On a beautiful sunny San Francisco morning in late October of 2007, I pushed my son into this world. Before the epidural had even worn off, the Dude gave me what I consider the best *push* present ever: an iphone.
That morning, I was introduced to two things I can’t live without.
Now that my son is exactly 2.5 years old, I rely on my iphone even more these days. There are a ton of great apps to keep the little ones distracted and entertained when necessary. While we’re standing in a long line at the grocery store or sitting at the doctor’s office, I simply select a few apps to entertain (and even educate) my son while we wait. Please note that most of these apps will require assistance, so don’t hand the iphone over to the toddler and let them have at it, especially if your kid is like mine. You’ll be upgrading to the next iphone version much earlier than you would like.
Without further ado, these are my 15 favorite toddler-friendly apps that are a no-fail solution to a cranky and impatient child.
The Top 15 Toddler-Friendly Apps (prices reflect today’s post date)
Baby Grand ($1.99) – got a little Beethoven on your hands? This app is a keyboard that can help a toddler play along to different nursery songs or they can play their own masterpiece. There are 3 instruments included – piano, marimba, and guitar and you can choose a pink or blue keyboard.
Bubble Wrap (Free!) – OK, I got this mindless app for me since popping bubble wrap is ridiculous fun, but my toddler immediately loved this app as well. Who wouldn’t? Popping bubble wrap is absurdly addictive. Just watch out for disjointed fingers after a while.
Dr. Seuss ABC ($2.99) - who doesn’t love Dr. Seuss? This app is perfect for toddlers learning the alphabet since it encourages kids to make the connection between letters, their sounds, and their meanings. There are 3 ways to use the app – “read to me”, “read it myself” and “auto play.”
Elmo’s Monster Maker ($3.99) – if your toddler is like any other toddler, he or she LOVES Elmo and Sesame Street. Make a monster friend by choosing a monster body and then adding eyes, a nose and a hat. Elmo will then dance and play with your toddler’s specially-made monster!
Fish School ($0.99) – by the makers of Wheels on the Bus, Fish School lets children play with a school of fish that change into numbers, letters, shapes, and colors.
Fresh Water Aquarium ($0.99) – who needs a real aquarium when you’ve got this app? Your toddler can feed the fish and make them grow! There are 19 species of fish available and you can have up to 35 in the tank.
Grover’s Number Special ($2.99) – Grover is in the kitchen cooking and counting ingredients to make a healthy meal!
I Hear Ewe ($0.99) – A toddler can touch different animal pictures to hear what sound they make. The updated version also features different vehicles, such as firetrucks and trains. My son loves this app and has picked up a few new sounds from it.
iplayphone ($0.99) – the sounds can be quite annoying, but toddlers love this app. This app lets kids press the bright colored phone buttons and hear crazy sounds.
More Toast! ($0.99) – I love this app as much as my kid. It’s pure entertainment as you pop some bread in the toaster and then make sandwiches with different varieties of condiments and foods. Your kids can get very creative (and quite gross) with this app.
Nick, Jr’s A-Z With Moose and Zee ($1.99) – we are BIG fans of Nick, Jr. in my house and we love Moose and Zee. These adorable characters help toddlers find hidden letters and learn letter shapes with fun, colorful, and very interactive games.
Simon Classic (Free!) – yet another app I downloaded for my nostalgic self, but my toddler loves this game as well. It’s a great memory game that’s fun for both kids and adults!
Scribble ($0.99) – a fun way for toddler to paint on the screen. After you draw, just shake the iphone to erase! For those of us that loved Etch-a-Sketch as kids, this app is a must-have for our own kids.
Sprout Player (Free!) – this app is from PBS Kids Sprout and features the different shows, including the Sunny Side Up show. New podcasts are added regularly and will automatically be streamed to your app.
Wheels on the Bus ($0.99) – Wheels on the Bus is an interactive playbook that allows the toddler to scroll along with a bus on the move. Each scene has images for the toddler to poke or slide. This is a very fun app that always gets giggles from my little one. You can also listen in French, Spanish, German, or Italian!
Youtube (always free) – aside from iphone apps, I also rely on kid-friendly youtube videos for my toddler. My youtube favorites include various Sesame Street and Nick, Jr. videos as well as toddler-friendly music videos. Our latest favorite music video is from the band OK Go called This Too Shall Pass, Rube Goldberg edition. It is a must-see for people of all ages!
Got any must-have apps for toddlers? Please share!