Great iPad apps for kids

With its intuitive design and easy-to-use interface, the iPad almost feels like it was made for children. Perhaps that's why more and more parents have started harnessing the tablet computer's power to educate and entertain their children. If you want to introduce your kids to the wonderful world of tablet computing, here are five great apps to get you started.

From the makers of such breakaway hits as Bejeweled and Plants vs. Zombies comes a bright, fun and educational app for iPad users of all ages. Bookworm helps improve children's language skills with an addictive and innovative word search game. While it's not specifically designed for kids, the bright and colorful interface is sure to delight younger wordsmiths. For budding writes, iWriteWords is another app which focuses on improving young users' handwriting and spelling skills.

Most kids love to paint and draw, but they often leave a mighty mess in their wake. Thankfully, there are apps that allow kids express their artistic sides without making an unholy mess. Kid Art ranks among the best drawing apps on the market, thanks to its simple yet innovative design. Kids can create a variety of scenes and images by choosing between various colors, backgrounds, themes and characters. The easy-to-use design will ensure that younger children won't get confused with options or controls.

A good game can be the perfect distraction for kids on a rainy afternoon or a long journey. Doodle Jump is one of the most popular and widely praised iPad games of all time. The game is simple enough for kids to use, yet utterly addictive: you guide your character by tilting the iPad from side to side while dodging all manner of obstacles to earn high scores. For more relaxing fun, try Pocket Frogs. This game allows your kids to manage and develop their own virtual frog farm, by taming, feeding and building various types of colorful frogs.

The iPad's touch screen and convenient size makes it the perfect tool for improving children's reading skills or simply telling an exciting bedtime story. There are thousands of eBooks available on iTunes, including hundreds of children's classics like "The Cat in the Hat," "Peter Rabbit" and "Robin Hood."

Kids will undoubtedly delight at the array of interactive books available, which offer a unique and exciting take on some classic stories. One such title is Alice for the iPad, the classic tale with beautifully rendered, interactive animations and illustrations. "The Wall Street Journal" says the color illustrations are based on the elegant wood engravings Sir John Tenniel did for the original 19th century "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.

For a more up-to-date reading experience, the cutting-edge Toy Story 3 Read-Along app, which recounts scenes from the film with dynamic sounds and animations.

Puzzles will provide your kids with hours of fun, while also stimulating their minds. Tozzle is among the best puzzles available for the iPad, specifically for toddlers. Younger kids can easily drag and drop pieces into their correct locations in order to assemble all manner of puzzles, including traditional jigsaws, trains and boats. If the little ones are looking for something a little more fast paced, they might try Lego Creationary, the free app from Lego that pits kids against a timer while they guess which Lego model is being built.