Thursday, October 24, 2013

Top Ten FREE Halloween-Themed Apps!

Heros2It’s almost Halloween! Which, of course, means hundreds of Halloween-themed apps to play. Since Halloween is sneaking up quickly, I’ve made you this list of some of the best free apps to be found. It took me hours of sorting through free apps to find the best ones. Spend your time making the best costume possible, now that the searching is done. None of these apps have external ads or in-app purchases!

 ** Only the app's developer can control when an app is free/discounted. The prices of apps in this post are verified to be correct at the time of this post. We make no guarantees otherwise.

Please note: Some of these apps have in-app purchases, but they can easily be disabled in the settings of your device. None of the apps included had any external ads at the time of this post.**

**Halloween disclaimer: Some of the apps may be a little scary for sensitive kids, so be sure to preview the apps!**

PaperMr Shingu's Paper Halloween by Stormcloud Games Limited (iPhone/iPad):
If I were doing a full review of Paper Halloween, it would likely be a Top Pick app. Learn to fold origami with virtual paper and then follow along with real paper. Make a pumpkin, vampire, Frankenstein’s monster, ghost, skull or witch. After folding the shape, the user can color it. A tap of a skeleton finger adds a costume to the origami shape (a pirate jack-o-lantern, a Viking ghost), and there are even games to play with the newly created origami friends.
  • No in-app purchases or ads
  • External links

EcoHalloween Heros by Yogome (iPhone/iPad):
Is there ever a wrong time to be eco-friendly? This Halloween-themed version of the popular Recycle Hero will have kids collecting plastic to recycle while getting ready for Halloween! Kids learn about recycling in a fun game format, and also get to collect costumes in the store (using only "coins" earned in the game play). The user can also purchase pets for the characters. The recycling game is easy but fun — catch different types of recyclables in the bin to earn points and pass the levels.
  • FREE, no in-app purchases or ads
  • No external links

ColorColor by Numbers — Halloween — FREE! by Kedronic UAB (iPhone/iPad):
A fun version of color-by-number pictures, with Halloween-themed pictures and music. There’s even an option to color-by-math, where the user has to complete a simple addition or subtraction problem to figure out the number. There are three different coloring modes, making it appropriate for a wide range of ages. There are only two pictures in the free version, but still a lot of fun for a holiday that soon passes. The full version is a separate app, so no in-app purchase to worry about.
  • No in-app purchases, ads, or external links

PartyHalloween Party — Children's Story Book by GeneraKids (iPhone/iPad):
This is a cute book for younger readers, with lines like “In the kitchen vampires make lots of jelly, cookies and cake.” Each page has an interactive element, too, including some cute musical ghosts. The story can be read in three modes, and it makes "scary" Halloween elements a little safer for young kids, with dancing zombies and smilling ghosts.
  • No in-app purchases or ads
  • External links to App Store

ShapeHalloween Shape-O! ABC's by Bellamon (iPad ONLY):
This free app has amazing graphics and fun puzzles, with 12 different tangram-style puzzles to complete. Use the shapes to complete a pirate, pumpkin, owl, and more. There are even letters to spell the word.  Always appreciated by me is the easy access to mute the music! It's an app that is amazingly free for all content, and definitely worthy of being on the rotation even when Halloween passes.
  • No ads or in-app purchases
  • External Links

ParentsParents Magazine Carve-A-Pumpkin by Resolute Digital, LLC (iPhone/iPad):
Pick a pumpkin and decorate with a classic face or with fall leaves, a haunted house, friendly ghosts or a scared cat. The background behind the pumpkin can also be customized. After creating a pumpkin masterpiece, it can be shared on social media or saved as a photo. It's a fun way to send cards to family members, as well as explore pumpkin carving in a non-consumable way. Practice the design on the app first!
  • No ads or in-app purchases
  • External links to social media

MonsterMonster Jewels — Craft and Wear a Necklace by Croco Studio (iPhone/iPad):
This cute app helps different monsters (including Halloween-themed monsters) put together a fancy necklace by matching beads to the right spot. It requires good visual discrimination, and the beads and monsters are good silly fun. There is also a section to decorate monsters with various premade necklaces, then use those monsters in the matching beads game. External links and in-app purchases for additional bead themes and monsters are behind a parental gate, but all content is currently FREE! Be sure to verify current in-app purchase price before downloading.
  • No ads
  • In-app purchase for full content (currently FREE)
  • External links to App Store

SpookySpooky Playtime Lite by Bombing Brain Interactive (iPhone/iPad):
It’s not really that spooky, but it does have two free fun games! The catch-a-kitty in the pumpkin patch is like a kind version of whack-a-mole, and the haunted house memory game is a creative take on the classic game. The full version is $2.99 and available as a separate app, avoiding the in-app purchase (though there is an external link to the app store). Even with just two games, the free version is a great addition to my quick games for therapy kids.
  • No ads or in-app purchases
  • External link to App Store


Lettesr Spooky Letters Lite by madebyeducators (iPhone/iPad):
This app is great practice for any student learning cursive or who may benefit from learning cursive. The app works on both cursive and pre-cursive letter formation. There are only three letters free in this lite version (A, B, and C), but it includes a picture that starts with each letter along with a dot-to-dot. The letters are sounded out phonetically, too. The full version is $1.99, available as a separate app, so there is no in-app purchase! For students learning cursive, this Halloween-themed writing might be worth it year round just for a little added fun.
  • No ads or in-app purchases
  • External links to App Store behind parental gate

LandonLandon’s Pumpkins — LAZ Reader by Language Technologies, Inc (iPhone/iPad):
This free reader provides a book to read aloud to younger children, or children at about a second-third grade reading level to read independently or as part of a shared reading. The Reading A-to-Z app books include vocabulary words to learn. This pumpkin book even includes a recipe for roasted pumpkin seeds at the end! No sound or interactive elements — just a simple reader available on the iPad.
  • No ads or in-app purchases
  • External links at the end of book

Heather H. does not plan ahead well for Halloween costumes. It's going to be a mad rush this weekend to pull them together for all three kids.

Originally posted on Smart Apps for Kids.

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