iPad Show & Tell: My “Family’ Folder

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FamilyFolder

Recently on Google+ I mentioned my Family folder on my iPad, when talking about an app – and since then I’ve had a couple people ask about what apps are in that folder. So in the spirit of show and tell, I thought it might be fun to share what’s in a few of my most-used folders on the iPad, starting with the Family folder.

I’ve got an 8 year old daughter who enjoys iPad and iOS apps quite a bit – so this folder is really dedicated to apps that she enjoys and that she and I and her mom can enjoy together. The contents change often (although some big favorites stick around) and I’ve often got multiple family folders, but right now this is the only one on my iPad 2.

Anyway, here’s a rundown of what is in my Family folder today, in the order that they’ve been auto-arranged within the folder:

BritannicaDinosaurs

Britannica Kids: Dinosaurs: a very good and fun dinosaur reference app. It’s got lots of good facts and figures about dinosaurs, and high quality pictures and videos as well. There are also maps and jigsaw puzzles and plenty of fun elements.

iTunes link – Price: $4.99

MonsterattheEndofthisBook

The Monster at the End of this Book: This one features Grover from Sesame Street and is an excellent and hilarious eBook. Spoiler alert – the monster at the end of the book is Grover himself. The excellent animation throughout the book has him doing his best to stop you from turning pages because he’s so frightened of the monster.

iTunes link – Price: $3.99

SolarWalk

Solar Walk: A lovely 3D model of our solar system. For kids interested in astronomy this is a real gem. Apart from its stunning graphics and ability to zoom round the cosmos, it has great information on all the planets and some good video content as well.

iTunes link – Price: $2.99

DinosaurZoo

Dinosaur Zoo: Can you tell we like dinos in our house? This app offers some good information on a small set of dinosaurs. Its big selling point though is its superb animations which allow you to interact with the dinosaurs. You’ve just got to love being able to tap the screen and get a Tyrannosaurus Rex so riled app that he breaks the glass of his containment area.

My review of Dinosaur Zoo for iPad

iTunes link – Price: $3.99

EvernotePeek

Evernote Peek: Heads up right at the outset on this one – it requires an iPad 2 and the Apple Smart Cover. This is the first (and still only) iPad app that interacts with the iPad 2 smart cover. It’s a great quick quiz tool. You open a section of the smart cover to reveal a question; and open it just a bit more to see the answer – and there’s an easy check-off to mark whether you got each answer right. The app provides a set of notebooks on various topics to pull questions from, and better still, if you use Evernote, you can use any of your own notebooks too. So you can use this for quick quiz and review on any topic you or your child are working on.

iTunes link – Price: free

MooBaaLaLaLa

Moo Baa La La La for iPad: This one is a lovable and classic story for young kids. My daughter is ‘too old’ for this now, but her mom and I still have very fond memories of how much she adored it when she was younger.

AngelinaBallerinasNewBalletTeacher

Angelina Ballerina’s New Ballet Teacher: My daughter is fond of the Angelina character on TV, and this app brings her to life beautifully on the iPad. The interactive elements and wonderful 3D animations are amongst the very best we’ve seen for this type of app on the iPad.

My review

iTunes link – Price: $2.99

NASAAppHD

NASA App HD: If you or your kids enjoy learning about space travel then this is a must-have app. Published by NASA themselves it has an incredible array of great content that is updated continually. Thousands of images including their Image of the Day collection, live streaming of NASA TV, on demand video, information on current missions, extensive coverage on the International Space Station, a satellite tracking section, NASA Twitter feeds and lots more.

iTunes link – Price: free

NASAVisualizationExplorer

NASA Visualization Explorer: Another very cool app from NASA. This one features rich and frequently updated content about advanced space-based research. It’s full of the latest stories based on the findings from NASA’s fleet of research spacecraft. Many of the most compelling ones are about how our world and its climate are changing. The slideshows and visualizations are superb.

iTunes Link – Price: free

Science360

Science360 for iPad: Published by the National Science Foundation and its content is a mixture of NSF-produced items and material gathered from scientists, universities, and NSF science and engineering centers. The app’s 360 degree grid is a fun and effective way to make it enticing to explore all the great content in it. The images and videos always have my daughter wanting to look at more and more each time we use this app.

iTunes link – Price: free

TheFantasticFlyingBooks

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore: Simply the best iPad eBook I’ve seen. By a long distance. This is one of my all-time favorite iPad apps. It is a wonderful story that celebrates the love of books and reading. It has beautiful drawings, fantastic animations, and superb interactive elements on nearly every page. A great bedtime story, a spectacularly good app – one you’ll want to show off to friends to showcase what’s possible on the iPad.

My review of The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

iTunes link – Price: $4.99

WeirdButTrue

Weird But True: One of the (very good) series of National Geographic Kids apps. This one features lots of fun facts from their popular magazine feature, Weird But True. Each fact is accompanied by several different animals that can be made to popup and say ‘weird’ – that sounds goofy but it made my daughter laugh at least the first 50 times she saw it.

iTunes link – Price: $1.99

PokyLittlePuppy

Poky Little Puppy: Another one like Moo Baa La La La for us. The printed book was huge favorite for my daughter years ago and she had forgotten all about it. This app helped her rediscover this cute little story.

iTunes link – Price: $3.99

BattlshipforiPad

Battleship for iPad: The classic board game brought to the iPad – with a whole lot of new bells and whistles. Or to be more accurate, new game modes, great graphics for booming guns and violent explosions and plenty of fun sound effects. There are single and two-player options, as well as Classic, Salvo and Superweapons modes.

iTunes link – Price: $2.99

MadPad

MadPad HD: The latest from the brilliant developers at Smule. This one is another original music app where you turn everyday sounds into music. We haven’t spent that much time with this one yet but it looks like big fun from early impressions.

iTunes link – Price: $2.99

LivingLanguageSpanish

Living Language Spanish for iPad: This is another one we’ve not had a lot of time with yet, but it looks promising and my daughter is taking Spanish in school so I hope it may prove helpful over time. It offers 11 free lessons from its Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced levels. There are tons of language learning apps in the App Store, but this one seems one of the better choices to me.

iTunes link – Price: free but to upgrade to all 46 lessons there’s a $19.99 In-App purchase.

TheWorldbyNationalGeographic

The World by National Geographic: Another NatGeo Kids app – this one a virtual globe to help kids get to know the world around us. The 3D globe is fun to spin and the quality maps let you zoom in and out of areas of interest. It’s got hundreds of great photos from National Geographic.

iTunes link – Price: $3.99

Machinarium

Machinarium: Very clever, and award-winning, adventure game. You have to guide a kinda lovable little robot through increasingly challenging levels by discovering items, following instructions and solving challenges and logic puzzles as you go. My wife and daughter both found this game quite addictive right off the bat.

Note: This one is only for the iPad 2, it will not run on the original iPad.

iTunes link – Price: $4.99

iSayuSayforiPad

iSay-uSay: Described by its publishers as ‘the popular Catch Phrase game on steroids’ this is a fun word guessing game for up to 10 players. You take turns being the person saying clues to make the other players guess the word or phrase and the fastest clue givers and guessers end up as winners. The best thing about this game it is customizable – you can can create your own new categories and question sets. So, for instance, my daughter loves animals – and we’ve made our own animals category.

iTunes link – Price: $0.99

HanginwithFriends

Hanging With Friends: A new and fun spin on the classic game of Hangman. Like Words with Friends it lets you play against friends or random opponents online – with up to 20 simultaneous games. My daughter surprised me with how good she is at this – and also showed a rather ruthless competitive streak while playing it. Easy to spend long blocks of time with this one.

iTunes Link – Price: $1.99

Please note I’m not saying these are the best, or my favorite, 20 family apps for the iPad – though some of them are major favorites. This is literally Show & Tell of what’s in my Family folder right now. I hope it’s interesting and gives some of you some app ideas.

I’d love to hear what your favorite family apps and games for the iPad are – please share in the comments.


Patrick Jordan

Founder and Editor in Chief of iPad Insight. Husband, father to a lovely daughter, Commander of the Armies of the North, dog lover (especially Labs), Austinite, former Londoner, IT consultant, huge sports nut, iPad and mobile tech blogger, mobile apps junkie.

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2 thoughts on “iPad Show & Tell: My “Family’ Folder”

  1. Had to smile big time! My grandkids are a bit older now, but Moo Baa and Monster at the End of the Book are always faves in our Sandwich Generation family! :)

    I actually popped over here to see how you like using the iPad for blogging. I have WordPress.org blogs. I use a MacBook Pro primarily but need something smaller for days when I’m out babysitting grandchildren or helping an elderly parent while in the hospital or when I’m traveling. My netbook died and was sluggish as all get out. Good friend LOVES iPad but does not blog. I’ve heard mixed results and wondered what you thought of it? Thanks :)

    1. It’s also funny how I think us parents and grandparents have far more sentiment and nostalgia for some of these stories.

      I think the iPad is a great device for blogging. Perhaps not so much if you’re going to write a Tolstoy length piece, but for most short to medium length posts it’s more than capable. The main thing holding it back from being even better is software, not the device itself. The best app I’ve seen thus far for blogging is called Blogsy. It’s quite good but there are still some glitches and some functionality I’d like to see added.

      A lot depends on how comfortable you are with the on-screen keyboard. I am very comfortable with it once I get the iPad in a nice typing angle, which I can easily do with several cases and stands. There are also some good keyboard case combos out there now if you prefer using a physical keyboard.

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