Shiny Object: Miximal, a Brilliant iPad Game for ToddlersCecily Kellogg
Nothing beats a simple, beautiful, and fun iPad game for kids that also helps them learn. Finding the perfect balance between silliness and fun can be a challenge, however, and I’ve got a fair number of apps that my daughter rejected even though they came highly rated as a great way for her to learn.
The game uses a simple slide feature to create adorable critters, much like those old flip books we had as kids. But the great part comes when you hit the “play” button on the critter you’ve created, and a word is formed. If you’ve made a funky critter like the one pictured here, you’ll find the word as it’s read out is pretty hilarious, but if you puzzle together “real” animals, the app provides a perfect way for kids to learn words by sounding them out.
Combined with a collection of funny animations and sounds — my favorite is the dinosaur, who dons a space helmet and floats in space in one animation, and in another his tail turns into steps and a ball bounces down them — and you’ve got a sweet and simply beautiful app that will make those long car rides a little bit easier.
While there are actually only 11 animals in the app, your kids can create a thousand combinations of critters. It’s really cute. And if you haven’t also download Drawminal, you might want to do that as well — it’s a brilliant combination of app and drawing game that kids will love.
As I said, my daughter is supposedly too old for the app at seven. However, she and her sleepover buddy played with it for a good hour making animals combinations and then laughing themselves silly — well worth the $1.99 to try it!