(Creative Commons image: Jesper Hauge)
I am going to attempt a series of posts here, listing my top 12 (or so) favorite apps, most discovered this year. I won't promise that the posts will arrive on 12 consecutive days, but I'll do my best to finish them before the end of the month. It was extremely difficult to narrow my app list down to 12 apps (and I've left some favorites off this list simply because I've already blogged about them somewhere in the past), so a bit of cheating may be in order. For instance, today there was a tie. So I am going to tell you about two apps.
Title: One Globe Kids
Developer: Round by Design
Pricing: Free with in-app purchases
Platform: iOS (Apple)
Summary: A series of photos accompanied by text (nicely read by a child narrator and sprinkled with words from the local language) explore a day in the life of a child from one of five different countries. A great way to learn about similarities and differences between your child's everyday routines and those of someone across the globe. The app also includes mini-lessons in the different featured languages and facts about the countries. (full disclosure: the app's creator is a friend of mine from college days, but I loved this app even before I knew she was the one who made it!)
If you like this, try: What the World Eats by Faith D'Aluisio, Material World by Peter Menzel or Children Just Like Me by Anabel Kindersley
Platform: iOS (Apple) and Android
Summary: Guide rolling characters through a maze where you will encounter increasingly complex barriers. Chomp through the cookie barrier, bounce off the jello barrier, put out the burning barrier and more. This game requires kids to consider physics properties and plan ahead as they make their way through the maze. Note: my son enjoys this game, but was saddened when one of the rolling characters began to "cry" after a particularly bumpy fall, so if you have an overly empathetic child, beware.
If you like this, try: making your own maze out of cardboard and rolling marbles through it. There are LOTS of different ways to make a cardboard maze. Try searching for "Cardboard Marble Run" (or something similar) on Pinterest, or check out the WonderWorks class we did on Mazes and Pathways for more ideas.
For even more app recommendations, check out the library's app recommendation page.