It’s no secret that my kid is a total tech junkie. At the smarty pants age of only 19 months, she can navigate through my ipad and iphone just as quickly as some adults. Believe me, I know what people are saying when they see her little finger swiping through the touch screen. I’ve heard plenty negative comments about her absorption with the iPad and iPhone, but the truth of the matter is that my child is constantly being engaged with some of the most interactive and educational applications ever developed for children of her age. Truthfully, I am quite in awe of the rapid rate in which she grasps certain devolopmental milestones. For instance, she knows most of her ABC’s and can count to ten without any prompting or assistance. I attribute the iPad for her knowledge of such things. Sure, I read between 5 and 10 books to her daily and we work with her numbers and letters several times a week, and my husband is super smart so maybe it’s genetics, but I swear that these apps are making more of an impact with their constant repetition and interactive responsiveness than I do while reading Green Eggs and Ham.
Granted, there is no substitution for parental involvement when it comes to raising your children, but does the extra stimulation through interactive gaming and flash cards raise the bar for toddler’s development in this day and age? I’d like to think so. So I’ve decided to share the best apps I’ve discovered for my toddler.
1. ELMO CALLS – My daughter has loved this since she was 6 months old. The app simulates a FaceTime call with Elmo. It even shows the square with your face in the upper corner like it’s a real call with Elmo. He shares everything from what game he’s playing at home to why he loves calling you. It’s a super cute app for toddlers, but beware, older children might get bored with the repetition.
2. PEEKABOO BARN – This is a wonderful little game of Peek-a-boo with farm animals. They knock on the barn door and make their sound while your child guesses what is inside the barn. At the end of the roll call of animals the barn opens to show all the animals going to sleep. This is a wonderful opportunity to tell your child that it’s time for bed. (which is what I do with mine)
3. PBS KIDS – Daniel Tiger, Elmo and the rest of the crew from the PBS channel are available for your child’s viewing pleasure with this free app.
4. Bubbles – Bubble, Bubbles, Bubbles……. Swipe your finger across the screen and your phone displays bubbles galore. Tap the bubbles and they make a popping sound as they disappear on your screen.
5. Disney Junior – All your child’s favorite shows from the wonderful world of Disney. M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E
6. BABY SIGN AND LEARN – Sign Language for your toddler. The app displays little children performing the ASL signs. There is even a feature where you can insert a picture of your child’s mother, father, grandmother, doctor and pets, so that they associate the sign with the exact person as opposed to a generic picture. I’ve observed my little one performing these signs a few times and I must say that it’s super cute and very endearing.
7. Goodnight ABC’s – Each letter of the alphabet has an entire page of interactive animation and sounds to engage your child. It teaches the alphabet, phonics, numbers and colors. It has plenty to captivate an adult, let alone a toddler.
8. Animals for Toddlers – Tap the different animals from the different screen shots to interact with them and hear their common sound. Some animals and objects are hidden within the game, like under water and inside barn doors.
9. Wheels on the Bus – This was one of the first songs to entertain my daughter. This app makes that very same song come to life. It encourages motor, language and cognitive skills through fresh illustrations, creative interaction and music.
10. Toddler Counting – Various objects and animals appear and scroll through the screen. When the user touches the items, the game audibly counts the items until all are accounted for. The counting items begin with one and ascend up to twenty. My little one loves this one.