M really enjoys playing games on the iPad, sometimes a little too much… But like everything, moderation is key. I think the iPad is a wonderful learning tool for kids and adults. It’s a fun, engaging, and interactive way to practise and develop skills in literacy, math, fine motor skills, colours, music, science, and more.
This post is a review of some of M and B’s favourite apps (good for toddlers and early grade school children).
1. Elmo Loves ABCs
This is one of the first apps we bought for M, and I’m really glad we did! He took to it right away, and before we knew it he had mastered all of his letters and their sounds. It has activities for each letter of the alphabet: upper and lower case recognition, matching the sound of the letters to the initial sounds of objects, and tracing upper and lower case letters. When you choose the correct answer it plays a clip from a Sesame Street episode that relates to that letter/ topic. It also has songs, colouring pages, and hide and seek games. It’s definitely worth the money, especially if your child loves Elmo (and who can resist that sweet, loveable, charismatic, good-natured, furry monster? I mean, really?)
2. Letters A-Z
This is a simple, yet effective app that displays all the letters from A-Z. When you click on a letter it says its name and sound, and when you click on the accompanying phonetic picture it says the name of the object and plays a fun animation as well. B enjoys touching the pictures to see them come alive.
3. Teach Me Toddler
This is an awesome app for a really great price! It teaches letters, phonics, colours, shapes and numbers. The interface is extremely kid friendly and encourages M to keep trying until he gets the right answer. M lights up every time he earns a sticker to add to his sticker book, which helps motivate him to concentrate on each task. It also keeps track of his progress, so I can see which skills need further improvement and which ones he has mastered. Kindergarten, Grade 1, and Grade 2 are also available in the TeachMe series. I purchased the TeachMe Kindergarten app for M as well, and found it to be just the challenge he needs.
4. Find Them All: Looking for Animals
M is enamoured with animals, so I was not surprised when this quickly became one of his favourite apps. The object of the game is to find specific animals in their natural habitat by scrolling across the screen. Once you find them, you can take a picture to add to your photo album while learning a fun fact about each animal as well.
5. My First Songs
This app features 15 famous nursery rhymes accompanied by colourful, animated music videos. M really enjoys singing along with the familiar songs. Each song has a karaoke type display and the user is encouraged to follow the beat by tapping the screen at the appropriate times.
6. The Monster at the End of This Book: Starring Grover!
I have to admit I purchased this app mainly because I loved this book as a kid. I’m glad I bought this for M because the interactive version is so much fun. It cracks me up how, even though he’s heard the story numerous times, M still giggles uncontrollably at certain spots in the book.
7. SUPER WHY!
I bought this app because my amazing sister recommended it to me. We don’t expose M to much TV, and he hasn’t seen an episode of Super Why! before, but he really enjoys all of the literacy games. Some of the games are pretty advanced for his age, but that doesn’t stop M from trying. I like that this app has a bit of everything when it comes to literacy: letter identification, letter sounds, tracing letters, spelling, rhyming, and choosing the appropriate missing word to complete a sentence.
8. Pocket Pond
This is a FREE app where you can add fish, lily pads, and dragonflies, while running your fingers in the virtual water. B especially loves watching the fish and dragonflies, and splashing around in the ‘water’.
9. Bob Books
I really like the Bob Books, so when I discovered they had created an app, I knew I had to check it out. The books are very simple and focus on the correlation of letters and sounds as well as sounding out and spelling words. M gets very exited when he’s able to figure out a word and read a page all by himself! They have Bob Books #2 available in iTunes as well.
10. Bugs and Buttons
This app has a lot to offer! It has great graphics, gross bugs, and a variety of games that focus on skills such as: counting, sequencing, patterns, sorting, fine-motor skills, colours, matching and problem solving. If your little one likes bugs, I recommend purchasing this app.
So, there you have it! 10 great apps my bugs have enjoyed interacting with on the iPad. If you have any other recommended apps please share them in the comments below. I’d love to hear about them!