The Lazy List

Screen shot

Taking pictures & screen shots as well writing things out with great detail what that we want to share about apps takes a LOT of time.  Often people say to us “Just give me a list of your favorites”.  So, I’m dubbing this the “Lazy List”.  It’s just a list with links of our “most played” apps that we haven’t reviewed up to this point.  😉

In no particular order or coherent train of thought…

(I love this for searching for a particular verse, having a handy concordance/interlinear, I can bookmark & take notes, switch between translations or have translations side-by-side)
 Apologia ~ This is really just like quizzes.  A little to “schooly” for our taste.  😀
(these take up a MASSIVE amount of space ~ so I’d keep them in your cloud & only download the one you need when you need it)
(If you’ve never heard of it, here’s some cool info on why Minecraft is educational  )
(we find them to be a little too “schooly” for our taste, but if you like fun ways to “skill drill” they’re good)
(Boy said “cannon” one was good, he really didn’t care for the “sodabomb” one)
(There are “lite” versions for both of these that are free.  The full version for 99cents is well worth it.)
 Also, consider “word games”.  We really enjoy:
 (the “with friends” games have free & paid versions.  At one point, “Hanging” was running condom advertisements.  So, we paid the 99 cents)
This is just fun to goof off with.  And yes, we can see Grandma’s car parked in the driveway!  😉
 Lego has numerous apps in a variety of age & interest levels.  If you just search Lego in the app store ~ you’ll find tons of options.
This only works well if the kids playing are basically at the same level.  It is designed for “classroom” use and is not intuitive to give players specialized levels of difficulty.
(younger kids PreK-early elem)
(really more for adults or upper teens)
 If you have Netflixthey have an app.  We watch a lot of documentaries, PBS-ish shows, etc.  You need to be paying for the monthly service though.

Rory’s Story Cubes

This equally creative iPhone app was spawned from the award-winning tangible Rory’s Story Cubes game.

How it works:  The concept is so simple yet has the potential for hours of creative fun.  9 cubes with a picture on each of 6 sides equals 54 pictures and millions of combinations.  The user “rolls” the cubes either by tapping the roll button or shaking the device.  Then we begin with the ever popular, “Once upon a time…” and we’re off creating fanciful stories.

The cubes can be easily manipulated and rearranged on the screen so that you can formulate your story.  There’s a lock function so that cubes won’t be disturbed as storytelling commences.  Unlike some apps that were originally designed for iPhone, we didn’t find any annoying distortion or blurring when playing using the “zoom” function on our iPads.  As you roll the dice or move them around, there’s a simulation of the noise actual die would make clanking around on the table.  The sound can be adjusted on your iPad or entirely disabled within the game.  There’s a button within the app that allows the user to capture & save a picture of how the die are configured on the screen.

Educational Value: Creative thinking and storytelling abounds!  54 different pictures including representations of an eye, beetle, house, star, footprint, apple, scales, bee, keyhole, fountain, bridge…

  • Tales can be as complicated or simplistic as desired.
  • Use it to encourage writing skills as well.
  • Simplistic pictures allow for a wide range of interpretation ~ for example Boy may decide the “arrow” is a spear for hunting, while Girl uses it to determine the direction her character is traveling.
  • Boy and Girl have been known to each build a story from the same set of blocks just to see what the other comes up with.
  • Girl says her favorite part is telling other people the story she made up.
  • Individual or group thinking is encouraged.  The whole family has sat around concocting stories.  Leave the cubes as they land and let each person take a turn adding to the story with the next cube.
  • For even more ideas, visit the Rory’s Story Cube’s link: Ways to Play.

Drawbacks:  Honestly, we couldn’t think of any that had to do with the game itself.

  • Those with young iPad users may want to consider whether to encourage the shaking of your iPad to scatter the cubes.  Both of ours have been known to lose grip at one time or another.  This issue is easily solved by tapping the roll button instead.
  • Some spoiled by the plethora of free apps might balk at the $2.99 price, but we think it’s well worth it.

Company Link: