In search of iPhone games for kids

A few weeks back, I approached Macworld’s iPhone reviews editor with what I thought was a great idea. Being the father of two young children—one just turned three, the other is approaching six—I proposed reviewing a number of iPhone games targeted at children in the two-to-four and five-to-seven age ranges. There are many such programs out there, and sometimes it’s hard to tell the wheat from the chaff. As such, I thought a roundup would be helpful to those looking for games—entertaining and/or educational—for their young ones.

After getting the green light for the project, I identified a number of likely candidates, mainly using the App Store’s descriptive entries, as well as user ratings. After installing the batch, I gave the iPhone to my two testers, and let them have at it.

Thinking I’d now given them something to entertain them for hours, I was surprised when not one but both of them gave up on their assorted games after trying each for only a few minutes. Apparently the apps I had selected all failed the kid test in a big way. (I’m not going to list which apps I installed, as I don’t want to influence anyone’s thoughts relative to the rest of this blog.)

That brief experience left me out a few bucks, but more importantly, with nothing to write about for my kids’ games roundup. That’s where you come in. If you’ve found a program that your children find particularly compelling, I’d love to hear about it. Even more interesting to me, though, are those games for kids that look interesting, but that you’d like to read more about before purchasing. The games can be simply for fun, or they can be learning games, or doodle pads, or whatever—if it’s entertaining for children in the two-to-four or five-to-seven age range, I’d love to hear about it.

I’ll monitor the comments here—or you can tweet me your thoughts. I’ll cull the recommendations down to a manageable group, and then use that as the basis for the kids’ games roundup. With input from all of you, we’ll hopefully wind up with a round-up that’s focused on interesting games that meet the expectations of both the kids and the parents!

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