Before we go on a long road trip, 8 hours+, there are a few things that we do around here. First, we go to the dollar store and spend $20/kid on coloring books, new crayons, random games, sticker books and activities that are going to be new for the car, but also activities that are going to be easily tossed in the recycling bin when we’re cleaning out the car when we get home.
After that, we clear everything off of the kids iPads and encourage them to pick their two newest favorites from the cloud, after we’ve cleared it off.
Tip: We buy actual BluRay copies of the movies, but just for the digital download code. Buying it at the release date, or pre-ordering and re-selling the movie without the digital code (a lot of people don’t use it) saves us from having DVD clutter around the house and usually cuts the price of the digital download in half.
Before our most recent road trip, we went through the same process – and here are some of the favorites (warning: these are paid apps. Paid apps come with the best entertainment value, the lengthiest occupation time, the most features and 75% of the game isn’t locked with in app purchases that you can’t access on the road.
Barbie Crayola Color Studio | $3.99
Coloring book on the ipad? Yes please. It’s even better if you’ve brought along a stylus (Don’t get a cheap one, the kid might scratch up the screen if it’s one of the ones attached with metal, when they’re pushing too hard it’s a great alternative to coloring books and markers in the car and there are multiple coloring books inside to choose from. There is one in app purchase, an extra $0.99 coloring book, but there was more than enough in the app, you could skip that.
Endless 123 | free to $11.99
The cost of the Endless 123 is free for the first 25 numbers, but to unlock the numbers to 100, you’re going to have to pay $11.99. An App that’s going to be well used (just as the letters and the readers are) and an app that’s responsible for teaching our two year old to count to twenty is well worth the twelve bucks, and I unlocked the full version for Olivia who’s going into Kindergarten and I believe will continue to use this highly educational app.
Toca Boca Hair Salon 2 | $2.99
As you can see from the choices above, Toca Boca are some of our popular apps – so we had to include hair salon. It’s simple enough for a two year old to manage, and Olivia can create more intricate hairstyles and makeovers while capturing screenshots through the process. There’s new tools in this one, and she can use the crimper, curler, straightener and razor to create hairstyles on six new characters in the game.
Toca Builders | $2.99
Build anything you want with this kids version of Minecraft. It’s recommended for kids 5+ but I think younger could manage it with some help to get started. This game has great long term playability for the kids and is well worth the price tag because of this fact. They can grow with the game, increasing the difficulty and structures that they are building and creating.
This is My Car | $1.99
I’ve got a handful of favorite developers when it comes to kids games on the iPad. There’s Sago Mini and Toca Boca, but Urbn; Pockets who have developed this is my car, and this is my body (below) are now in the running. The smooth running games that are chock full with features that are educational and sure to entertain the kids on road trips are two of the reasons that I love them. This app features car care, with something new to do to maintain (or decorate) the car in every area of the game, like topping up the oil.
One of my favorite features of This is My Body is the fact that you can pull the screen upwards or sideways and reveal the skeletal system, or the muscles (Olivia’s favorite). There are fun games within the apps, like putting all of the bones where they belong on the figure and other puzzles, and there are no in app purchases, making it well worth the $1.99 price tag.
Crayola Nail Party | $4.99
Stylish and fun throughout the app, and one that Olivia’s been coveting from the top ten list, we made the purchase of the full app to unlock all of the features to avoid the ‘unlock this for me pleaseeeeeeeeee’ during the road trip, when we were without wi-fi. Design your own nails, do manicures, take pictures, start again, there are lots of features in here for different styles of nails that are going to keep a miniature diva occupied for a while while she takes pictures of her own nails to decorate within the app.
What are some of your favorite apps for kids this month?