All kids love pets, they will rush up to any dog in the street, or stroke any cat. They would love to have one of their own but it is not always possible. Perhaps they live somewhere which will not allow pets, or their parents both work and they cannot leave a dog shut up all day while the children are at school.
But there is a way children can have their own pet to look after and pamper, give them a virtual pet. Two of the best Virtual Apps are
- Littlest Pet Shop for children 7 years +
- Touch Pet Dogs for children 8 years +
Both these sites can be downloaded to iPads, iPhone and iPhone Touch.
Little Pet Shop allows kids to pamper and play with their virtual pets, it is easy to use and the mini-games are simple to play with the level getting harder the more they play. It teaches them about caring for pets and is similar to the full video games of the same name.
The kids are given 3 pets, a dog, a rabbit and a horse and it is easy to switch between them. They are encouraged to feed, dress, pet and play with their animals.
Little Pet Shop costs $2.99 and is 26.2 MB. It is available from Electronic Arts
Touch Pet Dogs is for kids 8 years plus who are given puppies who thrive under virtual care. It is easy to play with lots of levels that take time to unlock.
The youngsters are taught that dogs need food, water, training and attention live healthily and happily. Puppy Bucks (virtually money) are earned by taking care of the dog which can be used to buy food, clothes and items like snow skis.
This virtual pet game encourages youngsters to adopt dogs from shelters and teaches them about their basic care, which is good preparation for the real thing when they are old enough and in a position to get their own real live dog.
The interactive game allows kids to put a real dog inside their iPhone. It stands with its paws against the screen as if trapped on the other side of the glass. The graphics are good and they can pet their pooch with finger swipes and roll the ball around the back yard by tilting the iPhone.
The kids are also taught to clear up their dog's poops and told if they neglect him the puppy will become tired, listless and lonely.
The 1.50 version is free to download from ngmoco.inc
Good Websites for Virtual Pets
Adopt me is a fun site where kids can adopt a free virtual pet. These include dogs, cats, horses, turtles, monkies, snakes and fish.
They are cared for online and have their own blog and profile page. There is a Pet of the Month competition and kids can even chat with their pet. The site is free to use and will give them hours of fun.
Bella Sara is an ideal site for pony-mad little girlsm as it is a world made up of magical horses. They can play games with them for free, enter a fairytale world with their own secret code and download printable posters and wallpapers of the magic horses. They can even submit their own drawings which will be displayed on the Bella Sara Fan Art Page.
Virtual Bark is a fun site where children can breed their own virtual dog, or dogs. There are more than 50 kinds of dog to choose from and the site has some delightful pictures of real puppies.
The kids can breed as many dogs as they like and choose from many different dog houses. There are pretty collars to buy with virtual money and many different types of food and drink. The dogs can even get married and have puppies.