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5 Family Apps for July 4th

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Add a bit of sparkle and pop to your family's 4th of July celebrations! Children love those special times in family-life when they too have roles within family festivities. This set of 5 apps can help children take on roles of creativity, sharing and thematic play wrapped in "Red, White & Blue."

For this Fourth of July, I recommend apps that empower children to: snap photos at family barbecues, create their own fireworks displays, share these celebrations with those far away, and play games with plenty of patriotic zeal! As within real-world activities, app-play can encompass everything from autonomous moments of puzzle-work, to joyful collaboration with friends and family. Enjoy this set of 5 fun family apps this summer!

1. Fantastic Fireworks: Fun Fireworks Creator for Kids (by Mrs. Judd's Games) provides 10 jumbo launch buttons so groups of players can gather around and create collaboratively. Enjoy designing streaming fireworks shows atop family photos (or the app's images from around the world). Parents may opt to pre-load family email addresses into the app, empowering children to safely share with those far away. Very fun!

2. Bugs and Buttons 2 (by Little Bit Studio) is a lively set of games that bring fun, pesky bugs to a virtual picnic, and bouncing grasshoppers to a summer pond. Just right for July 4th, and summertime explorations of critical thinking, this award winning app has 18 games featuring interesting insects and bugs in unique gameplay. Ultra realistic graphics and clever animations make this app a special experience for all. Try it yourselves, so the kiddos don't have all of the fun this summer!

3. 4th Of July: Spot The Difference For Kids (by Christopher Kalu) challenges young players to find the differences between two images. Charming stickers are rewarded as kids proceed through cute sets of July 4th teddy bears, party-goers, firecrackers and more! Although there is also a free version, this 99¢ app allows children to avoid ads & unwanted trips to the App Store.

4. 4th of July Independence Day Puzzles and Games for Kids (by Apptility Software) brings a fun assortment of puzzles, memory games, and "spot the difference" challenges to our family iPads and iPhones. The app keeps track of player scoring, and the cute thematic reward stickers. The beautiful suite of images used in the app's games and puzzles are realistic photos of the US flag, Liberty Bell, fireworks, July 4th cupcakes, classic oil painting of a musical "Fife & Drum Corps," and more!

5. Fourth of July Mahjong (by 24/7Games) is for skillful players who want a great matching Mahjong game. This app shines with July 4th appeal, using sets of: US flags, burgers, BBQ grills, firecracker rockets, fizzy pop bottles, themed "Red, White & Blue" ribbons, stripped top-hats and more. Select a classic tile Mahjong arrangement or those shaped like anchors, flags, etc. iPhone is best for autonomous play, whereas an iPad screen allows for plenty of collaboration.

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