Great Book & Learning App's

As with TV's and movies, I'm not as fond of "app's" as I am of real, beautiful books.  However, the technology out there is so amazing.  There are some really fantastic pieces of literature that are just as beautiful in their active "app" format.  

I have always been against mobile devices, portable DVD players, etc.  I am the judgemental parent who has looked down upon those using devices to keep children occupied.  I prefer to travel with our Doodles, I Spy bags (wonderful little felt bags with a window to spy 15-20 small objects inside) or Story Cards (from eeBoo).  But a few months ago we became new owners of an iPad 2.  My opinion has changed a bit, but I still am against using the device to keep kids quiet or out of the way.  

Yes, we probably have more kids app's than we do adult app's on our iPad.  It is mostly used right now as a learning tool.  I wanted to share our favorite learning app's.  The kids think that they are playing, while they are actually learning!  I limit their time daily for technology and sedentary activity, but it really is an excellent learning tool.

Prices may not be correct, as those tend to change often.  Many of these we downloaded the free version (if it was an option).  If we really enjoyed something, then we may have paid to get the full version (I marked FREE+ if there was additional cost).  I am pretty cheap and tend to like the free things best.  But money spent on The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore and anything from Shape Minds and Moving Images is well worth it.  

Books Apps:
The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore (from Moonbot Studios) $4.99
This is the most gorgeous and well thought out book app that I've come across.  I bought it more for me, because I adore books.  It is so interesting to see how in love the kids are with it, though.  There are very clever interactive pieces throughout a really wonderful story.
Goodnight Safari (from Polk Street Press) FREE
A pretty little book showing what some safari animals may do to prepare for bedtime.  Some simple interactive things, but very good quality for a free app.
The Jungle Book (from Goodbeans) FREE
Beautiful pictures, simple interaction.  It is nice to have a classic story.
Grolly's Animal Adventures (from Goodbeans) FREE+
One continent free, $3.99
per continent to unlock others.
Grolly is gorgeous, entertaining interaction with animals.  Included are encyclopedia entries on each animal.  My kids loved this so much that I splurged the rather costly amount for the two additional countinents.  
Miss Spider's Bedtime Story (from Callaway Digital Arts) FREE
Miss Spider's Tea Party (from Callaway Digital Arts) FREE
Both excellent apps - they include puzzles, coloring, and options to read or watch the story.  
Nighty Night! HD (from Shape Minds and Moving Images / Goodbeans) FREE+
Some animals free, $0.99 to unlock others.
Tim and Tom
This is a fantastic bedtime activity. Your child can put the animals to sleep and turn out the light. It is very calming to my 2 year old who sometimes has trouble relaxing. And the artwork is gorgeous.
Tim and Tom (from IBOO interactive) FREE

Beautiful, watercolor illustrations.  Wonderful and whimsical interaction.  Great fun and my kids love it because their grandfather is Tom :)
And anything from Mindshapes Limited many apps are FREE 
There are a lot of fables (The Ugly Ducking, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Tortoise and the Hare, etc) and other educational apps - we've tried nearly all of them and they are all fantastic!

Learning Apps:
Feed Me!
Feed Me!  - PencilBot Preschool Learning Center (from Edutainment) FREE+
You can save 4 kids progress and the kids love to feed the monster while learning. In the full version there are a lot of different categories. It is a fun learning tool.
Alien Buddies - Preschool Learning Activities (from Artgig) FREE
Fun alien-themed learning games. Colors, shapes, letters, numbers. When a child completes a game they earn a "sticker" and then can create pictures using the stickers they have earned.
iLearn with Boing: Ice Land (from Tribal Nova) $0.99
iLearn with Boing: Savannah (from Tribal Nova) $0.99

These are very well-done educational "games."  Again, the kids are learning and they think they're playing.  There is a very useful Parents' Center to track progress.

Geography Apps:
Learn the States (from Merge Mobile) $1.99
Learn the World (from Merge Mobile) $1.99
Both of these apps are really fun - great games to get kids (and adults) learning about geography.  Greysen, who is about to start Kindergarten, is very interested in geography.  These are a bit beyond him yet, but he loves to play them with me.

Numbers/Math Apps: 
Wild Kratts Creature Math (from PBS Kids) FREE
My son adores Wild Kratts and this app as well.  You care for creatures and their habitats and to do so must solve basic addition or subtraction problems.  They provide great graphics and a counting bar.  A wonderful learning tool.
Motion Math: Hungry Fish (from Motion Math) FREE+
Motion Math: Wings (from Motion Math) FREE+

Additional cost varies and is for other levels. 
Hungry Fish and Wings are similar concepts.  Hungry Fish uses addition (free) and also has subtraction and negatives (for purchase).  Wings uses greater/less than and multiplication (simple levels are free, more for purchase).  They are both very engaging.  The free versions have been fine for us thus far.  As Greysen's math skills advance we may choose to upgrade.
Monkey Math School Sunshine (THUP Games) $0.99
Fun app for teaching basic math skills. 

Animal Apps:
Grolly's Memory (from Goodbeans) FREE+
One continent free, $0.99 per continent to unlock others.
This is much more basic than the other Grolly app, but still wonderful artwork and a little bit highlighting the animals.
See Books - Goodnight Safari, Grolly's Animal Adventures, Nighty Night!

Alphabet Apps:

Endless Alphabet (from Callaway Digital Arts Inc.) FREE
This app taught my daughter her letters and their sounds.  It is really one of our new family favorites.  The best part about this app is that it is not only about the alphabet, but also about expanding vocabulary.  
Rain Go Away ABCs (from Appbrella) FREE
This app is perfect. It is free! It is fun! It is educational! Bonus: it includes great ideas for rainy day activities!
The Alphabet Game (from Electrokite Inc.) FREE+ $0.99 for Full Version
It is well worth it - this is a terrific educational tool.
Shape-O ABCs (from Bellamon) $1.99
Truly a beautiful app and worth every cent. The puzzles are great and the additional use of letters and words makes it exceptional.
The Singing Alphabet (from Ministry of Letters) $0.99
Fun app that combines the alphabet, the phonics of each letter and music. Nice to look at and simple, but brilliant idea.

Reading Apps:
Play Square - Word World (from Play Square) FREE - for a limited time
This is actually a Word World episode, but it is broken up into small bits.  You must complete some interactive, educational activity to watch more.  It is a very innovative app.
Happi Reads HD (from Happi Pappi) FREE
Simple, but it helps to work on word recognition and matching.
Super Why! (from PBS Kids) $2.99

I bought the iPod version as it was cheaper and I can't tell the difference.  Lots of fun reading activities.
Rocket Speller (from Little Big Thinkers) FREE
Great for early readers/spellers!  There are multiple levels to grow with your child's learning levels.
Learn with WordFriends (from WordWorld) FREE+
Some parts are free, there are additional games and levels that you can buy - we just adore WordWorld so these games are always fun learning!

Music/Storytelling Apps:
Little Fox Music Box (from Shape Minds and Moving Images /Goodbeans) FREE
This is a beautiful app (as are all those from this creator). There are three traditional childrens' songs that are interactive. In the tree there is also a music studio, where kids can make music from non-traditional sounds. This is one of our favorites!
My Musical Friends HD (from Melody Street) FREE
We just stumbled upon this app, but the kids already adore it. What a fabulous way for them to learn about different musical instruments and instrument groups. It is the perfect introduction. 

Sock Puppets (from Smith Micro) FREE+
We enjoy creating stories and saving them.  For free we have a number of options to make very silly stories. We haven't purchased the additional items, so there is not a lot to play with but it is great, simple storytelling fun as is.

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