It's Bank Holiday Monday, and here in London the weather looks good; hopefully you've got fun plans for the day off. (Perhaps you've checked out our guide to the best apps for planning days out.) But if it's raining where you are, or you've got a long journey ahead, you may well be desperately wondering how to keep the children amused - and quiet. The iPhone and iPad can help, provided you can find suitable children's apps.
To help you find a little respite, then, we've put together a list of some of the best iPad and iPhone apps for children.
Best iPhone & iPad apps for children: Games
This updated and improved digital version of the classic Sesame Theme-themed kids' book is a lot of fun. As Grover performs, the words appear on the screen, highlighted as they’re spoken. And you can interact with the app by touching a knot, for example, to make it unravel. Tap Grover to tickle him.
A great and simple game that slightly older children should be able to get the hang of. There's a supply of water at point in each level, and an alligator at another, waiting for a shower. You have to remove intervening rock and clay (with a swipe of a finger) to complete the circuit. It gets harder later on, mind.
A basic but fun and graphically rich treasure hunt game for kids, which sets players the challenge of finding various ancient treasures hidden around the world.
£1.99 | Download Wombi Treasures
If you know small children, you'll know Peppa, George and the family. Peppa Pig - Happy Mrs Chicken comprises four interactive games and a virtual 'sticker book'. By completing challenges in the games, you win stickers for your book.
This unique, adorable and free game won our game of the year award for 2013. Kumo Lumo doesn’t really fit into any specific genre, but it can be best described as a 'rain 'em up' game. You play as Lumo, a smiling storm cloud with a surprisingly deep, rumbly voice. Lumo’s job is to circle the planet and rain on things to make them grow. Fun for adults and kids alike.
Free | Download Kumo Lumo
Beware, parents, beware: kids love this game, but the one song (with variations) that the app plays as the little characters are moved around the bandstand can get annoying to those over the age of 18...
£1.99 | Download Toca Band
A neat, clever physics puzzle game for iPhone that we'd recommend to adults, but older children are likely to enjoy it too - provided they can get the hang of the quick action. And the look of the game - including a cute scaly protagonist - will appeal to youngsters too.
Free | Download Pangolin
Lego Harry Potter: Years 5-7 is based on the final three books and last four films within the Harry Potter franchise, given a lighthearted twist by the Lego theme. There’s no question that this will appeal most to a younger audience, but there’s much in it for all to enjoy.
Best iPhone & iPad apps for children: Educational apps
If your kids are feeling bored later tonight, how about a spot of astronomy? The amazing Solar Walk is a great app to get you starter. The £1.99 app lets you explore the solar system in exquisite detail. You can pinch and zoom around the heavens, examining celestial bodies in an immersive 3D environment from any angle or perspective.
£1.99 | Download Solar Walk
And here's another delightful astronomical option. Redshift uses your current location to show you which stars, constellations and planets you should be able to see. If you enable the Follow Sky option, RedShift will update what you should expect to see as you point your iPad or iPhone at different spots in the sky while you pan around. It's not a cheap option at £7.99, but a deep and rewarding experience.
£7.99 | Download Redshift
The Americanism in the app's name might be mildly objectionable to British buyers, but this action-packed maths app has a lot to recommend it. The app mixes basic maths skills for children aged 5-12 with a time-based spy game.
£1.99 | Download Operation Math
More maths: sorry, kids. Times Tables: Squeebles Multiplication is a great little iPhone/iPa app that makes learning times tables a fun activity.
Jungle Time teaches children how to tell the time, turning the whole thing into a bit of a game. It’s fun and engaging for kids as the clock faces can be set with different animal faces that smile, roar, etc, when you get the answers right.
One of the most valuable skills for a youngster to learn in the digital economy is coding, which is where Kodable comes in (at a very basic level).
SurfScoreLLC's premise for the app is very simple: "The fuzz family have crash-landed on Smeeborg and they need your help navigating the Technomazes." The commands to get the fuzzballs through the mazes are all drag and drop so with a little trial and error we can easily find our way through, earn the rewards and get to grips with the fundamentals of coding.
Free | Download Kodable
Endless Alphabet is a beautiful and fun way of teaching youngsters their letters. Kids move letters on to the outline of a word, each letter responding to their touch by pronouncing its own sound, and when the word is completed, the app gives a definition. A superb educational game.
£3.99 | Download Endless Alphabet
Geo Walk HD is essentially a digital version of an old world encyclopedia. You can spin an interactive digital globe and touch location-based flashcards to learn more about the world, or you can take quizzes about your knowledge of the people, places and things located in the app.
£1.99 | Download Geo Walk HD