I shared this post on Jessica's blog, The Newly, a couple weeks ago, so you may have seen it already, but in case you didn't pop over to her blog to see it, I thought I would share here as well.
Now, I know technology and toddlers can be a touchy subject, but in our house, we do allow him to use the iPad or watch TV occasionally during the day. I mean, how else can I load the dishwasher without every item that I put in being constantly taken out? Sometimes we just need a little technology babysitter. Anyway, with that being said, here are Mason's current favorite apps.
This app is a more educational app. It teaches children how to write letters and numbers. You can choose from lower case letters, numbers, and upper case letters.
Once you pick a letter, the app says the letter out loud and gives you an example of something that starts with that letter (ex : M is for monster)
Then there are 3 ways to make the letter.
Top Left : The letter "M"
Top Right : The left button on the bottom takes the child to the easiest way to make the letter. The child taps the dots on the letter and the app will connect the dots to show the child how to make the letter.
Bottom Left : The middle button can only be pushed after the first one is done. The second button allows the child to now connect the dots on his own. The dots appear on the letter in all the places that the child needs to connect the dots. In this case, the child would pull from top to bottom on the left most part of the M, then connect that line from top to bottom to the middle point, then from bottom to top to the right most part of the M, and then from top to bottom on the right most part.
Bottom Right : Once the left button and the middle button have been finished successfully, the right button can be done. This is the hardest of the levels and requires the most skill. The letter appears and then disappears. The child has to remember how to make the letter from the previous exercises. The child then draws the letter on his own and the app makes a "chalk" line to show where the child has drawn. The finished product is the "M" and the app makes a congratulatory noise to let the child know that he has completed the "capital M" level correctly.
Planes : Fire and Rescue
This app is one of Mason's newest favorites. I actually accidentally found it when trying to download the Planes : Fire and Rescue movie (his absolute FAVORITE movie!) and was happy that I accidentally stumbled upon it! The app reads a story out loud to the child as well as has some games for the child to play.
Right : The book. The app shows the page that it is reading from and then narrates the story out loud for the child to listen to.
The games included are mostly puzzles. Mason loves these puzzles! I love that they have different skill levels and different puzzle pictures. They range from 'rookie' with just 6 puzzle pieces to 'chief' with 30 puzzle pieces.
This game is purely fun. Mason loves to hold down the gas pedal and race around the track!
This app is really awesome. (There is also a numbers version that we love as well.) You get to pick a letter (a-f is on the free version and then you can buy g-z for a small fee) and then spell the word. For this example, I chose "C". C is for cake. So the child chooses a letter, the app says the letter and the phrase out loud "C is for cake" and then shows the child the letters they can choose from to spell the word.
The child then matches the letters to the spots and spells the word. Once the word has been made, the app shows the child a sentence with the word in it, but with the word missing. There are also a couple other words missing. The child then has to match the words to the proper spots.
Once all the words are in the correct spots, then the app reads the sentence and then they celebrate that the word is complete.
Duplo : Trains
This Duplo : Trains app is new to us. We only recently started playing it and Mason loves it. The people and objects on the app are completely made out of lego duplos which is really cool! In this app in particular, the child gets to build a train and choose which cars they want. Then they drive down the tracks, do different activities at different points, and make their way towards their destination. Activities include things like collecting items for the empty cars, picking people up, honking the horn, blowing the whistle, building train tracks, etc.
Of course Disney Junior is best known for it's shows. I'm sure you've all seen more than one of these a time or two before.
But one of the best known secrets of this app are the puzzles and games that it has! Seriously I had NO idea these were even there until one day Mason was playing them. I wondered how he found them or what app he was playing and then one day I saw him access them.
My favorite for him to play are the puzzles. I love that it makes him think and they have different levels of hardness. Easy is very, very easy. In fact, it's so easy that Mason most often times will at least pick the medium level. Depending on which type of puzzle it is, sometimes he even picks the hard level and depending on what type of puzzle it is, sometimes he needs help. He most often likes to play the jigsaw puzzle game or the puzzle where you put the body parts in the right spot. The body part one he is excellent at and almost never asks for help.
Most (if not all) of these apps were free and some of them have additional options that cost money. I almost always only buy free apps to see if Mason even likes them and then buy the additional options as I see necessary. I think we bought extra letters for the letter school app and more words for the endless reader but that's pretty much all.
There are plenty more that he loves, some get more play than others, but these are the his go-to's right now. The list is ever changing as he gets older and as his likes and dislikes change, but for the most part, these ones ring tried and true. That being said, we are always looking for new apps to try! (I especially love the free ones!)
What apps would you recommend? What apps are your child's favorite?
Oh, and one last thing, I wanted to share our love for this case.
We LOVE this case for so many reasons.
1) It is super sturdy. Mason drops this thing on the floor all the time and the protective cover keeps the screen and the sides of the iPad completely protected.
2) The handle. Mason LOVES to carry the iPad around by the handle. It's super cute to watch because it looks like he is carrying around his little iPad briefcase. The handle also bends letting you sit it up right or for propping it up on a table. We've used it many times in the car on road trips when we don't want him to hold it. We flip the handle up and stick it between the seats and Mason can watch a show without holding the iPad on his lap.
There are TONS of other reasons why this iPad case is so great. If you're looking for a new case, I would highly recommend this one. Check out the reviews on Amazon (it gets 4.5 stars and has reviews from over 2,400 people!) to see why so many people are loving it!
One thing to note though, it does not have a front cover so I would recommend getting some sort of screen protector in case it is dropped on something that can scratch the glass.
So, let me know!
What are your child's favorite apps?
What apps would you recommend?
What apps do I need for me for my iPhone/iPad?