Guest contributor Berna Erol is the founder of iKid Apps , which reviews the best iPhone, iPad, and Android kids apps, and offers a wealth of tips for parents. Follow her at @bernae on Twitter.
Smartphones and tablets, combined with great apps and sensible screen time, can do wonders for entertaining and educating our children. Nevertheless, the interaction with these devices is still limited to a few gestures, so they do little help with developing the kids’ motor skills. This is why we are very happy to see several companies, such as Disney, Griffin Technologies and Lego Group, are creating physical tools and toys that can be used interactively with iOS devices. With the help of these toys, kids benefit from the adaptability and entertainment value of the digital medium, and motor skill development and high level of interactivity provided by the physical medium all at the same time. Below are the five best toys we identified for you that work perfectly with your iPhone, iPad, and even your iPod Touch.
Lego has taken on a whole new form with the Life of George game. This innovative product assigns players with certain objects to build as they follow the life story of “George.” As players build Lego models on the interactive build mat, the iPhone app works to determine how quickly and accurately models are constructed. Kids (and adults) can also build their own scale models on the mat. A great find for the budding architect.
Disney AppMATes are specialized Matchbox-sized cars that come in kids’ favorite Cars characters, like Lightning McQueen and Tow Mater. When placed on top of the iPad AppMATes app, which looks like roads and scenes from Radiator Springs, the cars and app work together to present users with obstacles to avoid and races to win. Gone are the days when kids have to only push cars around on the floor; that’s so last year. These cars are a great deal on sale, so shop around!
Crayola’s iPad coloring app is brought to life with the iMarker, an electronic stylus in the shape of a classic Crayola marker produced by Griffin Technology. When used with the free Crayola ColorStudio HD app, the iMarker allows kids to draw in the style of a marker, pencil, crayon or paintbrush. Beyond coloring, the iMarker helps users unlock interactive content within the app’s coloring pages, like music and sounds. Just make sure that the iMarker doesn’t get mixed up with your kid’s other coloring supplies.
The Disney Spotlight Microphone is a microphone that plugs directly into your iPad; making it an instant karaoke machine. In conjunction with the Spotlight Microphone app, kids can sing along to 10 of their favorite Disney songs while taking advantage of voice editing functions that will make them their own producer. This is a major step up from singing into a hairbrush, but watch for sales as the price varies significantly by retailer.
Duo Pop Game Buzzers are a pack of four game show-style buzzers that can be used with three different game apps: Guesstimation, Highlights Hidden Pictures Countdown and Saturday Night Live – The Game. When enabled, up to four players can use the game buzzers to ring in and claim their right to answer a question first in their quest to win the game. A great way to add some technology to family game nights.
What do you think of our list of the best iPhone and iPad accessories for kids? Did we miss something? Let us know in the comments below.
Gamechanger is a worldwide charity that helps thousands of children each year, bringing them gifts and video games to keep them entertained during their hospital stay. Yet all started in a garage during a family’s darkest hour.
The long-awaited refresh of the iPad Mini is finally here, but just how big an upgrade does the iPad Mini 5 represent? We compare it to the outgoing iPad Mini 4 in various categories to delve into the differences and pick a winner.
Apple announced a long-awaited update to the Mac mini. Thanks to the updated specs and increase in price, it's begun to creep up to the base model iMac. In this guide, we now put up the specs on the newest refreshed Mac mini against the…
Apple’s AirPods wireless headphones have dominated the market essentially since they hit stores in December 2016. Though not without some faults, they cracked the connectivity code to rank among the best fully wireless earbuds you can…
Though they both share Retina Displays and similar keyboards, there are still some specs differences and other changes that differentiate the new 2018 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro. In this guide, we stack the two up against each other.
Apple knows that seasons matter in the fashion world, and has refreshed its most popular Apple Watch bands to celebrate the arrival of spring. See them all, including our new favorite teal versions, here.
Google's wireless service, formerly Project Fi, now goes by the name of Google Fi, and it's now compatible with a majority of Android phones, as well as iPhones. Here's everything you need to know about Google Fi.
Apple's new AirPods with wireless charging are the latest version of the much-loved wireless earbuds. Unfortunately, they aren't widely available yet. Here's where you can find them right now, and where they will show up soon.
At its September event in 2017, Apple unveiled the AirPower, a new wireless charging mat that will allow you to charge multiple devices at one time. It has not yet been released. Here's everything we know about the device so far.
Apple AirPods might be new and improved, but they aren't the only game in town. Other makers are offering their own truly wireless earbuds, with attractive features. These are the best AirPod alternatives on the market today.
Professionals looking to run intensive applications will be able to push their work a bit further with Apple's latest iMac Pro, which holds 256GB of DD4 ECC RAM for $5,200. Here's why it costs so much to upgrade your iMac Pro to the top.