App Survival Guide
Joining us again is Natalie Golub, our Usability Manager at No Crusts, with her recommendations on what apps to use if you’re ever stuck in sticky situations, i.e. a dark bat cave, a deserted island, or a burning castle. Read on for her ultimate app survival guide.
I’m sure it’s kept you up at night. What children’s app will you play while you are stuck in a dimly lit cave with nothing but the sound of bat wings to keep you company? Well, fear no longer, survival aficionado. Your app survival guide is here, complete with suggested iOS apps to use during your next unexpected (hardly!) scenario.
The predicament: You find yourself stuck on a deserted island, with nothing but an iPad that has access to the App Store (and magically always keeps its charge) and a third grader.
The app: Immediately download Contre Jour. This beautifully designed and seamlessly smooth game will keep you occupied for countless hours, while you await your rescue. Take turns playing rounds with your cooperative third grader, and form a team with one another on harder levels, where multiple hands and perspectives will be needed to progress. The teamwork and physics skills you develop while playing will help lead to your inevitable homecoming. Before you know it, you’ll be swinging yourself to freedom.
The predicament: The only thing between you and the buried treasure is a plank of wood. With no ax in sight, you must somehow break the wooden plank to reach the golden loot. Luckily, you have an iPhone and a brave four-year-old at your side, who is pleasantly up for the challenge. You tell him that you will give him some candy in exchange for retrieving the treasure. He agrees. Game on.
The app: Sesame Street to the rescue! Download Rosita’s Jump Count and put that four-year-old to work! The app will instruct the child to jump repeatedly, while counting. Jumps will be counted in both English and Spanish, so this app will be especially useful if any further challenges that requiring counting in Spanish come up. Encourage the child to play the game for its duration (i.e. 100 jumps). That wood is sure to break before then.
The predicament: You and a five-year-old are trapped in a burning castle and the only way to escape is to pass a raging monster. The only things you know about the monster is that he’s hungry, purple, and falls asleep to music. Fortunately, you have your iPhone handy.
The app: Hand the five-year-old your iPhone with Juno’s Piano already downloaded. Whether or not the child is an accomplished pianist or not makes no difference. She can choose to “free play” or to “learn a song.” With this app, the child’s new or pre-existing talent, and the monster’s weakness for the sweet sound of music, you’ll be far from the flames and the purple monster in no time.
The predicament: Shoot. You’re suddenly in a deep, 30-foot hole. You look around and see a pile of bricks and an eager-to-help fourth grader. You ask how good she is at building structures and she says she needs some practice. You look at your iPhone. You know what to do.
The app: Download LEGO’s Life of George app. Fortunately, you happen to have the corresponding Life of George set. Phew. Instruct the fourth grader to play the interactive LEGO game. By building assigned structures with LEGOs, taking pictures with the iPhone, and then being scored by the app, the child will get sufficient practice and feedback to build an adequate structure with the bricks to provide leverage out of the hole.
The predicament: You wake up and find yourself in prehistoric times. Miraculously, you are accompanied by an iPad, unexplained access to the App Store, and a very competent third grader. An unfamiliar dinosaur approaches you and tells you that you can return home if you identify his species.
The app: This is a no brainer. You pull up Ultimate Dinopedia and let the kid get to work. After surfing through various pictures, descriptions, and fun facts about dinosaur genealogy, your child helper will not only be able to identify the dinosaur (he’s an Altasaurus, afterall), but impresses him with facts about his weight, food preference, and relatives. You’ll be home in no time.
Still wondering what app to use when you’re stuck in a dark bat cave? What would you use? Let us know by emailing kidsGotGame@noCrusts.com or tweeting @noCrusts.
Photo © vtdainfo