A new set of kids games for IOS just came my way to review. They are Wood Puzzle First Years, Wood Puzzle, Magic Marker, and Book Puzzle Emma in Africa HD.
The common denominator for the puzzles is that they are just like the old wooden puzzles we all played with as kids, probably around nursery school time. Wood puzzle is a little more advanced because you can check an option that allows the pieces to be rotated making it more difficult. The wood puzzles are bilingual in English and Spanish declaring what you put together when finished such as Duck or Pig. So, it's a language and reading tool as well. Price $.99.
Book Puzzle Emma in Africa is part of a series. When it first came up on the screen I wasn't sure what to do with it--kinda like a childproof pill bottle. Kids can figure them out, but we can't. Anyway, after a little poking and prodding, I was on my way with the terrifically interactive, multi-sensual book. The story line is about Emma flying to Africa and going on safari to view a variety of animals. Price $1.99.
As you flick the screen, a new two page display opens with wonderful illustrations of the Africa landscape and different animals. An audio program reads the text on the page aloud so that it's a great learning tool.
When you slide out a panel from the left side, puzzle pieces appear that you place in the now black right page. It's kinda fun, and I'm happy to report that I completed the entire book successfully.
Magic Marker is kinda like an etchasketch for IOS devices with a colorful difference. You can use your finger or stylus to create designs with a variety of pen shapes and patterns on various backgrounds for infinite variation. You can save your creations to photo gallery or email them to friends or even use them as screen saver backgrounds on your homepage. It's a very engaging for all age levels actually. Price $1.99.
While these are great applications for young kids on a variety of levels, I found some other uses for them. I think it's a good idea to have a few kids games on your device for certain situations. They are a splendid time killer while on hold or while waiting in the doctor's office or while waiting for downloads. They are engaging while not being too mentally taxing, we hope.
But I found them to be a nice ice breaker for engaging the kid sitting next to you in the waiting room, on the plane, or standing in line. They can also be leveraged into a subtle way to meet single moms.
They make great presents for kids and grandkids. It's also fun to have some games on your device that the kids don't already have so that they can play them while cuddled in your lap.
I found another perfect application for these apps. I have a disabled friend who suffered a serious stroke and is trying very hard to regain his reading , speaking, and motor skills. He was thrilled with these simple games, which forwarded his abilities on all these fronts. They gave him a sense of accomplishment and control over something in his environment, which he doesn't have very often.
For all these reasons, I highly recommend these games, which are available in the iTunes store. Unfortunately they are not yet available for Android or Windows. I hope they will be soon.