I am not an app person (except for Doodlejump; goodness, I love it). So when my son started getting into them, I was both perplexed (“how does that…work?”) and nervous (what if he spends too much money? what if he fills up my entire phone? what if I look away for a second, and all of a sudden he’s being shown NRA ads during commercial breaks?). But it turns out that the apps my son gravitates towards are amazing – so amazing that we literally spend hours (!) every single weekend (and, ok, some mornings, before my daughter wakes up) laying in bed playing them.
Consider this a PSA. Your kids will love these, and so will you.
Super Brain. This app asks you to solve riddles that require abstract thinking and somehow are equally suited to an eight-year-old and…me. I can actually feel myself growing smarter with this thing (and the fact that my son is way better than me at it is both depressing and wonderful).
Just Draw. Similar to Super Brain, but with a drawing element: You have to add to the existing drawing to solve the problem presented (for example, if you see a sunburned man standing in the hot sun, you’d draw a t-shirt on him for protection).
Little Alchemy 2. Oh my god, this is my favorite – I cannot stop playing it, even when I’m alone. You start with a few basic elements (air, fire, water, earth), and then combine them to create new items, which can then be combined and recombined with each other, and so forth until you have hundreds and hundreds of items (a hamster! cake! an igloo!). My favorite find so far: Philosophy, which you get by combining – yes – a chicken and an egg. You can also buy extra packs, like Myths and Monsters, if you want to get crazy with it.