With Valentines Day just around the corner, a great way to get in the mood is to share some Valentine’s themed apps and stories with your children. Here are some of our favorite apps that feature Valentine’s Day or Love – whether it be for a child, parent, grandparent or friends.
Happy Valentine’s Day, Little Critter by Oceanhouse Media
In this classic story from Mercer Mayer it’s Valentine’s Day and Little Critter is excited as they are having a big Valentines Day party at school. This is a great storybook app for young children as it prepares them for all the Valentine’s day activities they will typically do in pre-school and early Elementary School. It features word highlighting as it is read, record yourself options and touchable words.
Happy Valentine’s Day, Little Critter!
by Oceanhouse Media
Price: $1.99 USD
*** Featured By Apple - Valentine's Day Fun for Kids *** *** Top 10 Book Apps - February 2015 *** *** 100 Noteworthy Apps From 2015 - Children's Technology Review *** "Looking for a solid app.
Elmo Loves YouPop up Storybook App by Story Toys.
Adorable Elmo and his Sesame Street pals are the stars in this pop -up storybook app. Elmo narrates the sweet simple story and explains that everyone has something they love. On each page Elmo gives examples such as birds love to make music, babies love to make noise and kids love toys. There are lots of fun interactions to find and familiar Sesame Street characters appear throughout the app. Read our full review here
iTunes Link: Elmo Loves You! – StoryToys Entertainment Limited
Elmo Loves You!
by StoryToys Entertainment Limited
Price: $2.99 USD
This is a storybook and early-learning reading app, which will help teach your child about love and friendship as you enjoy storytime together.
** Winner of The Appy Awards Best Book App **
I Love You Too – Ziggy Marley by Oceanhouse Media
This is Ziggy Marley’s first children’s book and is based on his 2009 song of the same name. It is about the power of love between a parent and child. It has bright colorful engaging illustrations by Ag Jatkowska and there is even an option to hear Ziggy sing the whole song.
Sing and play with Ziggy Marley as you explore his first children's book based off the song from his Grammy Award winning album "Family Time!" Explore pictures, learn new vocabulary, and personalize the.
I Love You All the Time by Cookie Bear Press
Delightful adaptation of the print book for young children and their families to read together, especially if family lives far away or children simply need reassurance that Mommy and Daddy will always love them no matter what they do. This simple bedtime story features rhyming verse with heartfelt sentiments and bright, simple colorful graphics. The app also has lots of hidden animations, a song and a record it yourself option. Read our full review
I Love You All The Time
by Cookie Bear Press, Inc.
Price: $1.99 USD
REVIEWS: "...should not be missing in your kids apps collection." topbestappsforkids.com
The light animation and digital enhancements are perfect for the toddler set. Highly Recommended!" www.
Will & Kate by Ink Robin
Will & Kate is about the real life fairytale romance between Prince William and HRH Kate Middeton, Duchess of Cambridge. It is told with hand drawn cartoons, interactive animations and lots of British humor. Sheep and corgis pop up a lot, and kids will have a lot of fun with this app from Ink Robin, and it is currently FREE
iTunes Link: Will & Kate – Ink Robin
Will & Kate
by Ink Robin
'Will and Kate is a charming, clever, witty and utterly gorgeous e-book. I want to read it over and over again forever ... This is truly one of the best e-books I've seen.' Kids Book Review
Draw With Hearts- Happy Valentine’s Day by L’Escapadou
Have fun creating your own Valentines Day pictures with this free app from L’Escapadou -the developers of the popular educational apps Word Wizard and Writing Wizard. You can turn your own photos into Valentine’s Day cards by adding animated pulsing hearts in different colors and sizes.
Draw with Hearts - Happy Valentine's Day !
Note: Screenshot feature does not work anymore in iOS6. So please use the following workaround: -Press the Home button (the main button below the screen) and Sleep button (on the top edge of the device.
My Little Pony: Hearts and Hooves Day by PlayDate Digital.
Little pony fans will enjoy this Valentines-themed storybook app. It is Hearts and Hooves Day in Ponyville – a day when ponies celebrate friendship and caring for one another. The fillies get carried away trying to find a special friend for their teacher Miss Cheerilee. Everything goes wrong but they manage to put it all right and learn a valuable lesson in the process and that Hearts and Hooves Day is really about friendship and caring for one another.
My Little Pony: Hearts and Hooves Day
by PlayDate Digital
Price: $2.99 USD
It's Hearts and Hooves Day, and all of Ponyville is celebrating friendship!
But that’s not enough for Scootaloo, Sweetie Belle, and Apple Bloom! They want to help their teacher, Miss Cheerilee.
Is the Witch in Love by Slim Cricket
The witch thinks she’s in love with the handsome and famous sorcerer Merlinor. She dreams of being invited to the big party that he throws every year for Halloween. Despite the advice of her faithful bat-friend, Batina, she decides to do everything she can to charm Merlinor: change her appearance, swap her old broomstick for a deluxe model and even learn good manners.
Is the Witch in Love?
Price: $2.99 USD
“Is the Witch in Love?” is a subtle blend of story, games and cartoons.
Discover --- or rediscover --- “The Witch with No Name” in a new interactive adventure full of emotion and magic.<.
Grandma loves bugs by Fairlady Media
Grandma Loves Bugs by Fairlady Media includes ten mini games including: spot the difference, magic coloring, letter match, bug spelling, counting fireflies, number groups, bug identification, feed the baby bird, bug matching and building a spider web. The app incorporates skills for children aged preschool through early elementary school who are learning while they are having fun!
Grandma Loves Bugs
by Fairlady Media
Price: $2.99 USD
Learn all about bugs with Grandma! This adventurous Grandma needs help identifying bugs, coloring butterflies, catching fireflies, spelling buggy words, matching letters on bees and flowers, building .
I love Mountains by Forest Giant
Mountains are AMAZING! Join Sloan Graham as she shares her love of mountains in her first book for the iPad. Inside you’ll explore and learn how mountains form and where some of the most impressive mountains are located. You’ll also learn a thing or two about the plants and wildlife that call mountains their home.
I Love Mountains
by Forest Giant, Inc.
Mountains are AMAZING! Join Sloan Graham as she shares her love of mountains in her first book for the iPad. Inside you'll explore and learn how mountains form and where some of the most impressive mountains.
Playful animated videos that teach the meaning of new words
What we’d love to see…
Words to be introduced in increasing levels of difficulty, spelling from left to right only, more explicit prompts to help teach how to blend sounds
An engaging and outstanding multi-game app that teaches children how to spell, read and learn new vocabulary words that are beyond their school levels
Wonster Words Learning by 77Sparx Studio recently had a major upgrade to give children a new learning and play experience while retaining the same fun and playful approach that appeals to children.
From just Word Families, the app now engages learners through Stories, Math, Science and, Art and Music to teach students phonics, spelling and vocabulary. While the Phonics Word Families and Stories teach students new words by spelling and sounding them out, words introduced in the Math, Science and, Art and Music sections are taught by sight.
Before your child begins to play, I would recommend you to switch to the option to learn words in lower case in the settings as upper case letters are the default (unless you prefer to use upper case). You can also opt to turn off the music background in the app.
There are currently 11 word families included in the app. Each word family introduces 8 words from the word family that are of mixed levels of difficulty. For example, the ‘at’ word family has the words splat, brat, rat, copycat, cat, flat, acrobat and bat instead of the usual simple CVC words like bat, cat, fat, hat, mat, pat, rat, sat and vat.
For each word, students are prompted to complete the word puzzle, from left to right, using the freely floating animated letters. But kids can also piece the word puzzle in random order. They can hear the associated phonic sound as they drag and drop each animated letters. Tapping on the letters in the word puzzle also produces the phonic sound. But once the animated letter is put in place in the word puzzle, the letter name is read out instead of the phonic sound. So kids get to learn both the letter name and sound.
After the word has been put together, a fun animated video clip featuring the Wonster characters is played to demonstrate the meaning of the word. For simpler words, a mini-game based on the word will start.
More words are introduced in the 11 original Wonster stories that revolve around popular children’s themes like birthdays, friendships, adventures, nature and space. Words relating to the theme of the story are taught following the sequence of the story. Word puzzles are also used here to reinforce the letter names and sounds. Again playful animations help define the meaning of each new word. What proved to be a hit with my youngest were the mini games that he was rewarded with as he built more words along the story path.
For this update, the developers added puzzles and mini-games covering Math & Logic, Science & Nature, and Art & Music from their award-winning Puzzingo app to further build students’ vocabulary. I think it is meaningful for children to learn new words in context when these are grouped according to themes.
Math & Logic Puzzles
Science & Nature Puzzles
Art & Music Puzzles
Wonster Words excels in a few important ways. The animation video used to demonstrate the meaning of words are very well done. I like that there are lots of humor and playfulness in the videos to engage young learners. Plus there are some memorable comments (like “It’s easier to unwrap than to giftwrap” and “Never give up on the things that are important to you” ). Another star feature is the inclusion of many fun mini games related to the vocabulary words to keep learners entertained and interested. There is never a dull moment.
While the word and puzzles are easy to play, the learning content is not preschool materials but chosen to stretch students beyond their years. The words taught are varied in theme and difficulty level. And there are 3 different ways in which children can learn new words – by word families, through stories and themed puzzles. It’s amazing how much new knowledge young children can absorb when given the right tool. They learn difficult words easily when the gameplay is designed at their interest level.
Access to the app’s huge amount of content is through a monthly subscription of $7.99 after a 7-day free trial. A one-time payment for the lifetime all-access Pro version is $54.99. So, start the trial with your child right away and decide which option is the most suitable for your family’s needs before the trial period is over. You may be surprised to see how much your child will be enjoying learning while playing with the app.
Nampa Farm by Nampa Design is a cute farm themed app which includes eight mini games, creative play and most of all fun! The app requires no reading or speech and allows kids to get creative while playing. The app is designed by Nampa Design based in Sweden. Be sure to check out our other Nampa Design app reviews too including Nampa Holiday and Nampa Party.
What we love…
illustrations and fun mini games
What we’d love to see…
planting veggies, a tractor driving game
Nampa Farm is a delightful app aimed at toddlers, preschool and kindergarteners packed with fun! The mini games are engaging and encourage kids to tap, touch and explore all in a safe environment.
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The Nampa Farm eight mini games include:
1) Fixing farm vehicles (including putting wheels on and making sure they are oiled so they are not squeaky)
2) Giving the sheep a makeover complete with shaving or blow drying more fur on, bows, and the ability to dye the sheep your favorite color
3) Decorating the farm house complete with paint and shapes using a brush, stamper or narrower brush
4) Planting magic flowers from flower seeds and seeing what will grow after you water it. My son enjoyed mixing the various seeds in the pot
5) Playing the chicken piano by tapping on the chickens while they squack, crow or make other funny noises – you can either have background music on or off.
6) Decorating horses in the stable with paint, a saddle and bridle and even dying their mane. Tap on the brush to see the fun designs you can make – my son loved the braids!
7) Build a scarecrow complete with a themed head which ranges from vegetable, a farm bucket, balloon and more! Then you put on a hat, and a shirt, apron a all while your fun Nampa friends have carrots while they watch. You can also decorate your items on the scarecrow as while while decorating
8) It’s time to groove to the disco – this is a signature of Nampa games and truthfully one of my four year old’s favorite parts. You can make the lights flash colors, dance along and listen to fun music!
I loved the illustrations and fun games in Nampa Farm – somehow my son always started using the Disco first and last while playing the various mini games in between. I liked that Nampa Farm was quick or longer to play which made it perfect for those in between moments when I just needed a quick break and it was educational. Having grown up in New England with chickens I personally enjoyed the zany chickens as well as the tractor.
In terms of enhancements, I would love to see a drive the tractor game beyond just decorating it and fixing the squeaky wheels. It might also be fun to plant some vegetables on the farm beyond the flowers. One of my kids favorite things about going to a farm after seeing the animals is to check out the great vegetables that they have. They also love to water things!
Nampa Farm requires no wi-fi to play, no third party advertising or in-app purchases.
Overall, Nampa Farm is a delightful app aimed at toddlers, preschool and kindergarteners packed with fun! The mini games are engaging and encourage kids to tap, touch and explore all in a safe environment. It’s always fun for me to see the different ways that my kids interact with apps or play with them in ways I might not have expected such as always playing the Disco at the start and end of each time playing with an app.
Fitoons by Avokiddo is an app featuring a variety of foods which encourages kids to eat healthy, exercise and get fit!
What we love…
Fitoons encourages exercise, healthy eating both on and off device. By choosing a variety of foods and doing exercise with their character they can see what impact it has on their bodies.
What we’d love to see…
Encourage kids to go play outside and exercise. When performing sports like biking and skiing have the character wear the appropriate safety equipment like a helmet to carry over what we as parents are teaching at home.
Great app that encourages healthy eating, exercise and fun! Kids are able to perform actions within the app and see what it does to the player and enables families to have discussions about the importance of exercise, healthy eating and play!
Fitoons by Avokiddo features a workout demo and can even be configured to vegan food only! Upon opening Fitoons, there are three choices: dress up, pick your favorite outfit and character to workout in; exercise, where a variety of exercises both indoor and outdoor from sit ups to biking are featured and when tasks are completed you earn stars; foods – choose either healthy options or not and see swhat it does to your character. There are six different appliances to choose from. Avokiddo also features a wide variety of other apps which encourage fitness both physical and brain fitness, challenges related to physics, challenges, emotions and more. Avokiddo always has great apps that I always buy and recommend!
My kids love making food especially in the blender for smoothies. As a family we talked about healthy food choices like broccoli, watermelon, apple versus unhealthy like cupcakes and pizza. One of the things about the app that was fun was you could see the character’s expression depending on food choices. Make a bad choice, and you would see the character gain weight. Make a healthy choice like an apple and you would get a smile. After eating, it was time to head in for exercise. Every time you complete an exercise you are awarded stars which was encouraging for my kids. After performing the task on screen I also encouraged them to try it at home to encourage our physical fitness. There were exercises both inside and outside which encouraged off device time.
As a parent, I liked that Fitoons encouraged physical fitness, healthy eating choices while offering kids choices for clothing. I also liked that while exercising that the character would show facial expressions that indicated exercise wasn’t always easy! After exercising for a bit, we headed back to the kitchen for a healthy snack of apple, orange and broccoli. My kids were excited when they earned more characters by completing tasks within the Fitoons. They were even more excited when we went outside to play after playing with the Fitoons!
In terms of enhancements, I would like to see a section that encourages kids to go outside and play. My kids love playing sports outside like soccer, hitting a baseball or even dribbling a basketball. Even having a simple reminder for them like the words “great job, now you try it!” would be a great addition. Having safety equipment on outside sports like biking with a helmet or skiing with a helmet and googles would help to reinforce those needed behaviors.
Avokiddo apps are child friendly! There are no in-app purchases (IAP) and they are both COPPA and GDPR complaint. Avokiddo does not collect, store or share personal information or location data via their apps. There is no advertising outside of their own apps and they are safe for young children with included parental gates. Avokiddo apps do not require the use of the internet or your data to play other than the download.
Fitoons encourages healthy eating, exercise and fun! Kids are able to perform actions within Fitoons and see what it does to the player and enables families to have discussions about the importance of exercise, healthy eating and play!
Price: $3.99 USD
3, 2, 1 Go! Exercise, eat healthy, and get fit! Can a dog be an expert hurdler? Should you make smoothies from fruit or pizza? Find out in this fun fitness game for kids that’s like no other. <.
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