Greatest Artists: Jigsaw Puzzle
Cézanne, Monet, and van Dyck may not be household names for the 10-and-under set, but this app is a good introduction. Great works of art are presented, divided into puzzle pieces, and scrambled. Your child's job is to put the masterpiece back together again. Like any good puzzle, it gives your memory and attention span a workout, and there are multiple levels to challenge any user — from the youngest puzzle-solver to an adult. The app allows your son or daughter to rearrange pieces and see the completed puzzle as many times as they may need.
How to Make Origami
My eight-year-old son has recently become interested in origami. The ancient art of paper folding has entered the 21st century — and is on your phone, no less. The 3-D graphics are clear, allow you to move at your own pace, and give you the opportunity to go back to previous steps as needed. Origami is an ideal activity for children with ADHD looking to increase their patience and improve their ability to follow sequential directions. It also exercises a child's fine motor skills. The app offers instructions for several creations, including a shark, butterfly, stingray, and swan. Written directions accompany the graphics and are easy to read and understand.
Hair Salon: Kids Games
This game is pure fun. It starts with four potential clients — Amy, Amanda, Lisa, and Jake, who are displayed in distinct squares. The user clicks on his or her client of choice and begins the makeover. Salon tools are displayed at the bottom of the screen — a hair-dryer to fluff it all up, a comb to tame it, some scissors to lop a bit (or a lot) off, a curling iron to fix what’'s left, and a flatiron. And, of course, the razor. Kids can then dye the hair that remains, pop a hat and sunglasses on their client, as well as another accessory of their choice. The client is then ready for his or her close-up — or perhaps the circus. This app has made my son with ADHD laugh more than any other game or app we own. Isn't that what apps for younger kids should be all about?