We’ve found 10 cool apps that are just perfect for dads and kids to use together. The apps are categorized into a range of dad personalities, so you’re sure to find something to share on Father’s Day — or any day.
Plum’s Photo Hunt, 7+
Plum’s Photo Hunt combines nature and tech in a way Dad and kids can enjoy together. Kids get missions to find and snap a photo of something outdoors, from specific items, such as leaves and rocks, to things that involve critical thinking to find, such as patterns and animal habitats. Take Plum’s Photo Hunt with you on a Father’s Day hike or even on a walk around the neighborhood.
Geocaching, 16+ (but it also can be great for younger kids when used with a parent)
Why take an ordinary hike when you can go geocaching? Geocachers use this GPS app to search for hidden packages left by other geocachers. This high-tech treasure hunt isn’t suitable for younger kids to attempt on their own, but with Dad it makes for a fun outdoor adventure with lots of opportunities for collaboration.
DIY Nano, 8+
Dads in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields will be right at home sharing DIY Nano with kids. This engaging app makes nanotechnology understandable for kids and shows them how it affects everyday life with short videos and more than 10 step-by-step activities and experiments you can do together. The activities are pretty easy, but you’ll have to plan ahead and gather materials for some of them.
Hopscotch, Programming Designed for Everyone: coding for kids, 10+
Techie dads know coding is cool, and this easy-to-use visual tool lets dads and kids create games and animations together. What’s cool about it is that it’s open-ended, so you can create characters from your imagination instead of simply following directions.
Draw and Tell by Duck Duck Moose, 4+
Creative dads will like that this app touches on both drawing and storytelling. Dads and kids can create, illustrate, and record stories together (complete with animated stickers), with Dad offering guidance by asking questions about plot elements and characters. You can save and share finished creations with family and friends.
Are you a musically inclined family? GarageBand lets dads and kids work together to write, record, and share professional-quality music wherever you are with a few taps of a screen. For GarageBand newbies, this can be a great app to use together. Outstanding in-app support guides you through using features, including aptly placed sticky-note help features, and an in-app glossary explains musical and audio-recording terminology.
Dr. Panda’s Restaurant 2, 6+ (but it also can be great for even younger kids with Dad’s help)
This role-playing app is fantastic for dads and kids to play together. Players experiment with different kitchen tools and ingredients to create dishes customers order. You can get as creative as you want, and the customers’ reactions are priceless. Dads and kids can have some great discussions while playing and even take ideas from the experience offline to whip up some real dishes together.
Dads into cooking and enjoying good food will find thousands of cool recipes and food projects here. Even better, you can experiment together with your own recipes and share your creations with the Instructables community. Also, check out the contests — your favorite concoction might be a winner!
FIFA 14 by EA Sports, 10+
Maybe Dad will kick a soccer ball around with the kids on Father’s Day, but the action doesn’t have to stop when you’re all tired out! Pick up FIFA 14 for a very realistic simulation of the sport that’s on everyone’s mind during World Cup season. Although you can’t play on the same device at the same time, you can challenge each other in online multiplayer mode.
Google Earth, 13+ (also OK for younger kids with adult supervision)
If Dad will be away for Father’s Day or is planning a trip in the near future, give Google Earth a spin so kids can see just where he’ll be. They’ll be able to see Dad’s destination with stunning visuals, including famous landmarks and businesses and even the terrain. With guidance kids also can check out YouTube videos and Wikipedia entries about Dad’s destination.
What style of dad are you, and what apps will you be using this Father’s Day?
[by Ingrid Simone Senior Editor, Common Sense Media]