Mar 19, 2012
top ipad apps for babies and toddlers
Why do I love it? It's the 21st century mom's babysitter like the television was the 20th century mom's babysitter. Aside from that, it's WAY better (in my mind) than TV... Jane has learned SO much. Matching games, puzzles, abc's, colours, shapes, everything. It's awesome. I feel less guilt in letting the iPad babysit, than I do Toy Story. Jane can use the iPad as well as I can - she can easily switch from app to app, maneuver youtube with ease, and turn on/off, etc. In fact, she's taught me some functionality I didn't know existed - typical kids, tech-genius. I'm already not cool enough to "get" today's toys.
Anyways. When we first got the iPad, I didn't know how to find good apps for Jane. So, I googled, like any right-minded person would. Here's the problem. I found a bunch of crap. Thus, wasting money on crap - one of my least favourite past times.
So here's my list. Which should basically be considered the iPad for toddlers bible because I know all. OBVIOUS sarcasm. But, these apps have entertained Jane for almost a year now - so from ages 2-3 yrs so far and still going. This list is NOT in order - it's in order of what I come by first on the iPad. :p
Monkey Preschool Lunchbox, $0.99, ages 2-5 - This was one of our original apps. It's FANTASTIC. It's easy for the kids to use and it's completely interactive - the app cycles from activity to activity automatically so it's never the same thing over and over - matching games, easy puzzles, shapes, colors, sizes, and kids are rewarded every few activities by getting to choose a sticker which is fun and is always reinforcing with "you did it!" I love this one. Top of the tops.
(2) Toddler Jukebox, $1.99 - Twelve children's songs in a fun, interactive format. Jane will sit on the bed bouncing and listening to "wheels on the bus" and other classics. She loves it. It's a great little music app that we've had forever and I still hear "here we go on the bus...!" all the time. :p
Itsy Bitsy Spider HD, $1.99 - Music + a spider you control + rain + bugs + a ton of touch and move type of thingy-me-boppers. This one has been a hit for the last six months. Plus, if you're really nuts, you can record your own voices singing the itsy bitsy song. I did this once, and deleted immediately. Apparently I'm not Celine Dion as I previously thought. It's won a bunch of awards but, mostly importantly, it's mommy brain approved. :p
Alexandre Minard Apps, $1.99 each, ages 2-6 - Ok. These are THE BEST. TONS of puzzles, that progress in difficulty from easy peasy all the way to having to put the pieces in in alphabetical order, numerically and even with addition. Jane started on these a year ago and now does the puzzles alphabetically and numerically easily - THAT's a good teaching babysitter, if you ask me. If you look at his "bestsellers" - we have the snakes, dinosaurs, letters, tangrams, and so on. We're on to 1-2-3 domino now and it's so impressive that our babes can figure this stuff out! They are NECESSITIES. SO beneficial - Jane has learned so much from these apps - I cannot stress this enough. I only wish there were more and more and more. If I were only ever going to buy a few apps, I would include at least one of these.
(6) My first words, $1.99, ages 2-7 - This is the same line as above but for words. Love it. Love it. Enough said.
Sound Touch, $4.99 - Ok, so is this app worth $4.99. Not sure. We have the "lite" version (that's FREE). This is a great app for early introduction of the iPad. It was one of the first we got. Basically, there are tons of cartoon pics of animals and cars and instruments and a bunch of categories - kids tap on the pics and a real photo of the item comes up with the sound it makes. It's great. It's simple. It's genius.
(6) Toddler Puzzle Shapes, Free - Very simple, shape matching game. It's free, Jane loves it. Do you need to know more?
(7) Bubbles, $0.99 - This was a great app when Jane was younger - a great intro to iPad app if you ask me. Fun and interactive. Good for ages 1-2, I'd say. Jane doesn't play with it much anymore.
T&F Hero app and T&F Misty Island app. They have an interactive story, videos, puzzles, matching games and so on. Jane LOVES the puzzles and the match game.
(9) I hear Ewe, FREE - Very similar to Sound Touch above but FREE for three "pages" of animals and trucks and stuff that link pictures to sounds.
When all else fails - Jane LOVES youtube. Here are her favourites in a playlist... she'll often watch one video though and then end up checking out the "you might also like" videos. In fact, most of this playlist was created by videos Jane found herself over-and-over and fell in love with.
Hope this gives you some sanity, some free time, some peace of mind and some guilt-free time to cook, clean, bathe, anything. When Dan is out of town, I have no problems admitting the iPad babysits from 6:45 to 7:10pm every night - Jane sits on my bed and has some tv-free time before bed and I get in the bath and relax. With pregnancy number two, my ability to be the mom I want to be ends at about 6:30pm. Then I call in the best sitter I know. Thank you iPad. :)