As Birdie gets older (the ripe old age of 6!), a lot of her favorite iPad apps aren’t holding her attention anymore. So many of the good ones we’ve loved – educational, open-ended play, fun characters, fun graphics – are geared for younger kids. And we’re entering the minefield of gaming for kids filled with everything from pretty princess apps to crazy warfare games, to games that are way too hard for her. Not to mention the lack of educational content, but we’ll go down that road another day.
But I’ve been really surprised by how much we both like Monsters Ate My Birthday Cake. It’s tied to Cartoon Network, which had me a little concerned (a network with shows I love and shows I hate, you never know what you’re getting!), but this app is good fun. It’s a game of puzzle challenges: get the key to unlock the monster but first you may have to collect new monsters with specific powers, move some blocks, stand on some buttons, remove gates, freeze a pond, dig under a wall, eat some birthday cake, etc. – and do it all in the right order. It’s split into individual puzzles, with each one building off the skills learned in the last. I’m amazed how far Birdie is able to get on her own – and she’s learning some pretty intense problem-solving skills and patience while she’s at it. Once in a while she asks for our help – and I think both of us are surprised at how long it takes us to figure it out too. I’ll admit, it’s a game I’ve secretly wanted to play when she’s away at school. Is that bad? Nah, it’s not bad, right?
I would love to hear the apps that keep your kids intrigued while keeping you happy – let us know in the comments!