It’s so easy to let yourself feel guilty about handing over an iPad to your toddlers. We’re sure your MIL‘s judgmental looks probably don’t help. And while you absolutely know the benefits of cutting back on screen time, you also know how important it is for your kids’ mama to be in functioning condition. If handing over the tablet for an hour a day is the only way you can get in some self-care, then do it! Whether that self-care includes laundry or looks more like an episode (or three) of Grey’s and a glass of wine, you deserve a break just like everyone else.
Since we still can’t get OSHA to help us create a job safety manual and there’s just no way to form a mom’s union (but, what an idea!), the iPad is all we’ve got. To ease the guilt trip from your hippie bestie, though, make sure you tell her all about how these awesome apps are actually educational tools for your little bit.
1. PBS Kids – Free
PBS Kids actually has a whole collection of apps but the main offering is good enough on its own. There are tons of games to play featuring all your favorite PBS characters.
2. YouTube Kids – Free
YouTube spirals don’t have to be for just grown-ups. This app filters out all the weird and gross things you can stumble across on “real” YouTube and offers content specifically designed for your chunk-a-lunk.
3. Elmo Loves ABCs – $4.99
Elmo. You love him. You hate him. That “lala-lala” business gets stuck in your head all day and sometimes you just want to shake him. But, your kid is 100% obsessed with him, right? Elmo stars on several apps, but this ABCs app is one of the highest rated offerings.
4. Super Why – $4.99
With four categories to choose from, your babe’s favorite Super Why hero can lead them on a learning adventure.
From The Bookstore
5. Press Here – $1.99
Have you guys fallen in love with the “Press Here” book yet? The bright colors and simple design make it a winner in our family. Now some smart cookies have turned it into an app, so you can “Press Here” anywhere.
5. Pat The Bunny – $3.99
“Pat The Bunny” has been a longtime favorite book of babies and baby mamas. They recently turned it into an app full of sweet little interactions similar to what the book offers.
6. Moo, Baa, La La La! – $2.99
If you don’t have a massive collection of Sandra Boynton books, do you even have a toddler? You can buy the whole collection of book-based apps, but this one is our favorite because it’s full of animal sounds.
7. The Going To Bed Book – $2.99
This Sandra Boynton-based app is another favorite and should absolutely be included in your bedtime routine. It offers a whole series of things for your toddler to do to help everyone settle in for bed.
8. Don’t Let Pigeon Run This App! – $5.99
There’s a pretty good chance you have at least one Pigeon book in your collection. You might even have all of them. From the author who brought us Pigeon, Knuffle Bunny, Elephant and Piggie, Mo Willems, comes the perfect branded app of silliness. If nothing else, it will help your toddler learn to love Pigeon even more making him want to return to reading the books. Who doesn’t want an app that instills a love of reading?
9. Eric Carle App Bundle – $11.99
Eric Carle is God, right? This bundle packs a hefty price tag, but is absolutely worth it for a chance to enjoy Carle’s art on yet another platform. Your kids will enjoy even more opportunities to learn and grow alongside the Very Hungry Caterpillar and Brown Bear, Brown Bear.
More Learning Apps
10. Storybook Rhymes Vol. 1 and 2 – Free
Fisher-Price continues to up their learning and development game. Storybook Rhymes’ host might actually be a familiar face if your toddler has one of those adorable interactive puppies. It’s very basic but super interactive when your toddler starts touching the screen. And, just like so many of the Fisher-Price toys, it can grow with your baby.
11. Highlights Monster Day – Free
This is technically built for slightly older children. However, it’s centered on social constructs and is fun and colorful, reeling even littler kids. They might need a parent’s help to use it, but it’s totally worthy of your effects and your toddler’s time.
12. Wood Puzzle – $0.99
We love this app! The puzzles are so sweet. They offer three levels of difficulty ranging from “baby-mode” to “rotation on” so some pieces show up upside-down or sideways, just like when you start working on real puzzles.
13. AniMatch – $0.99
AniMatch is another great app with multiple levels of difficulty. The matching game can help teach your kiddos their animals and expand their memory. When they’re ready, they can start matching the pictures with words, teaching them sight words, as well.
14. Toddler Flashcards – Free
If you’re at all concerned about your child’s speech development, this app is the perfect option. It includes word collections like: Animals, food and colors. It’s also available in a ton of languages, so you could potentially use it to help make your toddler bilingual.
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