All Aboard the Ninky Nonk
Any parent who doesn’t immediately know what this relates to has entirely missed out. This playtime app based on the hit CBeebies show In the Night Garden (hilariously narrated by Derek Jacobi) contains a series of loveable mini-games for 1-4 year old children, set to the infuriating/catchy tunes of the CBeebies original. Makka Pakka Face Wash being particularly well-received by a random one year old we tested it on. It’s the best use of £1.99 we can think of, available on iOS and Android.
What kid doesn’t love a dumpster or a bulldozer? Duck Duck Moose’s award-winning app uses a series of mind-expanding exercises to teach two-to six-year-olds how to solve problems using five appealing automotive activities. It comes with a tranche of popular nursery rhymes, too.
£1.49 | iOS
The Cat in the Hat
Dr Seuss’ timeless collection of feline tales should be part of every child’s literary compendium and this app is a great place to start. It uses Seuss’s original drawings to superb effect by allowing kids to interact with both words and objects on the page. You can choose to read it yourself or have it read to you – with an American accent, of course.
A fab but tricky construction game for teenagers and DIY dads. The gist is simple… Using your in-depth knowledge of physics (you did listen in class, didn’t you?), you build a succession of bridges and spans by drawing a conglomoration of triangles – it’s all about triangles. Then you select cars or trucks to pass over your wobbly creation, hoping it all holds together. The difficult part is that you have to do it all within a tight budget.
Like the ‘Caribu’ reading app, this collaborative tool enables parents and kids – or a pair of friends – to interact with each other over the internet or via Bluetooth using art as the common theme. Both parties see the same page at the same time and they can talk to each other too. It comes with a bunch of colouring-in templates, a basic collection of pens and crayons and a few games like Hangman and Noughts and Crosses.
£1.49 | iOS
This app has proved so popular with kiddies, it’s encouraged Bandai to bring back the original electronic toy after an absence of 17 years. ‘Tamagotchi Classic’ lets kids enjoy most of the nurturing elements of the current, larger-scale toys, only with much better visuals. Just one caveat… Parents will never see their tablet again.
This quirky French-made educational app teaches kids the very basics of musical notation in an entertaining way. Select a character and simply touch the staves to place a note. You can choose from a semibreve, crotchet or quaver, depending on how tuneful or tuneless you’d like your composition to be.
£1.99 | iOS
This clever dual reading app came about when its young designers saw the image of a soldier trying to read his child a bedtime story over the internet. Think of it as Skype with a story attached that allows parents and children to share the same tale from opposite ends of the globe. All you need is a pair of iPads. It comes with one story – ‘Lucas the Lion’ – but there are many more available via the in-app store, priced £1.99 each.
Free | iOS
Petting Zoo - Animal Animations
A brilliantly funny series of short, simple character animations that interact with finger swipes across the screen. Turn a Dachshund into a knot, play music on a crocodile’s teeth, make an elephant spray water in the bath, play with a lion’s mane… it’s all going off here. Each line-drawn animation segues into the next to produce one long seamless smorgasbord of animated fun. Comes with a cute soundtrack, too.
Peppa Pig’s Holiday
Peppa Pig has taken children’s entertainment by storm. The app allows you to be part of the Peppa Pig family holiday and help them through lots of different tasks along the way. After you’ve finished playing on the beach then why not build your own ice cream or design a postcard?
Disney Princess: Story Theatre
This app lets your imagination run wild and choose one of Disney’s favourite Princesses to star in your own story. Create your very own animation by selecting the characters, setting and actions before you record yourself tell the tale.
Mickey’s Wildlife Count Along
This app allows you to develop your Maths and Science skills while having fun. Count groups of animals and see them in their natural habitats as you travel along Mickey Beach. Young readers are able to develop their skills and confidence with its text-highlighting tool.
Wreck It Ralph Storybook Deluxe
Join Wreck it Ralph as he attempts to save the arcade from deadly cy-bugs. As well as having read-along text and full narration, you are able to design your own kart before taking on racers from the film. The app also includes 6 short clips and quotes from the movie, allowing you to interact with your favourite characters.
£1.49 | iOS
Toca Hair Salon Me
This app is the spin off of the very successful app, Toca Hair Salon 2. It offers all the same characteristics but you are now able to upload your own picture into the and style it as they wish, giving a selfie a whole new look!
Squeebles Times Tables 2
This app makes doing your times tables as enjoyable as possible, using a number of different methods of engagement and interaction throughout. You can test yourself all the way up to the 15 times tables as well as attempting many other challenging activities. The app caters for varying levels of ability and can be altered by an adult or teacher to specify on a particular problem area.
Help Sven, the superhero skier, and his friends escape from an avalanche. Ride on the back of different animals and complete objectives to take Sven to the next level. It has been the No.1 paid app in Australia as well as being game of the week in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Mexico.
My Little Work Garage
Set up and run your own car garage to help fix all sorts of different mechanical issues. From changing oil to fixing the car engine, this app allows you to build and develop the cars in your garage, setting them apart from the rest.
This app offers a simple method of learning how to tell the time, not only in English, if that isn’t enough for you. The App helps you to go from a beginner level to advanced stage through unlimited fresh scenarios that adopt a jungle animal theme. As well as English, you will be able to learn to tell the time in French, Italian, Spanish and many other languages if you do so wish.
£1.99 | iOS
By draining the colour of photos you have taken on your device, Crayola Lights, Camera, Colour! leaves you with an outline you can really experiment in. An unlimited range of colours along with stickers can be added to spice the picture up. The app is a great way to get creative and gets your imagination flowing.
Free | iOS
This app is a great way for children to learn while they play. Either testing your spelling on “Words Magic” or saving the day with “Tree Fu Tom,” the app caters for different interests. There is also a section for adults on how to get the most out of the application.
This app offers you a great way to culminate reading and racing. After you’ve customised your car in the “Reader Pit Stops,” you can race against competitors from the film. A number of different reading modes are available such as “Read to Me.” The app also has 3D racing.
£2.49 | iOS
BBC CBeebies Playtime
If riding a motorbike doesn’t interest you then trade it in for a firework. Fly down the home straight jumping over and ducking under all objects in your path while collecting as many coins as possible along the way. Compete with the rest of the family on the high scorer board and see who is the most daring.
£0.99 | iOS
Cars 2 World Grand Prix Read and Race
Create your own hair salon and see how characters react to the new styles you give them. New accessories such as straighteners and curling irons allow the user to become even more creative and experimental.