Once your toddlers become preschoolers, their ability to understand the apps they’re playing with increases exponentially. Don’t sweat it – just remember that a lot of these apps want to both educate and entertain your child. Here’s a mix of apps that do both – no matter if you have a boy or a girl.
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Don’t let the name of the app lead you to believe that this is a homework assignment. Sure, it’s highly educational, but it’s colorful and fun too. Little kids’ voices guide you through the creation of a word. Kids can find the letters for animals like Frog and Duck, then they push the letters together to turn the word into an animated animal. Finally, shake the iPad to move on to the next word.
Take a break from Dora the Explorer on TV and sit down and color with the whole gang including Boots, Backpack and Swiper. Learn Spanish while you’re choosing scenes, adding characters to your setting and then touching colors to sections on the iPad to fill it in as you would on a coloring book. If your child is addicted to all things Dora, you won’t want to miss out on this accessory either.
Your child can build and paint their own cement mixers, fire trucks, dump trucks and then cruise them down the highway past an ever-changing landscape. It’s fun and kinda silly with crazy sound effects and trucker banter. Don’t forget to shake the screen to view your truck from different camera angles. Not just for boys, girls like vehicles too!
If your child liked FirstWords: Animals, they’ll get a lot more out of FirstWords: Deluxe too. More animals, vehicles, colors, shapes and familiar words to spell. Bright graphics, cute sounds and overall impressive when your child matches the letters to the word. A great teaching tool that they will choose on their own because its fun.
Age rating: 2+ | Price $9.99
This might be the most expensive app you’ve ever bought for your child unless you have older kids who love board games. But from the moment you open it up, you’ll see it’s worth every penny. Especially if your child is having a tough time making the jump from game and puzzle apps to storybooks. The book can be “watched” as a mini-movie, it can be read to you, has a coloring book feature, matching game and more.
Take a break from all the word games and get in touch with your artist side. Color, color, color! There are pages upon pages of animals, shapes, scenes and world maps. As a bonus, you can hear adult voice overs in English, Spanish, French and German. If your child has the attention span to color for long lengths of time, why not turn on some familiar kids’ music like “Wheels on the Bus” or “Mary Had a Little Lamb.”
Fans of the hit PBS Kids TV show will love this app. Kids play by finding missing words and rhyming words and also by spelling words and tracing letters.
Create your own aquarium with fish, sand, bubbles and plant life. True to the name, it is indeed colorful and the tips are helpful for parents who want to show their kids all the options like feeding your fish, adding bubbles or cleaning the tank (if you have the patience to wait for it to get dirty). The free version of Colorful Aquarium for iPad seems good enough to start with. I have not tested the paid version ($2.99). A little more zen than your child might be used to.