The iPhone is the #1 toddler distracter available! No matter the situation the iPhone will keep my toddler happily entertained 100% of the time. There is no other activity that can produce those stats. I have coloring books, reading books, lacing cards, cars, trains, and just about every other travel accessory but none will give me a 100% success rate like the iPhone. There are literally hundreds of thousands of iPhone Apps so which are worth the money? Its overwhelming to try and find the best apps available but these four have become a staple in Thing 1’s life. We love using the iPhone while waiting for Thing 2’s doctor’s appointments, while grocery shopping, long car trips, and any other non-kid friendly waiting rooms. The $8 has more then paid for itself if you think of all the meltdowns we have sidestepped with these fun apps.
$2.99 – Each character features their own game. Princess features a game about spelling, letter sounds, and letter tracing. I like this game a lot because wrong answers don’t cause frustration. A simple oops is exclaimed and that wrong answer is then removed. The game then continues until the right answer is chosen. Next is a game about choosing the right word for a story. The third game is all about rhyming. The last and final game is the lickety letter hunt which is great for Thing 1 because he is still learning his letters. You can play each game individually or choose to play them all at once. I like the play all feature because it keeps Thing 1 interested. You earn stickers as you play the game just like the PBS show.
$2.99 – This app is the book based on the movie of “how to train you dragon”. The pages feature screenshots from the moving while a pleasant male voice reads the story. My son loves “reading” this book over and over. Words are highlighted as they are spoken so you can read along. There is also an option to just read the book to yourself all together. To flip the page you swipe the screen. Toddlers can flip as fast or as slow as they like. If there is a scary page they would like to skip they don’t have to wait for the words to be read. Its a bit pricey for a preschool app since I don’t like spending over $.99 but we have gotten our money’s worth.
$.99 – I am going to be honest, I do not get this game. I just don’t get it. I have tried playing and nothing happens for me. However I hand it back to Thing 1 (3 years old) and he makes the volcano erupt, falls into the earth to find a mini-game, spears fishes, makes double rainbows or stormy skies. He can play this game for hours if I let him. This is definitely the most addicting of the apps listed here. This is a very well made app with very cool graphics at a great price. A warning for parents that are sensitive to violence in video games. The game doesn’t have guns or any traditional violence but you can hurt the little guys in the game. You can throw them off the island, strike them with lightning, throw them into a volcano, and many more. If this makes you uneasy then do NOT buy this game.
$.99 – This is a fun racing type game. It features monster trucks as the title suggests. Its not a race against cars but a race against time. A cool feature for preschoolers is that you can turn on your “cruise control”. With the cruise control on the truck is very easy to drive since there are no turns in the game. The trucks run through an obstacle course and you have to tilt the car to race up ramps, jump over buses, and land safely to beat the fastest time. Its a lot of fun for kids and adults alike. I downloaded this game while it was featured for free but the price is back up to $.99 which is still reasonable for what it offers.
Keep any eye out for another post next week on the best free apps we have found and how to even get paid apps for free.