Parents` Night Out - E

Parents` Night Out - E
Parents’ Night Out:
Apps for Your School-Age Kid
Photo Credit: Photo courtesy of Brad Flickinger:[email protected]/
Francesca de Freitas
Children's Librarian
Vancouver Public Library | Central Branch
t. 604-331-3603 | e: [email protected]
Lindsey Krabbenhoft
Children's Librarian
Vancouver Public Library | South Hill Branch
t: 604-606-2774 e: [email protected]
Tips for Choosing Apps
When choosing new apps for your child, think of the 3 C’s:
Content – Choose apps that let your child control the activity and where they can engage,
explore, express, and imagine! For example, choose an app that lets your child create their own
music, rather than listen to pre-recorded songs.
Context – Consider what your child will do before, during, and after using apps. For example, if
your child will use an app to create something, is there a way for them to show off their creation?
If an app talks about chemical reactions, can you do a kitchen experiment together to see one in
real life? Take time to talk about what your child experienced with the app.
Child – Choose apps that will interest your child, are within their abilities, and fit with the other
activities in their life. For example, if your child is interested in music or sports, find apps that let
them express those passions.
Tips for Using Apps
Share the experience – Enjoy apps together as a family. Use them to spark conversations, to
play with or against each other, and to show each other your creativity.
Take the experience beyond the device – Read the print book associated with an app, find
books about the animals you see on screen, or share your creations with friends.
Make your experience count – Look for high quality apps, check reviews, talk to other parents
and to librarians. Ask your child what they enjoy about the apps they already like.
Shape your child’s experience – You know your child best. Choose apps that engage your child’s
interests. Set limits that you feel are appropriate for your child and your family.
VPL Digital Content for Children:
On, click eBooks & Downloadable Audiobooks:
 To get downloadable eBooks and audiobooks, scroll down to eReading Room for Kids.
 To read and listen to talking picture books online, scroll down to TumbleBook Library.
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Apps for Creating
123D Sculpt
Mold, sculpt, and paint a shape into a realistic 3D image.
Autodesk Inc.
Big Nate
Create comics using the popular Big Nate characters. Start
with a story prompt, fill in the blanks, or create your own
story from scratch.
Night & Day Studios,
Use a large selection of paints, stamps, and backgrounds to
draw on a blank canvas, your own photographs, or pictures of
mazes and worksheets.
iPhone, iPad, iPod touch
Pinger, Inc.
iPhone, iPad, iPod touch
FingerPaint Studio
Turn your drawings into short animated videos with
movement and sound.
A professional-quality music recorder and multi-track mixer.
Apple Inc.
iPhone, iPad, iPod touch
Lego Movie Maker
A fun and easy way to create stop motion animation
movies. The intuitive interface and fun features such as sound
effects and filters make for hours of creative engagement.
LEGO Systems, Inc.
iPhone, iPad, iPod touch
MoMA Art Lab
Experiment with paint, make a sound composition, or
collaborate on a group drawing - a few of the activities in this
creative app exploring famous artists’ processes.
The Museum of
Modern Art
Scribble Press
Write and illustrate your own books, then share them online
or order a printed copy, through this book-creation platform.
Scribble Press
Record your vocals and mix them with instrumental tracks to
create your own pop song. Kids will quickly get to grips with
the simple interface for their own cartoon music videos.
P4S Publishing Ltd.
iPhone, iPad, iPod touch
Superhero Comic Book Maker
Perfect for kids who love monsters and superheroes, this app
lets kids create and narrate a comic book scene.
by Duck Duck Moose
iPhone, iPad, iPod touch
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Apps for Interacting with friends
ChatterPix Kids
Encourage kids to communicate by taking a photo and turning
it into a funny talking picture to share with friends.
Duck Duck Moose
iPhone, iPad, iPod touch
Minecraft - Pocket Edition
Based on the popular game, this open-ended app fosters
creativity and interaction as players build, seek, and survive in
a virtual world.
iPhone, iPad,
iPod touch, Android
Rube Works
Work together to solve everyday problems in Rube’s
trademark elaborate style by creating complex and hilarious
Electric Eggplant
iPhone, iPad, Android
Sock Puppets
Choose your puppets, props, scenery and work with a friend
to record a short puppet show.
Smith Micro Software
iPhone, iPad, iPod touch
Play the game of ‘telephone’ with pictures in this pass-andplay app that encourages creativity and collaboration.
iPhone, iPad, iPod touch
Ticket to Ride
Simple rules, fast action, and lots of strategy in this version of
the award-winning tactical board game. Kids can play against
each other by taking turns on the app, play against the
computer or against online opponents.
Days Of Wonder
iPhone, iPad,
iPod touch, Android
Williamspurrrrg HD: A Game of Cat and Mustache
A multi-touch puzzle that requires all players to work together
to outfit cats in the best of hipster gear.
No Crusts Interactive
Apps for Learning
Barefoot World Atlas
Take a look at the world and its landmarks, animals, people,
and other topics of interest, including pictures and text
Barefoot Books
iPhone, iPad, iPod touch
Bobo Explores Light
Tour the science of light, including refraction, lasers, how we
see, and many other areas. Look at text, videos, suggestions,
and experiments to learn about light and its properties.
Game Collage
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Learn the thinking processes needed for coding in this gamelike app that challenges kids to direct a robotic arm to move
crates in increasingly challenging programming sequences.
Two Lives Left
Colour Uncovered
Explore the surprising side of color with fascinating illusions,
articles, and videos.
Daisy the Dinosaur
Use basic computer programming to make Daisy jump, spin,
grow, and move.
Hopscotch Technologies
Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore
An interactive picturebook based on the film of the same
name, explore this story about the power of stories while
solving puzzles and playing with creative tools.
Moonbot Studios LA
Marble Math
Practice math and critical thinking skills while solving maze
challenges. You can customise this to specific areas of math
that you want to practice.
Artgig Studio
iPhone, iPad
In this interactive, choose your own adventure style, graphic
story, only one path will lead you to happiness and success.
This is an app version of a printed graphic novel.
Zarfhome Software
iPhone, iPad, iPod touch
Mystery Math Town
Entertaining characters and a mysterious setting set the stage
for this math game which challenges you to solve math
equations in order to rescue fireflies.
Artgig Studio
The Opposites
This fast-paced word game teaches vocabulary as you match
pairs of opposite words before the screen fills up.
Mindshapes Limited
iPhone, iPad, iPod touch
Slice Fractions
In this problem solving game, you guide a mammoth
through fire and ice obstacles by learning about fractions. A
wide range of difficulty keeps this interesting for
elementary school and high school kids.
iPhone, iPad,
iPod touch, Android
Sound Uncovered
Explore the surprising side of sound with an interactive
collection featuring auditory illusions, acoustic phenomena,
and other things that go bump, beep, boom, and vroom.
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App Review Websites
The American Library Association’s Best Apps for Teaching and Learning – 2014
List of award winning apps selected by teacher librarians that focus on innovation, creativity, active
participation, collaboration, and user friendliness.
App advice for the special needs community, with an emphasis on autism. Apps can be sorted by school
A directory of apps selected by Apple Distinguished Educators that have been tested in a variety of
different grade levels, instructional strategies and classroom settings.
Best Apps for Kids
Two moms review educational apps on a very organized and well-designed website. Includes helpful
video tutorials on adjusting safety restrictions on an iPad.
Children’s Technology Review
Subscription-based review site that uses a rubric to evaluate commercial children’s digital media
products such as apps, video games, and toys for children birth-15 years old.
Common Sense Media
Offers unbiased educational ratings and reviews for a variety of media including apps, games, TV shows
movies, and websites. Includes a helpful “What Parents Need to Know” section for each review.
Horn Book
Objective app reviews from an established literary journal specializing in children and young adult
A commercial app review site that reviews apps for kids ages 3-8 and organizes apps by age, price,
device, and school subject.
Kirkus: iPad Reviews
Unbiased, critical recommendations of children’s apps. Includes suggested age range, video trailers, and
screenshots from the apps.
School Library Journal: Touch & Go
App reviews by school and public librarians from a trusted and established review journal.
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