It’s that time of year again. The school holidays are here and finding ways to keep the kids occupied is no doubt at the front of every parent’s mind. Luckily there’s plenty of apps to get your curious and energetic little ones through those long car trips and hours at home.
1. ABC KIDS iView
Using the ABC Kids iView app, young kids can watch clips and full episodes of their favourite educational and entertaining ABC Kids programs such as Play School, Bananas in Pyjamas, Peppa Pig, Thomas And Friends, and more. The app has no ads so your little ones can watch uninterrupted, and it also includes parental controls so you can actively regulate their viewing.
2. YouTube Kids
YouTube Kids is made specifically for kids and offers a range of educational videos for young minds. But that doesn’t mean it’s dull and boring, there’s also plenty of entertainment content including popular children’s shows like Play School and Giggle and Hoot.
It might be the school holidays but that doesn’t mean the learning has to stop. These apps will keep their minds busy in a fun and entertaining way.
3. Lumosity Mobile
Lumosity Mobile is a brain training app that focuses on memory, decision making and attention to detail. Each activity feels like a game but is actually a cognitive training exercise developed by researchers. The app is designed for people of all ages and skill level so you might even want to try it yourself. Download from the iTunes App Store or Google Play.
DragonBox is a series of interactive and educational games created to teach children maths. There’s a range of different apps based on your child’s age and skill level (four to nine years old) including Big Numbers, Numbers, Algebra 5+, Algebra 12+ and Elements and all are available to download from both the iTunes App Store and Google Play.
For long journeys
If you’re heading overseas or have hours in the car to kill for your family road trip, here are some apps to keep the kids happy (and hopefully quiet) for the journey.
5. Angry Birds
You’ve no doubt heard of the Angry Birds App. Players work through different levels, destroying the defences of the pigs, who’ve stolen the Angry Birds’ eggs. Each level requires logic, skill and force to solve.
You can download the original Angry Birds app from the iTunes App Store and Google Play, and once your child gets through all the levels, they can move on to the Angry Birds 2 app. The game has been so popular, they even made a cartoon TV series and an Angry Birds movie.
6. Fruit Ninja®
The aim of the game is to slide your finger back and forth across the screen to slice as much fruit as possible. Slice a line of fruit in one go and create a combo for bonus points. But beware of the bombs – if you accidently slice a bomb instead of fruit you’ll lose points. The app is available to download on Google Play and from the iTunes App Store.
Family game night apps
There’s nothing like a family game night and whether you’re on the road or home for the holidays, you can bust these apps out after dinner for a night of fun and laughs.
7. Catan Classic
The Settlers of Catan is a German board game where players must use strategy to build a colony, establish the most settlements, the longest roads and the largest army. In app form, the Catan game is the same. It’s most suitable for families with older kids and teens though, as it requires players to use strategy and negotiation skills and features themes around economy, trade and resources.
8. Heads Up!
The idea for this app came from Ellen DeGeneres playing it on her talk show. One person holds the device up to their forehead with the words on the screen displayed to the rest of the players. The other players must give clues so the person with the device to their head can guess the word before the time runs out. The topics can be anything from naming celebrities, to doing accents and singing songs and can be a hilarious addition to your next games night.