I know there are probably a lot of people out there who think that it’s silly that kids so young would have anything to do with apps, but let’s be real for a minute. We live in an age of technology where there are awesome resources available for kids of every age! Any parent knows that having a few apps on your phone to help keep a tiny person busy for a few minutes can be a total lifesaver. Not only that, but apps can be a huge learning resource for little minds. With the huge sea of apps geared toward kids, there are plenty of horrible ones. I hate kids apps with advertisements and easy-to-click-on upgrade buttons and links, I hate bad design, and I hate interfaces that are actually too complicated for really young kids so I end up having to do it WITH them. Not the point here, people! These are 5 of my absolute favorites. These are all geared toward especially young kids, all the way up to preschool and kindergarten. I’m going to put them in order for youngest kids, going older. And I should include the disclaimer that these are all iPhone/iPad apps because that’s what I use. You android users will have to check to see if you can get them!
There’s tons of Peekaboo apps, like Peekaboo Barn, Peekaboo Party, Peekaboo Christmas, Halloween…look it up and you’ll find tons! This is one of the best apps for the littlest kiddos because it’s so easy and so simple, yet it’s entertaining. When I first saw it, I thought, “Huh. This is all it does?” But my little ones love it! The fridge wobbles and when they touch it, the doors open and it reveals a food inside. They shut the door and do it over and over again. It’s as simple as playing peekabo with your hands, which really young kids also find entertaining. My little ones like trying to guess what’s coming next and giggle when they hear the cute kid’s voices narrating the food items.
This app was designed by the super talented Alma Loveland of Caravan Shop. I’m a huge fan of hers, so when I heard she had designed an app I immediately got it! It’s beautifully designed with clever graphics. You can choose from 5 different popping games, like the bubble blowing, where you put your finger on the girls mouth and the bubbles blow to different sizes. When you touch the bubble it “pops” and says a word out loud like small, medium, and large. There’s also bubble shapes, fireworks for colors, and popcorn that pops numbers. This game is great for kids as young as 1 1/2 or so (it kept my 18 month old busy on my lap the other day) all the way up to preschool age (my almost 5 year old plays it all the time, too.) And I’m not gonna lie, there’s something kind of therapeutic about popping those bubbles!
I often avoid apps made by major networks and tv shows because I feel like they get away with really sub-par apps because of their name-brand notoriety. But this Nick Jr. App is an exception. It’s a pricey one, but it’s really well designed and has a large range of things they can do from a basic drawing and painting (with sparkles and sound effects!) to interactive games with their favorite characters. All three of my kids, even my 9 year old at times, use this app and have for a couple of years now. I think it’s totally worth the price tag.
Lego lovers will love this cute app where you get to pick little lego parts and swipe them with your fingers to put them together. It’s very simple and easy for preschool age kids to do, and after their cool vehicle is put together, they take it for a little drive. This is a longstanding favorite at our house!
As a fan of awesome graphics, this one had me before I even read about it. I love a well designed game that actually functions educationally and this is a great one. My 4 year old started reading with this app! It introduces spelling patterns, word building, and phonograms that are important for beginning spellers and early writers.
The same developers also have Endless Alphabet, Endless Numbers, and Endless Reader.
Those are 5 of my favorites, share yours in the comments!