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Are your kids clamoring to play with your shiny new Apple toy? Download these fun apps and let your kids find out what all the fuss is about. The best part? They’re free and easy to use! The downside? They’re horribly addictive.
Everyone knows about Angry Birds, but why not play a game with creatures a little less…angry? Check out DoodleJump, an adorable little creature who hops purposefully from step to step. An exercise in fine motor control as well as cute to look at and incredibly addictive, everybody loves Doodle. You can even customize your screen to match the current season! What’s not to love about that?
As I was writing this article and peppering my kids with questions about their favorite apps, Temple Run returned as the undisputed favorite. In Temple Run, you’re the explorer who makes off with a cursed idol a la Indiana Jones. Run for your life down a path themed with ancient ruins. My kids even like keeping their iPod Touch devices still on the charger just to see how many millions of miles their adventurer can run. And this keeps them entertained. For hours.
Words with Friends
Yes, this is the same game Alec Baldwin got kicked off a plane for. Yes, it’s the pseudo-Scrabble that’s so addictive I know people who have had to quit cold turkey. (Be forewarned that Words with Friends will have you Googling technology addiction facilities that treat it the same way that drug rehab facilitiestreat heroin.) But it’s great for kids – not only do they learn proper spelling and strategy, they discover all kinds of words that really only exist in the world of Scra—whoops, Words with Friends! You know the words. Qat. Zee. Xi. And various and sundry foreign words such as “ciao” and “beau” that aren’t really English but still somehow manage to make the cut.
For every kid who has ever asked are we there yet?I present Google Maps, which when downloaded on an iPhone acts as a GPS. Although it’s not traditionally used for kids, mine love it – they are fascinated with the moving blue dot (the phone) and ask all kinds of questions about directions. I am hopeful that letting my kids follow the blue dot will actually show my kids how to get from point A to point B. And it’s remarkably reliable – much more so than our actual GPS unit.
If your kids are anything like mine, they love to use your iPhone to take pictures and videos. Action Movie lets you add special effects to your photos and videos, a great way to spend 15 minutes waiting in line. It works like this: take a video, choose an effect and watch as a boulder crashes down (you can also choose a car crash or a missile launch).
These apps also work great if you’re stuck in a boring meeting. Not that I’m officially recommending that.