Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Favorite Apps for Kids

Gone are the days when I judged parents for using electronic equipment to entertain their children.  I apologize to those whom I silently judged.

I have crossed officially out of the "terrible two's" and into the "I think I'm going to run and hide 3's".  All I can say is WOW!  I will disclaim this with my son was an amazingly easy 2 year old, my daughter (turns 2 in October) will not be easy...I can tell that much now...Maybe her 2's will actually be terrible, and then I won't even want to imagine her 3's.  I digress-

Foster the independence, I have to remind myself daily, hourly-actually.  I want him to be independent when he can be and need me when he needs me.  Sometimes that means he needs to be busy, and needs me not to do it for him.  He LOVES my iPhone, so it is an easy go-to when he needs to be occupied for a few minutes (shopping, pooping, any social gathering where he has to sit still for more than 2 minutes).  

He is amazing at using it, navigating to what he wants only asking for help when I need to type in a new keyword on YouTube.  Lately, he is obsessed with Superman.  This is putting it lightly.  He is Superman.  He refuses to take off the shirt, will only wear Superman Underwear, wears his cape ("tape") wherever we go, he doesn't walk-he fly's, he "rescues" his little sister (which usually ends up in her being squished), and at time only responds to being called Superman and not his real name.  

I told you that to tell you this: Superman keywords on YouTube do not result in child appropriate videos like the keywords "Backyardigans", "horses", "Thomas", "trains", or "puppies"  generally do.  I stay present and tuned into what he is watching.  I don't generally give him the phone and pay no attention, so yesterday while hubby HAD to watch the ESPY's Mason was playing on my phone.  When I hear some not appropriate words, and look over and some how YouTube "suggested" some Miami Vise video game videos for him to watch.  Awesome.  

There is a now no YouTube rule for children in the house.  Instead, enter Gube.

It's like YouTube for kids.  Videos are approved to be kid safe and there are thousands of them.  I am in Love with it, my son is not so sure yet.  He keeps looking for YouTube (which I have now hidden the icon in my phone) and is looking for the "StupidMan" video which is so inappropriate.  Gube sells for $2.99 (I think...)

Other favorites at this time are:
Ant Smasher: Which is free unless you want to upgrade to the "kids" version then its $0.99.

I couldn't find a picture for it, but FisherPrice's See n' Say app is wonderful.  Best $2.99 I've spent in the app store so far.

Obviously some of these are for me, but he loves the PBS Kids App, which directly links to PBS videos, and the Thomas App has coloring, puzzles, a story book which is interactive, and a matching game ($5.99).

More kids games, my son's favorites are Thomas, and Fireman Sam.  He also like the "kitty" app which repeats whatever you say to him.  The Phone4Kids is loved my my 21 month old, and See n' Say is loved by both.  

I know it isn't the best to let kids play on electronics all the time...which I don't, all the time.  These are useful when needing to entertain kids for a period of time when our hands are full or need a few minutes with both hands.  

Do you have any favorite kid's apps?

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  1. I downloaded the free version of ant smasher for android. My 5 year old son LOVES it!!!!!! Thank you!!!

    I don't like buying apps, something always happens when I buy an app IE my phone crashes or my phone would reboot and delete everything (hated my Iphone!) but I might actually buy this one I even played it and enjoyed it LOL

  2. I highly recommend the Splash Math series. They currently have apps from Grade 1 to Grade 5.