I try to make the conscious effort not to play around on my phone in front of my daughter because even as an infant, she is VERY aware of what I’m doing and can’t keep her eyes off of it. To me, she is too young for iPads, but before I know it she won’t be and I want her to screen time to count. There are a gazillion apps out there, and frankly some are useless, some are just “meh” but plenty more are great for helping kids learn all sorts of neat things. Here are a few of my favorites:
Fiete Mini Games for Kids: ($1.99) I love, love, love the Fiete apps. They consist of mini activities that don’t have any written or verbal instruction so it encourages freethinking and use of trial & error. Plus the animation is really charming.
Starfall – This app is a program service from a public charity and offers loads of learning activities for kiddos from phonics, learning colors, math skills, sing-a-long songs and a ton more. The free version is limited, but you can join for a yearly membership for $35.00. It updates throughout the year so there is always something new.
Letter School – ($4.99) This app teaches kids how to write letters and numbers. Some may argue that 1 is too young to introduce this skill, but I disagree. I don’t think it’s ever too early to help kids learn letter orientation and this app offers multiple methods of teaching. I mean, my niece showed me how to use Snapchat when she was 18 months old, so I don’t put tracing letters past any 1 year old.
PBS Kids Games– PBS kids is a great website on its own to have saved as a favorite to your iPad and the extension of the games app has something fun and educational for kids of all aged
App Advice – Rather than search around yourself, this app offers you 5 free apps (that normally would cost money) for 1 day only. Sometimes they aren’t so great and other times you hit the app jackpot so as a free service it’s definitely worth it. They have a wide range so there is usually something for everybody.
When kids head off to school for the first time, some classrooms as young as Pre-K are using iPads as part of the curriculum. With this in mind, giving our kids a small dose of a head start may not be so bad.
Lisa is a baby-wearing, breastfeeding, cloth diapering new mama that is currently pursuing a graduate degree in elementary education.