However, we are nearly all blessed with the most versatile controller of all. Our fingers.
Hand a touchscreen device to a child and they pick up the interaction almost instantly and are soon tapping and dragging and generally not giving your device back anytime soon, but there are many pros as well.
Making education more fun, keeping the kids amused on long car journeys and the opportunity to share an experience.
So which are the best apps for kids?
Things have moved on a long way since the early days of the App Store and there are now countless apps for kids, so let’s get you started with a few of the classics.
Angry Birds – this classic appeals to young and old and the sound effects, intuitive controls and destruction soon have them hooked
Monster Trucks Nitro – monster trucks, crashes, very simple tilt and accelerator controls, what’s not to enjoy? They may need a little help on some of the harder levels, but why should they have all the fun?
Math Bingo – a great example of making learning more fun. You solve a set of maths puzzles at your chosen level, with a monster appearing on your bingo card if you get it right. Complete the game and you get to
play a bonus game featuring your monsters.
Talking Tom – kids just simply love these interactive characters. Talk and he’ll repeat the words back to you in a silly voice, stroke or swat him and he’ll react accordingly, plus predefined actions to amuse and entertain. Just make sure they don’t treat their own cats that way.
My First French Words – there are variations of this game available, such as colours and animals, which allow kids to drag the letters into the squares to form the words and hear the sound when they get it right. A nice introduction to learning French.
Peppa Pig – the Peppa Pig machine keeps rolling on and the iPhone is no exception with two games proving particularly popular, if a little pricey, Peppa Pig – Polly Parrot and Peppa Pig – Happy Mrs Chicken. Go
for Polly Parrot and hope they don’t discover the other one…
YouTube – perhaps the most useful app of all comes pre-installed with the app. YouTube is an endless source of entertainment covering every possible subject.
For the slightly older kid
Chicks – the cute characters and fun (if a little annoying) music prove popular as you try and work out how to guide the chicks to freedom in this Lemmings-inspired game. See our review here.
3D Mini Golf – for the slightly more dextrous kid, this game is a lot of fun with good graphics, fun sound and plenty of obstacles to frustrate and delight. And they particuarly enjoy beating the other character as it kneels on the ground in frustration! See our review here.
FIFA 11 – kids and football, it’s nearly always a popular combination and this is no exception. Worth waiting until it’s on offer, but it certainly holds their attention – just make sure you ration their time!
There are of course many, many more, but this will get you started and get them hooked. Just be careful though, it may be difficult getting your iPhone back and make sure you invest in a decent cover as tiny fingers can easily drop your precious device.