The 7 HOTTEST Apps in our House this Summer
Just for fun, here is a list of some of the 7 hottest apps in our house this summer. We asked our kids to help us compile this list of the 7 most frequently used apps (but of course we had a hard time limiting it to just 7). Our children (his, mine & all ours) are ages 2, 7, 10, 12, 14, 16 and 18. According to them, we (the parents) are OLD.
Note: There are so many wonderful book apps out now, we decided to leave that list for another blog.
Itsy Bitsy Spider by Duck Duck Moose
This delightful app made the list because it is one of the first apps we ever purchased for our youngest and it remains one of her favorites to this day. It doesn’t matter how much time has passed since my wee one has last seen it, or which folder it is currently hiding in, our daughter seeks it out and plays with it often. The app is filled with adorable characters and fun surprises. Our daughter loves helping the spider collect the eggs and glide up and down the house. The chirping squirrel counting nuts is another favorite.
The rhythmic “Itsy Bitsy Spider” soundtrack in the background is repetitive but very enjoyable to our toddler. When she was younger, we would often catch her bobbing her head or dancing to the sound. There is also an option for the child to record the song. I am not sure if it is new or we are just now noticing it, but either way it is a great idea, and a wonderful addition to an already fabulous app.
My PlayHome by Shimon Young
“No. Mine!” Daughter, 2
Nobody can get anywhere near the iPad when our youngest is playing with My PlayHome. We can hear her giggling loudly as she plays with this app, which is essentially a digital dollhouse. As I mentioned in my blog about apps for imaginative play, she loves to make the children in the app eat apples to hear them crunch. Lately, she squeals, “Yay!” and claps her hands each time an apple is finished. She also enjoys cooking in the kitchen, playing in the shower, stacking blocks, playing dress up with hats, and shooting hoops with the basketball. Other children in our family like this app, too, but they can never get their hands on it when the toddler is around.
Toca Hair Salon, and anything else by Toca Boca
“I get to make people bald. People make a frown when I cut their hair. … The hair dryer makes the hair stick straight up and their face goes… (makes crazy face)” Son, 7
Have I mentioned lately that we LOVE Toca Boca’s apps? All of them. Toca Hair Salon is the current fave. I have discovered our 12 and 16 year old girls huddled together around the iPhone, giggling, as they give some poor character a new stylin’ hair do. Our daughter 10, and son, 7, can’t get enough of it. I am really starting to feel sorry for that poor lion. He is shaved, cut, dyed, spiked and blow dried a zillion times a day. Toca Hair Salon is fun for all ages.
Osmos by Hemisphere Games
This beautiful and addictive physics-based game was first discovered by Dad on the iPad and later became a favorite of our 14 year old son. Fortunately, a Mac / PC version of this game is available, so our son is now able to play it more frequently and both father and son are happy.
Magic Piano, and anything else by Smule
Smule is well known for it’s amazing ability to turn iOS devices into musical instruments with apps like Ocarina and Magic Fiddle. I have seen several of our kids laughing hysterically as they record songs together using Smule’s, I am T-Pain. But if you ask our 16 year old daughter which app she likes most, she will tell you Magic Piano. It includes a songbook that allows users to play along on the keyboard at varying levels of difficulty. The iPhone version of the app is currently free, with in-app purchases available.
La Di Da by Khush Inc.
La Di Da is used to create songs out of words spoken into the microphone. It is one of the few apps that I have seen as many as five of our kids using together at the same time. In our “blended” family, anything that encourages group creativity and generates such incredible laughter is well appreciated. Our kids have created songs about everything from food they are eating to the “Warning” label on the back of the car seat. They also like to take turns improvising songs about random topics. It is loads of fun for everyone.
Warnings, A song by our kids using La Di Da
While it may not be the most entertaining or creative app on our list, Skype is certainly one of the most useful apps in our family right now. With seven kids, it became clear early on that our children would be the only ones in their schools to NOT have their own cell phones. Skype makes it possible for us to use iPod touches (and 3g / 3gs iPhones after parents upgrade) as wifi phones for our kids. This has saved us many arguments over taking turns with the telephone, and has helped when we have one teen at the mall and another at the movies. Skype is used to call the parents from the mall where there is wifi, and a shared cell phone is given to the teen without internet access. Calls from one Skype user to another Skype user over wifi is free.
I had to work really hard to keep my list small. Here are a few additional apps that deserve mention:
Tilly’s Petting Farm
This app is fairly new and hasn’t been in circulation for very long in our house. It is one that I really love and my daughter has only recently discovered. I have had the chance to get to know the parent developers who created Tilly’s Petting Farm recently and interviewed them in my blog. There are now adorable pictures of ocean animals on their facebook page previewing drawings from their newest app. I can’t wait to see it when it’s finished. I expect to see great things from them in the future.
Pulse : Volume I by Cipher Prime Studios
From the iTunes description: “Enter an absorbing world where players become part conductor, part note-captor, part multi-touch master. Tap speeding notes as they cross the radiant pulse to create gorgeous original melodies”. It is still one of my husband’s favorites, and I feel certain that if the parents shared the iPad more often with the children, it will become one of their favorites, too.
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What are your favorite apps?
Please leave a comment below and let us know about the apps you use the most this summer.