Review: iPad Apps for Kids for Dummies

Do you have an iPad that you use primarily for your kids? I do, and I love it. iPads, as you may know, are an idea tool for kids with disabilities, especially autism.

But how to navigate all the apps that are available? Which are safe, which are too mature, which are loaded with ads?

The Good
iPad Apps For Kids For Dummies (For Dummies)” by Jinny Gudmundsen, Kid-Tech columnist for USA Today, is here to answer all your questions.  First of all, this is the perfect starter guide for new iPad-with-kids households.  Like every good Dummies book, “iPad Apps” gives you a step-by-step guide on setting up your iPad to make sure your kids are safe and not spending money on apps without you (or them) knowing it!  After going through this quick and easy section, Gudmundsen educates parents on the pitfalls of free and “freemium” apps, privacy, and safety issues.  This section alone makes the book worth it, I had no idea about some of these issues and it’s well worth the read to protect your children and home.

Of course, the bulk of the book reviews apps, mostly paid, in great details.  Each review gives you app name/cost/publisher, followed by a few paragraphs detailing its features, what’s good about it, and sometimes giving a warning or head’s up about something she didn’t like. Finally, the bottom lists “Best For”, giving specific details on what kids are best suited for this app and why, and whether it works for groups.

Each review is in a section, which cover age ranges, subjects (such as art, monsters & aliens, puzzles), learning apps, and special needs, and ends with 10 Favorite Kid Apps and 10 Favorite Free Apps.  You can go right to the sections that interest and apply to your child most and sort through the recommendations.  Finally the appendix lists apps by age groups, so you can whiz through the list and find what’s right for you.

The Bad
The only downside is I wish they had a section on removing apps – that always confuses me on an iPad!

Overall Opinion
This is a book I wish I had when I first got an iPad!  I do own some of these apps, and found the descriptions and caveats to be dead on.  This is great for us, as Zoe is growing weary of the apps we currently use, and Amelia has lost interest to focus on her DS3.  I’m particularly interested in the art apps myself, as you recall from my post about the visual thinkers.  The only downside is I wish they had a section on removing apps – that always confuses me on an iPad!

DISCLOSURE: I received a copy of this book to facilitate my review.  All opinions are my own.