I remember being pregnant and judging the parents I saw that allowed their toddlers to play on their cell phones, while they grocery shopped. I thought to myself “I’ll never do that. My children will just have to use their imaginations to entertain themselves.” That was one of the many fairytales I told myself. At the time I didn’t realize how quickly toddlers get bored and let’s face it, the errands parents have to do are usually boring. The other day my husband and I went to have our taxes done. All the people that we actually trust to watch Deklin, work or live out of state. So what did we do? We brought our very energetic 2 year old with us. We spent over two hours in that place getting our taxes done and he behaved really well. I know it was mainly because of the PBSKids app. (Also there may have been a bribe of a donut if he behaved and threat of a timeout if he didn’t.) Today I’m going to share with you my top favorite 4 apps for toddlers.
4)Disney Movies Anywhere App (free) -This app is great because you can purchase a Disney movie with a digital download and download them to your tablet. (You’ve probably already purchased some Disney movies with the free digital download and didn’t even realize it) Once you have them downloaded you take it anywhere, even if you don’t have Wi-Fi or 3G access. The only flaw I’ve found with app is that sometimes it takes a while to download a movie.
3) YouTube Kids (Free)- One of my “Mom” friends actually told me about this app. It has all sorts of kids videos that can be adjusted for age range. The app also has parental controls built into the app which is very convenient.
2) PBS Kids App (Free)- I grew up in the 90’s, so naturally I was a PBS kid. When I came across the PBS Kids app, I did the happy dance in my kitchen. It’s just as wonderful and educational as the television station. Also the more important thing is that my son loves it and I don’t have to worry about there being inappropriate popping up.
1)ABCmouse.com App (The app itself is free to download but you have to pay $59.95 a year/5 dollars a month for a membership.) – The fact you have to pay for this app almost discouraged me from buying it. However because they were running a free trial, I decided to give it a try. My son loved it and was actually learning things. So I had to buy it. The wonderful thing about this app is that it truly grows with them and for 5 dollars a month you can’t beat the price. (Occasionally throughout the year they have really awesome deals on the price of the app. We got ours for 30 something dollars last year)
I think technology can be a wonderful thing and is great for entertaining toddlers in desperate situations or on long trips. However, I also believe that moderation is key. On Apple devices you can set up Guided Access ,which allows you to control the amount of time your child plays on the table/phone. Also it allows you to make them stay on one app, so you don’t have to worry about any of your important apps getting deleted. Something that my husband and I try to have at least once a week is an “Unplugged Day”. That’s just a day (Or sometimes just an afternoon) where all technology/social media is turned off and we read, go to the park, or play games. Enjoy!!