Family-Friendly iPad Apps!

I won an iPad 2 in a Facebook giveaway over a month ago.  I LOVE this gadget!  The problem is that my kids love it more, and they ask me constantly if they can use it.  Not wanting them to waste all their time on the thing, I wanted their iPad time to be worthwhile.  Here are the games I let my kids use as a reward for good behavior, getting their chores done, or sitting quietly through school:

Baby Monkey (Going Backwards on a Pig)

If you are familiar with the famous YouTube video (with song), this game will quickly become a fave.  The game play is simple, and young kids can master it easily.  The game itself is addicting, but when you lose, you're done -- meaning kids can't hang on for 20 more minutes after you've told them to finish up.  A top seller in the family games category, this treat is available for just $.99!

Angry Birds (Rio)

Who doesn't play Angry Birds?  When we ran out of levels on our free version, we quickly went and downloaded the movie-inspired game, complete with chained blue parrots and mean little monkeys.  This game is a riot, and I admit to spending more time on it than I should.  With a fun Mardi-Gras theme, Angry Birds Rio is full-color fun for everyone in the family!  Snag it for under a buck!

JumpStart Jet Pack

We have lots of JumpStart games for the computer but didn't have any for the iPad.  We tested out one educational game that had quite a bit of learning involved, and a good bit of fun, too.  Jet Pack has kids fly around the game with a jet pack (of course), blasting through the right answers and moving between levels.  My son can play for about 15 minutes before he gets a bit worn out, but that shows that's it's much more learning-based than game-based.  An exciting alternative to tedious worksheets, this game is a good buy for parents who want the ability to choose different skills for each game.  You can get it for $1.99 at the Apple Store.

MathBlaster HyperBlast 

This is another very educational game.  The fun twist to this app, however, is that it uses the iPad's directional function to let kids "steer" through obstacles by turning the iPad side to side.  My son LOVES this game.  It has almost made him forget that he's practicing math.  (There is also a robot monster at the end of the level that kids have to defeat by answering questions correctly -- not by fighting.)  You can grab this app for $1.99, as well.

Do you have a favorite iPad app?  What do you let your kids play on it (or do you)?

*Downloads of some games have been received to review.  Opinions are my own, and a free review code does not guarantee publication of a review.