iWant my kid to have fun with an iPad while we travel
April 9, 2011 12:29 PM   Subscribe

My 8-year-old son and I are about to go on a trip which will require two 6-hour plane trips. A friend is going to lend me an iPad to take on the trip. So what can I load on it to amuse my kid?

So what games or aps can I buy for my kid to amuse himself on those long plane rides? He loves gaming on our Wii: Super Mario, Lego Star Wars, etc. So, adventure-type games that are without violence are good. He also loves reading, nature, science, super heroes, and anything to do with Harry Potter.

I'm only going to have the iPad temporarily so I don't want to spend too much, but if I could get away with amusing him for $20 or $30 that would be great.

And what's the battery life like? Any tips on extending battery life?

I've never used an iPad before, but I'm going to assume that the operation is pretty much self-explanatory. But do you have any tips for me?

I did see this and will check out the suggestions, but that post is a year old.

posted by BlahLaLa to Computers & Internet (28 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Plants vs Zombies!
posted by lizzicide at 12:31 PM on April 9, 2011

Best answer: Angry birds. Though is birds crashing into pigs too violent? All I know is that my 8 year old (he likes the same stuff as your son) would happily play this all day.

His other favorite apps (for my iPod Touch, so they must be better for the iPad): Ninjump and Fruit Ninja (is chopping up fruit violent?).

There may very well be Lego and Harry Potter game apps too. So much stuff!
posted by bluedaisy at 12:44 PM on April 9, 2011 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Oh, you can also buy a couple of tv shoes or movies on iTunes and watch them.
posted by bluedaisy at 12:45 PM on April 9, 2011

Also: Doodle Jump!
posted by bluedaisy at 12:47 PM on April 9, 2011

Best answer: To extend battery life, make sure you put the iPad in airplane mode and disable the auto-screen brightness, as well as setting the screen brightness to its lowest level. Some games I love: air hockey, angry birds, scrabble, doodle fit, enigmo, ishoot (tank targeting), stair dismount, zen bound
posted by msbutah at 12:57 PM on April 9, 2011 [1 favorite]

Re: battery life - depending on the plane it might have an outlet under the seat. Check with the airline. You may have to buy a DC adapter (again, depending on plane).
posted by walla at 1:01 PM on April 9, 2011

posted by Freedomboy at 1:19 PM on April 9, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: My 9-yr-old daughter loves Fruit Ninja
posted by briank at 1:33 PM on April 9, 2011

Best answer: Also, there's a Harry Potter Lego app for the iPad.
posted by bluedaisy at 1:35 PM on April 9, 2011 [1 favorite]

Cover Orange
posted by alms at 1:37 PM on April 9, 2011

My 7 year old nephew was totally buzzed using real time navigation over google maps when we moved a short way away last year, perhaps your kid would enjoy seeing where you're going while you're doing it.
posted by b33j at 1:44 PM on April 9, 2011

iSlash is fun. You are cutting geometric shapes (slashing) and trying to avoid flying ninja stars. One hundred shapes (or more by now) with no blood, scary sounds, penalties (I really like that part, if you get hit with a ninja star you just try again, no points lost or levels that have to be repeated.) Good bonuses as you progress. Ms. leafwoman loves it and is totally non-violent not agressive.
posted by leafwoman at 2:04 PM on April 9, 2011

Best answer: Oh, and if it is possible, borrow the charger cube and cable. Even a thirty minute charge between flights will guarantee you have power all the way through both flights.
posted by leafwoman at 2:07 PM on April 9, 2011

You can also put movies on your iPad--on a long flight, I watched a movie on mine with some headphones and it really helped to pass the time.

Battery power will last for hours if, as noted above, you put it in airplane mode and turn the brightness down, and if possible charge between flights.

Agreeing with Angry Birds and Plants vs Zombies as the most addictive iPad games out there!
posted by misha at 2:33 PM on April 9, 2011

Best answer: Definitely get headphones! They are essential if you don't want to annoy everyone around you.
posted by bluedaisy at 2:49 PM on April 9, 2011

Star Wars isn't violent?
posted by surewouldoutlaw at 4:06 PM on April 9, 2011

Best answer: My daughter just turned 5 and she fell in love with Cut The Rope in 2 seconds flat. She occasionally needed help from Dad, and I liked it too. Almost had to trade my wifes droid x for an Iphone. Almost
posted by Redhush at 4:27 PM on April 9, 2011

Cut the rope is great. Angry birds and the new Rio one.
Maybe one of the drawing programs too.
posted by beccaj at 5:48 PM on April 9, 2011

Cut the rope. Tiny Wings. World of Goo!
posted by dpx.mfx at 6:49 PM on April 9, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks so much for the suggestions, everybody. Keep 'em coming!
posted by BlahLaLa at 6:57 PM on April 9, 2011

Puzzle agent, labyrinth
posted by SpaceWarp13 at 7:09 PM on April 9, 2011

2nding Plants vs Zombies! My friend, his 8-year-old cousin and I passed many hours in airports and cars with this awesome game.

(The game has a battle aspect, but there wasn't anything graphic/gruesome.)
posted by pluot at 1:20 AM on April 10, 2011

Zen Bound is interesting and tactile - though possibly a bit boring for a kid.
posted by Jofus at 3:50 AM on April 10, 2011

what we did with my 9 year old, was go to the apple store and just let her play the demo games already installed. the ones she liked the most we bought and she's happy with that
posted by thilmony at 7:55 AM on April 10, 2011

Best answer: Max and the Magic Marker, Time Geeks HD, Roxie's A-Maze-ing Vacation Adventure, Harbor Master (free and you could play this together), Air Hockey (also free and multiplayer) Labyrinth HD Lite (free).
posted by davar at 1:39 PM on April 10, 2011

My 6-y.o. broke his leg on Saturday. (Cue the sympathetic moans. Moan, damn you all!)

I finally let him at my iPad, and he loves Angry Birds. But he also loves something called Toki Tori that I looked at and found profoundly uninteresting. He also loves Tetris now, and, to a lesser extent, air hockey. (His handheld is a decade-old Gameboy Advance SP, on which he loves Pokemon Rescue Red and of course Lego Star Wars II.)

For six hours, you'll want both some video and a wide selection of games so he can switch back and forth. And don't forget the charger!
posted by wenestvedt at 11:43 AM on April 11, 2011

Response by poster: Okay, I've downloaded a bunch of stuff and will update this thread when we return in two weeks. Thanks so much for all the suggestions.
posted by BlahLaLa at 9:49 PM on April 12, 2011

Response by poster: For anyone checking out this thread, here's what I did:

I did download several free episodes of TV shows he likes. He ended up not watching any of them.

I also downloaded several podcasts, including Mugglecast. He didn't end up listening to them.

I downloaded many games and fun apps, focusing on free stuff. I probably spent less than $20. The big hits were:

Lego Harry Potter
iStunt 2
Fruit Ninja
Time Geeks
Roxie's A-Maze-ing Adventure
Melon Golf
Lego Minifigures
Pocket God

Others that amused for a while:
Cut the Rope
Lego Creationary
Max and the Magic Marker

All in all, the iPad was a great travel companion.
posted by BlahLaLa at 8:18 PM on April 23, 2011 [1 favorite]

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