Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Tech Tips Tuesday

iPad for Preschoolers #4 Creative Play

Kids love to create - be it a ball of dough, a pile of construction blocks, a box of textas, a handful of craft materials or a musical instrument. Today I will share some iPad apps I've found useful to support your preschooler with exploring his/her creativity.

Lego App4+ With this app children collect Lego bricks, construct a vehicle, and drive the vehicle through an obstacle course. On completion of the route they are awarded a Lego puzzle to complete, which is then displayed in the scene they drive through. My little guy has completed this game but continues to play it as he enjoys creating and driving the vehicles. He particularly loves using the siren piece and the helicopter piece! Lego also has a story based Lego Duplo Zoo app which he enjoys playing, and this also has some elements of selection and construction.

Zoo Train Through this app, children play a variety of games. One of these games involves selecting track pieces in order to complete a train track for a mini train to travel on. Another requires children to select the passenger cars for a train and then choose a scene to see it pass through. There is also a musical game, a puzzle game and a word game. Given that it's a train game, it's proven quite popular with my little guy.

Toca Robot Lab This is a fairly simple game that draws on children's creativity. They select the parts to construct a robot and then try to collect stars as they move it through the factory.

Visual arts
Faces iMake This fun app allows you to create a picture using images of everyday objects. I have only recently purchased it, but had some fun designing some faces of my own before my little guy got into it. At the moment the premium version for iPhone has greater functionality than the iPad version (in my opinion) - so hopefully this will be sorted out through updates.

Play School Art Maker Based on the characters from the popular Australian television program Play School. Children can create a scene using a variety of craft materials and add animation by moving items around their scenery. There are also puzzles to be completed. My little guy is just getting started with this app, but loves completing the puzzles. He tries to create videos, but doesn't really understand that he needs to "move the toys and make some noise". I see it as a useful app that will grow with him.


Mozart Interactive This is one of my favourite music apps for kids. Children interact with Mozart's Rondo alla Turca by selecting which musical instruments will be included at key decision points. It's fun and it introduces kids to classical music and the instruments. Also produced by Melody Street LLC is My Musical Friends HD which introduces children to the different instruments of the orchestra.

Little Fox Music Box What a great way to experience three well-known children's songs! I think I 'purchased' this app when it was free, and I have been very happy with it. The song plays, the words scroll, and children interact with the illustrations. I particularly like the use of the seasons for Old McDonald had a Farm and think this is a great talking point with a toddler. Creativity comes into play in the Fox's Music Studio, where children can touch objects to hear their sounds and thus create their own songs.

Toca Band Another favourite of mine, this app is addictive and the songs you create get stuck in your head! In the usual Toca Boca style, you take on the role of conductor and create a band using a collection of characters with their unique sounds. Move the character up the levels to change their tempo and pitch. When this came on sale, we got it on all the iPads at school - and recommended it highly to the teachers! Too much fun!

Songs For Kids As my toddler has only just started singing along to songs, we haven't fully explored this app yet. It features 14 children's songs which children can sing along with and record their singing. The pictures are cute and interactive.

Tap A Tune This is another app new to me, but featured in the 'top' lists. I am yet to introduce this to my little guy. Using this app, children can follow cues to play children's songs and create their own songs.

Of course, this is just a taste of the many creative apps available for iPad. These are the ones that I have discovered to date, and which my two-year-old is using. Please feel free to leave a comment to share your favourites.

Other posts that might interest you:
Tech Tips Tuesday - iPad for Preschoolers #1 Mathematics Concepts
Tech Tips Tuesday - iPad for Preschoolers #2 Alphabet Apps
Tech Tips Tuesday - iPad for Preschoolers #3 Let's Pretend

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