Thursday, October 24, 2013

Our Favorite Toddler Apps

It is amazing how quickly toddlers learn to use a phone or Ipad these days. In fact, we have a video of Charlotte holding our phone and showing us how to slide to unlock it. She wasn't even one yet. We don't let her use our devices too often, but there are times that it does comes in quite handy. She has her own section full of both entertaining and educational apps. I love finding new ones for her to try out and we are constantly getting asked for recommendations. I finally decided to sit down and share twenty of our favorite and most used toddler apps.

Fire Rescue!
Bet you didn't see that one coming. My aunt actually recommended this one after downloading it for her grandson to play. Charlotte was intrigued the moment I showed it to her. This app is great because it teaches fire safety in a fun way. You learn how to dial 911, what to do in case of a fire and what is okay to touch. It also includes some fun activities such as: dress the fireman, rescue the cat, connect the dots, clean the fire truck and put out a fire. There is definitely a lot to keep your little rescuer entertained.

Felt Board
If you follow my blog or my Pinterest board, you will know that I'm a huge fan of using felt to craft stuff for my daughter. I was very excited when I stumbled across this app. It's basically one big virtual felt board. The possibilities are endless. You start by selecting a background. There are 38 choices to choose from. You then decide what you want to use to decorate it. The categories include: people, outfits, accessories, animals, various objects, shapes, and finally alphabet or numbers. Each of those categories are full of numerous options. I have to admit, it's quite fun to make little scenes and I love seeing what Charlotte comes up with. She often uses the camera button to snap little photos that I find later once I go through my camera roll.

My House
Kids love to play house and this app gives them the opportunity to do it virtually. When you open the app, you are given twelve different rooms to choose from: kitchen, living room, kid bathroom, adult bathroom, laundry room, nursery, boy bedroom, girl bedroom, baby room, closet, patio and yard. Once you select which room you would like, you are given a variety of objects to decorate it with. What I love most about this app is it encourages Charlotte to create stories as she pieces a room together.

Little House Decorator
This is very similar to My House, but instead of selecting one room to decorate, you are given the entire house. It starts off by giving you five different houses to select from. Once you move in, a little delivery van unloads all of your boxes and then your task is to simple decorate the house. Each house comes with different objects and even includes holiday items. This is another app that we often find Charlotte talking away as she busily creates each room.

Make a Scene: Farmyard
This is similar to My House and Lil Decorator, but instead of a house, you are decorating a farm. You get to select from several scenes, then you decorate it with numerous animals, farm equipment, produce and people. Not only is it fun to create your own farm, but each time you select an object it states the name and sometimes the sounds that the object would make. Charlotte loves this. She repeats each one - name and sound! Her poor little farms are often extremely cluttered because she likes to include every single selection and there are 56 items to choose from.

Pretty Pet Pony
Charlotte has recently become obsessed with collecting those tiny packages of My Little Pony figurines. It baffles me because she has never seen the show, but at the same time it excites me and brings back fond memories from my favorite toy as a little girl. I loved My Little Pony and even had the huge pink castle for them to play in. I so wish I would have kept it knowing that I now have a little girl that would go nuts over it. Flashback aside, I was excited to share this app with Charlotte once I stumbled across it. It's pretty easy, but fun for anyone who wishes to design their very own Pony. You get to choose everything: color, horn, wings, eyes, hair, and numerous accessories. You can even take pictures of them and keep them in a built in photo gallery.

Mr. Potato Head
Charlotte still enjoys playing with Mr. Potato Head figurines and I often post her funny creation on Instagram. This lets her do that, but virtually. The app offers a variety of different characters to dress and piece together. They often add new options as well.

Dish Puzzle
We have several puzzle apps, but this one is the most used. Each puzzle contains a food scene. Either a table, shelf, plate, chopping board or basket that you match the food related objects up to. It's rather simple, but Charlotte loves it. She has always been a big puzzle fan. You have the option of purchasing additional packs if you want to add more puzzles to the app.

Bamba Burger, Bamba Pizza and Bamba Ice
We are a huge fan of the Bamba apps. I discovered them awhile ago and they instantly became a favorite. The ones listed above are three separate apps. They allow a child to run their own store.

Bamba Burger lets you make a burger, fries and a drink. You select the bread which can be anything from a regular bun to silly objects like a tire, doughnut or moldy bread. Once your bread is sliced you have to cook and flip your meat, then you are ready to put your burger together. You can select from all of the regular toppings or add silly things like snail sauce or toilet paper. You also get to slice your fries, cook them and pour up your drink. Once everything is ready, you ring up your meal, pay for it and then tap the objects to "eat" them. Charlotte is constantly taking our orders and grilling up fun concoction with this one.

Bamba Pizza is a fun pizza parlor. You have four different guest to serve. Based on which one you select, determines what they would like on their pizza. You start by preparing your dough and adding the sauce. Next comes the fun part, adding all of the toppings. There are several to choose from. Again, you have all of the normal selections to choose from or some humorous options like flowers, insects or candy. Once you are done loading up your pizza, you pop it in the oven to cook, then take it out and slice it up. Now comes the real test, to see if you selected the right taste buds for your patron. You slowly feed them the slices and they will let you know if they like it or not.

Bamba Ice is a super cute ice cream parlor. You begin by selecting the six flavors that you would like to serve. They can be classic flavors or incredibly ridiculous ones. Next you select the six toppings that you would like to offer. Once that is done, you are ready to open you shop up and start serving some cold treats. You pick between several cones, bowls or waffles, then you simply dish everything up. Just like Bamba Burger, you add up your order, collect the money and then have fun tapping it to "eat". All three of these apps are a huge hit. They inspire imagination and role playing.
Bamba Burger - Free, Bamba Pizza - $1.99, Bamba Ice - Free

Toca Tea Party
This is one of our newest downloads and I'm sooooo glad that I found it. It is the cutest virtual tea party you ever did see! You start by selecting your linens and plates. Next you set the table with beverages and sweet treats. You set the ambiance by turning on the radio and begin hosting the best tea party. You eat and drink the served treats by tapping on them. It then shows you what each guest would like to try next. You can even accidentally spill drinks and clean them up. Charlotte loves to play this one with me and my mom. She sits between us and then serves us. I'm telling you, it is so cute. Once everything is consumed, you clean the table and place everything in the sink.

Miss Spider Bedtime Story
Have you read any of the Miss Spider books? They are really cute. This app contains all of the familiar Sunny Patch characters from the books and uses them in a few fun activities. You can read along with a story, watch a little video, play a matching game, paint a picture or put together a puzzle. Charlotte loves to play with each one. In fact, she walks around the house singing the Be Good To Bugs song at the top of her lungs.

Kids Doodle
Have you ever been stuck in a waiting room and desperately wished you would have a pen and paper handy to keep your kid entertained instead of bouncing off the wall due to boredom.  Download this app so you will never been in that predicament again. This is an easy app that simply lets your little artist doodle. We have several similar apps, but Charlotte seems to like this one the best. You select from a variety of different brushes to use. All have a a unique look and offer a different technique to keep your art colorful and your kid extremely mesmerized. Charlotte loves to randomly doodle, but we have also used this app to practice drawing our letters.

Disney Princess Palace Pets
Princesses and their pets. Enough said. This app features 8 different royal pets: a couple cats, a couple dogs, a rabbit and a horse. Each one represents a Disney princess. Once you select a pet, it tells you a short story about the pet and how it met their princess. You then wash, dry, brush, trim, provide a treat and dress them with a few accessories. It's a really cute little game!!!!

Daily Tasks
This app is a great and gentle way to introduce the importance of personal hygiene to your toddler. It includes three different activities: Brush Teeth, Shower or Shampoo. In Brush Teeth, you watch as a little boy eats food and then reveals his dirty teeth. Your job is to brush them really good to make them nice and clean again. In Shower, you watch as a little boy get filthy playing outside. Your job is to scrub him until he is clean again. In Shampoo, you again watch the little boy outside and see him get things in his hair. Your job is to shampoo it really good to remove all of the debris. It's a very easy app, but it always cracks Charlotte up to see the little boy get so dirty!

Awesome Eats
I heard about this app a few months ago and I'm so happy I gave it a try. Our entire family has enjoyed playing it. This game was put out by Whole Foods and is a super fun way to introduce kids to a variety of healthy foods. Each chapter contains sixteen different levels and food pairings. When the game opens, you see three conveyor belts with baskets full of produce at the end. As new produce drops onto the belts, your job is to sort them so they fall into the correct baskets. As you advance, the belts and food start moving faster and faster. Charlotte gets a kick out of the birds that swoop in to snag a snack for themselves. This is a great game for hand eye coordination plus it will have you giggling the entire time as you try to put everything into the right spot.

Telling Time
Does anyone else have a toddler who is desperate to learn to tell time. Charlotte is constantly asking us what time it is and tries her best to read the clocks we have around the house. I knew that she would love this app. The part that she plays with is called Set the Time! You are shown a picture of the clock and asked to set it to a certain time. Your job is to move the hands around to the correct spot in order to solve it. She is so proud of herself when she gets it right. There is another section included called Stop the Clock! You are given a time and as you watch the hands slowly tick by, you hit a stop button when they are at the correct spot. There is also a cute little aquarium you can play with.
There is a lite version that is free. 

Rocket Speller
Another thing Charlotte is eager to do, is read. It takes forever to get through a store with her because she stops and spells out every single word she sees. I think it's quite cute and I'm all about encouraging little readers. This app gives you a word and below it are the letters used to spell it. They are scrambled up so your job is to place them in the correct spot. For every three words you spell, you earn pieces to build your own spaceship.

This is one of those apps that I originally downloaded for Charlotte and later caught Ross playing with on his phone because he thought it was neat. Happens often! This is another one that is very easy to use, but at the same time it's completely entertaining and mesmerizing to mess around with.  These tiny little dots fall from the top of the screen. All you do is draw little lines for them to bounce off of. Each time they bounce against the line, they create a sound. A picture doesn't do this one justice, so here is a youtube video where you can watch it in action. See, geometry can in fact be fun!

There you have it. Twenty of our most used apps that our toddler loves. Let me know if you give any of these a try.  If you happen to have any other suggestions, please leave us a comment! We are always on the lookout for fun new apps to try out.

1 comment:

Jennifer ♥ said...

I'll have to check these out! I think Preston would like Daily Tasks. He hates to be dirty.