6 Halloween apps that make learning a treat

Sep 30, 2015 at 10:52 a.m. ET
Image: LWA/Dann Tardif/Getty Images

Decorating your house for Halloween? How about downloading a few cute, spooky characters on your iPhone or iPad as well? As children gear up for trick-or-treating, apps can be a fun way to extend holiday excitement into learning.

There is a festive selection of educational apps all dressed up to celebrate fall. Made by parents themselves, these apps are designed especially with children and families in mind. Here are some of my favorites worth shouting about.

Boo! is a storybook with the world’s sweetest Halloween witch. Written and illustrated by Gina Ricci, Boo! is an iPad storybook that has been enchanting young readers season after season. Designed to charm and not overwhelm, the storybook is set on a black background with the tinkle of mysterious nighttime bells. Children scroll through pages of pumpkins, owls, cauldrons and ghosts while they read or hear the words describing the magic of Halloween night. Boo! is illustrated with gentle, hand-drawn scenes and select interactivity rather than flashy animations.

Mystery Math Town encourages kids to use math skills for capturing fireflies and solving math mysteries. Creaky little rooms in each house display math problems for addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Customized settings enable players to set skill levels that best meet each family’s needs.

Easy (Animation) Studio gives all ages the tools they need to make digital animations. By Oct. 15, a Halloween update will provide themed graphics for spooky visual effects and storytelling. If you’ve ever wanted to make your own cartoon, Easy Studio is a helpful introduction that puts kids in charge of the process. As winner of a Parents' Choice Gold award, parents can be confident the app has been rated and endorsed by respected and credible reviewers.

Guess and Spell Halloween includes a selection of themed words that kids can unscramble, spell and solve. Image-based hints are available for those who need some extra help, and speech or difficulty settings can be customized via the iPad’s device settings.

Halloween Kids Puzzles is ideal for little puzzle lovers who are eager to see pumpkins, cats and costumes and witches. Choose your puzzle, pop the pieces in place, and enjoy satisfying animation to celebrate your success. The free download comes with a set of four puzzles to try before you buy.

Spooky Story Dice may look simple, but the creative writing prompts can be endless. Tap the screen to roll the dice for different combinations of visual images and story starters. Looking for something to do on a rainy October afternoon? Pair the app with their Lists for Writers, and host a spooky storytelling contest in your school or neighborhood.

Looking for more apps? Head over to Know What’s Inside, a program with over 1,500 family-friendly apps upholding best practices in children’s online privacy. Many of the Know What’s Inside members are parents themselves. Positioned in the sweet spot between technology and parenting, it's no wonder I found these kid-friendly apps through this resource.

Happy Halloween, young learners?

Lorraine Akemann | Cofounder and Editor | Moms With Apps

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