To celebrate my first Mother’s Day after Owen was born, Cody bought me an iPad. It was originally for me to work on my Etsy shop items, postings, and to help me with organization for all of my online store products. (Yes, preggo brain is REAL and it never went away for me!)
And it was my favorite thing ever, that is until Owen discovered how to use it by himself. He basically took it over and figured out how to open apps, and ever since then I can’t use it without him thinking I’m getting it down for him. Guys. If you have an iPad, just be warned that your child will take it over.
Anyway, I decided to allow him to have 30 minutes of screen time a day after he turned 1. There weren’t many games on there at first so I downloaded a few for him and now this thing is a life saver on days that I need to deep clean or tantrum days. It’s basically the only thing that he will pay attention to for as long as I let him. Yeah I should probably be more strict with it, but every mom out there has had those days where throwing on a movie is all you can run to for a few minutes of free time.
So let me show you which apps I downloaded for my 1 year old, and which apps he still currently likes now as a 2 year old.
Oh. My. Goodness.
This little piece of heaven has seriously done wonders for us. It teaches toddlers shapes and colors, and it makes them interact by dragging each shape into the correct hole. I started out using the free app, but eventually as he started to understand it better, I spared a coffee trip and spent a few dollars on the better version and it has over 40 levels, instead of 12. He loves it still. And now I can keep this app for future babies. Win.
Tiny Hands has a handful of different apps to choose from, they range from sorting shapes and colors, to seasons, vehicles and animals. I actually bought three of these and they still are used a year later. Only a couple bucks per app, and it taught Owen so many things at the age of 1. Like the difference between an airplane and a car, and which one belongs in the sky and on the road. It teaches kids what is appropriate to wear for each season of the year, and how to stack things. Such a huge variety and we absolutely love Tiny Hands.
This one is clearly a no brainer. Kids love bright colored videos with fun music. Sometimes it drives me crazy to hear the kids videos on Youtube, but if it makes my son happy, then I’ll do it. Owen figured out how to scroll down Youtube and pick out which video he wants to watch, and I set up a few kids channels for him so that he is limited on what he can search for. This one definitely takes the cake, it keeps him busy on tough days and I can get all the cleaning done in one Youtube session. Especially if he’s about to throw a fit in a grocery store, you better believe I whip my phone out and open up the Youtube app and let him carry my phone around. IT SAVES MY LIFE.
1 2 3 Genius
This handy little app teaches kids how to count. I just have the free version and it’s great. It ranges in variety from tracing games, to counting fingers, counting objects, a matching game and a guessing game. It’s a learning game but Owen loves it and doesn’t consider it learning.
We actually purchased ABC Mouse when Owen was about 1.5. We wanted him to get a head start on the learning curve at a young age. It’s hard for toddlers at that age, but if you keep practicing with your littles and use it with them, they will catch on quick! I have to sit with Owen and help him when we work on ABC Mouse, but he is so intrigued by all of the learning games, so to me it was a good idea. And we will keep using it until Owen starts school in a few years. If you’ve never seen ABC Mouse, it has soooo many options. From memory games, to fill in the blanks, to color sorting and spelling games. It really is worth the few bucks every month. It is for ages 2-7 and when you purchase the app, you make a profile for your child and it provides games and learning activities for their age group. And as they get older, the games change and get harder, to help their brain develop.
That’s it! I have several more kids apps on my iPad, but these are the ones that we ended up using the most for Owen and the ones that were the most worth it to us. So I wanted to share with you all, in case you have littles and need some ideas! If you’ve found apps that you’d like to share, please let me know! I’d love to check them out! :)