There are a massive number of mobile games and apps in the mobile universe.
And frankly Google Play and iTunes aren’t much help finding a great new app.
You know what I’m talking about, that long road trip is coming up and you want a new app for the family tablet that doesn’t suck. So many apps are the same-o, same-o. Once you’ve shot down a few pigs it’s just more of the same-o even if it’s a water gun or a basketball!
I’m looking for that magical new app that has it all. A new platform, an education angle, books and stories, enticing games, and maybe it could cook a romantic dinner later?
So here are five Edutainment apps that will rock your appy world!! (Sorry, didn’t find any make-me-dinner-apps.)
1. Yabber Mag – Apple, free (currently)
Imagine a child’s science magazine delivered to your door (right now.. for free!). Now imagine, even better, delivered to your iPad!
YabberMag is an educational app for elementary aged kids. With amazing graphics and a hip storyline with a frog and a light bulb explaining the whys and hows behind the scenes at a power station. The pages turn like a book, with videos embedded as you go along, plus games to play at the end. (And my little boy’s favorite part, the submissions of other kid’s inventions and science experiments… he’s already begging me to video and submit his next ‘experiment’!) Future installments are coming, this is the first and it’s brand new!
2. Totally Amp’d – Apple, $4.99 (First episode is free)
For tween girls – Totally Amp’d is more like Degrassi High meets Glee. 12 Full ‘appisodes’: little video story episodes following the story of Jr. High kids. Singing, dancing, and yes, even some tween-age angst.
But the part that is amazing is the game and interaction outside of the ‘appisodes’. Inner fashion divas get their fix with the fashion design maker, and future DJs and music-magicians can rip new music, sing, and play around with the song maker. And a movie maker for all the wanna-be producers. There will be future ‘appisodes’ also at a similar download price.
3. Scribble Press – Apple, free (currently)
DUDE! It’s a virtual bookshop… and the owners, authors, illustrators and editors are YOUR KIDS! EVERY mother loves THAT!
I have a super-duper-uber creative 10-year-old daughter. She took one look at the Scribble Press app and declared: “Cool”. (Translation: “Wow, this is exactly the type of fabulous new idea that will keep me entertained and using my creative brain cells for hours on end, delighting grown-ups and wowing my friends.”)
4. Ruckus Reader App – Apple, Reader is free, eBooks are $3.99 & subscription based.
For young and new readers, a whole new library system set up by the well-respected Ruckus Media Group. (Their work includes My Little Pony and Chuck and Friends ebooks!) This new ‘Reader App’ is an all in one bookcase where you download new reading books (leveled 1-3 for advancing readers). Each book has a story of course with terrific graphics as well as embedded videos and games kids can play and engage. However, you also gain access to a parent section where you get updates about what your kid is reading & how they are advancing. One of my favorite new features is you can record your own voice reading the book and they can listen to you even if you are out of town!
5. MindSnacks SAT Vocab App – Apple, Free (1 level), $4.99 (full)
I was blown away by how great this app is – FOR ME! I was looking for foreign language apps and MindSnacks makes several great ones, but the SAT test prep for vocabulary intrigued me and I tested it out myself. Maybe I’m crazy for calling this an ‘edutainment’ app, but that’s what it is. Great games where you learn new words and in such a way that you totally enjoy the whole process.
“Great for students prepping for the SAT as well as for adults looking to polish up their vocabulary skills!” – MindSnacks
Even my 7-year-old little boy enjoys this app, not sure how much he’s using big words like “distilled” but the competition of the levels is hypnotizing!
Need more edutainment ideas? Apps that reach out and do more than one thing, cover several different levels of fun, contain education, and several ranges of age groups?
Famigo.com has the best educational apps to choose from. They’re searchable via age, platform, and type of app, and all apps listed are at least 3 stars or higher or they don’t make the Famigo ‘grade’.
Here are some app ideas from Famigo.com:
- Time Machine: Age of the Emperors – This “create your own adventure” app is just like you remember when you were a kid. You choose which direction the book takes and you literally create your own adventure.
- Khan Academy – Khan Academy is a spectacular free math tutorial service. Now with their own app, it is even easier to learn tough math concepts.
- Wonders of Geology – Wonders of Geology is a beautiful app with stellar pictures and a great interface. There is much to learn about geology and this app incorporates a plethora of information.
- The Game of Life – It’s just like the board game, except it can go wherever you go.
- Troublings Playworld – The graphics are great and very colorful. There are puzzles, synthesizers, and much, much more.
- My PlayHome – Wonderful way for kids to “play house” on an iPad – everything an imagination needs is there, kids just add the story.
- Famigo Sandbox for Android – Created by Famigo! A free app that creates a safe-play environment for your kids on your smartphone.
Now if I could just find the app that will light candles and make a big vat of lasagna?
Carissa Rogers is on the Parent Advisory Board for Famigo.com.. She is a busy mom of 3 active kids. And when she’s not carpooling, leading the PTO or playing photographer; she’s connecting, consulting, freelancing, volunteering and lots of other ings … a GoodNCrazy mom of all trades. Connect with her on Twitter: @CarissaRogers.