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DNA Play app teaches kids about genes by creating silly monsters

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Apple releases five educational apps, games for learning

By AppoLearning.com

In 2014, more than 500 games were released per day for iOS, Apple’s mobile operating system. Apple does a good job featuring some of the best overall games on the App Store, but is lacking when it comes to suggesting the best games for learning. These five games and apps provide teaching moments for Pre-K through elementary kids.

DNA Play (iOS, $2.99)

Geared toward 6-8 year olds, AVOKIDDO’s DNA Play grants ultimate creation powers to its players. Starting with a basic design, kids manipulate their creature’s DNA pattern by completing puzzles that mutate its various characteristics. These changes can impact the number of arms, head shapes and body texture. DNA Play teaches younger students the basic conditions for genetics and evolution, but doesn’t overwhelm with new vocabulary. The app boasts over 200 billion potential combinations, amazing graphics, and packs in a sizeable serving of entertainment! Saving creatures to the in-app library allows kids to play with them later.

Daisy Chain (iOS, $1.99)

Daisy Chain, narrated by actor Kate Winslet and developed by Protein One, is an interactive storybook that incorporates game-based learning. Readers help guide Buttercup Bree, its main character, as she confronts menacing bullies. She uses the power of magical daisies to bring beauty and positivity to the playground. Most importantly, she builds lasting friendships along the way. With the narration and interactive elements, this tale will totally engage most preschool and younger elementary kids who read it.

Leonardo’s Cat (iOS, $2.99)

Next on this list is an animated app featuring the voices of even more fantastic actors. The legendary Patrick Stewart stars asLeonardo Da Vinci and Heather Asch lends her voice to his cat Scungilli, who is used in testing the famed Italian’s various inventions. The aim of each level is to retrieve a piece of Leonardo’s favorite invention, The Automaton, which was stolen by his rivalMichelangelo. In this platform game, players use Leonardo’s inventions to overcome obstacles and complete each level. Leonardo’s Cat is chockfull of personality that radiates through Stewart’s acting chops and teaches elementary age students how to predict cause and effect.

Meet Science: Work and Energy (iPad, $4.99)

Released in mid-October, Meet Science: Work and Energy gives upper elementary students a primer for learning about physics. The app’s four content areas — animations, experiment videos, glossary and mini-games — create a robust educational environment. The videos are particularly helpful, because students can try the physics science experiments with the help of a parent or teacher, applying what they learn from sessions with the app. Publisher NC iactionbook developed three other editions of Meet Science focusing on magnetism and electricity, light and sound and force and motion. Teachers and parents can download all four editions in the Meet Science Pack bundle for $13.99.

Super Sharp (iOS, $1.99)

Let’s stick to the theme of physics for the final app entry. Super Sharp, which earned the honor of being an Editor’s Choice in the iTunes App Store, is a remarkable game. Each level, players cut shapes to solve various physics puzzles, which often include slicing a larger shape so that its pieces land on pre-determined targets. Created for ages 4 and up, this game helps students of all ages sharpen their problem-solving skills in 120 levels. Super Sharp was developed by 1Button, the France-based indie outfit that developed the extremely popular game Mr. Jump. Students will absolutely love the challenge of Super Sharp!

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