Shopping for a kids apps is quite a different thing than deciding which film to add to your Netflix queue, even more so when you’re loading up the iPad before that last-minute road trip. For example, you know they’ll love Tangled and to avoid Mars Needs Moms at all costs, but do you know whether they will prefer Tap Farm to Brick Breaker, or if either is age appropriate? The great thing is, many kids’ apps are free, in which case caveat emptor isn’t relevant—you can download to your heart’s content. But for those paid apps, there is more . . . parental hesitancy. So without further ado, here are 10 recommendations for iPad apps they’ll love, put through their paces by real, living children ages 2 to 13.
Apps Just For Fun (Read…Mindless)
Plants vs. Zombies$6.99
A favorite among tweens, Plants vs. Zombies is unnervingly addictive. The objective is simple, keep the brain-munching undead at bay by putting pansies and other botanical items between them and your home. This app has gotten so much buzz, it’s now available on Nintendo DS!
We know from experience that 11-year-olds love anything with the word Ninja in it, and Fruit Ninja is no exception. Your kids will play against each other to see who can get the highest score by simply slicing fruit that is hurtled into the air in half with a samurai sword, whilst trying to avoid bombs. This silly little app is not the most addictive on our list, but from a parent’s perspective, that’s not a bad thing.
We would be remiss if we didn’t include one of the most popular Apple apps in the entertainment category on our list. It’s simple: A pack of strangely cute but seriously P.O.ed birds are out for vengeance on a group of pigs that made omelettes of their offspring. They hurtle themselves, with your help, over obstacles and at variable trajectories to break through the pigs’ fortresses and exact revenge. The latest iteration is Angry Birds RIO, which is basically the same game as Angry Birds with some new characters from the movie. Everyone in our focus group loves this title, the 2-year-old and 13-year-old alike.