Back to school came and went. Back when my oldest was 2 and a half and going to preschool, on days he was home, we usually hung out, playing trucks, painting, or doing memory games. He was into everything. Airplanes, animals, dump trucks, and cooking. He loved his drum set and making music and likes to run…a lot.
There is always running.
Downtime is rare and so if I need to make dinner and have a minute to myself, we’ve downloaded some educational apps for him. I’ve tried a lot and some are great and some aren’t. Do any of your kids have toys that are just plain annoying? Maybe I’m sensitive to sound, but lots of apps are like this. MY GOAL ON THE IPAD: I don’t just want to have him stimulated, I want him to be interacting and learning.
He knows where he can find “His Special Games” on my iPhone (aren’t kids smart?) and he is allowed to play them on low volume. Now his brother, who is 2.5 years old plays the same games. They play nicely together…sometimes. Lets get real 😉
Here are the top super cool toddler/kids apps we use for quiet time/play time. There are tons more but these have been winners for years (my oldest is now in Kindergarten and still loves each one of these apps! So…your invest is 1/2 a decade for $5!)
EpicBooks — $4.99 per month // Instant access to over 15,000 books ranging up to age 12! This is on our Christmas list this year since both my boys loved their free trial! We used it every day and they read more books in a day then they had all previous month. Check it out and grab your free trial. Remember that gifts don’t have to always be toys! Lots of these books are animated as well which is cool because it can read the story right to them (think about cooking dinner in silence! 🙂 )
PBS Kids — FREE! // Want to take Daniel Tiger with you to the grocery store? I know it has saved my sanity many days when I need to make a longer than normal run. It’s easy for kids to use and there are a lot of different short episode options for them.
ABCMouse.com –> $5 per month// Sometimes during the summer and holidays they have sales! This is an excellent learning app for toddlers 2.5 and up! They have age levels regulated so if you have more than one child, they can have a separate user avatar created for their learning path. This isn’t just songs and nice ABC counting. For my kindergartener they do maths, science and problems solving as well as reading, art, and comprehension!
Endless ABC –> HANDS DOWN FAVORITE APP! Now, the individual app is $8.99 (here is the link) but I’ve listed the entire set because as your children grow so will their abilities. I attribute my kids’ letter sound phonetic recognition by age 1.5 to this app. it is funny, silly and cute. I love playing it with them. It’s spelling, sound and letter recognition along with context and sentence application all in one. BEST EVER!
AlphaTots –> $2.99 // A less expensive alternative to endless ABC. You don’t get the letter recognition the same way…and truthfully we got this before it cost anything, but if I knew today what my kids learned, I’d still invest in the app!