App Friday: Happy Holidays!

Welcome to App Friday, our weekly link exchange of family-friendly apps. This is a big week for family-time, so our traditional App Friday post is slightly different. Our goal today is to reach out to new iPad owners who are wondering about the “app world”,  and where they should start in order to make their iDevice as interactive and family-friendly as possible. So come along, let’s dive in!

What apps should I download? Every family has different needs based on the age and preferences of the child. With so many apps, it can be tough to find the right fit. Part of the process involves experimentation and word of mouth. If you are in the mood for window-shopping, browse “Developer Members of MWA” in this blog’s sidebar. These are all people (mostly parents) who have created family-friendly apps. For a more targeted selection, click the page tabs across the top of the blog for recommendations on creativity, learning, parents, special needs, reading, and family fun.

How much do they cost? You’ll see quite a bit of variation in pricing. Some apps are free, some are $.99, and some are $4.99 or higher. Developers can change their price at any time, so promotional sales are common.

When is the best time to download apps? Here at Moms With Apps, we like to say *Friday* is a good day to download. On Fridays, we bring your attention to specific developers and their apps. In return, they offer a free or specially priced app so you can try it out. So check back here on Fridays, or sign up on our email subscriber list (right hand side of this blog) for updates.

Why should I review an app?If you feel an app has made a difference in your home, or if you see areas where an app can improve, this is valuable information for the developer. Logging into iTunes to document your experience with the app is a way to communicate back to the developer and with other families who are interested in apps. Believe me, developers DO read the reviews! They love a good review, but most of all, they want their app to make a difference.

Where do I go from here? Let’s begin with some free apps to get you started. This will give you some diversity and selection on your iPad without any financial investment. Also, some apps do a “Lite” version, so if you really like an app, check on the App Store to see if they have a Lite version that you can preview for no charge.

I’d also like to mention some regular priced apps that have been nominated by members of Moms With Apps on the basis of having a positive impact on family life, along with interactive and engaging content: MathGirl Number Garden, Rocket Math, Animalia, Peepers, Stack the States, and Montessori Crosswords. We’ll elaborate more on these apps in the New Year, once we’ve had some teachers take a look at them.

APP FRIDAY LINK EXCHANGE: We hope this post helps you get started on the road to iLand. But it’s getting late folks – time to finish decorating before the guests arrive. I’ll leave you with our traditional App Friday Link Exchange, where everyone chimes in to tell you about their favorite app. To participate, include the app name in the Link Title, your email, and a URL to the app you’d like to promote. Most importantly, Happy Holidays and best wishes for this upcoming year!

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