Here’s our list of the best apps for kids this October half-term. So, whether it’s rain or lockdown upsetting plans for an awayday, we've got you covered.
Half-term is just days away. And the reality is, not all of us will be enjoying as many days out as we might like. Whether it’s rain or lockdown upsetting plans for an awayday, here’s our list of the best apps for kids.
There’s something for everyone, from toddlers to teens. Fun ones – it’s the holidays after all. Smart ones – to keep those brains ticking over, and jump around ones – to keep them active. Lastly, but most importantly, we’ve got apps for relaxing and coping with the challenges of being a kid in 2021.
Discover with Three
We’ve made some great videos showcasing 3 of our favourite Apps. Discover hot hacks when you make music with GarageBand. Check out how easy coding is with Hopscotch. And get the low down on cartoon creating with Toontastic 3D.
Discovery kids’ sessions
Keeping the kids entertained during half-term is hard enough without being in the middle of another lockdown. So, to give you a helping hand, our Discovery team will be running some junior sessions.
They’ll keep your kids occupied with sessions on everything from creating their own cartoons to making digital music. Got a future YouTube star? They can even learn how to film and edit videos.
All sessions are suitable for complete beginners and last for an hour – between 14:15 and 15:15 each day. And you can either join in with the fun or grab a hot cuppa, while you can.
The sessions run from 15 February to 19 February and are completely free. All you need to do is sign up. Places are limited though, so you need to be quick!
Missed a session? Don’t worry – the Discovery team has a whole host of videos on YouTube that you can watch whenever you want.
Here’s the schedule for February half-term:
Monday 15 February – Animated advert creation with Apple Clips
A fun workshop where kids can create an advert with a live poster and super-cool moving stickers. Let their imaginations run wild with all the possibilities in the Apple Clips app. Apple Clips is only available on iOS devices.
Tuesday 16 February – Cartoon making with Toontastic 3D
A chance for kids to make their own cartoon using the free Toontastic 3D app. We’ll show them how to set the scene, plan their story and bring their characters to life with movement and voices.
Wednesday 17 February – Movie making with InShot
Got a budding YouTube superstar on your hands? On Wednesday, we’ll show them how to create a Vlog. They’ll learn how to film and edit a video using the free InShot app.
Thursday 18 February – Animations with Stop Motion Studio
Get ready to bring toys to life! Learn how to shoot and edit a short, animated film. We’ll help your kids to plan and create their own story using props and scenery. Lego works perfectly but you can use whatever you’ve got to hand.
Friday 19 February – Digital music making with GarageBand
Got a little music lover? Then GarageBand could be just the app for you and your little ones. Get ready to create digital sounds from jingles to full-on soundtracks. GarageBand is only available on iOS devices.
Fun Apps for kids
Not only are these Apps fun, but they can help develop motor skills and coordination, especially in young children.
Peppa Pig™ Theme Park is age appropriate and everything you’d expect it to be. So, if you can’t jump in muddy puddles for real, you can relax and let them enjoy it online. It’s not free, but it definitely saves on the washing. Get it on Google Play or download on the App Store.
Toontastic 3D is brilliant fun if cartoons are their thing. They make up their own stories and narrate them too. It encourages creative and storytelling abilities and is available on Apple or get it on Google Play. The manufacturers say 4 years plus, but we reckon probably 6 years is about perfect.
Roblox isn’t new, but it really spiked in popularity this year. Create games or play ones other members have built. Either way, it’s an exciting way to spark their inner game designer. It’s pitched at 7 years and up, and it’s free. Download on the App Store or get it on Google Play.
Minecraft. It’s a timeless classic – anyone from 9 to 99 years old will enjoy it. For £6.99 they can explore worlds and build anything they can imagine, as long as they’re happy with blocks. Available on Google Play or download from Apple.
Happy Colour by Numbers – is great for some quiet time. There are lots of different designs. Get it on Google Play or download on the App Store. Look out for colouring Apps aimed at slightly older kids too.
Clash of Clans. Yes, it’s still big. If they’re 9 years and up, it’s a rite of passage. They can build their own village by pinching stuff from others. Yes, be warned. It is a fighting game. Available on Google Play and on the App Store.
A Dark Room – isn’t as terrifying as it sounds. It’s not free, but it’s literally just words on a screen, so a very different experience. It starts like this. ‘Awake. Head throbbing. Vision blurry. Come light the fire…’ try it if you don’t believe us. Best for 10 years and over. Get it on Google Play or download on the App Store.
GarageBand is great for creating their own vocal or instrumental tracks. It’s only available on Apple devices, download on the App Store.
Despite any reservations you may have, TikTok can bring deep joy. Don’t be afraid if they’re pestering for it – get involved as well, especially if they’re younger. Why not get them to teach you one of their favourite dances. Remind them that they don’t have to post it. You’ll find new respect for their moves. And don’t worry, you can slow recording down – helps you keep up with the tricky arm-ography. Available on Google Play or download on the App Store.
Best learning apps
Hopscotch is a coding App that’s easy to get the hang of, but it will stretch them too. It’s aimed at 8-12 year olds. It’s only available on the App Store.
Best fitness apps
Exhausted trying to get your teen off the couch? Say hello to one of the best free running Apps – Zombies, Run! They’ll love the gamification it brings to doing some cardio. Available on the App Store or on Google Play.
There are some great wellbeing Apps out there.
Headspace for Kids is free for Headspace Subscribers. It focuses on 5 fundamentals – calm, focus, kindness, sleep, and wake up. It’s from 4 years and up, and you can download it on the App Store and on Google Play.
3 Good Things is free and gives them a space to note down happy thoughts each day. They’ll get motivational quotes too, and they can read back through old memories. It’s only available on Google Play.
ThinkNinja aims to help 10-18 year olds with anxiety and low moods. A virtual Wise Ninja educates them about mental health and emotional wellbeing. It’s well done and highly thought of. Free during the pandemic, it’s on the NHS Apps Library. Get it on Google Play or on the App Store.
If things seem to be overwhelming them right now, BBC Own It App is here to help. It’s available on Apple and Google Play and helps young people keep control of their online life and stay safe.
Meetwo offers teenagers a safe forum to discuss any aspect of their lives. It’s on the NHS App store, so you can be sure it’s got top class research behind it. Get it on Google Play or on the App Store.
We’ve featured a lot here – there are so many great Apps for kids out there. If you’re thinking you might need another tablet to handle the half-term pressure, then check out our offer. Existing customers can get 6 months half price on the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite. That’s a saving of £17 a month. Log in to your My3 account to find out more.
And, if you’re at all worried about safety online, check out Internet Matters for resources and good advice. Whatever half-term throws your way, we hope you have a safe and happy one.