Top 2 iPad Cases for Kids

Recently, KinderTown received an email asking about the best cases for kids

 

Recently, KinderTown received an email asking about the best cases for kids.

I have a 3 year-old and 7 year-old that use my iPad pretty hard, and it has dropped on my tiled kitchen floor many times, so I understand the need for a sturdy case. Here are my two recommendations; these are the only cases I have bought, and they worked so well I didn’t need to try any others!

 

I would avoid flip-type covers, such as the standard cases designed by Apple. Flipping the cover doesn’t seem to work well for children, or it gets caught on things and aids in dropping the iPad rather than working to protect it. Try these instead:

 

My Favorite iPad Case

I have used this case from the very beginning of my iPad ownership, and it has been worth every penny. Read KinderTown's review.

M-Edge – I have used this case from the very beginning of my iPad ownership, and it has been worth every penny. It has lasted five years now, and has bounced off the tile floor, been dropped on the sidewalk, thrown on the ground, and probably a handful of other typical kid behaviors, without any damage to my iPad. The reason I love it so much is that it does not have a plastic cover on the screen, so I can see graphics perfectly, and there isn’t any hindrance to the touch screen. It also wipes off really nicely with a mild soap and cloth. Mine is blue and I’m known for carrying it everywhere and even had a student affectionately draw a picture of me with the big blue case around the outside of my iPad. If you wanted a stand to work with this case, you could purchase it separately. Or, a school shortcut is to use a library book display stand, they work perfectly for iPad stands as well.

 

My Second Favorite iPad Case

I used these cases extensively with a school, and we really liked them. Read KinderTown's review.

GumDrop Cases – I used these cases extensively with a school, and we really liked them. They do have a plastic cover to protect the screen, and they have styles with a stand. The outside is a rubbery consistency that is very similar to the M-Edge and is easy for little hands to grip. They come in a ton of sizes and colors, so there are lots of options with their cases. These also clean up really well with a mild cleaner if you remove it from the iPad. You will want to clean your iPad really well before putting the case on the iPad, because it really secures the iPad tightly. Removing the case is tough, so be sure you won’t be removing it from the case often.

 

Do you have a case you love? Leave a comment and tell KinderTown about it.

 

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Thinking About Purchasing an iPad?

Thinking of purchasing an iPad for Christmas? iPads are becoming increasingly popular with children and parents. What does the iPad have to offer children ages 3-8?

 

Thinking of purchasing an iPad for Christmas? iPads are becoming increasingly popular with children and parents.

App Selection

Many say that the iPad has the best collection of apps to offer, and here at KinderTown we agree. Want to develop creativity? Work on Math facts? Gain assistance with reading? Learn the letter sounds? The iPad has a vast selection of educational apps available. Download KinderTown onto your device so you’ll always have a handy guide sorted by age group, device, and subject area.

 

Creativity

The iPad allows creativity to the youngest learners. Apps that include pictures, drawing, creating stories and movie making are available for students as young as 3. Check out Draw and Tell for the youngest iPad user, and Toontastic for older children. Have your child create their own book with easy to use apps. You will be amazed at what they will create. Many iPad apps encourage exploration such as Bobo Explores Light and Monster Physics, which explores the use of gears and pulleys.

 

Portability

The iPad offers a great portable tool for kids. As our lives become increasingly mobile, so are our kids’ lives. In my house, we use the iPad everywhere. Try a great recipe in the kitchen, take pictures or your favorite toys and family members in the living room, and curl up with a digital book before bed. Time yourself in the bathroom while you brush your teeth. Take pictures of the changing leaves outside. The possibilities are endless. And, of course, take it along in the minivan while you wait to pick a sibling up from soccer practice, or  turn any waiting room into a classroom.

 

Access

Access to wi-fi seems to be everywhere now, potentially putting the world at your child’s fingertips. With the iPad, children can reach across cultures and discover new types of people and places without ever leaving their house. Our lives are all now global in nature with most jobs and work opportunities expecting people to work with people all over the world.  Read about a few global apps that your child may enjoy.

 

Easy to Use

Most appealing to many parents is that the iPad is easy to use. Guidance and troubleshooting are rarely necessary. Most 3 year-olds can pick up the iPad and are ready to use apps designed for their age level. They may even discover how to use the apps more quickly than adults.

 

While KinderTown recommends children use iPads as a learning device, it is a wise move to have a dinner time conversation about the use of the iPad, the responsibility associated with it, and your personal family values related to media. This is time well spent and may decrease conflict  over the use of the device in the future. Ask questions like these: Who does the iPad belong to? Is it a family iPad? When and Where can children use the ipad? What do we do if a pop-up box appears? Where is the iPad stored? How long can kids use the iPad?

 

Share your experience with us. Does your child want an iPad for Christmas?

 

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Image by Brad Flickinger, via Flickr. (CC By 2.0)



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Math+iPad=Fun!

Add some fun to your math learning time on the iPad with these math apps!

Add some fun to your math learning time on the iPad with these math apps!

 

Dragon Shapes

Dragon Shapes is an app based on the traditional tangram shapes. Read KinderTown's review.

Dragon Shapes is an app based on the traditional tangram shapes. The puzzles are presented in a sequential order in order to introduce the shapes and teach children how to rotate each shape to create a match in the puzzle. It also develops relationships between the shapes: for example, how two triangles can be made into a square. KinderTown also likes the light bulb feature in the corner that children can tap when they are stuck to get a hint. The puzzles progressively get harder and the shape outlines are dropped as children advance through the four levels. Use the hint button to see the outlines as needed. This app is developing visual-spatial skills, as well as concepts about shapes. There are 50 puzzles to play, so the app is sure to grow with your child. This app is appropriate for children ages 6-9, is free to download, and includes the level 1 puzzles for free. The additional content of 50 puzzles is available as an in-app purchase for $2.99.

 

Shape Arts

Puzzles are presented, and children must match the shapes to solve the puzzles using the tangram pieces. Read KinderTown's review.

Shape Arts comes from the same developer as Dragon Shapes, and has many of the same characteristics, though its age range is somewhat broader: 5-10. Puzzles are presented, and children must match the shapes to solve the puzzles using the tangram pieces. KinderTown likes how Shape Arts is different from other tangram apps because it requires the children to rotate the pieces to correctly place them in the puzzles. This challenges children and develops their visualization skills more than if the shapes do not have to be rotated, and more closely matches the traditional tangram puzzle play with the hands on blocks. When the hands on blocks are used, they are not aligned for children to complete the puzzle, and they must use problem solving skills to complete the puzzles, rotating the pieces . This app also includes a free play area, a popular activity for younger children. After children create a picture in the free play area, they can submit their picture to the library for others to solve. As children progress through the app they are able to collect marbles as prizes. The app is $2.99 and does not include any in-app purchases.

 

Todo Telling Time

Todo Telling Time is an app that includes six games that develop time-telling skills. Read KinderTown's review.

Todo Telling Time is an app that includes six games that develop time-telling skills. There are three levels of game play included in each of the games. KinderTown likes how the concepts about the clock are developed in several of the games, such as counting by 5’s and arranging the numbers on the clock. Todo Telling Time also includes games about time that include understanding the days of the week, months of the year and understanding the calendar. The app also includes a fun quiz section that parents could use to inform them of their child’s progress. The app is priced at $4.99, and contains three levels of content that should last from approximately Kindergarten through second grade. This is the best telling time app KinderTown has reviewed!

 

 

Teachley: Addimal Adventure

Addimal Adventure is an app that teaches addition strategies to children and provides practice using the strategies. Read KinderTown's reviews.

Addimal Adventure is an app that teaches addition strategies to children and provides practice using the strategies. The app introduces the strategies through character interactions and clever animations. The animals teach the addition strategies to children, then allow time to practice the strategy through a hands-on numberline and blocks. The addition strategies introduced are: Count All, Count On, Near Doubles, Tens, Memory, Memory with Hint. This app focuses on one very specific math skill usually learned between the ages of 4-5. The app is free to download and available for iPad only.

 

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KinderTown Flips Over Osmo!

Osmo comes with a stand and a mirror that attached to the iPad and allows for the integration of real objects into the play associated with the iPad.

My Osmo product arrived this week, and KinderTown was giddy with excitement! Osmo is a unique game system for iPad. Osmo comes with a stand and a mirror that attaches to the iPad and allows for the integration of real objects into the play associated with the iPad. There are 3 apps that can be used with the Osmo system. When you open your Osmo system, assemble the red mirror device onto the iPad, and the iPad on to the stand. Download the free apps and you are ready to begin.

 

Osmo Tangram

The Osmo Tangram kit comes with tangram pieces that interact with the iPad. Read KinderTown's review.

The Osmo Tangram kit comes with tangram pieces that interact with the iPad. Download the free Osmo Tangram app to get started. Osmo offers a nice “getting started” section to familiarize your child with the use of the pieces and their interaction with the screen. The child must arrange the tangram pieces to match the on screen arrangement. While constructing the pictures, your child is developing important visual spatial skills. After your child completes the “getting started” section, the app offers different pictures for your child to choose from to construct with the tangram pieces. The app also indicates the level of the pictures from easiest to hardest by color coding them yellow, orange and red. The yellow puzzles offer color clues and the orange puzzles offer black and white shapes. The app does offer a hint button if needed to complete the puzzles. The hardest level offers just one solid black outside line. Arranging the tangram pieces was challenging, engaging and also fun to complete with a friend.

 

Osmo Words

Osmo Words is played with the letter tiles. Read KinderTown's review.

Osmo Words is played with the letter tiles. One set of letter tiles is blue and the other is red. To play, you can either play alone or with a friend.  To compete with a friend was challenging and loads of fun! Osmo Words shows you a picture and the number of coordinating letter tiles. For example, a picture of a tree and 4 blank tiles. You must race your competitor to see who can throw the correct word tiles out first. The letters can be tossed into the playing space in any order. KinderTown really likes how more than one child can play with the tiles and the iPad to develop cooperative play skills. One suggestion KinderTown has is that the letter tiles are all in capital letters. Most words when written in text are lowercase. It would be great to see both upper and lowercase forms of a letter on a tile, maybe one on the front and one on the back. Children need exposure to both forms of the letters, especially when learning to read.

 

Osmo Newton

Osmo Newton uses the Osmo system to reflect the space. Read KinderTown's review.

Osmo Newton uses the Osmo system to reflect the space, and the players choose which objects they use from around the house to affect the space. Osmo Newton drops balls from the top and supplies targeted areas that the balls should reach. KinderTown used blocks, paper clips, pencils and drawing lines on the paper in the space to change the movement of the balls to reach the targeted areas. Osmo Newton was challenging and does require persistence on the part of the player to solve the puzzles. As you continue to play, the number of targets increases and objects around the targets are added to increase the challenge. KinderTown recommends using 3D objects to affect the space. The drawing of lines was helpful but more difficult to change (erasing) when we wanted to change the direction of the moving balls. This app uses your child’s thinking and problem solving skills to interact with the screen in a challenging way!

 

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KinderTown Loves Tiggly Shapes!

Using the iPad to learn about shapes provides another avenue for exploration and learning.

Shapes are one of the core learning concepts for early childhood development. Using the iPad to learn about shapes provides another avenue for exploration and learning.

 

Tiggly Shapes

Tiggly combines the digital world with physical manipulatives that are so important for young children. I value hands on learning, and when I saw the Tiggly Shapes I was instantly in love! Tiggly Shapes are hands on 3-D learning shapes (square, circle, star and triangle) that interact with the free Tiggly Shapes apps on the iPad. They are rubbery, durable and easy to grip for little hands. I think this concept is right on target for early learners and I could not wait to try them with children. As I suspected our kid-testers loved them too!

 

Most recently, Tiggly added a bilingual feature allowing you to choose two languages to engage with while playing with the Tiggly apps. Let me overview three of the free apps that go with the Tiggly Shapes. Also, if you aren’t up for purchasing the Tiggly Shapes you can use a lite version of the apps for free. Tiggly Shapes and their apps are appropriate for children ages 18 months to 4 years old. KinderTown rarely recommends apps for children this young, but we feel strongly that the hands on component of these shapes is appropriate for children as young as 18 months when used alongside an adult. Parents, please note that you must match the shapes to the screen when the app launches to allow the Tiggly shapes to sense the screen. Also, check out the parent section in each app for additional information. Tiggly apps are only made for the iPad.

 

Tiggly Safari

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Tiggly Safari invites children to match the correct shape to the outline of the shape shown on the screen. After matching the shape, the app shows the shape, and the coordinating word. Then the shape is made into a safari animal, all while hearing the animal sound in the background. In multi-language mode the name of the shape is said in both languages that are selected. Also, the word is shown in both languages. As the app progresses, multiple shapes are combined to make animals and different orientations of each shape are shown. Tiggly Safari is the app I would recommend using first with your Tiggly Shapes.

 

Tiggly Draw

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Tiggly Draw allows your child to create characters from the Tiggly Shapes. Add a funny face, a mustache or silly feet, and then save the creation to your camera roll. The shape characters come alive with animation and sounds after they are created. Choose from 10 different backgrounds, and the character combinations are endless. Parents, have fun sharing your child’s work with friends and family. In addition to learning about shapes, your child is developing vocabulary associated with character parts as well as giggling over their silly animations.

 

Tiggly Stamp

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Tiggly Stamp is an open-ended creative play scene to use with the Tiggly Shapes. Each time a shape is “stamped” on the screen it becomes an object to play with in the scene. Your child may create an animal, decoration or flower. Many of the scenes presented have a theme often based on the time or year. My favorite feature of Tiggly Stamp is the recorder. This is especially great for developing oral language and interacting with your child. Tell a story about the scene with your child and the voice recorder will record all your interactions. Play your story back or delete it and create another one. This will surely be something you will want to treasure as a parent. I love listening to my child tell the story and I like knowing that I have preserved the sound of her young voice. A great keepsake for any parent or loved one!

 

 

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