I try to limit screen time in my house as much as possible, especially for the threenager, but sometimes I need to do something really important, like take an uninterrupted 5-minute shower or hide in the pantry to eat Twizzlers.
The 10 Best Apps for Babies and Toddlers
At times like those, apps that can keep my kids entertained for more than five minutes are like gold! The following apps aren't just entertaining, they are also educational and developmentally appropriate
Little Fox Music Box- This sing-along app is super interactive and the fantastic animation really holds kids' attention. They can also record themselves singing the three songs.
Skills Learned: Early music education, rhythm, memory
Tozzle-I LOVE how easy this puzzle app is for toddlers to use by themselves. It contains over 40 different puzzles that vary in difficulty so the app really grows with them. The puzzles also include fun sounds an animation. For example, the farm animal puzzle moos when you put the cow into the puzzle and quacks when you put in the duck. I've had this on my phone for 5 years and all three of my kids loved it.
Skills learned: Fine motor, shape, letter and number recognition, problem solving
Toca Kitchen- We've really enjoyed all of the Toca Boca apps in our house, but this is always a favorite. You can choose from four different people to feed. You choose the food from the refrigerator and then can chop, sautee and puree before you put the food back on the plate and feed your person. I love how the app has no direction so kids really have to play around with it to figure out how it works. The sounds effects when they are cooking and feeding the people are really cute.
Skills learned: Problem solving, early cooking education, imagination
Toca Hair Salon 3-Just like the kitchen app above, you choose from four people and then can cut, curl, color, and accessorize their hair. The new version also has fun beards you can choose from.
Skills learned: Problem solving, cause and effect, creativity
Draw and Tell by Duck Duck Moose-Duck Duck Moose is another developer that makes educational apps that we've loved for years. In Draw and Tell children can make up stories and illustrate them with different colors, stickers and animation. After they finish illustrating, they can record their own voices telling their stories.
Skills learned: Fine motor, storytelling
Starfall ABC-Starfall is an awesome website that my mom used when she taught kindergarten, but my son loved playing on it from the time he was 15 months old. The site is a member service and you pay a small amount each month to access all the content, but there are still a lot of things available on the site for non-members. The apps are just like the website. My favorite one for toddlers is their ABC app. You click on each letter and they give you three different pictures that start with that letter. All of the pictures include fun sounds and animation that make learning the alphabet fun.
Skills learned: Alphabet recognition, fine motor
TALU Town- Take a drive and meet your neighbors in this fun filled, interactive play set. TALU Town rewards exploration and reinforces the value of helping others. With surprises around every corner, your child is sure to enjoy their time in TALU Town.
Skills learned: Shapes and number recognition, matching, kindness
Endless Alphabet- The premise of this app is super simple. They give you a word that needs to be filled in, and you need to click and drag each letter to its place to complete the word. I love that when you drag each letter, it makes the letter's sound. When kids finish the words they become animated. The animation is super adorable, and I love the vocabulary kids can learn from a young age when using this.
Skills learned: Alphabet recognition, letter sounds, vocabulary, fine motor
Happy Valley Friends- Meet new friends while playing 18 different educational games and 6 unique mini games. Learn shapes, letters, numbers, math, time and more in a friendly environment. This app is full of fun animation and surprises.
Skills learned: Letter, number and shape recognition, telling time, early math skills
Highlights Monster Day-I loved Highlights Magazine when I was a kid so it's no surprise that their apps are all awesome. This is one of my favorites. Help your toddler learn about friendship, explore the world around them, and develop compassion, kindness and independence. Kids can choose a favorite monster buddy and care for him from morning till night: brush his big teeth, feed him bagels, help with his science experiment and play basketball. At the end of their buddy’s day, they can wash and feed him, and gently send him to bed.
Skills learned: Independence, friendship, kindness, compassion
Try one of these apps today and get a well-deserved moment of peace, mamas!