10 Apps That Totally Rock (Some are even free)

IMG_6991Sweden has one Apple Store, it opened this past year in Taby C (north of Stockholm). Like most Apple stores, it’s always busy, and for good reason. Even if you’re not buying an ipad, who doesn’t want to check out the latest retinal screen “Wonder of the World?”

Speaking of wonders, a Swedish friend at Church told me his elderly mother had doubts about the resurrection…how could anyone die and really come back to life? But after getting an ipad for her birthday, she realizes there are things in this universe that no one can explain, including Facetime, so why not believe? (Who knew this virtual miracle could even resurrect faith?)

I’m not saying Apple is going to alter your religion, but I am saying ipads just might be the coolest thing ever. And if you have kids, they will most definitely make car rides, plane trips and waiting in doctor’s offices more pleasant. (Which tells me there really is a God.)

Here’s a few apps that totally rock: (Approved by 4 year old Maggie.)

1. Usborne Sticker Dolly Princess–Color-forms meets paper dolls, only 100 times better. There are endless possibilities for dressing six different princesses that YOU get to name. Plus you can select hair styles, skin tones, clothing, shoes, accessories and fabric patterns. You can even pick the background and decorate the princess’ room. Only downside: Your kid might want to grow up to be the host of “What Not to Wear.”

2. Usborne Sticker Dressing Pirates–All the excitement of Sticker Dolly but without the crowns. Six swashbuckling buccaneers have over 200 stickers to mix and match. Drop and drag your pirate and accessories into eight dramatic scenes, complete with sea shanties and sound effects. Yo-ho-ho-give this one a go!

3. Hair Salon 2 by Toca Boca–If you were a kid who cut the hair off your Barbies, you’re going to LOVE this. Shampoo, cut, color, curl and blow-dry six different clients hair. No worries on ever having a bad hair day, the virtual salon comes with a bottle of hair grow! If only they could market this stuff for real!

4. Paper 53–There are a lot of drawing applications out there, but the responsiveness of Paper 53 trumps them all. The app is extremely sensitive to touch so your drawing is precise, translation: it looks like real art. You can buy their “pencil” or use your finger. Either way the application will let you sketch, watercolor or doodle in ink. Upside: Your fridge stays clean. Downside: This app lets your kids publish their own art work…Picasso could get pricey.

5. Strawberry Shortcake Bake Shop–Make and bake your own desserts. Kids can crack the eggs without making a mess. The best part is decorating with as many sprinkles as you want. Warning: It’s free, but if you want more stuff to bake and decorate you’ll have to pay. My advice…tell the kids if they really want to bake more stuff, they can do it with you in the kitchen. Only pay for food you can actually eat.

6. Grimm’s Rapunzel 3-D–An interactive book that reads itself. Hallelujah! Kids can take the story at their own pace, help plant seeds, arrange flowers in a vase, and rescue Rapunzel. It’s a classic with all the gizmos and none of the hokeyness. Try buying a book at Barnes and Nobles for $3.99 that can do all that!

7. Little Things by Klick Tock–A search and find puzzle that everyone will love. Each colorful picture is made up of hundreds of tiny objects. For example, you might have to find four pair of scissors in a picture of a dog; or a horse, butterfly and mushroom inside a sneaker. Once you’ve completed four hidden pictures and solve a puzzle you move up to the next level. Upside: Kids are trained to help you find your car keys.

8. Star Walk–Brings the universe to the palm of your hand. Hold your Ipad up to the sky at any angle and view the constellations. Hold it down toward the ground and see what’s happening on the other side of the world, in the “great beyond.” The Sky Live feature lets you know the time on Jupiter and the elevation of Saturn. Pictures of the day show meteor showers, comets whizzing by or other interplanetary events you didn’t know were happening while you were busy loading the dish washer. Remember: We’re not alone.

9. Garage Band–Literally rocks! Bam, wham, and slam (but gently)….a 6 piece drum set…or jam on a guitar and keyboard. Keep in mind if you want more instruments, you’re going to have to pay for them. My advice: save the “Guitar Amp” for when they can play an actual guitar. Best part: You can still park your car inside your garage.

10. Motion Math: Pizza!–It’s never too early to teach kids the value of money. Your little entrepreneur can see what it takes to run their own pizza shop: buy ingredients, create a menu, deal with irate customers–they don’t like it when you over price pepperoni or run out of cheese.  Side benefit: Kids learn the customer is king.

4 Comments on “10 Apps That Totally Rock (Some are even free)

  1. These look so perfect for a young princess. I bet your daughter’s loving them. Garage Band–I use that with my 3rd graders. They love it–there’s really nothing free as good as it is. I’m intrigued it’s intuitive enough for the youngers.

    Love the story of religion, too. I never would have made that connection.

  2. These sound great – all of them. I wonder if they’re available in Australia? Well, to be honest, I don’t buy apps, but I do always like the sound of them – the teaching money one is good, too.

    • I bet they are. The Usborne apps are from the UK. I’m about to make a long plane ride with my daughter and that’s when they come in most handy;)

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