Recently, smartappsforkids.com travelled from Texas, Toronto, Indiana and Orlando, respectively, to meet Lisa in Belfast, organized ourselves at a pub and set about completing a difficult, but necessary task:
Determining the ten best preschool apps. Having tested approximately 40 million apps between us, we were uniquely qualified for this mission.
After hours and hours of pub food, a few staff members drinking far too much wine, and arguments that involved hair-pulling and thrown glasses, we finalized the following list, in alphabetical order:
(Please note: Almost none of the above is true. Except we did write a top 10 preschool apps list.)
18 terrific games and activities that feature adaptive play to properly challenge. Amazing graphics and wonderful music. Selected by Apple as Best of the Education category in App Store Rewind 2011 in the US. Bugs and Bubbles released in July, 2012. iPad/iPhone, $2.99
203 cookie cutters, 24 cookie dough recipes, 21 instant cookie dough flavors, 60 different sprinkles, 85 candy toppings. Roll the dough, cut the cookie, bake, color and add sprinkles (with no real sugar or calories). 99 cents, iPad/iPhone
Pick a shape, decorate it and watch it come to life. Choose the photo sticker tool to snap a picture and use it decorate a shape. Great, cartoon-like animation.
Kids learn to draw through step-by-step, line-by-line instruction. Extensive coloring and dress-up sticker options. Twenty drawings to choose from. Save and edit drawings later. $1.99 iPad, 99 cents iPhone. iLuv Drawing Santa, Dinosaurs, Animals and Monsters also available.
FREE! Eight games covering colors, shapes, letters, counting, memory and sorting. Generates detailed report card for parents. Game levels progress based on skill level. FREE, iPad/iPhone.
An iPad/iPhone dollhouse where nearly everything works including closets, TV and shower. Children can fry an egg or feed the family pizza. They can pour drinks, blow bubbles and turn out the lights. $3.99 iPad/iPhone, FREE lite version.
iPad/iPhone Lite version
Free ebook. A crocodile is trying to clean his teeth, but he can't reach them all with his little T-Rex arms so he sets out to find someone to help. Outstanding in all aspects, especially narration. (Free, iPad/iPhone)
Remarkably comprehensive app for a great price. Children learn with Mimi Mouse about upper and lowercase letters, phonics, numbers, shapes and colors. Tracks progress on each subject in detail. Great for parents or teachers as it can track up to 40 users' progress. Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd Grade also available. ($0.99, iPad/iPhone)
Hello, everybodeee! Sesame Street classic comes to life with terrific animation and interactive play as Grover tries to stop the reader from advancing the story. Reached No. 1 in the App Store Books category and includes parent tips for discussion of fears. $3.99 iPad/iPhone
Children can play doctor using 21 puzzles and mini-games, including one I call "Help, my organs have fallen!" All preschoolers need at least one Toca Boca app. Also has games for putting an the ear back together, squeezing eye drops into an infected eye and bandaging a skinned knee. ($1.99, iPad/iPhone with free lite versions)
iPad iPad lite iPhone iPhone lite