Children are tiny bundles of joy aren’t they? Tiny bundles of frequently angry and stroppy joy that can turn a perfectly peaceful day into one of tortured chaos and leaving you wishing that condoms were made mandatory by law. Dealing with a massive temper tantrum is one of the most stressful things to occur in your lifetime, just shortly after moving house and trying to find the appeal of The Only Way Is Essex.
So it’s pretty fortunate that mobile gaming stores are on the dramatic rise. Apple clocked it’s 100 billionth app download early last year, and taking into consideration that the App Store had only been open for three years at that point, is staggering. Part of the appeal of the App Store is that the majority of all of the apps are under £4.99 (some stretch up to stupid money, but they’re usually released by massive companies like Square), which makes it perfect for parents who don’t particularly want their kids throwing bitch fits on long journeys to Ikea, on an early Bank Holiday Monday. You’ve got some days off, why do you want to waste them listening to your kid shouting that they don’t want to go to Ikea and being adamant that horseys go moo? (You should probably be saving up for extra tutoring if the latter is the case.)
Maybe you want some educational apps that will help teach your children to read, or perhaps you just want something to stop the defining noise for a few minutes. If either of these are the case, or you’re just an uncle or aunt who doesn’t know the first thing about looking after kids and want to give them something that will keep them calm, this is the place for you. We’ve picked out five of the best apps from the App Store for girls, and boys, from 3+, so everyone’s little darling has something to shut them the hell up.
The Toca Boca Studio (from free)
Although not strictly one app, any app from the Toca Boca range is going to be perfect for them. Brightly coloured representations of everything that you would do in your day are available, with multi-user functionality where appropriate. For example, Toca Store puts you and your child in the role of working in a shop, where you choose what you want to buy, Little Suzie puts it through the till, counts out the money (something that Toca Boca is passionate about is education) and then puts it into the bag. As well as being fun, and being a practical way to learn counting, it also sets them up for a dead end position at ASDA or Tesco. Another fantastic app is Toca Tea Party that gives Little Suzie, and two of her friends, to have an imaginary tea party, complete with cake and refillable juice and coffee. It’s the accessibility that makes the Toca Boca range fantastic. Everything on the screen can be moved, or tinkered with, and makes it incredibly captivating.
Peppa Pig’s Party Time (£1.99)
If, like us, think that Peppa Pig is a blight on our intelligence, then this probably isn’t the app for you. It has everything that Peppa would need to have a Birthday Party, and it’s all customisable. So the brats can spend hours deciding on the perfect place to have stickers on the party bags, or make a cake from beginning to end, choosing what colour icing it should have, and placing all the individual sprinklings on the top. It’s an easy way to lose a few hours watching your daughter taking the whole thing very seriously. And that’s not even starting on the party games, like picking ribbon from a pinata and musical chairs. This is an app that could easily destroy your sanity, but as long as it keeps your little ones quiet for a bit, and it undoubtedly will, then that’s all that matters isn’t it?
Angry Birds (69p)
No list of iOS apps is complete with a mention of Angry Birds; however fleetingly. It’s the go to app for people who have run out of ideas, or want to sell the iPad quickly to someone who’s clutching a Nokia 3310 with misguided pride. “Look, look, Angry Birds,” they’ll say with a fervent gleam of smug satisfaction as they stroke their iPad. Adults should be over Angry Birds by this point. There’s a host of mature apps out there to satiate your innate blood lust; N.O.V.A. 3, for example. The addictive cartoon birds should only, really, grab the attention of children. Which is what makes it perfect for long journeys. With the levels getting increasingly difficult, but with more and more birds being introduced with new levels, there’s nothing that can really be held against Angry Birds. It’s relatively cheap, there’s lots of hours play in it, lots of additional packs can be bought to supplement the enjoyment.
Netflix (£5.99 a month for unlimited viewing)
For a small (ish) fee a month, you’ll have access to hundreds of hours of children’s programming. Want to show them what was great when you were ickle? Well all the X-Men Animated Series are on there, as well as films like Honey, I Shrunk The Kids and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. There’s also more contemporary programs for them to watch; like Barney, Bob The Builder and Danny Phantom. There is literally something for everyone on there. Just make sure that they don’t stumble onto Kill Bill. Having to explain why Beatrix Kiddo’s name was bleeped out is hard enough for adults to understand.
DC Nation (free, each issue is around 69p)
One of the many officially licensed app for DC Comics, this one aimed squarely in the goggle eyes of children. There’s free issues of the brilliant ‘Tiny Titans’, and ‘Batman Adventures’, and the first six issues of the encyclopaedic ‘DC Nation Files’ which gives a general look at the DC Universe. With DC going all out, pumping out brand new children focused series based around the new Green Lantern series and the brilliant Teen Titans Go!. Selling the majority of the brand new titles for under £1, you can stock up on brand new, age appropriate material the same day that they’re printed. Which is brilliant isn’t it. I don’t think there’s any better way of showing your daughter how great Supergirl is. The Helen Slater film is gash compared to the DC Nation app.
That should have you covered for almost every child related eventuality shouldn’t it. What do you find are the best apps to keep your little darlings shtum?
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