From tots on tablets to smallies on smartphones, these are quality apps to stimulate your child
iOS, Android; €5.50
If you have a tablet or a smartphone, 90pc of what your kids will zero in on will be games-related. But if there is a ‘good’ game that can be considered constructive, this is it. Instead of running around blasting zombies, the emphasis in Minecraft is on building worlds, with an emphasis on pop-engineering. It’s the closest thing you’ll find to the video game equivalent of Lego.
iPhone, iPad; €3
This is a very nicely done (Irish) ‘pop-up 3D book’ that helps kids settle down to bed. It has a few cuddly characters and a story can be read by kids themselves or narrated aloud.
Peppa Pig's Party Time
iPhone, iPad; €4.50
This tie-in with the phenomenally successful children's television programme is entertaining and will keep (young) children occupied for a while.
Kids ABC Phonics Lite
What this app does is to make a game out of associating letters and sounds in a way that books struggle to. It's one in a series of learning apps from the same company.
World Of Goo
This is a remarkably creative, fun game that challenges you to shift and shape things from goo balls as you tackle various puzzles. As enjoyable for adults as it is for kids.
For little girls (ages four up) who like to design dresses and other clothes, this is a nicely done app. It also allows you to take pictures of things to incorporate them into new patterns.
iOS; free with in-app purchases
Club Penguin is a social network for young kids that takes the form of a games-based mini-world with cuddly looking characters who can interact with each other in a very limited way. Watch out for the in-game purchases, though.
iPhone, iPad; free
If you’re happy for your kids to learn a little about how money makes the world go round, this is a very nice, safe app. Kids run a dinosaur theme park and need to build up numbers and custom.
Sketchbook Pro for Tablets
€3.76 for Android
For the budding artist, Sketchbook Pro has a full palette of drawing, painting and editing tools to make new pictures or modify existing ones. You can import files (such as photos) into it, too.