There is a wide variety of Windows Phone games available in the Store, many designed to educate and entertain our children. While these games may not appeal to everyone, if you have children these Windows Phone titles can come in handy. Whether it is for long road trips or waiting for a table at a restaurant, these titles can keep your children occupied and teach them a few things along the way.
The Windows Phone Store has a series of collections that group themed apps and games together, making it easier to find the Windows Phone title you are looking for. The For the Kids Collection groups a couple of dozen children's games together. We have visited this collection before and thought it was a good time to revisit things. For this week's roundup, we have plucked four titles from the For the Kids Collection to highlight.
Color Me Free
Color Me Free is a coloring book for your Windows Phone that contains dozens of drawings ready for the virtual paint. The Windows Phone app has five coloring styles that include coloring by number, shape, letter, dots and a free style method.
The coloring by methods have you matching up the colors at the bottom of the screen with the matching dots, numbers, shapes and letters on the drawing. Free style lets your imagination drive the colors.
Once you finish your drawing, you can save it to your Windows Phone camera roll by tapping the camera icon in the bottom right corner of the screen. Image resolution is … and while it may not be the best for printing, you can share them through your Windows Phone Pictures Hub with Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles and others.
Color Me Free comes across as a fun Windows Phone app to let your kids tap into their creativity and associative skills. Color Me Free, at last check, nails down a 4.5 star rating in the Windows Phone and we won't argue with that rating. It's a great way to let your kids enjoy a coloring book without the mess.
Smarty Sharky Free
Smarty Sharky Free is a Windows Phone app designed for preschoolers around the ages of 3 to 5 years old and is a collection of colorful questions to challenge your child's math, spatial recognition, sequencing and associative skills.
When you tap play, Smary Sharky Free will jump straight to the puzzles. The interface is simple where your child only has to tap the correct answer or tap/drag pictures into the right sequence or outline. Some of the questions or puzzles may require a parents help in reading, providing a good opportunity for that parent/child interaction.
Smarty Sharky Free has over 100 questions and if you decide to reset the game, the questions are randomly ordered to avoid too much repetition.
The game offers an uncomplicated design well suited for preschoolers that has a nice balance of entertainment and educational value. Smarty Sharky Free pulls down a 5 star rating in the Windows Phone Store, which we won't argue with at all.
First Words: Learning Animals
First Words: Learning Animals is one of twenty-two Windows Phone apps from the development group Anlock Single Member designed to teach your child learn phonics, letter names, how they form words and basic spelling. Some of the apps focus on vehicles, shapes and several foreign language versions of these apps.
The Learning Animals installment will use animal names to help teach children the phonics and spelling for thirty eight different animals that range from a cat to a whale. First Words: Learning Animals has six different settings to increase the game's difficulty to keep pace with your child's learning curve. These setting will let you toggle between phonics/letter names, uppercase/lowercase letters, audio assistance on/off and more.
The interface is simple, requiring your child to tap and drag the letters into position to form the word describing the animal pictured. There is an audible pronunciation of the word along with a sampling of the particular animal sound.
The entire First Words series comes across as entertaining Windows Phone apps that combine entertainment and educational qualities. The trial version of First Words: Animals is limited to the first five animals with the full version unlocking the additional 33 animals.
Pre School Essentials
Pre School Essentials is a collection of educational exercises that encourage participation, early problem solving and vocabulary growth. The Windows Phone game includes four exercises that cover ABC letters and Phonics, Numbers and Counting, Colors and Shape Puzzles.
The Number and ABC letter exercises will present your child with a number or letter, offer the phonetic sounding and offer a few picture associations. The interaction includes rebuilding the letter from a puzzle and counting a group of objects to match the numbers.
As with other titles in the For the Kids Collection, Pre School Essentials finds a nice balance between entertainment and educational qualities. There is one caveat though with this Windows Phone app.
Pre School Essentials is a free app to install on your Windows Phone but you are installing a trial version. Each game will let you play the first few exercises, which is plenty to give you a feel for things. After that, each game will run you $1.99 to unlock or $6.99 to unlock all four games.
The price is a little on the steep side but Pre School Essentials is a nice educational app for your children to pass the time with and learn a little along the way. Some will find the Windows Phone app worth the price, while others may pass. Regardless, it is nice that you can try things out before buying.
To the Windows Phone app's credit, Pre School Essential does receive good reviews in the Windows Phone Store and nets a 4.5 star rating after a few thousand reviews.
Wrapping it up
Understand these titles may not appeal to everyone but as we get older, the need for children's titles for our Windows Phone may develop. In my day, we kept a collection of comics and coloring books in the backseat of the car to give us something to do on road trips. My kids enjoyed portable DVD players for road trips. These days, children have the advantage of Windows Phones and Windows tablets to not only keep them entertained but also teach them a thing or two while on the go.
The titles highlighted in this week's roundup are just a sampling of what all is available in the Windows Phone Store for our children. You have quality apps such as Mash&Co, Max and the Magic Marker, Monstrous Math and more for our children to enjoy. Toss the titles into your Windows Phone Kid's Corner and you have the convenience of giving your kids access to the games without worrying that they'll tap into the more adult oriented apps or games on your Windows Phone.
If we've missed your favorite Windows Phone title for children, please toss out your recommendation in the comments below.