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20 iPad Gaming Apps to Boost Kids Critical Thinking Skills

Gaming is an important component of the child's cognitive and emotional growth. In his wonderful book " What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy. Second Edition: Revised and Updated Edition " James Paul Gee argued for the importance of game play for the learners' developing personalty and the honing of their thinking capacities. Gee analyzed several of the popular video and online games like Sims City, and War of Warcraft, to mention but a few , and found out that the learning design informing these games  are behind their sweeping popularity among gamers in all around the world. Gee further claimed that investing time in playing these games does impinge positively on the learning skills of kids. It, among many other things, help them develop strategic thinking, problem solving, active critical thinking, and meta-level thinking. Check out this post to learn more about the learning principles embedded in game play as conceptualized by Gee.

Given the importance of gaming in developing kids thinking skills and due to the pervasiveness of iPad among learners of all ages, It becomes equally important to recommend some good games that could help our kids be better critical thinkers while enjoying their play. Check out the list below and share with us if you have other titles to add .

1- Civilization Revolution

Lead your civilization from the dawn of man to the modern age and beyond in Sid Meier’s Civilization Revolution. Go head to head with history’s greatest leaders as you wage war, conduct diplomacy, discover new technologies, inspire your nation and build the most powerful empire the world has ever known...
2- Textropolis
Travel word-wide and build up your Textropolis by finding the words hidden in each city. Play through 30 different cities in this free-play word discovery game. Stumble across a new word? Textropolis includes definitions for every word in the game. Watch each city grow as you discover its words and add to your total Textropolis population!
3- Pottery HD
Finish all quests, build your own palette of colors and brushes and let your creativity flow freely. Then bigger challenges are waiting for you on the LCP Portal (www.potterygame.com) where you can post your first pot and join the amazing community of potters. Climb in the rankings, compete with talented LCP artist and share your own creations to surprise your friends.
4- Nine Gaps
The goal of the game is really simple. You have to use your wits to place numbers from 1 to 9 in the missing gaps, while matching the operations presented in the puzzle. It's just like sudoku, but different!
5- Math Doodles
This version of "Math Doodles" introduces four challenges plus an additional functional sneak peek challenge that will be made available in it's finished form in a future free update. Each Challenge provides plenty of mathematical practice, within a recreational math setting. The mathematical puzzles allow users to play, explore, and experiment with mathematical concepts, while developing and strengthening their strategy and problem solving skills. Math Doodles challenges are designed to allow for multiple solutions and strategies. ...
6- 7 Little Words
7 Little Words contains 50 puzzles that you can play for free. Additional puzzles are available for purchase inside the app.
7- Lunar Rover
Lunar Rover is a simple fun game, the object is to collect as many stars and flags as you jump over the rocks, satellite discs and other obstacles.
8- Chuck The Turtle

Only you can help Chuck find his parents. You get to paint, jump, do puzzles, cross some dangerous roads, climb and much more! Join Chuck’s adventure with the help of his buddies and find his parents that got lost in a castle!
9- Where's my Water
Help Swampy by guiding water to his broken shower. Each level is a challenging physics-based puzzle with amazing life-like mechanics. Cut through dirt to guide fresh water, dirty water, toxic water, steam, and ooze through increasingly challenging scenarios! Every drop counts!
10- Room Break
The purpose of this game is simple. Users will be detained to certain places and situations and they need to open the door of each room and escape.Obviously, users need to figure out how to open the doors.
11- Amazing Alex
Meet Amazing Alex! This whiz kid has a boundless imagination and a houseful of fun toys that can turn anything into an adventure! From cleaning up his room to battling cardboard robots in his backyard, Alex creates amazing chain reactions to get the job done with the maximum amount of fun! 
12- Doodle Fit
The task in Doodle Fit is simple: fit the given sets of blocks into the given shapes. Drag the blocks into positions in search for the layout that covers the whole shape. A level is complete when all blocks have been used and there is no more space free in the shape.
13- Cross Finger Free
Cross Fingers, a unique game which challenges you to combine solid pieces in a gigantic tangram puzzle. You will need to exercise your brain, imagination and - unique for a puzzle game - your reflexes and dexterity to complete all levels.
14- Brain Teaser Extreme

You move the tiles the same way: You have one empty square and you have to move the tiles in the correct position using the empty square. The problem is, you don't know what the picture looks like and you don't know the position of the empty square - the correct position of the empty tile might be anywhere. You first have to figure out where the tiles belong, which is harder than you might think and than move them in the correct place.
15- Splice: Tree of Life

Splice is an experimental and artistic puzzler. Immerse yourself in its microbial world and start splicing! Every level ("strand") consists of a number of cells that you will need to rearrange into a target structure in several moves ("splices"). Exploration and experimentation are key in determining how the curious little cells react to each other.
16- Chess
Get the ultimate chess app! Join over 7 million players with unlimited free play, thousands of chess puzzles, hundreds of video lessons, and a powerful computer opponent!
17- Sudoku
Sudoku is Sudoku with Point System, Runs, and Online Leaderboards. Discover the next evolution of Sudoku with amazing graphics, animations, and ease of use. This is a Sudoku like one you have never experienced before ;)
18- Tengen Go Online

With a large display comes the ability to interact with an entire full-sized Go board without the need to zoom in, maintaining a consistent overview of the match. Tengen Go provides an immersive and realistic game experience comparable to a actual portable Go set, with simple and direct menus that get you started quickly.
19- Geometry Wars

Geometry Wars: Touch utilizes higher graphics and faster processing to enhance the game experience and immerse players deeper into non-stop shooter pandemonium. This is sure to be the must have game for the iPad. In addition to the six original Geometry Wars gameplay modes: Deadline, King, Evolved, Pacifism, Waves and Sequence...

20- Harbor Master
You are the Harbor Master in a busy harbor. Direct boats into the docks, watch them unload their cargo, and direct them off the screen. But be careful not to let boats crash! Harbor Master HD gives you one beautiful free level called Treasure Island. With six docks and two cargo types, the game gets hectic very fast. For even more fun with your iPad, try playing with a friend!

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