In spite of its hefty price tag, kids just can't get enough of the iPad and companies are listening. The start of the new year had vendors showcasing their products which they hope will make the perfect iPad accessory for your child. The field is growing and will no doubt continue to expand as the year progresses. Here's a sampling of what you can expect for 2012.
Family game nights will never be the same. Duo Pop is the Jeopardy of board games where speed and smarts will earn you the game crown. The game pits you against your friends to see who can buzz in (hand held buzzers) with the correct answer the fastest. Currently there are 3 trivia style game apps, a word game and a game featuring content from the children's Highlights magazine. The apps are free to download (just so you can give it a try), additional content require in-app purchases. Duo Pop Game $39.95
DISCOVERY BAY GAMES
The Game of Life zAPPed
Just like classic films being remade, board games are breathing new life thanks to the iPad. The Game of Life is the first of 3 that Hasbro has taken under its wing to remake (Monopoly and Battleship available later this year). The premise of the game hasn't changed, but the spinner is now digitalized (complete with spinner click sound) and you can personalize your game "peg" with hair, clothing and accessories. As this is the game of life, watch for hilarious clips from America's Funniest Home Videos which coincides with your chosen path (i.e. college, marriage, kids, etc.) in the game. The app is free to download, but you'll have to buy the zAPPed version of the game to play this hi-tech remake. The Game of Life zAPPed $29.99HASBRO
Hot Wheels Apptivity Cars
Kids play with their Hot Wheels cars everywhere--on the floor, on the table, so why not on the iPad? These Hot Wheels cars may look & feel just like their predecessors but they are specially made to interact with the iPad, so rest assured that it won't scratch and damage the screen. Watch as the cars interact with the app as the cars move along the race track and even through the air. Look for Angry Birds, Fruit Ninja and more to be added to the collection in the near future. Hot Wheels Apptivity Cars MSRP $19.99 (available May 2012)BUSINESS WIRE
iBounce Kids Trampoline
Toddlers have limitless amounts of energy, so why not let them burn that off with an indoor trampoline made just them where they can incorporate their favourite iPad books or movies to their workout? The iBounce trampoline includes a tablet mount that secures the iPad safely to the trampoline. The bundle includes the iPad mount and DVD where kids can hop and jump with RompyRoo the Kangaroo as he looks for his lost teddy bear. Basic counting skills are introduced in the video which can be downloaded to the iPad. iBounce Kids Trampoline Bundle $129.95JUMPSPORT
Laugh and Learn Apptivity Case for iPad
Hot on the heels of the Apptivity Case for the iPhone, the Laugh and Learn Apptivity Case for the iPad should come as no surprise. This is a hard shelled rubber case that completely surrounds the iPad (1 & 2). A clear protective film shields the iPad screen yet still renders the touchscreen operable. A hard plastic strip protects the home button so that your baby or toddler won't be able to digress away from the app. Although it will protect the iPad from minor drools and spit ups, the case is not waterproof. Laugh and Learn Apptivity Case for iPad $34.99FISHER-PRICE
Ravensburger Augmented Reality Puzzles
This one's exciting so I had to share, even though it works with the iPhone and iPad 2. I'm sure you've heard of Ravensburger puzzles. If not, look around your house, I'm sure you have at least one of their puzzles lying around. With the AR Puzzle app and the camera from your iDevice, the 1,000 (roll up your sleeves) piece completed puzzle can be brought to life. Soar over the rooftops of Paris, watch the sea animals of the underwater world, go on an african safari and watch the snow fall over Norway with the help of augmented reality technology. But before you get too excited, this only works with Ravensburger Augmented Reality Puzzles (now available in Europe) and although the free app is available, you'll have to wait until later this year for the puzzles to make their North American debut. Pricing not yet available.
Wendy Morelli is an app obsessed mom of 2 who can't get enough of her smart phone. Read all about her favorite app picks on her blog AppHipMom and follow her on Twitter at @AppHipMom.RAVENSBURGER