I’m somewhat ashamed to say that my kids love their iPad or my iPhone As the weather gets warmer they don’t seem to be as interested in them but they still want them every day. I have a love-hate relationship with them. I love them on car trips or when I am trying to get something accomplished like writing this article. Let’s be real. We all need a time out from time to time and if the iPad means we can sit for just a minute or make that extra cup of coffee then we are going to take it. No judgement here!
But I hate them because of what they could be doing instead. I don’t want them to miss out on exercise, imaginative play, and social interaction with their siblings. When it is outside time you can try this fun scavenger hunt that we love. With that said, I do think that used in the right way they can be a very useful tool. My son, before he turned 2 practically taught himself the alphabet using an app called, “Nick Junior A to Z”. I also feel that it is a good thing our children are exposed to technology and learn to use it at a young age. My daughter who started kindergarten this year takes various exams on a computer or iPad She also completes educational exercises on the computer almost every day.
In order to make sure their screen time is not a total waste, I use a combination of educational and game apps for them to use. I have listed with a short description 10 apps that my kids currently use and love. I’m not going to give you a list that a company has decided upon or a list that I have read in another publication. Like I said before, these are apps my kids are currently loving.
10 Awesome Apps for Kids!
- Phonics Island – My two year old plays this very often. It teaches letter recognition, phonics sounds, and letter tracing.
- Monkey Preschool lunch box – All three of my kids play this game and seem to enjoy it. Matching, Letter Recognition, and Counting are a few of the educational aspects of this game.
- Toca Boca Hair Salon – My girls love this game which involves cutting, styling, and washing hair.
- Gappy Learns Reading – My older two kids (ages 4 and 6) enjoy playing this game which teaches them to sound out words and spell correctly. This is not something a toddler would enjoy but my 4 year old who is not reading yet can play.
- Elmo calls – This app is for the babies and toddlers. They love seeing Elmo talk and watching themselves on the video component of the app.
- Nick Junior Draw and Play – This encourages their creative side. Coloring, painting, stickers, and sounds are all part of this app.
- Baa Baa Black Sheep by Duck Duck Moose – This is one of those apps that as a parent I really don’t “get” but for some reason my kids love it. There are lots of things to click on and hidden surprises to find throughout the app.
- Another Monster at the end of this book – This is an app by Sesame Street that is so cute. The app reads a story but it is also interactive which keeps them involved in the story.
- My Burger Shop – This app is really for the older kids but even my 2 year old is starting to play. It is a virtual burger shop that involves preparing food for customers before the time runs out. There are lots of apps similar to this like My Coffee Shop. I’ll admit I have caught myself playing this once or twice.
- Mickey’s Wildlife Count Along – I don’t know if it is the game or Mickey Mouse that keeps their attention but the kids seem to love this game. This app focuses on counting and helps with dexterity as they learn to drag items to the correct spot.
All of the games listed are ones my children currently play. They are not all free but are not expensive to purchase. I hope this helps you decide on what games are best for your child and find a good balance between entertainment and education.
What are some of your family favorites? Do you have specific boundaries set in place for screen time? I would love to hear from you!