Saturday, February 14, 2015

Beep, Honk, Choo-Choo: Top 10 Vehicle/Transportation apps

I registered my twins for high school a few weeks ago and learned they will be taking Driver's Ed fourth quarter of their freshman year. Wasn't is just yesterday they were fighting over who got the next turn to "drive" on the Lego Juniors app? Looks like I'll have some white-knuckle driving experiences in the near future, but your little ones can enjoy some virtual driving fun with my top picks for vehicle apps. Build a classic car, fill-up a dump truck or conduct a train down the tracks with these awesome transportation themed apps.
If you'd like to take any of these apps for a test drive, please show your support for Smart Apps for Special Needs by clicking the links provided.

Build and Play 3D - Planes, Trains, Robots and More by Croco Studio

You will be amazed by the toys your little builders can put together in 3D! Balloons, UFOs and planes, cars, bikes and trains, ships, subs or jet ski! Once built they will take you in the air, on the ground or into the sea. If aeronautical engineering sounds a bit advanced even for your bright young tot, have no fear. The models automatically rotate to help kids find the proper placement for each piece. They can’t mess up because parts don’t snap in place until they are correct. These models won’t be crashing or sinking for lack of a rotor or wheel. The best part is that kids’ hard work is rewarded because their designs come to life when complete. The flying, floating, puffing and puttering machines that belch smoke and make satisfying rumbles will delight youngsters. Children can choose their favorites from the twelve included toys or let the game decide for them using the intuitive controls. 

 App includes: 
· Fifteen classic toys in bright primary colors 
– UFO, hot air balloon, jet ski, airplane, car, cement mixer, motorbike, ship, train, crane, digger, monster truck, firetruck and robots. 
· Easily sliding pieces perfect for children with still developing fine motor control 
· Option to mute background music and/or sound effects. 
· Language neutral for universal appeal 
· Child-safe, protected environment 

 Croco Studio believes in learning through play and this app subtly presents a number of age appropriate educational concepts. Children are introduced to left/right, top/bottom and back/front as they spin their models to find where pieces go. They also achieve a basic understanding of symmetry and balance because headlights and taillights come in pairs and portholes and railings go on both sides of a ship. Visual memory and visual motor skills get a real workout through the concentration needed to put together these childhood favorites.

(iPhone/iPad, $2.99)

Trucks HD by Duck Duck Moose

An award-winning educational, creative play app, Trucks has 5 engaging activities: carwash, tow truck, garbage and recycling, bulldozer and dump truck and a car and truck parade. Trucks teaches sequencing, sorting and problem solving. AWARDS: Parents’ Choice Silver Award, Children’s Technology Review Editor’s Choice Award. AGES: 2-6

(iPhone/iPad, $1.99)

More Trucks HD by Duck Duck Moose

An award-winning creative play app, More Trucks has 4 new activities that stimulate young imaginations and teaches sequencing, sorting and problem solving. FIRE TRUCK: Hose down the fire and save San Francisco. MONSTER TRUCKS: Drive 10 monster trucks over bumpy terrain and obstacles. CONSTRUCTION SITE: Build structures then, knock them down with a wrecking ball. TOW TRUCK: Tow cars to the junkyard and pile them up! AGES: 3-8

(iPhone/iPad, $1.99)

Tony the Truck and Construction Vehicles by Yomio

If your kid loves cars, trucks and vehicles in general, this is the app to download. 

Tony the Truck is very busy at the construction site. Everybody needs his help - digger Dan, bulldozer Karl, Hugo and Amos the cranes, roller Ben, mixer truck Ron and of course the forklift brothers Max and Rex. Where should Tony go first? 

The app has been designed for kids between 1 to 4 years, so your kids can use the app on their own and won’t get lost anywhere in the navigation. There are no ads in the app and all the links are under parental control. 

 Two screens are available for free, others can be bought as an in-app purchase.

(iPhone/iPad, Free)

Car Toons! HD by FDG Entertainment

• Clear the Road with a Wicked 80’s Rescue Squad After more than a decade of service, the CAR TOONS have been written off as scrap metal. However, today an emergency call from the government brings them back into action! Gangster Cars are all around and terrorizing the streets. This situation requires some serious measures, which only the CAR TOONS and their "unconventional" methods can deliver. 

• Equipped with awesome Super Powers The CAR TOONS never leave a garage without some decent new equipment. Use it wisely to ram all the baddies off the screen. Solve over 100 cleverly designed missions. Outwit the gang and serve up some sweet justice!

***Rated 9+ for Infrequent or mild cartoon/fantasy violence
(iPad only, $1.99)

Cars in Sandbox: Construction by Thematica - educational and fun games for kids

Interactive car game for children aged over 2 years. 

 Many parents find their young children to be particularly fascinated by construction vehicles. We've made it easy and exciting for your child to explore them. 

Different types of construction vehicle and road-building machinery are presented as toys in a sandpit, making the process of learning familiar and appealing. Throughout there are lots of beautiful animations, with great video and sound effects. These make clear what each vehicle can do and how it helps people in the real world. All the vehicles are charmingly but accurately depicted, with little surprises such as opening doors and horns which sound. 

It is really easy to make vehicles move by touching or tipping the screen. Your child will also be able to do things such as extend the arm of the crane or operate the dumper by simple touches. Each vehicle comes with an involving little mission to complete, such as moving toys around, which will help your child discover what each kind of construction vehicle can do. This exploration will be great for fine motor skills, and success at each stage will be made clear by the award of another gold star.

(iPhone/iPad, $2.99)

ChuggaBugga by Ardor Entertainment

Come aboard the ChuggaBugga train and ignite your imagination with an interactive train engine and four boxcars that transform into unique playgrounds -accompanied by the adorable ChuggaBugs! A lovingly crafted game built by a father for his kids, ChuggaBugga engages your children while encouraging learning and creativity. Make the train engine whistle and shout, explore a construction site bursting with fun, learn counting and watch a ChuggaBug go high-diving into a pool, create music and colors on an accordion, change shapes into 3D objects with a robot and much more. Designed for all ages, even the youngest children can enjoy this experience and discover the playful interactions and surprise animations waiting to be explored on the ChuggaBugga train.

(iPhone/iPad, $0.99)

Sago Mini Road Trip by Sago Sago

Go for a fun-filled drive with Jinja the cat. Pick a destination, select a vehicle and hit the road. What will Jinja drive today? Choose a sporty racing car, a jumpy jeep or a funny pickle car! Stop along the way to wash and fuel up. When the drive is done, a happy welcome is waiting for you!

Playful and friendly, Sago Mini Road Trip puts kids in the driver’s seat. With super easy controls, young kids will love zipping along the road. Part of the award-winning suite of Sago Mini apps, this app will make you laugh out loud. 

(iPhone/iPad, $2.99)

Lego Junior Create and Cruise by The LEGO Group

In LEGO® Juniors Create & Cruise, children age 4-7 can use their imagination to create their very own LEGO® vehicles and minifigures. 

Cruising for coins will unlock virtual LEGO® sets that can be built with a few easy touches - and which will become part of the game’s colorful 3D scenery for your child’s next drive-through. 

Create & Cruise provides plenty of inspiration for real-life LEGO® builds and imaginative play scenarios you can talk to your child about - like why the pretty princess is driving a police car that has legs instead of wheels.

(iPhone/iPad, Free)

Kids Trains Boats and Cars by Ovation Media

Kids version of the popular Trains Boats & Cars. Easy levels to keep the kids thinking. Touch and drag the tracks, waterways, and roads to complete the puzzle, then watch it play and avoid collisions.  
Kids Trains Boats & Cars has 80+ KIDS levels for hours entertainment! 

Entertainment for children 4 - 12

(iPhone/iPad, $0.99)

Sarah's teenage daughter got a laugh from hearing stories about Valentine gifts she has received over the years.

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