Books, apps, games, and websites
The App Store currently has two programs with the very same name. However, it's hard to imagine two apps that are more different than this pair.
by Glenn Melenhorst
This interactive children's book sells for $1.99 and plays on any iOS device (but it's most enjoyable on the iPad). The story is a tale about two boys - Tim who eats nothing but sausages and Sammy, a sausage who eats nothing but little boys. The youngsters work out their differences by the end of this delightful story. Along the way, you and your youngster will enjoy the more than 80 interactive elements that appear each time you turn a page.
by Kirby Stephens Design
This free game plays out the story of a Chef and his menacing food. The Chef can take on his food foes one at a time in a 12-course meal or can battle them in a Mixed Salad Challenge. The Chef can jump or throw his copper pot as he wages the "good" fight. The art isn't as rich as the art in the interactive story, but it features profiles of the food foes and shakable snow globes.
This vibrant site for online games and activities helps your child get ready to read. Created by the Reading Is Fundamental organization, it's designed for babies, toddlers and preschoolers. Along with songs, action rhymes, games and picture books, there's a Grown Ups section with videos, articles and advice on building your little one's early literacy skills.
Nintendo likes to roll out new hardware with fun games and "FlingSmash," which comes with the new Wii Remote including Wii Motion Plus. "FlingSmash" is a fun title where players whip their controllers while sending cute fuzzballs soaring into obstacles in an effort to clear the boards. Use two controllers to work together in two-player cooperation mode. Rated E for Everyone, $40 for Nintendo Wii.
"Rock Band 3"
The latest plastic band video game takes steps to not just entertain but educate. The addition of a keyboard instrument and new music teaching modes make "Rock Band 3" a great introduction to learning a musical instrument for the whole family. Rated T for Teen, $60 ($130 with Keyboard) for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii.