Friday, January 10, 2014

Our Top Ten Toddler App Picks

Liam is obsessed with playing games on our iPad.

I know there are studies out there that say toddlers shouldn't be playing on iPads or iPhones or other devices, but I am his mom and I make the decisions around here!

He doesn't even use the iPad every day. But if he does use it we have set rules. He gets to use it once per day, and I limit his use to 30 minutes. Matt or I sit with him the entire time and help him with the games. Although, I must say, he doesn't need much help after he's played a certain game once or twice. Nor does he WANT the help! He will actually push my hand away and say "no mama" if I try to help him too much. Either he's turning into a bossy boss or he's just wanting to become more independent. I'm hoping it's the latter :)

It's amazing how quickly kids learn how to use the electronics. I never realized it until I had a kid of my own. Liam knows how to turn the dang iPad on and swipe the bar to get to the menu. Then he swipes through all of the apps until he finds the "Liam's Games" icon and clicks on it. Then he picks out the game he wants to play all on his own -- he remembers which apps are which. Yikes!

Since many of my blog readers have kids and know quite a few of you have iPads or iPhones, I thought I would share Liam's favorites with you (keeping in mind he is almost 2 years old). I know there are a gazillion apps out there and it's sometimes hard to find the right ones for your kiddos. So here are our top 10 picks at the moment. I say "at the moment" because they are always changing.

1) Pepi Tree by Pepi Play
Matt and I both love this game, as does Liam. It is my top pick. It's just SO cute and the music is great. There are six different levels that revolve around a tree, from the treetop to underground. The critters are adorable and the levels are do-able. Recommended for ages 5 and under.

2-5) ABC House, ABC Aquarium, ABC Go and ABC Wildlife by Peapod Labs

All four of these apps are great and keep Liam busy for the entire 1/2 hour sometimes. Kids can click on any letter A-Z and it takes them to pages with words that start with the chosen letter. Then on each word page there's an activity for the kids to do (watch a video, coloring, etc). I think it's a great learning tool. Recommend for ages 5 and under.

6) Puzzle Farm Imagination Adventure by Eggroll Games
This one is really cute. Kids move the puzzle pieces across the screen to complete farm themed puzzles. Once the puzzle is complete kids can click on the farm animals, etc and they make cute noises. Great for toddlers.

7) Grandpa's Workshop by Fairlady Media
This one is pretty cool. The grandpa guides kids through various workshop related activities, such as cutting wood, painting a stool, gluing together a broken garden gnome, etc. And the grandpa is very encouraging, often saying "great job" and "give me a high five." Recommended for ages 2-6.

8) Magical Music Box by Kidoteca
This app plays a variety of songs in the music box style. Kids can turn the handle to play the song as fast or as slow as they want. You can also switch it to automatic, which is great to calm your kid down before nap or bedtime. This one is recommended for  babies and toddlers.

9) Cute Food by SB
Kids pick out a place mate, plate and object to "decorate" with over 200 pieces of fruits and veggies. Very cute, educational and creative. It's a bit advanced for Liam, but he still enjoys moving the fruits and veggies around the page. Recommended for kids of all ages.

10) Cute Baby Flash Cards by United Worx
I really feel this app has helped Liam learn some words! He loves flipping through the cards himself. This is a simple, cute app recommended for ages 6 months-3 years.

Okay - so now I would really like to know, what are YOUR favorite kid apps at the moment! If we all share our favorites with each other how wonderful would that be!


  1. Our apps are a bit older because our kids were older when we first got an ipad, but I would highly recommend Reading Rainbow. It's not cheap (you pay for 3 months, I think) we asked for it as a gift, but it has 100's of books that the kids can either read themselves or the app reads the book. A lot of the books are interactive and often they have the educational video to go with a book (just like the t.v. show Reading Rainbow). and if you have more than one kid you can make backpacks so each person can pick out books they are excited to read. Maggie has a backpack, Finnegan has a backpack, and we have a family backpack for books I pick that look interesting. It is also really nice for traveling because we would often have heavy carry-ons filled with a weeks worth of books to read. There is a website called if you give them your e-mail they will send you educational apps that are free for that day. We have found A LOT of apps that way. The literacy aid at our kids school recommended that website...she said that is where the school gets a lot of their apps.

    1. Great tips! I'll have to check both of these out. Thanks Kate :)