Common Sense Media recently recognized their  “ON for Learning” award winners at an event in SanFrancisco.The 55 award-winners were given their highest rating for quality and learning potential. Looking over the list of winners there were 3 names that jumped out at me as apps that are consistently among the all-time most played apps in my household, so I wanted to put a spotlight on those today.


Bobo Explores Light by Game Collage

iPad Screenshot 2

This is a simply brilliant science app that explore all manner of topics associated with light. I reviewed this app almost 2 years ago but it is still a firm favorite in my household. Bobo is is a cute little robot and is your guide throughout the app. Bobo takes you through 21 different topics including: lightning, color, space, photosynthesis and refraction. Every topic has interactive experiments and you can touch Bobo’s antennae to activate interactive holograms. On each page there are a number of hidden screens which pull down to give you more information, the app has over 100 pages in total!! This app is designed for children who can read independently, but it is so engaging that my now 7-year-old son has had it in his favorite apps since he was 4. It is not narrated, and his reading ability is not yet strong enough to read the text,  so I have been reading it to him, but he has been doing the experiments independently since age 4. My now 10 year-old also loves it! Very highly recommended, this app is fun, engaging and contains a wealth of science information.

Bobo Explores Light – Game Collage, LLC

Bobo Explores Light Bobo Explores Light by Game Collage, LLC

Price: $4.99 USD

••• Apple Design Award 2012 Winner •••

Hold a fully functional science museum for kids 4-12 in the palm of your hand!

iPad App of the Week, winner of the KAPi Award 2011 for.


Ansel & Clair by Cognitive Kid

iPad Screenshot 1

Two of the Ansel & Clair apps by Cognitive Kid made the list of award winners- Ansel & Clair’s Little Green Island and Ansel & Clair’s Adventures in Africa but the whole series deserves a mention as they are all very engaging, creative, educational children’s apps. The iMums have reviewed Ansel & Clair  Paul Revere’s RideAnsel & Clair American Bowl and Ansel & Clair Jurassic Dinosaurs,  Triassic Dinosaurs and Cretaceous Dinosaurs.  All of the apps star Ansel – a friendly intergalactic traveller from the planet Virtoos, and Clair his robot companion who accompanies him on his mission to learn more about life on Earth. The apps are educational games that create  animated, immersive, interactive, learning experiences. In Ansel & Clair’s Adventures in Africa the adventurous duo explore the Sahara Desert, the Nile Valley and the Serengeti Plains. They learn about the history, geography, flora and fauna of Africa. In Ansel & Clair: Little Green Island children learn about ecology, pollution and protecting the environment. Each child gets to create their own island paradise, and then see how changes on the island can cause increases in environmental pollution.

Ansel and Clair: Little Green Island HD – Cognitive Kid, Inc.


Price: $


Ansel & Clair’s Adventures in Africa – Cognitive Kid, Inc.


Price: $



Minecraft by Mojang


Minecraft is an independent computer game that has taken the US by storm  – it has over 100 million registered users in the US! At the schools my children attend is is a major playground talking point. The original game is available for PC or Mac from, and it is also available for many other platforms including an iOS version. The iOS version is more limited than the computer edition, but still allows children endless hours of creative free play and is an ideal place for younger players to learn about the game. In creative mode the aim is to simply build your own world – creating 3D structures and planting trees and flowers in a very open creative environment. I love how there are no rules – it is just about using your own creativity. There is no end of videos available on Youtube for inspiration (although I would recommend parents screen them as not all have suitable language for children to hear). All 3 of my children love playing and have created their own unique worlds. A great side benefit of the game is it has also given my son with Aspergers a means to bond with his peers – he and his fellow Minecraft aficionados spend many, many hours discussing their latest builds and advising each other on new things to try.
Minecraft – Pocket Edition – Mojang

Minecraft Minecraft by Mojang

Price: $6.99 USD

The Better Together update is here! Explore massive multiplayer servers directly from the game menu and play with friends on all different devices.

Skin, texture, and mash-up packs from the community.


Looking over the list of “ON for Learning” award winners which are your favorites ? Are there any choices you disagree with ?



The iMums were honored recently to be chosen to be one of the Common Sense Media Ambassadors –  a select group of bloggers who work with Common Sense Media. Common Sense Media is a non-profit organization “dedicated to improving the lives of kids and families by providing the trustworthy information, education, and independent voice they need to thrive in a world of media and technology.” Common Sense Media rates and reviews all kinds of media for children – movies, games, websites, TV, apps and more. Their Learning Ratings rate media for age-appropriateness as well as factors such as engagement and learning approach.




Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).

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