They’re walking and talking, learning and growing…And in need of constant entertainment and stimulation. Toddlers present a challenge to parents as they outgrow the baby stage and become dawdling sponges; ready for new sights, sounds and fun. After your toy box has been emptied and the tricycle has been ridden, iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad apps offer a fun form of entertainment that can be educational or just plain fun. Either way, even the best iOS apps are better when they’re free, so let’s take a peek at some of the best free toddler apps.
The California Academy of Sciences has a rockin’ penguin display. But what good does that do you when you’re at home? Now, the Pocket Penguin app gives you 24/7 access to a webcam within the display, so your kids can enjoy the natural entertainment of playful penguins. The download is totally free, fun to watch and works best with a WiFi connection.
Crayons and markers aren’t always the most convenient form of toddler fun. Pain Sparkles Draw, however, brings coloring books with you via an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. Simply open the app, and select a blank page, or outlined coloring pages for your tyke to fill in while using his finger as the crayon. An extra layer of “glitter” makes these drawings especially sparkly.
This is a highly in-depth app for preschool aged children to begin exploring the basic foundations of education. Different sections focus on numbers, letters, days of the week, months of the year and more. Finger tracing action helps toddlers learn to write, while memorization games increase memory capabilities. This is a great free find with bright colors and graphics that are totally toddler-friendly.
Learning the ABC’s is a childhood rite of passage. The ABC Song app is an interactive storybook that provides different activities for memorizing the sequence of letters, learning their shapes and practicing each sound. Games throughout the app allow children to work on learning letters independently, or with the help of a parent.
Aimed at readying children for the rigors of Kindergarten, Pre-K Letters and Numbers lets toddlers practice letters and numbers in a fun app setting. Different sections of the app provide an opportunity for finger tracing practice with letters and numbers, while other features associates letters with different words. “L” is for “Lemon” and “Lion,” helps tots associated letters and sounds with words.