blowing into a phone.

ESPN Cameraman (free) - This is one of the 1st apps I downloaded and still is one of the Bear's favorites. Just recently they added a deluxe version that certainly sounds impressive (I haven't yet upgraded). This is a sports themed game where you must find 5 differences between 2 nearly identical photos while you race against the clock. 1 problem with the free version is the lack of photos.
You play ESPN Camerman 10-20 times and you will start to see the same images over and over again. The deluxe package claims to include a lot more photos and the ability to select certain sports or just avoid others (in case you don't want your kiddo to see boxing pictures, for example). You can also play this game over at ESPN, on your computer.

iHandy Level (free) - maybe they didn't plan for it, but the handy level makes a neat tool for little kids pretending to be repairman and woman (as the Bear does). It's also just a hoot for youngsters to make the bubble in the center swim back and forth across the level itself. So, not only is this useful for adults, it can be a nice distraction for the kiddies as well ("go check that all the dressers are level, honey!").

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