Great March Break learning and travel apps for kids and parents

Being on March Break doesn’t mean your kids have to stop learning. Apple has wonderful apps (millions of them, actually) for your iPad that will help keep your kids both entertained and stimulated while they’re out of school. If you’re headed out of town, there also are tons of great ways to use your iPad to save money on the road and find great experiences you and your family will remember forever. Here’s a look at 10 great apps you should try for both learning and travel.

Don’t forget iPads are available in three models, with a colour and size for everyone from your five-year-old on up.

Apps for Learning

Back in the day, my wife and I kept our kids entertained on March Break driving trips with music, books on tape and Game Boy. Now there are a gazillion apps and portable devices like iPads that open up an entire world for children. Here are five fun-filled apps to keep your kids’ minds active during the March Break, whether you’re on the road to Florida or staying home in Canada.

1. Sago Mini Puppy Preschool — Inspire early learning in this irresistibly cute app by Sago Sago, a developer based in Toronto.. Sago Mini Puppy Preschool introduces little ones to numbers, shapes, matching and music fun with adorable puppies. Made for kids five and younger.

2. Busy Shapes 2 — An engaging 3D puzzle game designed for kids aged four to eight.

3. codeSpark Academy with The Foos — Get them coding early where they can learn the basics of computer programming through a variety of interactive learning activities, including puzzles, games and more. Designed for kids aged six to eight.

4. Hopscotch — Kids aged nine-11 learn to code by making the things they enjoy playing using an design-friendly, easy to navigate interface.

5. Budge World — Introduce a world of creative adventure through the app that provides an environment of themed lands, characters and activities. Produced by a Montreal-based studio, Budge World is designed for kids aged five and younger.

Tip: While using learning apps on iPad is entertaining on its own, consider layering in games as a reward through apps like Lego Life and EverRun Legend of the Horse Guardians, developed out of Montreal.

Apps for Travel

When you’re traveling to a nearby city or some far off land, or even if you’re simply looking to unwind during the Break and dream about a future trip, consider loading up your iPad with the following five popular travel apps:

1. Airbnb — The app which provides access to millions around the world to book unforgettable trips. It is a wonderful app to book last minute accommodations, activities or experiences. I used Airbnb last fall for a wonderful apartment in Lisbon that made me feel I was living in the city and not just staying in a hotel room that looked like so many others.

2. Aeroplan — Canada’s premier loyalty coalition program with more than 75 world-class partners. This app becomes not only your digital membership card, but grants members the ability to search and book flights, provides account summaries and more. I use the Aeroplan app quite a bit and have been an Aeroplan member for more than 20 years. It’s a great way to visit friends and family or take exotic vacations without having to dip into your savings account.

3. App in the Air — Your personal flying assistant that keeps you up-to-date with real-time flight details, airport tips and even works while offline. This is great for folks like me who spend a lot of time on the road and don’t want to waste time at the airport.

4. LoungeBuddy — No matter what airport you find yourself in, and there are some you REALLY don’t want to visit, being stranded there with nothing to do is now a thing of the past thanks to LoungeBuddy. The only app that makes it possible for travellers to view, book and access airport lounges, LoungeBuddy helps make the most of your time at the airport. If you’re a business person or just someone with a busy life who doesn’t like wasting time, it’s a great app to try.

5. XE Currency — Save time — and likely money — while traveling using XE Currency’s app. Take advantage of XE’s live proprietary currency rates, charts and even updated store rates. This is another one I use quite a bit as I try to figure out just how much that $65 meal in New York will cost me on my Canadian VISA statement, or to try to understand what 150 Eastern Caribbean dollars is in Canadian currency.

If you’re focused on providing healthy treats for the kids during the break, and we all want our kids to grow up strong and healthy, download the Canadian-founded app Froogi. It’s the perfect companion for iPhone that helps families track daily food intake based on Canada’s Food Guide. Funded by the Canadian Institute of Health Research and the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, it’s kid-friendly and a fun way to track healthy eating habits. Download Froogie free through the App Store.

For more March Break app ideas, visit the App Store. https://itunes.apple.com/ca/genre/ios/id36?mt=8 Interested in seeing what an iPad can do or what’s new? See the current lineup of iPad here. https://www.apple.com/ca/ipad/

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