As we head towards another Halloween, the spooky apps are definitely in season. I've been checking out different apps to use with my FS2 class. The App Store is littered with Halloween apps though many are simple reworking a of other titles (Halloween makeover, Halloween Flappy Birds, Halloween puzzles, Halloween connect the gems games etc.)
Since this is a once a year event, I decided to focus on apps that are either free or very cheap. I also looked at apps that weren't too scary and could be used with younger students. If you work with the older kids then for sure go check out iPoe or Haunting Melissa - you'll inspire some phenomenal creative writing. I'll be focusing on apps that kids as young as 4 can interact with and there are several great options this year.
Sago are always reliable when it comes to Early Years apps and alongside Toca Boca, are definitely what I would call a brand you can trust. This free app is an excellent 2D modelling app where kids can create their own little monster by selecting a form and then customising it with various features. A nice touch is that the creature then has to be fed and his teeth cleaned before you get the option to snap a picture into the camera roll. A little app smashing with Chatterpix or YakIt and bingo - happy Halloween for everyone! This is the app I'm actually using with FS2 this year by the way.
This one was recommended by fellow ADE Andrea Maricelli. Another 2D design platform, it allows students to customise their own spooky pumpkin by selecting elements like eyes, nose and mouth carvings as well as additional decorations like hats, horns and more. You can even choose a candle colour and edit the background. A solid offering with just one minor quibble - the music and sound effects are almost too authentic and particularly scary, especially for the very young. Would be great if you could carve the pumpkin yourself too!
Another good choice for a digital pumpkin carver is this offering from Parent Magazine. Very kid-friendly, what I really liked about this one was the fact you have the choice of either using templates for the elements that you carve out or you can do it yourself by hand and create a really unique design.
Not technically a Halloween offering but I think Sock Puppets is a great little app that often gets overlooked in favour of the more commonly used Puppet Pals. True it doesn't have the ability to insert your own puppets but the ones that it features are really well designed and for a dollar you can grab the cool Halloween pack which features characters, backdrops and props that will let kids craft their own spooky animated stories.
Toca Bica always deliver the goods and this is no exception. Kids are tasked with scaring the friendly inhabitants of a house by guiding the little ghost girl around and having her switch off lights etc then pop out and make the jump. Full of surprises and delightful animations. It's a great way to inspire some creativity and perhaps even some writing afterwards?
I can't remember if it was Lee Parkinson or Marc Faulder that originally showed me this one. Sneak is a really unique app but it needs a quiet environment to fully appreciate it - something that may sometimes be lacking in a classroom! Little monsters appear on the screen and the child is challenged to sneak up to the iPad and touch the screen to snap a picture of them. The catch is that they can see you moving through the camera and hear you too (you do have the option to disable either of these to make it easier. Incredibly fun and engaging, it could be a real Halloween treat for your class.