I? Have been blogging since I was 4 months old – so it’s pretty safe to say that I’m fairly proficient with technology. I can find my way through Mommy’s iPhone faster than Grammy Boo, and I use the family iPad more than anyone else! I thought I’d make a list of my top picks for toddler apps here for you guys:
- Tozzle, $1.99 – Tozzle was my very first favorite app. I am a *huge* fan of puzzles and this app has tons to choose from – they are constantly adding more to the rotation, too. Many of the puzzles even turn into animations or games once you have completed them! Quick Tip: There are skill levels available in the settings; Mommy didn’t know that so I’ve been playing on the hardest setting since we downloaded the app, but you can make it more forgiving for little fingers trying to get pieces to the right spots.
- Monkey Preschool Lunchbox, $0.99 – I love, love, LOVE my “Monkey puzzle!” This app teaches colors, shapes, and a few letters through games and puzzles hosted by a little funny monkey. It asks me specific questions (“Touch the red fruit”), and for every 3 that I get right I get to pick a virtual sticker! Quick Tip: Some of the tasks, like the matching, are a little hard for toddlers at first, but I learned how to do it really quickly with Mommy’s help!
- Peekaboo Barn & Peekaboo Wild, $1.99 each – These are *fantastic* beginner apps for my younger toddler friends. Each has a very simple interface, where you have to tap (either on the barn door or the waving grass) to reveal an animal. The animals make noise and their names are written and spoken aloud – you can even set it to different languages! After the loop is complete and you’ve seen all of the animals, it shows them going to sleep so this could be a nice part of a bedtime routine, too. Quick Tip: You may be so enamored with these apps that you are tempted to check out the 3rd in the series: Peekaboo Forest. Don’t waste your money; the developers abandoned the simple interface that was part of the first two apps’ charm and the colors are fairly muted. The animals can be difficult to find on the busy screen.
- Count TV, Bert’s Bag, Elmo’s Monster Maker, $2.99 each – These apps are listed in my order of preference, and are each hosted by a popular Sesame Street character. In Count TV, you choose a number from 1 to 9. Each integer is linked to a vintage Sesame Street clip, which pauses in certain spots to have you tap items to count them. Mommy had “5 People in My Family” stuck in her head for *months.* In Bert’s Bag, Bert presents you with a paper bag. You swipe your finger across the screen to open the bag, and then you get to shake the phone to dump the items out of it! As you tap each item, Bert counts them aloud. Mommy is not entirely certain she sees the appeal, but I could play this over and over! In Elmo’s Monster Maker, you create your very own Sesame Street monster by first choosing a body and then adding the eyes, nose, and accessories of your choice. Once your monster is built, you can play with him, watch him dance with Elmo, and take pictures of him. Quick Tip: Elmo’s Monster Maker updates seasonally so in December your monster can have a Rudolph nose, while in March he can have shamrocks for eyes.
- PBS KIDS Video, Free – This is one of the best free apps out there. You can take your favorite shows with you, and watch Curious George anywhere you have a WiFi *or* 3G connection! I spent a LOT of time hanging out in doctor’s offices waiting for Mommy and this app was a lifesaver. Quick Tip: If you swipe the character list (on the right of the screen) to the left, you can access a weekly pick.
- Balloonimals, $1.99 – This is one of very few of my apps that really doesn’t have educational value; it’s just for fun! You swipe through balloon choices to select the one you want and then blow into the microphone to blow it up. Shake the phone and the balloon twists into an animal shape. Quick Tip: Tap the balloon animal to see it do a trick – the dinosaur stomps and roars!
These are just my favorite apps – if you see something in the screenshot at the top of the post that you want a review of, let me know! AND I’ll be covering my favorite iPad apps next week. Have a great weekend!