“PBS Parents Play and Learn” is a free app with activities for parents and their wee ones. The activities are for familiar locations, like restaurants. We tapped the bath section and learned about fun songs to make up and how to make a homemade boat. Games for children teach them their letters, how to count and make rhymes. It works on Android, iPhone/iPad and Nook. Be sure to put “PBS” in the search box or it doesn’t come up. We had to install Adobe Air first, but that was easy.
A new book in the “Dummies” series is “iPad Apps for Kids,” by Jinny Gudmundsen, $20 from Wiley.com. Here are a few of its recommendations for kids. All are free. “Toontastic” is the best app we tried. It walks you through the creation of an animated cartoon, adding movable characters to the scene you create. In the process, it teaches kids how to compose a story: the set-up, conflict, a challenge, a climax and finally a resolution to the drama. Monster Hunt – This is a good memory game for adults and kids.. Four great-looking monsters flash for an instant on a grid and disappear. You tap the squares where you think they were. Then it’s on to five monsters, [...]
We recently read about Kevin, a six year-old who was always getting sick, often going to the emergency room, where he got prescriptions for more pills. What finally made him healthy again was getting him to eat fruits and veggies. What his mother did was carve cute little animals, Charlie Brown figures, and other fun stuff out of veggies and fruits. Meal time became fun and he looked forward to eating nutritiously. Fortunately for the rest of us, she made a Facebook page to show off her creations. The page, at Facebook.com/FunMeals4Kids, now has over 1,000 “likes.”
TeamSnap is free for Android or iPhone and is used by more than 125,000 teams around the world. It lets coaches add and remove players, change lineups, and schedule or cancel games. There’s also an online version for computers. The app is used in 177 countries and for over 100 sports.
Issue 32 of “Make:” just came out; $15 from MakeZine.com, and it captured us from the first glance inside the cover. There it was, a description of how to take one of those toy monkeys that bang cymbals together, and make it motion sensitive.
“The Unofficial LEGO Builder’s Guide, 2nd Edition,” by Allan Bedford, $25 from NoStarch.com.
Boy, is this a book suited for Christmas. That’s assuming that someone in the family is going to get a LEGO set. The guide shows all the projects in full color and is full of great building tips.
PBSkids.org/democracy lets kids play politics, creating presidential candidate stickers and posters online. Information about issues is missing, but we learn that Mitt Romney’s favorite food is hot dogs and President Barack Obama likes pizza.