Tuesday, April 8, 2014

10 Must Have Apps for Toddlers

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Both of my kids LOVE the iPad. They would play on it all day if we let them. I try to save it for special occasions, but it gets used a bit more often than it really should. So I try to fill it with apps that will be good for their development. I thought I'd share a few of our favorite apps!

10 Must Have iPad Apps for Toddlers

1. Endless Alphabet- This is far and away my favorite app. It was free when we downloaded it but it looks like it might have a small cost now. It is totally worth every penny! It is an interactive spelling game that allows children to drag and drop the letters of a word into their proper places. The letters "talk" as you move them into place by saying the letter sounds in a monstery voice. After the puzzle is done, the word is defined with a short cute monster animation.

When I first downloaded this app, I wasn't sure if Grace would have any interest in it. She had never shown any interest in letters before. In the beginning, I helped her drag the letters but I was surprised to find that she knew where the letters belonged without my help. Within a few days, she was playing the game all by herself. I didn't know if it was making much difference in her knowledge of letters until we heard her in the kitchen playing with her alphabet fridge magnets making the sounds of each letter as she was moving them "e-e-e" "m-m-m" in the same voices as the monsters in the app. Now that she's a bit older, it's been great for teaching her vocabulary. We LOVE this app and it is my automatic choice when I hand her the iPad. They have recently added Endless Reading and Endless Numbers in the app store so we're going to be trying those soon!

2. PBS Kids- Yes we would all love to say that we don't let our kids watch TV, but I know that in times of desperation, Grace gets to watch her "SHOWS!" as she calls them. I love PBS kids because I know that their programming is age appropriate and educational. This app is totally free and allows kids to pick their favorite show to watch. They can easily navigate between shows and there are always a few full episodes of each show available. Grace's favorites are Daniel Tiger, Dinosaur Train, Cat in the Hat, and Super Why. Connor loves Curious George!


3. Watch Disney Jr.- Similar to the PBS Kids app, Disney Jr lets your child choose the show they want to watch. The app is free with a small assortment of shows available for everyone to watch. More shows are available to users that log on with their cable account information. Grace loves watching Octonauts, Sofia the First, and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on this app.

4. Thomas & Friends: Engine Activity Fun- This Thomas app features coloring sheets and basic puzzles that both of my kids love.

5. Wheels on the Bus- This app has a ton of great activities including a fun sing along, a race car game, and coloring pages. Connor loves the song on this app! I did end up purchasing the full app because both kids love it so much but the free features are great too.


6. Another Monster at the End of This Book- This app was free when we got it but I would definitely purchase it. Grace loves the different challenges she has to do to be able to turn the pages.

7. Trucks, Cars, and Vehicles- Puzzles for Toddlers- Grace is obsessed with puzzles right now and these were great beginning puzzles for her. I like that you can increase the difficultly level as your child gets older.

8. My Zoo Animals: Toddler Seek & Find- This is by far Connor's favorite app and I highly recommend it as a starting app for any toddler. Each animal and item has a different animation and sound effect and it keeps Connor amused for quite a while.

9. Peekaboo Barn- This is a fun app to help teach animals and animal sounds. Connor thinks the shaking barn is hilarious and Grace loves making the animal sounds.

10. Mr. Potato Head- This app allows kids to create their own Mr. Potato Head with tons of accessories and backgrounds. I must admit that I enjoy playing this app too!

What are your favorite apps for your kids? We are always looking for new ones!

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