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Apps for Kids 055: Badland

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Apps for Kids is Boing Boing's podcast about cool smartphone apps for kids and parents. My co-host is my 10-year-old daughter, Jane.

In this episode, we reviewed a side-scrolling action/adventure game with fun physics, called Badland. It's $3.99 for iOS and Android.

And, we present a new "Would you rather?" question:

Apps for Kids is sponsored by Fracture. Fracture prints your photos in vivid color, directly on glass. It's picture, frame and mount, all in one. Use the code APPSFORKIDS and get 20% off your order!

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How to paint realistic creature fur

Artist Nate Hallinan has a good tutorial on painting creature fur in Photoshop.

Make a cement faceted keychain

Pour anchoring concrete into these "paper gem" molds. Then sand the facets smooth and paint them to your liking!

Make a cement faceted keychain (Via Craft)

"Tonight You Belong to Me": World's Greatest Version

Gary Peare of Ukulelia says, "Let's start the new year right. And by 'right,' I mean with the world's greatest rendition of 'Tonight You Belong to Me.' Courtesy of Benjamin J. Ames and his four-year-old daughter."

Dial An Endless Parade of Monsters for 98¢

I just found the only thing I want for Christmas. It's like a Jim Woodring creature generator!

Hanover House '67 Gift Guide

A splendid little secular Christmas carol

I just discovered Tim Minchin's "White Wine in the Sun". I'm sure a lot of you have heard this before, but it's a lovely Christmas song and, frankly, the first Christmas song to actually make me cry. Especially that last verse. For a new parent, it's an emotional doozy. Really, overall, just a great song for people who aren't religious, but enjoy a religious holiday for the cultural traditions and the time it allows you to spend with people you love. (Even though, personally, I'd rather have dinner with Desmond Tutu than Richard Dawkins.)

Leo the Maker Prince: book to teach kids 3D printing

Leo the Maker Prince by Carla Diana is a charming picture book that teaches kids (and grownups who appreciate cute, simple stuff) 3D printing. All the items and characters in the book are up for grabs on Thingiverse. It's published by Maker Media (the same company that publishes MAKE magazine, where I am editor-in-chief).

LEO the Maker Prince: Journeys in 3D Printing

Audio game app for blind people

Bob Smolenski says: "I've released a new audio game app for blind and visually impaired. Open Field Echo Sounder uses GPS on your iPhone or Android. Walk to the center of an open field and six virtual targets will be arranged around you. Echo locate them using headphones to determine direction. Sighted folks can play it also ;)"

Open Field Echo Sounder: $2 on iOS and Google Play

Apps for Kids 054: Pascal Robot by Atoms

Subscribe to Apps for Kids

Subscribe in iTunes | Download this episode | Stitcher

Apps for Kids is Boing Boing's podcast about cool smartphone apps for kids and parents. My co-host is my 10-year-old daughter, Jane.

In this episode, we reviewed a bluetooth-enabled snap-together robot kit for kids called Pascal. It's made by Atoms and costs $119.

And, we present a new "Would you rather?" question:

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Its-A-Bob: Part whimsical toy, part art object

Designer and artist Jed Berk created Its-A-Bob, a fun balloon toy with a retractable leash. He's very close to funding his Kickstarter.

Apps for Kids 053: Plants vs. Zombies graphic novel

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Subscribe in iTunes | Download this episode | Stitcher

Apps for Kids is sponsored by Little Blueprint: Personalized and ready-made children's books based on brain science, empowering kids to thrive through life's challenges and celebrations.

Apps for Kids is Boing Boing's podcast about cool smartphone apps for kids and parents. My co-host is my 10-year-old daughter, Jane.

In this episode, we set down our smartphones to talk about the Plants vs. Zombies graphic novel, in which two kids team up with Crazy Dave, the deranged zombie prepper, to rid Neighborville of the invading horde of undead humans. Jane also grabs my staple remover that I was repairing with Sugru and messes it up.

And, we present a new "Would you rather?" question:

If you're an app developer and would like to have Jane and me try one of your apps for possible review, email a redeem code to appsforkids@boingboing.net.

Jane and I love to get your emails with questions about game, gear, and tech. What's your question?

Listen to past episodes of Apps for Kids here.

My heart is broken. My dog Molly has passed away.

I cannot begin to explain the loss that is Molly. She was just a few weeks shy of her 13th birthday. She lived the most amazing, cared for, caring life a Cavalier King Charles could dream. My Molly had the deepest, most soulful eyes you have ever seen on any creature or finest work of art. Everyone who met her loved her. Even dog haters could not resist this dog, because Molly might actually have been love herself.

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'Everything Dolphin' by Marty Crisp

My daughter loves dolphins. Hers is a multi-year fascination that appears to know no end. Marty Crisp's book Everything Dolphin is a treasure trove of information that truly lives up to its subtitle, "What kids really want to know about dolphins."

It answers many of the questions a kid will have about these beautiful marine mammals--everything from "How many teeth do dolphins have?," to "Can people ride dolphins?" This book feeds her curiosity and gives us a lot to discuss. The images are lovely. Even though the reading level is above her age, my 6 year old spends ages thumbing through the book when I'm too busy to read it to her.

If your kid is fascinated by these beautiful co-habitants of the Earth, you can't miss with this book.

Everything Dolphin by Marty Crisp

Apps for Kids 052: Edge

Subscribe to Apps for Kids

Subscribe in iTunes | Download this episode | Stitcher

Apps for Kids is Boing Boing's podcast about cool smartphone apps for kids and parents. My co-host is my 10-year-old daughter, Jane.

In this episode, we review Edge. It's $2.99 at the iTunes Store and Google Play.

We also present a new "Would you rather?" question. Give your answer here:

If you're an app developer and would like to have Jane and me try one of your apps for possible review, email a redeem code to appsforkids@boingboing.net.

Jane and I love to get your emails with questions about game, gear, and tech. What's your question?

Listen to past episodes of Apps for Kids here.

To get a weekly email to notify you when a new episode of Apps for Kids is up, sign up here.

Apps for Kids is sponsored by HuluPlus. HuluPlus lets you binge on thousands of hit shows -- anytime, anywhere on your TV, PC, smart phone or tablet. Click here to support Apps for Kids and get an extended free trial of Hulu Plus.

Toymail: send mail to toys from your phone

The folks behind Toymail sent me one of their Mailmen toys to try out. It's a Wi-Fi connected creature that plays audio recordings that you make on your smart phone and send over the Internet. The toys also record messages spoken into their microphones and send them back to the smart phone. It's a neat idea and the critters are very cute. The company was cofounded by Gauri Nanda and Audry Hill. Gauri is the inventor of Clocky, the alarm clock that runs away. (I bought a Clocky for my daughter Jane a couple of years ago and she loves it.) The iPhone app is clever and shares the same adorable design as the critters.

They have nine days left to go on their Kickstarter and are over halfway towards meeting their goal of $60,000. A pledge of $50 or more will get you one of these Mailmen.

Toymail. Send mail to toys from your phone.