What's your favorite kid-friendly app?

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23  Answers

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Recently, I learned that my daughter was not a phonetic reader, but rather a whole word reader. Although while learning to read, the end result should be that children become whole word readers, while going through the education system, phonetics are an important part of the process. I decided to begin searching for the best tools to help her so that she would not struggle the next few years. She loves to read so my fear was that if she hit a few walls while learning, that love would soon deteriorate. Fortunately, I found the ABC READING MAGIC apps for children whether they are phonetic readers, or whole word readers. They are a series of apps and are for free! After falling in love with these apps, I introduced them to my daughters school and they have been a staple in their app program since.

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This is such a hard question for a real app-lover to answer, as it changes regularly! There is such a wealth of great apps available now, with so much different functionality. However I think the current favourite in our house, for both my 5 year old and my 2 year old is the interactive story magazine app Leo's Pad. It's difficult to find an app that appeals to such a wide age group, and this app does it really well.

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I am not sure that I can choose only one! My kids play with many different apps. They love games, books, and educational apps. I will say that I am very grateful fo the Kindle FreeTime app. It is an awesome parental control app for their Kindle Fires that make sure that only see what I want them to see.

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The iMums favorite kid friendly app is My Playhome by Shimon Young. This app features a beautifully designed virtual dollhouse with people of many different nationalities and different rooms to play in. The house features a great opportunity to tell social stories, eat in the kitchen, have a bedtime routine, play in the backyard and more. Every element of the app is touchable from opening and closing the curtains, to brushing your teeth and taking a bath. This app caters for 2-8 year olds which is appropriate as it’s simple enough for the younger users to play with yet detailed enough to keep the older kids entertained too. All of The iMums kids love this app! http://bit.ly/16CXEdI

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Honestly, I'm not a fan of apps for children. Children shouldn't be playing with your phone or iPad in my opinion. I know it's hard, heck my 8 month old tries to steal my phone so I try to limit my use around her. Internet access and children just don't mix well.

I know when the Vine app came out people were upset because their children were using it and some of them briefly saw pornography. What do you expect with an app that mixes social media and videos? Your child shouldn't be exposed to that in general, keep your phone or tablet for your own use.

I guess if I had to choose, they let my daughter play with the bubble popping app at her latest Children's Hospital appointment, and it kept her mind off of some of the testing so I guess that's ok.

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I'm not going to discuss any app here, for there are too many wonderful apps to single out just one. However, I can definitely share with you one very IMPORTANT kid-friendly feature of McAfee Total Protection. The 'Visibility and control' feature that helps you manage your kids’ Internet use to permit their fun and at the same time allows you your peace of mind. See what it offers:

#Parental Controls—Apply adjustable rules to block inappropriate sites and limit online time.

#Surf Report—Check login times by user, attempts to access forbidden sites, and total online time.

#IMPROVED Summaries—See and print one usage report for all your kids

So even if you aren't at home or your child is left in the care of babysitters or grandparents, you can still remotely be aware of their interent usage, be warned if any abusive language is exchanged on chat sites and informed if any stranger tried to approach them.

Isn't that just Wow? What a relief for Moms like you and me who can't be home 24/7 and always are on tenterhooks about our children's safety in our absence, what with the rising number of bullies, paedophiles and cyber crooks out there.

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I have two of them. First is Where's My Water, a game about Swampy, a cute alligator who lives in the sewers. He likes to take showers but the water is trapped and you have to find various ways to direct the water to fill his shower. This free app from Disney has many levels and helps your children think about strategy and consequences.

My second kid-friendly app is a suite of math educational apps. It's called Splash Math and there are different apps available for different grades. Each grade level Splash Math costs $9.99 but it provides a fun way to learn math. Splash Math covers an entire grade level's math curriculum in a fan manner, without the need for workbooks, offering rewards along the way. My son loves math and is good at it, so I got him the 3rd grade level math program and he is learning so much. He will be well prepared by the time he reaches 3rd grade.

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It's so hard to say! With new apps developed each and every day, there are always great ones being developed for each age group. As mom of kids ages 6 and 9, some of their favorites include Temple Run and anything featuring Angry Birds. A new favorite is LeapFrog's My Robot which teaches early programming and focuses on reinforcing STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and math) in ages 6+.

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There are so many apps out there, it hard to pick apps without thinking about kids age and subject. Over time, I have created lists of best educational apps for different age groups by subjects. You can find the lists here: http://ow.ly/j83P3.

In general, I like the apps that show creativity and good understanding of child development. Some examples are: Faces iMake (http://ow.ly/iWmSx), Toca Doctor (http://ow.ly/iWnJO), Leo's Pad (http://ow.ly/iWo3y). For older kids, the Smithsonian series (http://ow.ly/j4GDu), Science360 (http://ow.ly/j4H5A), and Middle School Confidential series (http://ow.ly/j4Hcj) are clearly the ones having their audience in mind while they design the apps.

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Toca Tea Party. It's simple, but the kids use it for pretend play, which leads to more possibilities for multifaceted play than any game can offer.

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My favorite app is Educreations, anything by ABCyaGames, Animoto, Toontastic, and ClassDojo!

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Most of the social gaming apps I review are not for kids under 13. Recently, I found an exception. The Flying Alphabetinis is a social gaming app that everyone can play. My oldest best described it as Scramble with Friends for kids. Kids and family can play against each other to see who can find the most words. They can also send messages and invite friends to play in a kid-friendly environment.

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Regardless of age, road trips with kids can be daunting. Road Trip Scavenger Hunt tells you what to look for and keeps track of the points to see who is winning. The whole car can join the fun of hunting for objects, words or both. A great way for everyone to enjoy the trip.

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As much fun as games are to play, and we certainly like Temple Run in our house, I love apps that help children use their imagination and reasoning. Educational apps are fantastic too! The most successful apps, in my opinion, are the ones that involve children in creating and exploring. One of my favorite interactive stories, which I always recommend, is Luna Red Riding Hood (http://www.theiphonemom.com/luna-red-riding-hood-and-cauldron-chaos-review/). The Luna series immerses readers into a magical world and requires reader participation to further the storyline. Another favorite is Monsters vs. Superheros (http://www.theiphonemom.com/monsters-vs-superheroes-comic-book-maker/). This feature-packed app allows children to create their own moving comic using "stickers" and imagination. Finally, to see how much fun fractions can be, treat your child to Squeebles Fractions (http://www.theiphonemom.com/squeebles-fractions-review/).

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Over the past year I have reviewed quite a number of apps so it is hard to pinpoint just one! Of course, I am bias to my own storybook apps - Penelope the Purple Pirate and Gerry the Giraffe - but I really enjoy the apps that developer's Toca Boca, PicPocket Books, and Oceanhouse Media put out. They all offer something unique. PicPocket Books has a huge selection of storybook apps, Toca Boca have such great games and Oceanhouse Media offers many of the classic tales such as Dr. Seuss and The Bernstain Bears. We also love anything to do with pirates and/or treasure hunting so we are fans of Treasure Kai and The Day I Became a Pirate.

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I love the My PlayHome app by Shimon Young. On the most basic level, it is a virtual dollhouse. It was one of the first apps my three year old started playing. It occupies them, gets their imagination going, and provides a lot of giggles along the way. Educationally-speaking, my favorite would be anything by Spinlight Studio, AlphaTots and TallyTots are responsible for helping my children learn their alphabet and numbers.

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My three-year-old daughter with discriminating app taste absolutely loves playing Mickey Mouse Road Rally on her iPad. The game has story elements plus interactivity that is spot on for a pre-schooler.

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With twin 10 year old boys, I love any app that makes practicing math facts fun. For example, apps such as Math Bingo, Everyday Mathematics Baseball Multiplication and Math Ninja. For my 14 year old son, I am grateful that the Kahn Academy has an app for my son to watch the videos no matter where he is! But we all of my boys use Kindle app for reading digital books and Audible.com to listen to audiobooks.

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Elmo Calls for iPhone -- My toddler LOVES this app! I love that it keeps him occupied with fun jokes and songs from his favorite Sesame Street character, while teaching him how to use a phone! The app is just the right amount of interactive -- the toddler can answer the phone call from Elmo, but if they don't, the call automatically answers. They can end the call at any moment. And the Voicemail portion lets me tell him that Elmo called just for him. So much fun!

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I like Pull Ups Big Kids Apps from Huggies & Sea World's Turtle Trek

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Asking an app reviewer to pick a favourite app is pretty cruel! There are so many wonderful apps out there but for a variety of reasons my top recommendation would go to the 'Bugs' series of apps by developer Little Bit Studio. Bugs and Buttons, Bugs and Bubbles and Bugs and Numbers all contain some key common elements - outstanding value for money, beautiful graphics, lovely music, lots of content (each app contains 18 mini games) and just the right amount of skill-building and educational content. If you have children these apps are a must-buy and I've never known anyone to be disappointed with them.

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Scribble Press. Combine this app with an iPad and a stylus and your budding Jeff Kinney can go to town! Your kiddo can create an eBook with his or her own drawings and writing. They can also plug in photos and (in app) purchase sets of clip art. Once they are done with their masterpiece, they can share it to the public Scribble Press gallery (after complying with strict yet appropriate privacy guidelines) or you can order an actual paper copy of the book! If they get stuck and need a little inspiration to get them going, share Peter Reynold's book, "The Dot" with them. They will be creating in no time!

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We love the Scholastic Storia app. Scholastic brings back great memories for me and I love that with the changing technology, Scholastic is keeping up and bringing those awesome titles to kids to read. Changing with the technology is important to keep up with the kids.

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