20 best iPhone and iPad apps for kids from April 2012

Time flies when you’re having fun… It’s the last day of April, so it’s time for our monthly roundup of the 20 new apps that have leapt out at us from the last month on Apps Playground.

Pip and Posy: Fun and Games (above)
Axel Scheffler illustrated The Gruffalo, which has yet to be turned into an app. However, Scheffler’s own Pip and Posy books have spawned this lovely collection of mini-games by Nosy Crow. Expect colouring scenes, digital jigsaws, spot-the-difference puzzles, matching pairs and a mirror feature to make faces using your iPhone or iPad’s front-facing camera.
Get it now or read our post

Lego Super Hero Movie Maker
This is an official app from Lego that ties in with its DC Universe Super Heroes range, which includes Batman, Superman and similar characters. The idea here is an app that lets you use those toys to create your own stop-motion superhero movies. One for dads as much as kids, we sense.
Get it now or read our post

Shaun the Sheep: Fleece Lightning
If your children love Shaun the Sheep, they’ll definitely want to check out this new game. As the name hints, this is all about how fast Shaun can go, as he races against a bunch of pigs in what’s described as an, ahem, ‘Championsheep themed race’.
Get it now or read our post

The Happy Face (right)
This app aims to encourage good behaviour while out and about. How? It gets you to take photos of your children, then transfer them between a happy and sad face on-screen. The app was the idea of Thomas, an eight year-old who has Aspergers syndrome – the app is particularly useful for children on the autistic spectrum.
Get it now or read our post

Transformers Ruckus Reader
Book-apps firm Ruckus has some whizzy new features that are shown off in this Transformers story. It includes a word hunt, catching falling objects, spotting what’s wrong with pictures, mazes and a make-your-own-story page – and as a parent you get regular feedback on your child’s progress.
Get it now or read our post

The Pirates! Band of Misfits
Aardman’s new film The Pirates! Band of Misfits has an official book-app, as its hero Pirate Captain sails the High Seas trying to win the Pirate Of The Year award. Expect voice narration, stills from the film, and audio from its star Hugh Grant.
Get it now or read our post

Move The Turtle (right)
This app has a noble ambition: to provide a way for children to learn to program. The idea: to teach children as young as five years-old the basics of programming, while also engaging to older kids and teenagers. And it has a nice nod to programming language Logo, which many parents grew up with.
Get it now or read our post

DC Nation
DC Comics made characters like Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and Green Lantern a success. Now it has an iOS app for its range of comics for younger children, based on the DC Nation brand that’s become popular through a series of TV shows on Cartoon Network.
Get it now or read our post

How It Works: Machines HD for iPad
This excellent app tells your kids how nine different machines work by getting them to assemble virtual versions. That’s a car, a washing machine, a hair dryer, a lawn mower, a vacuum cleaner, a rocket, a steam engine, a wind mill and a pump, to be specific.
Get it now or read our post

Princess Poppy Picture Books *right)
The Princess Poppy books have sold more than 2m copies, and now three of them are available within this iPhone and iPad app. It uses animation sound and voice narration – former Eastenders actress Tamzin Outhwaite for Ballet Shoes – as well as digital colouring and sticking, an interactive map and the option to record your own voice telling the stories.
Get it now or read our post

James May’s Science Stories
Top Gear presenter James May is the frontman for this augmented reality app, designed to be used in London’s Science Museum. Point your iPhone at certain exhibits, and a virtual James pops up to explain what you’re seeing, while standing beside them.
Get it now or read our post

FarFaria isn’t one picture-book for iPad – it’s lots. The stories are aimed at 2-9 year-olds, so there’s a good spread in terms of topics and complexity. Fairy tales like Jack and the Beanstalk and Goldilocks are included, along with new stories. And you pay £2.49 a month as a subscription for access to everything.
Get it now or read our post

Crayola Silly Face Swaps HD (right)
Crayola’s new drawing app for iPad has a twist: putting your child (or you) into the pictures. There is a series of black’n’white outline scenes to colour in, with settings including space, under the sea, a pirate ship and so on. Each picture includes a body with a head ready to be swapped with one of your photos.
Get it now or read our post

Talking Pocoyo
Have you or your kids played with an app called Talking Tom Cat? This is a lot like that, except with Pocoyo replacing the cat. That means you can talk into the iPhone mic to get him to repeat your words, or tap on different parts of his body to get a comical reaction. Musical instruments are thrown in too.
Get it now or read our post

Press Here
Hervé Tullet’s Press Here has been a runaway hit in its print edition. Now it’s been turned into an iOS app by publisher Chronicle Books. The idea: 15 mini-games and activities based around colourful dots.
Get it now
or read our post

Funimal Phonics
This app blends animals and phonics. E for Elephant, M for Monkey, L for Lion and so on. You’re presented with a screen showing the whole alphabet and little pictures of the animals, and tapping on a letter brings it up to full-screen. Tap on the letter and you get the phonic read out, or tap on the word to hear that.
Get it now
or read our post

Mimi Good & Bibi Bad (right)
This iPad book-app stars twins, Mimi and Bibi, who are English children at an American school. The innovation comes in the way you can rotate your iPad to see things from a different character’s point of view. Mimi, Bibi and another character truck are voiced by Morwenna Banks (or, as many children know her, ‘Mummy Pig’ from Peppa Pig.)
Get it now or read our post

The Wrong Book
There simply aren’t enough book-apps with windy beasts in. The Wrong Book should be celebrated on that point alone. The idea: your kids are being told a story, but its narrator is constantly interrupted by “trumpeting elephants shooting peanuts, farting monsters, sneaky pirates, squeaky rats and plenty of other silly characters”.
Get it now or read our post

Faerie Planet
This is all about finding digital fairies at the end of your real-world garden, using a new augmented reality app for children. There’s a game in here, since your child will earn gold points for finding faeries, which they can then use to create “Mysties – special misty screen faerie messages” to send to friends.
Get it now or read our post

LazyTown’s Friends Forever BooClip
If you’re in the pro-LazyTown camp, you should definitely check out this new app based on TV show LazyTown. It’s a book-app that throws in videos, animations, puzzles, colouring and songs, based around heroine Stephanie creating a new playground for her friends.
Get it now or read our post

And if that’s not enough excellent apps for you, check out our roundups for March 2012 and February 2012.

One thought on “20 best iPhone and iPad apps for kids from April 2012

  1. Alex W says:

    Hi! I have another great app to add to this list. I am working with the developer of a great new game called Slippery Seal. The casual game follows Slippery the Harbor Seal as he swims up the Northern Pacific coast from San Francisco to Alaska. Along the way, Slippery dodges sharks, dines on clams and interacts with other denizens of the sea. Many elements of the game, from the marine wildlife, to the habit, remain true to real life and is very educational for kids to learn about creatures of the sea. Slippery Seal is a game that can be picked up and enjoyed without any time commitment and is great for all ages.

    Check Slippery Seal out on iTunes at http://bit.ly/iTunes_SlipperySeal.

    You can also check out the trailer for the game here: http://youtu.be/LWHtGwbHpC4.

    My nephews love it!

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