Anyone who has visited this blog before will know that my son, Big Boo, is a major dinosaur fan. He spends most of his day lining his toy dinos up, building Dinosaur World, creating volcanoes, or badgering me to play dinosaur apps on my iPad. We do have a stack of educational apps on the pad (that’s another post…) but I thought I would share our top apps with you to put a smile on any of your dino fans put there ( plus the bonus is there are some educational points to them too…). So here are Big Boo’s top recommendations:
Connect The Dots Dinosaurs- This is a clear and simple to follow dot to dot game, great for learning number recognition and ordering up to and over 20. BigBoo likes the fact that when you join the dots the image is not a cartoon but a more ‘real life’ image -with a sound effect (this always scores extra points). You get five level one dot to dots for free, and the full version costs £1.49. This is one we did buy, and it has helped Big Boo with his numeracy skills greatly. A real hit with us.
Dino Digger – Just as it says, swipe your finger across the screen to dig up you dino fossil, then watch it put itself together to create a full dinosaur skeleton. Then click on the skeleton to bring your dinosaur to life, he makes a noise, stands on one leg, moves his head, falls over if you shake your pad. Simple but well made, no facts apart from names but fun for 69p.
Puzzleosaurus – our favourite dinosaur puzzle app. This has two ability levels (the harder one requires pieces to be turned to the correct orientation) both of which are good for motor control at different stages. Pictures are appealing and well created, with fun facts being simply illustrated on completion, with a dino roar (hooray!), if your little one enjoys puzzles they may like this.
Dinos 360 – Start by looking through the photo list of dinosaurs (with three pictures of each dinosaur and some simple facts) – ther are dozens to choose from. Match the dino to it’s sound game (this sounds impossible but my son has got pretty good, although it is not definite they even made sounds at all!). Also a slider puzzle with two levels, though the 35 piece one can become a little tedious. The let down with this app in my opinion is the dinosaur tour where you can view groups of dinosaurs from different periods, the pictures are blurred and spoil the quality of the activity. Still Big Boo enjoys skimming through the pictures.
Jurassic Park Builder – download this app with caution! Big Boo was addicted to this when we first got it and it is quite advanced and so required adult support to follow the missions and set up the park. This game develops some problem solving skills and Big Boo enjoys counting the coin values and telling me how much meat he has to feed his carnivores. We use it more as a reward game rather than everyday. Graphics good, but it does ask you to link up with other players, which we ignored. A good freebie intro to this type of game
We have played lots more dinosaur games, and there are many more out there, but hopefully this will be helpful in choosing some good apps for your little one to enjoy and learn something new. We have our own rules about when and where the iPad can be used in our house but believe it is a useful learning (and play) tool if handled correctly, and the future for our children will inevitably include even more technology than we can probably imagine.