I realise that this post is not exclusive to the North Shore, but I also feel I am doing my due diligence when I can pass on useful information (or it is for me at least!) to other parents with toddlers. Last year, my husband bought himself an iPad “for work”. A few weeks into enjoying our (ahem- “his”) new purchase, we accidentally discovered that our daughter (1 year old at that time), was in love with YouTube. Within a few days of having decided, that, yes, we would let her play with the iPad for short increments of time, Portia was unlocking the device, navigating her way through her favourite apps, choosing her favourite YouTube videos and hitting play to get them going.
Of course all children are different and have their preferences in life, but here is a list of iPad apps that we love for our daughter. Some of them are free, but we purchased a few of our favourites once we had a chance to demo them and have deemed them as ‘must-haves’. Here is a list of apps just to get you started:
~1~ Peekaboo Barn: a simple yet very sweet app where farm animals take turns peekaboo’ing out of a big red barn making their respective animal noises.
~2~ Moon Secrets: an interactive PlayTales book where the user is in charge of ‘turning the pages’ and making the (typically inanimate) objects move on the screen.
~3~ Bubbles: touch the screen to make the bubbles appear and then pop the bubbles by tapping them.
~4~ Elmo Loves ABC’s: songs and videos about the different letters in the alphabet. A really fun feature about this app is that you can upload your own videos or images for each letter of the alphabet for your child to relate to.
~5~ The Monster At The End of This Book 1 and 2: a very silly interactive book that features Grover in book 1 and both Grover and Elmo in book 2.
Finally, not an app but something that you should definitely add to your iPad are the Baby Einstein DVD’s. There are over a dozen different movies that will captivate your toddler 30 minutes at a time.
*If you don’t want to spend a lot of money buying apps for your kids (or yourself for that matter), a great FREE app to get is App Shopper. You can search apps, add them to your ‘Wish list’ and be notified when the apps have price reductions.
(I feel the need to chime in at this point that when our baby was first born, I was one of those parents that had decided early on that OUR baby would not watch TV or use computers etc. until she was older. Admittedly, I judged other parents when I saw them place an iPad or iPhone in front of their baby but I also watched the baby squeal with delight at an Elmo video or something of the sort. I had this “I can do better” attitude in terms of being able to entertain my child. In the technologically driven world and era we are living in, I soon accepted that this grand idea of mine was an unnecessary battle to be fighting when parenting is hard enough as it is. I decided that there are more important aspects of being a good parent to focus my energy on, and struggling to keep all our devices away from Portia was a pure waste of precious time, especially when my husband and I spend so much of our time using these said devices. I quickly modified my technological beliefs and succumbed to the amazing applications available to babies and toddlers- while supervised by an adult, of course!)