Tablet Apps and Features for Your Kids - dummies

Tablet Apps and Features for Your Kids

By Amy Lupold Bair

There are tons of applications and features available for tablets. Here are some of the top applications available for children and teens on Android-based tablets, Android platform e-readers, and the Apple iPad.

Kid-friendly Android and iPad tablets apps

With new apps being added to online marketplaces daily, it is nearly impossible to create a comprehensive list of family-friendly apps. However, if you’re looking to turn your Android device or iPad into a family tablet, here are some applications to consider:

  • Madera & Figaro Save the Day: This preschool-friendly story following a monkey and a frog allows kids to interact with the story as the heroes try to save the day and keep a festival from being cancelled.

  • Picasso – Mirror Draw!: This drawing app allows kids to create symmetrical pictures and provides users with a series of both brush styles and paint colors.

  • Celeste SE: This app allows users to capture images of the sky (with the tablet’s camera) and learn more about the planets, moon, and sun.

  • Animal SnApp: For iPad only, this application is a storybook for children that includes a slider game featuring favorite barnyard animals.

  • Star Chart: Using your tablet’s GPS, Star Chart guides your children to identify what they are seeing in the sky both in the daytime and at night.

  • UNO: This app brings the classic card game to life on your tablet.

  • Doodle Jump: This just-for-fun app requires users to tilt their tablets to help the Doodler jump higher and higher. This game has a multiplayer setting.

  • Toca Tailor: This app allows your children to show off their design skills by selecting fabrics, uploading their own texture images, and creating outfits for four child models.

  • The Journals of Mama Mae & LeeLee: This app with original music from Alicia Keys lets you explore a little girl’s virtual room, write in a journal, and read interactive stories from her bookshelf.

  • Disney Creativity Studio: This iPad-only app turns your tablet into a drawing board while teaching kids to draw some of their favorite Disney characters.

  • Spaghetti Marshmallows: This app provides kids with physics lessons as they use marshmallows and raw spaghetti to build towers.

  • Me Books: With one free book included, this e-book app allows you to buy books for kids, which they can read or listen to.

  • Doodle Joy: This free Android application allows kids to draw, using more than 20 brushes with special features such as glowing neon and chalk.

  • Sweetapple: Sweetapple applications for Android contain musical books with interactive animation.

Kid-friendly Kindle Fire features

If you own the Amazon Kindle Fire e-reader, you may be interested in a variety of applications and features that make this device incredibly kid-friendly, including

  • Multiple user profiles to keep child and adult apps, movies, and books separate

  • Immersion reading allows kids to listen to e-books as the words are highlighted on the page

  • A wide selection of children’s e-books, including many that are interactive

  • Access to Amazon’s library of instant videos and television shows, including many kid-friendly titles

  • Access to kid-friendly Android apps, including educational games

  • Capability to download graphic novels and comic books for tweens and teens

  • Parental controls that allow you to change settings in areas, such as app purchasing and Internet browsing


Kid-friendly NOOK features

Like the Kindle Fire, Barnes & Noble’s NOOK series of e-readers allows children to interact with stories and more using these child-friendly features:

  • NOOK Kids interactive picture books, which allow kids to read books, have books read to them, and interact with the images on the page

  • Access to the NOOK Kids Store, which allows you to shop for e-books and applications by age group

  • Capability to download any Android application for kids

  • Capability to create up to six profiles to keep books, videos, and applications separate for children and adults

  • Use of parental controls to control purchases, access to content, and Internet use

  • Capability to download learning tools and games for kids