ByRachelle Riddle, writer at Creators.co
Writer by day, gamer by night. Everything's a story.
Rachelle Riddle

As children get into middle school, their minds lean toward more creative endeavors. No longer satisfied by simple learning tools, they need more challenging options to keep entertained. This selection of games will test their brains and expand their creativity.

1. 'Caroline’s Camera'

  • Price: Free
  • OS: iTunes
  • Genre: Education
  • In-App Purchases: No
  • Third Party Ads: Yes
  • External Links: Yes

Caroline's Camera is an interactive game that teaches children about patterns and rhythm. Children play as Caroline, a brand new photographer for a newspaper, who must take catchy photos for the headlines. The game uses music to prompt photos and the challenge comes in taking the picture at the right time, using the rhythm to gauge it. As the game progresses, more rhythms will appear, increasing the difficulty. There is a practice mode in the newspaper office, or they can go out to several locations in the game such as the forest or lake for better photos. Children can earn coins with their photos to upgrade the camera and equipment.

2. 'Crayola DJ'

  • Price: $2.99
  • OS: iTunes, Google Play
  • Genre: Music
  • In-App Purchases: No
  • Third Party Ads: No
  • External Links: No

A game for children to learn about music and create different tracks. Crayola DJ features different loops, musical genres, and instruments to mix as a DJ, as well as a multitude of sound effects. Children can earn points by performing their selections for a dance party, and points are given based on the music and their DJ-ing capabilities. Children can also compete with a friend or parent in the 2 Player Mode to see who the dance audience likes best. The fun in the game comes from getting creative with the beats and music.

3. 'Cut the Rope'

  • Price: $1.99+
  • OS: iTunes, Google Play
  • Genre: Puzzle
  • In-App Purchases: Yes
  • Third Party Ads: Yes

Follow Om Nom the alien and collect candy for him in this puzzle game. Kids learn critical thinking and solving skills by figuring out which ropes to cut to get the candy for Om Nom. The fewer amount of moves, the more points you get. The game comes with three levels, with additional levels available for in-app purchases. The Android version is free, but contains quite a few ads that can be tricky with children.

4. 'DNA Play'

  • Price: $2.99
  • OS: iTunes, Google Play
  • Genre: Education
  • In-App Purchases: No
  • Third Party Ads: No

This game introduces your child to the kid-friendly science of DNA. Children can complete the DNA puzzles to start out with their own unique monster. Tapping parts will create gene mutations and children can discover how the monsters can adapt or evolve in various activities. There are over 200 billion combinations. Once children create their monster, they can play and experiment with the monster's unique quirks, discovering in real time how DNA changes affect their activities such as sleeping or jumping.

5. 'Drawing Desk'

  • Price: Free
  • OS: iTunes
  • Genre: Drawing
  • In-App Purchases: Yes
  • Third Party Ads: Yes
  • External Links: Yes

Drawing Desk is a detailed drawing app for all ages. There are four modes:

  • Photo Desk
  • Doodle Desk
  • Kids Desk
  • Sketch Desk

Kids Desk is for younger children and has simple colored pencils, stamps, stickers, and visual effects to start their art career. Doodle Desk and Sketch Desk are great for older children with higher motor skills. They include a variety of brushes and colors to choose from to create all kinds of art.

6. 'Minecraft Pocket Edition'

The popular world-building game is now on mobile. It allows imaginations to run free by giving children free reign on their own virtual sandbox. It's on par with building blocks, except they can do so much more. Children can shape the world by building different types of structures and land.

There are two modes:

  • Creative
  • Survival

Creative Mode allows children to build and explore without having to worry about resources. Survival Mode introduces strategy as children must figure out how to sustain food and fend off monsters.

7. 'Smart Color Path'

  • Price: $1.99
  • OS: iTunes
  • Genre: Puzzle
  • In-App Purchases: No
  • Third Party Ads: No
  • External Links: No

This is a puzzle game designed to challenge your child's brain. The game consists of colored circles that must be connected in a certain pattern, and each puzzle has rules on the color connections. Children can drag the circles around to figure out where they can fit in the path according to the puzzle's rules. The object of the game is to figure out the correct colored path. If the puzzles get too difficult, there are hints to help out. Three difficulty levels are available to offer a good brain challenge.

8. 'Star Walk Kids'

  • Price: $2.99 (iOS), $0.99 (Android)
  • OS: iTunes, Google Play
  • Genre: Education
  • In-App Purchases: No
  • Third Party Ads: No

Explore the solar system and the sky. Star Walk Kids teaches children about astronomy and the solar system in this colorful game. Children can interact with the app by pointing it at the sky, which will tell them about the current constellations above them. Entertaining animations will explain how the solar systems affects our experience on earth, such as why we have day and night or how the sun and moon work. It even gets into the Hubble telescope and explains the relationship between stars and black holes. This is a great starter to get children interested in exploring the stars.

9. 'Toca Blocks'

  • Price: $2.99
  • OS: iTunes, Google Play
  • Genre: Education
  • In-App Purchases: No
  • Third Party Ads: No

Toca Blocks is a take on Minecraft, but in a much more friendly and mobile way. Children can create worlds, filling them with whatever their imagination can conjure. The game is filled with different kinds of blocks that can be combined in all sorts of ways to make new blocks. Combining blocks will change their color, pattern, or attributes. Over 60 items are available to build with and children can import others' worlds into their own game. The possibilities are endless and their imagination can run wild as they build in their world.

10. 'YouTube Kids'

  • Price: Free
  • OS: iTunes, Google Play
  • Genre: Entertainment
  • In-App Purchases: No
  • Third Party Ads: Yes
  • External Links: No

Now you can let your child use YouTube without having to worry about what they might come across. YouTube Kids is a child-friendly version of YouTube with pared down controls and permissions. There are four categories: Shows, Music, Learning, and Explore. Settings can be configured behind a parental lock, along with search restrictions and a timer to control viewing time. If, for come reason, an inappropriate video makes it past the filters, you can easily take care of it with a quick report.

What other games have you found for your kids? Let us know in the comments!

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