IMAGE LEGO Juniors Create & Cruise/Google Play Store; sheknows.com
Skip the Youtube unboxing videos and maximize your child’s screen time with apps that aren’t just fun for kids but skill-building too. Here, we’ve gathered three apps that can act as tools and extensions of your child’s creativity. What’s more, these have the technology to make your child’s creations move and come to life! Can’t see what we mean? Read on: 1. Toontastic 3D
You might have heard about Toontastic before, the app that lets kids tell stories through animation. Two years ago, Google bought Launchpad Toys, the company behind Toontastic, and has now come out with an impressive upgrade to the critically acclaimed app.
Toontastic 3D is still a storytelling app but now with better animation and more freedom as kids get to play with their stories in a 3D space. Kids can select a setting (or draw a background) and select characters (or make their own). Afterwards, they can start animating by moving the characters around, making them interact with the objects in the setting, add voiceovers and more.
The Google blog describes Toontastic 3D as a digital puppet theater “with enormous interactive 3D worlds, dozens of customizable characters, 3D drawing tools, and an idea lab with sample stories to inspire new creations.” It’s like giving kids the ability to create and control their own world -- perfect for aspiring filmmakers, artists, designers, cartoonists and storytellers.
Andy Russell, product manager of the Toontastic team told Tech Crunch that their goal was to “make a tool that feels a little bit more like a toy and how kids create by play than your average video editing tool.” They’ve certainly succeeded.
Here's one even little kids can enjoy. Arevo Dino is a coloring book, but the dinosaurs your child colors can magically come to life. Using augmented reality (the same technology that Pokemon Go uses that lets you see Pikachu in your office cubicle), dinosaurs on a coloring book magically get up from the pages and move around when viewed through your device. They come with sound effects (hear them roar!) and facts and tidbits as well. It takes an afternoon of coloring to a whole new level!
Of course, for the app to work, you will need the coloring book that comes with it. Fortunately for Filipino parents, online store Mommy Republic can provide. Find it here. Other versions are available too including Arevo Ocean, Safari and Bird.
Available for free on iOS and Andriod
3. LEGO Juniors Create & Cruise
Who better to make an app that lets kids create and build than LEGO? Create & Cruise is for kids 4 to 7 years old. It lets them build their own vehicles and minifigures, and use their creations to transport cargo all around the LEGO community. Along the way, kids collect coins that allow them to unlock extra parts. Vehicles include cars, big trucks and even helicopters.
Here's one review left by user Nancy Tinn on the Google Play Store, "My great grandson is 3 years old and just loves this. He goes back to it constantly, he never tires of it."
We also like that the app is especially built with kids in mind. The icons are big and intuitive, no need to know how to read and write. And, there are no in-app purchases, third party advertising or links to websites. Translation: parents can get a little me-time for at least a few minutes. Available for free on iOS and Android