Some kids start playing apps earlier than others and because of that iPad user abilities can vary from child to child. What I like about these apps are that they can grow with you. Read a book on the iPad with your toddler today, and in a couple years they’ll be reading to you.
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Age rating: 1.5+ | Price $0.99
Super cool! A playful monkey cheers you on as you count fruit, put puzzles together, match cards. Stickers are your reward and a happy, dancing monkey of course! Highly addictive. Some screens might require mom or dad to help their toddler.
Age rating: 2+ | Price $2.99
Learn the alphabet with Dr. Seuss. It’s hard to pick which Dr. Seuss book to buy first, so why not just start them early with this one. Then you can add The Cat in the Hat next. I like how you can click over an object on the page and the word will appear over it, along with the narrator telling you what it is. Great for promoting early reading skills.
This new educational app is disguised as a fish tank of fun. Brought to you by the much loved developer Duck Duck Moose, colorful fish turn into letters, numbers and shapes. Best for toddlers and preschoolers starting to learn the alphabet.
The screen for “play time” is a recess for your child amid all the learning. We started with the screen that sings her the alphabet with the fish arranging themselves into the letters.
A simple and quiet alphabet sequence. Great for toddlers (and parents) that are turned off by louder, more complicated games. At first glance it looks like you’re only going to get letters on a card, but don’t forget to touch the letters and the pictures.
The letters will be read to you and the pictures have a bit of animation. Recommended for kids that are new to the iPad and not yet addicted to hidden objects or a faster pace.
Age rating: 1+ | Price $0.99
It’s a sticker book on your iPad with four different scenes to choose from. Let your children adventure to outer space, take their imaginations to an African safari, deep beneaththe sea or play with jets and and helicopters.
One of my favorite features of this app is the fact that the objects make noise from trumpeting elephants to silly aliens. Whee!
Age rating: 1+ | Price FREE
This app could be so much more engaging, but I’m keeping it on the list because it’s not easy to find apps with a good dose of masculinity in them—even if girls like trucks too. All this app does is show you a picture of a truck and say it’s name, but the price is right so just add it to your collection and don’t feel bad about deleting it when your child quickly outgrows it.
Age rating: 1+ | Price $1.99
As a mom, I love this app because it impresses a lot of strangers at airports and restaurants. OK, lets face it, when Cora completes a word it impresses her aunts and uncles too.
Also, it’s good to know that she’s learning the alphabet and simple animal words at the same time she’s having fun. It might look like baby homework, but she will choose to play this app on her own.
Tip: I load our iPad (and iPhone) up with kids apps and have fun watching which apps my daughter is drawn to. Many of the apps listed above she plays with over and over again.
Why wasn’t learning letters this fun when we were kids?
Each letter is accompanied by mellow, Hawaiian-sounding background music, a soothing voice, and just the right amount of animation (which your child gets to activate). It’ll make you wish there were more than 26 letters in the alphabet.
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