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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Three Free Apps for a Quiet Flight with Kids

Yesterday morning we woke up early and caught a flight across the country. (Actually, we caught two flights, since we flew with a plane change.) Though this wasn't the first long flight our kids have taken, they've forgotten the others by now. At ages 6, 3, and 1 they can't remember much about our previous trips out to see family.

To entertain the kids on the flight I relied on mainly three things:

  1.  The novelty of the flight itself 
  2.  Worksheets the boys would do to earn little gifts I had wrapped 
  3.  Games on our digital devices

Quiet Flight with Kids
We made it! Image by Alysa
Today I'll tell you about their three favorite games -- I consider them some of the best apps for kids on android, but I'm no expert.

Candy Crush Saga

candy crush saga free apps for quiet flight with kids
image via play.google.com
Candy Crush (by King.com) is the favorite app of my six-year-old. Before the flight he was familiar with the game, having seen me play and tried it out himself. We hadn't played it in some months though, and that added some excitement to the idea.

In case you don't know, Candy Crush is a variation on Bejeweled. You can switch the places of two candies by swiping -- but only if the switch will yeild a three-in-a-row match. You can make other combos as well, for special effects. The game has short levels with goals, and if you fail enough times to lose all your lives you have to wait 30 min for another life. (Lives are also available for purchase, but that's not my style. My style is cheap.) The game is free to download and free to play (assuming you don't purchase lives or boosters). We have it on "the game phone" and on my new Nook (happy birthday to me!).

The fact that Benjamin ran out of lives wasn't really a problem. If I had my druthers, he wouldn't have run out of them, but it didn't seem to bother him much. He set the game down for a bit and did other things. Then, he watched the countdown timer for 12 whole minutes until his next life was granted.

Flow Free

flow free best apps for quiet flight with kids
image via play.google.com
Flow Free (by Big Duck Games LLC) is the favorite app of my three-year-old. He, too, had played it before the flight but not in a while. Generally the boys prefer to use their screen time playing on the Wii these days, since it's new. But back when Flow was new Levi got into it.

In Flow you have a square grid (which gets bigger as levels advance) and somewhere on the grid there will be two dots of the same color. You have to connect each set of dots without the connecting lines crossing each other. We have Flow on my phone and a variant of it on the tablet. It is also free.  

Levi asked me for help with this one quite a bit at the beginning, but as he got the hang of it he would proudly say "Look, Mom! No help!"

Fireworks Arcade

Fireworks arcade free apps for quiet flight with kids
image via play.google.com
My sister-in-law introduced us to the Fireworks Arcade app (Big Duck Games LLC) a couple Christmases ago and it was the only app I could think of that a 14-month-old could handle. I'm sure there are loads of others, but again my experience is limited. We downloaded it the night before the flight, so it was completely new to Jubilee.

The idea of the app is that wherever the screen is touched a firework explodes. The shapes and colors of the fireworks are random. When we tested it out at home (connected to Wi-Fi) there were ads at the bottom of the screen. I was a little worried that Jubilee would end up clicking one of these, but in the air we had no problem. The tablet was in airplane mode, so advertisements weren't served. If you wanted a no-ad version, I bet you could just put your device in airplane mode. I see the app is available for phones; I kind of doubt it would have the same appeal as it did on our tablet.

Fireworks Arcade didn't entertain Jubilee for long, but nothing entertains a one-year-old on a plane. That's just a universal law. It worked great, though, for distracting Jubilee when she kept messing up my game of Candy Crush. ;) The boys didn't use it much, since they were otherwise occupied, but I noticed it has some fun "Arcade Games" that I think they would like. In one you have to touch the screen in certain places in a certain order. In another, you swipe the fireworks to light them, Fruit Ninja style. I plan to show it to them, and I think we'll get a lot of mileage out of it.

So! Those are our three favorite apps right now. They really did help keep the kids quiet and happy on the plane. Hurrah! Will you please share your own recommendations in the comments below? Because it won't be long before the return flight, and the more tricks I have up my sleeve the better. Also let me know if you want to hear more about the other two strategies I used for a smooth flight.  Happy Reading!

1 comment:

  1. The boys also enjoyed Angry Birds, Star Wars on the flight back, as well as a Tangrams app. Fun stuff!

    ReplyDelete

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