There are always debates revolving around technology and kids. But I’m for it. Sometimes I need to make dinner and not have them touch the oven. To do a load of dishes and not have them throw the knives around. Sometimes I just need them to be still and quiet so I can rest for a few minutes. Mom life, it’s a struggle. I also feel there are positives to regulated screen time and no, I’m not saying it to make myself feel better.
There are many educational apps that are just wonderful. One slightly annoying thing about children’s apps is many are paid for apps. And some are paid subscriptions to which you will have to continue to pay. With that said, I consider it an investment. I see it as an educational tool much like books. Because of that, I am more willing to pay for them.
As much as I like educational apps, I don’t push “education” or drill my kids to learn. I focus more on play and believe they’ll learn in the process. Therefore, this list of our favorite apps is a very varied one. There are some educational apps, some fun toddler ones, some apps purely because they love Paw Patrol.
Endless Alphabet is probably my favorite on this list. It shows a word and scatters the letters. The boys then match the letters to the spots, once they get it right a short animation plays explaining the word spelt. It helped the boys with alphabet and shape recognition quite early on. It also teaches phonics. It’s sister app ‘Endless Reader’ is also a good one. Instead of letters, you match words in sentences but I find it to be more suitable for slightly older children.
KidsDoodle (Free) is a very simple drawing app. Each stroke changes colour. Its easy, fun and exciting for younger kids.
PawPatrol Draw and Play ($2.79, purchased in bundle) is another drawing app but this one has more functions. It has different textures, crayons, paints, chalk etc. It also has animated stamps and stickers. They can select their Paw Patrol characters and add it to their canvas, click on them and the pup will move. I find it a bit complicated to manoeuvre, a slight downside. Its not straightforward to save, open, or delete your canvas. You have to click several areas before you can change what you’re doing. But the kids seem to have it figured out. Maybe I’m just the slow, uncool mom who is slowly becoming outdated. Ha.
KidloLand (6.99 monthly) is a huge app with different categories. It has nursery rhymes, songs, stories, activities, puzzles, alphabet, numbers, etc. It’s the king of kids’ apps. New content is added on a regular basis so there is always something new to explore. The boys loved the nursery rhymes and now they are into the puzzles and activities. I bought the yearly subscription at $54.00/annually. It’s an expensive cost upfront for an app but I see it as an investment into my childern’s learning. And the annual fee is the most economical rather then purchasing in app add ons. With the subscription, it ends up being $4.50 a month, the price of my daily coffee, I’d rather skip that and pay for this. And would I hesitate to buy them a book a month for $4.50? No right? And by year end, if they are starting to lose interest I’ll cancel.
Sago Mini Ocean Swimmer ($3.99, $2.79 purchased in a bundle) My fellow mommy friend introduced me to Sago Minis. They have a range of apps that do different things. Max and Loggie love this one, they’ll open it up and go “bish, bish! (that’s “fish” btw). It’s an open ended exploration app. There’s a adorable little fish they help swim around discovering the underwater world around them. It’s simple but with a lot of detail and mini activities to keep them entertained. It fosters imagination, leaves the direction and story telling in their hands. They also like the dog one that explores space by the same company.
YouTubeKids (free) is an app I try to steer the boys away from. I encourage the other apps more than this one. Most of the videos are those surprise eggs ones that have become so popular. I feel like it has no value or educational merit but they do love them and who am I to deny a little fluff here and there? YouTubeKids is safer than regular YouTube but there is still an abundance of random content so I tend to keep an open ear and close eye when they are on it and monitor what they are watching. One good thing about the app is the access to Disney music videos and the educational channels once you find them.
Also a side note, our iPad Minis are covered in the iGuy case by Speck. It has protected the poor iPads from many drops, accidental and intentional. It also has convenient handles for little hands to hold onto. The base, the “feet” of the iGuy is wide and flat and allows the iPad to sit up for hands free viewing. They also come in so many vibrant colours, we love them!
We hope you find some apps you can enjoy with your toddlers, thank you for reading and have a great day!