I think we all may feel some guilt when handing over the iPad or the like over to our small children. I know I did. But when I was a nursing mama with small children around, that is all I could do to keep them away from me and the baby. It is hard enough handling a tiny newborn and nursing without having to handle two other children on top of you. With these entertaining apps, now I can even sneak in a shower! The guilt is a very faint feeling now because I have found some apps that are my favorite for kids ages 2-5.
My sister-in-law told me about this and both of my kids (2,4) love it. My 4 year old mastered it but he has so much fun learning comparisons: smaller vs. bigger than, which one is different, etc. He also reinforces his knowledge of sounds by sounding out the first letter and finding the fruit that begins with that letter. My 2 year old has learned to count really well as he counts the pieces of fruit and they go in the lunchbox. This is a big deal to me because sometimes little kids count the same piece over and over and end up counting to 10 when there is only 4. He loves putting the puzzles together and identifying colors. There are several games and it switches it up every time they complete one activity. It is educational and fun.
Who doesn’t love Elmo. My 4 year old insists he doesn’t and it is for babies but I find him playing it still. I really like this app because it has videos reinforcing the letter they are learning, has coloring and songs. I find myself singing many of those songs and it really helps with their learning. My 4 year old played this a lot when he was 2 and learned a lot of his alphabet. I watched as he began learning his letters and telling me what words started with those letters. I then was able to use those opportunities to teach him more and his love of learning new words and spelling blossomed. I am experiencing this right now with my other son who is 2 and just adores Elmo.
3. Agent Magic
This one cracks me up. This app is voice-interactive and listening to my kids’ replies are hilarious. It is a mystery storybook- one your kids have to solve. Agent Magic asks them what they think, they reply and he repeats it back to them. They think they’ve just solved the mystery. It is quite cute and they can even make their own badge. This part doesn’t work for my because I have the original iPad with no camera. But, the kids still enjoy screaming into the iPad to make sure Agent Magic heard their answer.
This one is great because it is silent- perfect for quiet-time They can color, save and send off their masterpieces. There are a lot of in-app purchases but for only $.99 it isn’t a big deal. We have the Baby Animals and Dinosaur ones. They can trace letters, color pictures with several mediums (crayons, pain, colored pencils, etc.), add stickers and practice writing. My kids really love to color and draw and this is a much greener solution- you wouldn’t believe how much paper we go through! There is also another coloring app that is an LDS version with Bible Stories and Book of Mormon Stories if you want to check that out- different developer but a fun coloring book.
Puzzles are good for critical thinking and problem solving. This one also adds on the alphabet, uppercase and lowercase. It is a little tricky at first because you have to go in order starting with the “A” puzzle piece and so on but once they know the alphabet it gets easier. We also have the “Snake” one.
I should add that I let my kids play a little bit of Angry Birds, watch Netflix and when their uncles come over they may play that Zombie game….. yikes. I do limit their time on the iPad and by no means let the iPad babysit my kids all the time- only when I need to shower, haha! We are on it everyday for maybe an hour. I think monitoring what your kids are doing and sitting with them, learning and teaching them is a good use of all these technological advancements we have. What are some of your favorite apps? And how much time do you let your kids spend on them?