In order to make apps appeal to kids, it’s essential to create engagement through likeable characters that will keep your kids glued to their screens. Several apps are doing so very successfully, with engaging characters that will not only keep your little ones hooked, but will also teach them something in the process.
Here’s a list of apps that would be a great hit with your little ones.
My Friend Scooby-Doo!
Released by: Warner Bros., Ages: 6 to 9. Platforms: iOS, Android
Our rating: 4/4
Solve fun mysteries along with canine sleuth Scooby-Doo and his slacker owner, Shaggy with this slick virtual-pet app.
Kids pet Scooby and teach him tricks, enabling them to earn clues that will help them solve four mysteries over the course of the game. Two of these mysteries are set on a spooky beach, allowing players to locate disappearing yachts and boats amid moaning ghosts. The remaining two feature the villains Miner Forty-Niner and the Spooky Space Kook and are set in a deserted town.
These mysteries unfold slowly as the game progresses, and are scattered with opportunities to earn bonus Scooby snacks by flinging horseshoes, busting ghosts, solving puzzles, and jumping barrels. The snacks you earn by completing these activities can then be used to unlock costumes for Scooby to wear on his adventures.
The app comes alive with eerie sound effects and realistic music, accompanied by genuinely creepy looking spacecrafts, floating mummies, aliens, and many other elements.
Released by: Avokiddo, Ages: 4 to 9. Platforms: iOS, Android
Our rating: 4/4
This is the sequel to the award-winning Thinkrolls that is bubbling with personality. Your kids can play with 28 animated ball-like characters who chase their friends through vertical maze puzzles. Help these characters defy gravity and prevent them from falling to the ground in order to successfully complete levels. Players use their device’s touch screen to get the character moving, and then move things around in the environment to provide their characters with a clear path to the goal.
The Thinkrolls adorably encourage you as you try to re-adjust the environment allowing them to move ahead. They squeal in pleasure as you provide them with ledges and steps by opening and closing accordions and zipping over the barrels you drop into water to help them float. If you try to lure a wiggling Thinkroll into a wormhole, they wriggle out into another part of the maze. The obstacles are also extremely interesting, including eggs to roll, batteries to avoid, fans to turn on, and light bulbs that go off at all the wrong times.
Such apps will not only keep children in younger age groups engaged, it will also help to develop their logical skills as they help their buddies navigate over 235 levels, each with both easy and hard versions. The app will also allow your children to grasp basic concepts of science as they experiment with physics and the properties of matter.
Released by: StoryToys Entertainment Limited, Ages: 3 to 5. Platforms: iOS, Android, Windows
Our rating: 4/4
This app is guaranteed to be a big hit with fans of Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar book. This game has the beloved caterpillar of the book come to life in all its 3-D glory and tries to attempt to have fun with your kids. Tap on the screen to explore the big, wide world along with the caterpillar, with white space and artwork that will remind you of the illustrations in the book.
There are no words and no instructions, but it turns out that this app is very easy to get the hang of and kids will have no difficulty in finding their way. It’s a simple matter of guiding the caterpillar around with a touch of the finger and watch it grow as you feed it. An eye-catching meter at the top of the screen indicates the health of the caterpillar and helps you figure out how hungry it is.
In order to progress along the levels, players also need to keep this caterpillar entertained with various activities including playing in the garden, playing with toys, painting, music and sailing around a pond in a boat. Even adults could be fascinated with the graphics as the caterpillar inches through the paint and creates art or whizzes around in his little boat.
When both the food and the entertainment meters have been successful, your kids can tuck the caterpillar in for the night, awaiting his transformation into a butterfly. Wait for five virtual days to watch the cocoon appear, which can then be removed to reveal a butterfly. This butterfly is now ready to fly off into the virtual world, and another caterpillar appears for your kids to take through the entire cycle all over again.
Don’t forget to give these amazing apps a try!