Six of the best: creative apps for kids
Unleash kids' natural creativity with this selection of fun apps
Drawing, music, story-telling... Our latest round-up of apps is focused on downloads that will encourage your child's creative side.
We often feature apps by developer Toca Boca in these round-ups, and with good reason. They are, without exception, bloomin' marvellous. Toca Nature is a beautiful and peaceful app - ideal for a bit of wind-down time. Players are presented with a forest that they can shape however they wish, adding and removing trees, building hills, digging lakes and so on. They can then watch the forest's animals explore their home, foraging for food and making their way through the landscape. The experience is completed with a perfectly chilled soundtrack. Great stuff.
This arty app shows kids how to draw insects, leading them through the process with step-by-step instructions. Once they've designed their bug it then becomes a character that can be played with in a variety of games, such as bug races and a playground. Those games are fun, but it's the creation of the little creatures that is the heart of this app. Kids will love the process of first designing their bug and then seeing it come to life.
Build A Truck
Another great kids app developer, Duck Duck Moose rarely puts a foot wrong and Build A Truck is another quality download. These aren't just any trucks you're going to be building. Oh no, these are monster trucks. Kids get to pick all the elements for their truck, selecting the engine, wheels, bodywork and so on. Then, after giving it a quick paint job, they get to drive it. Collecting coins on the way around the race-track unlocks additional elements for building ever-better trucks.
Kids will get a story-telling kick out of this one. They can set up their very own puppet show by choosing sock puppets, backgrounds and props. Those choices made, it's then time to direct the show. By tapping on each puppet, they can record its voice and build their own story. Once the show is complete, it can be uploaded straight onto YouTube. Bear in mind, longer recordings (along with specific puppets, props and backgrounds) will need to be unlocked via in-app purchase.
Free (in-app purchases), iTunes
Music Sparkles offers a collection of 14 instruments, though only two are available in the free version (the rest being unlockable via in-app purchase). Those freebies are the xylophone and drum kit; other instruments available include violin, guitar, panpipes and the dreaded recorder. Kids play the instruments in broadly the same way as they would a real-life version. Tap on the drums to bang them, strum the strings of the guitar to play it, for instance. It's great fun for jamming along with, although one slight bum note is that there is no option to record the music that's made.
Free (in-app purchases), iTunes
Night Zookeeper Teleporting Torch
Night Zookeeper Teleporting Torch is part game, part-drawing app. The app's storyline is based around a nighttime zoo, where players are asked to complete drawing missions in order to help protect the zoo animals from a horde of troublesome monsters. Those missions are all wonderfully imaginative. What might the zoo's fastest creature (a 'hareplane') look like? How would the sun look if it was really a giant chicken? A nice extra touch is that parents can also create their own missions to send through to their children.