Food, fun, family, fireworks… it must be the Fourth of July! This holiday is the most fun you’re likely to have all summer, so of course, let’s make apps a part of it. Whether it’s patriotic music, silly pictures or fireworks, apps are available to add to your family’s enjoyment of the day.
#1 Patriotic Tunes 1 & 2 (free app, contains ads, offers in-app purchases)
I’m combining these apps into one recommendation because they complement each other perfectly. Both volumes (by Brennan Moy Media –
supported by all IOS platforms) contain full orchestra and vocal renditions of the
most patriotic songs ever- America the Beautiful, Stars & Stripes Forever, Hail to the Chief, Grand Old Flag, God
Bless America, My Country ‘Tis of Thee, Yankee Doodle, and Battle Hymn of the Republic. Besides being a great sing-along in the car, these songs can also be used as musical accompaniment while you watch your favorite fireworks display on the Fourth.
#2 Ansel & Clair: Paul Revere's Ride (paid app; no ads, no in-app purchases)
Ansel and Clair Ride with Paul Revere by Cognitive Kid is an app for the iPad. It describes one of the most famous episodes in the struggle for independence, the ride of Paul Revere. The story is told in a marvelous, interactive way through the eyes of Ansel and Clair, two cute little aliens from a distant planet, sent to discover the wonders on Earth. They visit Boston and view first hand all the places that that were part this chapter in our history. Ansel and Clair Ride with Paul Revere gives you the opportunity to talk about history in a way your child can understand. It’s one of my favorite educational apps for kids.
#3 Fireworks!Arcade (free app, contains ads)
Fireworks!Arcade a universal app (all IOS devices) from miSoft. (Be aware, there are many apps with similar-sounding names.) We adults take fireworks for granted, but I clearly remember being four years old and being terrified that there were bombs going off during the fireworks display. If your child has a similar sensitivity to sound or light, this app allows you to prepare them for what’s to come. It’s a benign, small version of the lights and the sounds, presented in a way that can reassure your little one that fireworks will not hurt them. The app has some nice features like time of day adjustment, pause, and size adjustments.
#4 Holiday Picture It (free app, contains ads, offers in-app purchases)
Holiday Picture It is another universal app by Brennan Moy Media. It lets you decorate your Fourth of July photos with scrapbook-like effects. The instructions couldn’t be simpler: choose a photo from your device or take a new photo; go to the bottom of the screen to choose a caption or a set of decals; play with the effects until you get a look that you like; add a frame, and voila, it’s ready to share with your family and friends. Parents, this app contains the ability to access social media; please review the rules with your children regarding this feature ahead of time.
#5 Musical Fireworks 2 (free app, contains ads, offers in-app purchases)
Musical Fireworks 2 is a universal app by WebGames 3D. It allows your children to create their own fireworks display safely, complete with a background photos, sound effects, and musical accompaniment. There are 6 different backdrops, including Mt. Rushmore and a city skyline, and three choices of music. Kids can fill the screen with their
version of fantastic fire and light.
WARNING: All of the free Fourth of July apps the contain ads. Many offer in-app purchases to remove the ads or increase the number of features available.
Enjoy the holiday, eat a slice of watermelon, play with your children, and above all, have an "appy" Fourth of July.
Top Five by Julie Peterson, a speech/language pathologist (SLP) currently working in a
school setting, serving children with special needs ages 6-14.
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