Apply Yourself

Best applications for children in the holidays
13 Jul 2013

I don’t know about you, but in our part of the country at least it’s the last weekend of the school holidays and I admit – I am just about at the end of my tether.


For parents everywhere, especially working parents, school holidays provide a set of challenges that leave them tearing their hair out – how to entertain the kids without simply parking them in front of the electronic babysitter – what was once the TV and is now more and more the computer, or more to the point, the tablet – specifically the iPad.


But when it comes to the crunch, the end of the holidays means you trying to get them ready to go back to school – so put the guilt firmly away and pull out the babysitter, load it with some great apps, and start attacking the load of work you have been neglecting while ferrying the kids around to a hundred different play dates and birthday parties.


Here are some seriously good apps – none of which will break the bank, and all of which have longevity beyond this weekend.


You may even have time for a sneaky sit down…


Younger Children:


Sago Mini Forest Flyer ($1.99)

5 star rated, simply animated, this is full of easy interactions that will entertain for hours. Dance, fly, splash in the pond with Robin. Very cute indeed.


Talking Tom Cat (Free)

For younger kids – but if you don’t get a kick out of this, you aren’t human. Tom is your pet who responds at touch to your words – and repeats them back. Pet, poke, grab his tail, throw him around – it may not engender particularly good behaviour but it’s naughty fun and kids hearing their voice come back as if it’s on helium – hours wasted. Peace in the house.


Winnie The Pooh Books (Free)

These are a new release – the classic Pooh books with original drawings, all now out on iPad. Yes, this may mean some reading on your part, but again you will enjoy them just as much as your children. Guaranteed quiet time!


Older Children:


Space Quizzer (free)

This is a great quiz without being too geeky – a manned space flight with a time limit on the answers. Complete the quiz or you don’t complete your mission. Warning: dads may get drawn in…


Luminos Astronomy Companion ($7.49)


Continuing the space theme but on a real time level, Luminos is a ‘hold and show’ guide to the night sky. Zoom in on the constellations by tapping the screen and find out the history and mythology of the planets, the moon and the stars.

Kids may poo-poo this at first as bing totally nerdy but start talking spy satellites…


Procreate Sketching ($5.49)


This is one of the best drawing programs out there. Both boys and girls will be hooked in for hours – and again, adults too. Incredibly easy to use and with amazing digital tools as well as standard ‘brushes’, pens, and great colours, there may be fights over whose turn it is next – let the kids have a go, OK?


All Ages:


Musyc (Free)


Everyone – no matter what their age – will love this. Shapes become music – young kids will simply enjoy the sounds; older children who understand melody will see incredible patterns develop before their eyes. 64 instruments and it’s compatible with both iPad and iPhone,


So if you are starting to hear – well, silence – enjoy it. And have a brief sit down. Then start attacking everything that you’ve had to put aside for the last two weeks.


Or you could play with Tom the Cat…



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