PBS KIDS has come out with some cool new apps for kids ages 3 to 8 that feature healthful foods as a backdrop for awesome learning games. What's even better is that several of them are free. Perfect to have handy for holiday vacation week! I tested out two of them with my son (honestly I couldn't say who had more fun). The first is called D.W.'s Unicorn Adventure, which is fast-paced but easy to learn. D.W., sister of Arthur, rides a lost unicorn in purple sneakers to help guide it safely home. To do that, they need to fuel up with healthful snacks of fruits and vegetables from all colors of the rainbow. There are 12 levels of difficulty that progress through the six rainbow colors as D.W. and the unicorn "leap" to catch 12 different fruits and veggies: strawberries and apples; oranges and carrots; bananas and pineapples; bell peppers and broccoli; blueberries and plums; and grapes and eggplant. They have to avoid the energy-zapping junk food though like soda, chips, donuts, and candy bars crossing their path that could drain their energy levels before they finish the course! This app is compatible with iPhone and iPod touch and available through the iTunes store for $1.99.
The second app we played is called Fizzy's Lunch Lab: Fresh Pick, which has Professor Fizzy guiding slightly older kids (6-8) through eight different challenges, some of which take place in a supermarket. The games are so fun that kids won't realize they're also developing skills in how to count money, follow detailed directions, and tackle problem-solving. A detail I appreciated with this app is that the games allow for endless second chances if the child makes a wrong choice, rather than, say, blocking out after three tries (which has frustrated my son with other games so that he gives up too easily). This app is compatible with most tablets and is available for free download through the iTunes store.
Be sure to check out all of PBS KIDS educational apps that are categorized by age, show and cost!