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Educational iPad apps still popular with nine to 11s

Looking at some of the top paid iPad apps around the world for the nine to 11 demo right now, it appears kids are transitioning to more open-play adventure games, casual/social games and puzzle/creative games, but are still invested in a variety of educational apps.
September 11, 2014

While the majority of paid iPad apps for kids ages six to eight across North America, the UK and a number of other countries are educational or learning-based apps, looking at the nine to 11 or preteen demo, it appears kids are transitioning to more open-play adventure games, casual/social games and puzzle/creative games.

That’s not to say they are abandoning educational games altogether. According to analytics database App Annie, Freecloud Design’s Stack the States and Stack the Countries rank as the #1 and #4 paid iPad apps, respectively, for kids ages nine to 11 in the US.

The award-winning apps let kids learn things like state capitals and geographical locations by interacting with animated states and countries. Levels can be won by accumulating stacks that grow with each correct answer.

As for math-based games in the US and Canada, they feature less prominently in the nine to 11 demo compared to kids six to eight. A number of math-themed games do crop up in top-five lists in Singapore, Australia and Sweden, in particular, where the top two paid iPad apps are The Friends of 10 and Motion Math: Hungry Fish.

As open-ended, building and exploration games à la Minecraft continue to resonate with kids, Cartoon Network’s new Calling All Mixels app, based on its multi-platform Mixels IP created in collaboration with The Lego Group, has proven to be a popular iPad app for nine to 11s. So has Trino’s construction sandbox game Machine World, which lets users excavate sites and build houses using a variety of heavy machinery.

Another clear hit with tweens is Disney Karaoke: Frozen, for kids who want to let their vocal chords go and sing along with their favorite songs from the massively successful movie. It features recording and sharing modes that tap into tweens’ greater need to socialize with friends.

Rounding out the top apps is Toca Hair Salon 2, another hit from Toca Boca. It is the only app to appear in all six of the top-five lists below. The app is clearly benefitting from kids’ desire for creative and customization play-based apps.

The top five paid iPad apps for kids 9 to 11

US

1. Stack the States – Freecloud Design
2. Toca Hair Salon 2 – Toca Boca
3. Calling All Mixels – Cartoon Network
4. Stack the Countries – Freecloud Design
5. SpongeBob Marbles & Slides – Nickelodeon

Canada

1. Toca Hair Salon 2 - Toca Boca
2. Calling All Mixels - Cartoon Network
3. Disney Karaoke: Frozen - Disney
4. Toca Hair Salon Me - Toca Boca
5. Machine World – Trino

UK

1. Toca Hair Salon 2 - Toca Boca
2. Barefoot World Atlas - Touch Press
3. Disney Karaoke: Frozen - Disney
4. Machine World - Trino
5. Times Table Mountain - Primary Games

Sweden

1. The Friends of 10 - Digitalt Hjarta
2. Motion Math: Hungry Fish - Motion Math
3. Disney Karaoke: Frozen - Disney
4. Toca Hair Salon 2 - Toca Boca
5. Zcooly Affaren - Ak3 – Zcooly

Australia

1. Time Tangle: Adventure Time - Cartoon Network
2. Toca Hair Salon 2 - Toca Boca
3. Disney Karaoke: Frozen - Disney
4. Calling All Mixels - Cartoon Network
5. Quick Fraction - Shiny Things

Singapore

1. Calling All Mixels - Cartoon Network
2. Time Tangle: Adventure Time - Cartoon Network
3. Visual Fractions Decimals and Percentages - Esa Helttula
4. SpongeBob Frozen Face Off – Nickelodeon
5. Toca Hair Salon 2 - Toca Boca

About The Author
Jeremy is the Features Editor of Kidscreen specializing in the content production, broadcasting and distribution aspects of the global children's entertainment industry. Contact Jeremy at jdickson@brunico.com.

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