Great Apps for 5 to 9 year olds

Yesterday, I wrote about my five favourite apps for the under 5s, so today, I’m moving up an age group to the 5 to 9 year olds.

Cut the Rope – £0.69 for the iPhone & iTouch and £1.49 for the iPad; £0.62 for Android

This game involves a cute, but ugly monster called Om Nom who you have to feed by solving puzzles using tools such as pulleys and catapults.  It starts off with a mysterious parcel arriving that is labelled “feed with candy”.  From then on you have to figure out how to catapult the candy into his mouth by cutting the rope!  Along the way you gain stars for the fastest time, minimum rope cuts and to gain access to new levels.  It’s a physics based puzzle game, which is straightforward but can be challenging and is incredibly addictive!

Rocket Math – £0.69 from iTunes.  This is a universal app – pay once and it’s on all your Apple devices.

This is an award winning educational game app based on arithmentic and basic maths, requiring children to undertake 56 maths missions.  The object of the game is for children to earn money by completing the different maths missions to build rockets.  This app covers:  numbers, fractions and decimals, counting, telling-time, dealing with money, 2D and 3D shapes, patterns, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, square roots and much more.  The app has quite a long age span, and would probably appeal to 10 / 11 year olds (depending upon their ability), as well as younger children .

Since this is a US designed app, the money element of the game is in US Dollars, but the concept of working out how to deal with money is still relevant.  This app really turns learning maths into a game and is suitable for both boys and girls.  Rocket Math isn’t available for Android, but I found Math Number game as a possible alternative and as a bonus, it’s free from Google Play.

Barefoot World Atlas – £5.49 for the iPad (quite pricey, but so worth it!)

This is a fabulous, interactive children’s world atlas.  Although designed for children, I have really enjoyed playing with it over the last few days.  This app is a delight to use and explore, and has wonderful animation that brings the world alive for little ones.

The app works as an interactive 3D globe, where the child can spin, zoom or fly around the globe with a swipe of their finger, zoom in and out on countries, or search for specific continents, oceans and countries.  The app shares with the user some amazing information about our world including wildlife, landmarks, famous buildings, live data for every country and the most up-to-date weather readings!  Using this app, children of all ages will love learning about the world they live in!  Unfortunately, I couldn’t find an alternative for Android that came anywhere close to this app at all – sorry!

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr Morris Lessmore – £2.99 for the iPad

This is a fantastic, creative and interactive book that evolved from an award winning short-film.  The app is part story, part animation and part game.

The story is about Mr Lessmore’s love of, and obsession with books, which is always a good thing to celebrate!  The app has beautiful artwork, and children will enjoy having the book read to them, or reading it themselves as well as exploring the interactive element.  Children of all ages will thoroughly enjoy this book; avid readers will struggle to put this down.  The reviews on the iTunes store are overwhelmingly positive, and as one reviewer of the app says: ”a revolutionary use of the iPad!” – I couldn’t agree more!  Since this is such a unique book, there really wasn’t a suitable substitute available for Android.

Monopoly – £0.69 from iTunes and £2.99 for Android

I’m pretty sure everybody is familiar with the Monopoly board game that has universal appeal.  This app is a great translation of the traditional game into an electronic setting. You can play in single-player mode against the computer or play against up to 3 other players and can adjust the difficulty of the game depending on the age group of the players.  This app hasn’t strayed too far from the original game and the familiar pieces and board look great in digital form.

We love this game….well actually, I probably love it more than the Domestic Prince, whom I bankrupted during our last two games!

 

Do you have any of these apps for your children?  Do you think they’d like them?  Would you like to see more posts on app suggestions for children?  If so, any specific categories that you’d like me to look at?  Appy downloading!

With much love

The Domestic Princess

Xoxo

Rainy Day Activities for Toddlers

Today’s post is by my lovely friend Clare.  Clare is a mum of 22-month-old twin girls and is sharing with us some ideas and suggestions on what to do with little ones when it’s practically a monsoon outside.  Over to you Clare!

While the Domestic Princess has been basking in the Indian sunshine, those of us in the UK have been plagued by rainy weather (which, if we’re to believe the forecasters, is set to stay for the rest of the month).  Wet weather isn’t much fun for anyone, especially those with toddlers who suffer easily from cabin fever.

I’ve listed 10 of the activities that have proved winners with the girls once they’ve tired of their toys.  As they have quite short attention spans (butterfly minds as my Mum would call it!), each activity might last around half an hour so I do a mixture of them each day.

1.  Play-Doh

This is always a winner with my girls and they’ll quite happily sit for a while rolling and cutting out shapes.  I’ve been a bit lazy and never tried making my own, but to be honest you can get the Play-Doh Big Barrel for a reasonable price and that includes everything you need to get started – including two animal moulds which have proved very popular!

weglet/flickr

2.  Cookie baking

The girls aren’t showing too much interest in the whole mixing process yet, preferring instead to fast-forward to sampling the end product!  (Who doesn’t like doing this?!)  However, after the success of the Play-Doh, I’ve found that they enjoy rolling and cutting out shortbread; as the recipe is egg-free it doesn’t matter that they eat some of the raw mixture along the way! I tend to halve the batch and keep one lot in the fridge for another day.  Lakeland do some lovely ranges of cookie cutters, which are perfect for little hands.

3.  Gluing

Keeping on the creative theme, gluing is very popular in our house and also inexpensive. Just equip yourself with paper, non-toxic glue and a load of pictures, flowers, sequins etc. and you are all set to make a collage.  I cut pictures out of magazines and find that the local pound shop is a good source of glittery bits and pieces.

Image by phizics from Fotolia.com

4.  Chalk board

This idea came from our recent holiday at Center Parcs, where there was a chalk board in our lodge, combined with my daughters’ persistent desire to colour on our walls rather than on paper.  So my hubby painted a section of our kitchen wall with blackboard paint, bought some chalk and hey presto!  If you’re after a less permanent chalk board, these can be bought from Early Learning Centre as well as other retailers.

5.  Dressing up

This is just starting to gain popularity, several weeks after me leaving out sparkly winged fairy dresses around the house in the hope that they would pique the girls’ interest.  I have to admit that they seem to have as much fun with blankets, sheets and a pair of their Dad’s shoes – anything that gets their imagination going!

Image: Alice Ray Photography http://www.alicerayphotography.com

6.  Chase / hide and seek

Being indoors doesn’t necessary mean there isn’t a chance to get active, and the girls love tearing around after each other, or getting me involved in a game of hide and seek.  But you can also introduce a pop up tunnel, balls and cushions to climb over and they’ll soon burn off some energy.

7.  Music

All children seem to love music, and the girls now mime the actions to the song they want me to sing (our version of charades I guess!)  It doesn’t always have to be nursery favourites; they’re partial to a bit of Bruno Mars as well!  Bring out a box of instruments (tambourine, maracas, drum etc.) and you’re ready for a fun (and noisy) half hour!

8.  The box game

What child can resist a box?  It can be a boat, a den, a house for their cuddly toys….add in some of the vast amounts of paper packaging that the online retailers seem to use with their deliveries these days, and my little ones can be entertained for ages.

9.  DVD Time

I’m sure some people might think this is a bit of a cop-out,  but there is definitely a welcome place for a Peppa Pig DVD in our house (usually at the point where toys are being bickered over in tug-of-war style ; the mere mention of Peppa’s name brings an immediate end to hostilities).  It also gives me the chance to grab a well-earned cup of tea!

From Amazon.co.uk

10.  Puddle Splashing 

Unless the rain is lashing down, why not venture outside?  The girls are quite happy to don their wellies and rain macs and head over to the park in search of some nice big puddles to jump in.  I’ve found one essential item of clothing for this activity is waterproof trousers, and I can highly recommend JoJo Maman Bebe’s pack away ones.  The girls love sitting down in puddles and these trousers save them from having to be changed when they get home.  Tip: as the reviewers say on the site, the trousers come up quite small, so you may need to buy a size or two up.

So, there you have it – 10 excellent rainy day ideas for entertaining toddlers; thank you Clare!  Look out for some more guest posts from Clare over the coming weeks.  How do you entertain your little ones?  What are their favourite rainy day activities – we’d love to hear about them!
With much love

The Domestic Princess

xoxo

%d bloggers like this: