By now, your toddler may know how to work your devices better than you do.
Luckily for you, there are a number of wonderful apps you can download that are educational and entertaining. Here are some of the top apps that will wow your little ones while teaching them important skills.
The Endless ABC app will entertain and engage both younger and older tots. You are given a word, monsters run across the screen and jumble the letters, and then it’s your job to put everything back. As your hold your finger on a specific letter, you hear the sound that letter makes. When you’ve placed all the letters back, you get a big cheer and then an animated definition of the word.
Take a digital trip to the countryside with Peekaboo Barn. The app has recently added three new animals to its colorful family. You’ll hear knocking at the barn door. When you touch it, the animal reveals itself and you’ll hear its name to help with word recognition. You can even record your own voice for added personalization.
Looking for an app that adapts as your child grows? Check out LumiKids Park. Winner of numerous awards, this app is a play space your child controls that works on skills like sorting, visual, and motor coordination, and attention.
For those of you worried about too much screen time, you’ll be happy to hear that the developers have worked closely with experts in the fields of child psychology, neuroscience, early childhood education, and more to provide a dynamic combination of learning and fun.
Let your child control a whole town with Toca Town. You can walk around the streets, go grocery shopping, suit up for a swim, and even discover hidden treasures. There are 21 different characters you can play with, seven cool locations to navigate, and no in-app purchases or third-party advertising.
The recommended age is 3, but younger and older kids also love this app.
The Endless Numbers app gives early learners a chance to play around with numerical basics. The game works with number recognition, quantities, and beginning counting skills. Older toddlers can try the different number puzzles and simple equations
The best part? The app is super cute and the graphics are great.
Bring sensory play on the road with you with Magic Finger. There are over 50 graphical effects you can use to paint pictures using your fingers. You can layer your drawings for added interest. Overall, this is a simple, inexpensive app that will keep your child entertained for good stretches of time.
Some users call it “mesmerizing,” “versatile,” and even “addictive.”
Take Jinja the cat on a ride to all sorts of destinations with Sago Mini Road Trip. Kids ages 2 to 5 will enjoy sitting in the driver's seat and manning their vehicle’s simple controls. This app is all about creativity and curiosity. Drive through beautiful mountains or the big city — it’s up to your kid.
Android users can get in on the Sago experience with popular apps like Sago Mini Space, Sago Mini Toolbox, and more.
Give your child a leg up on understanding emotions with Avokiddo Emotions. You’ll encounter a “zany zebra, shy sheep, jolly giraffe, and modest moose.” There’s no right or wrong way to play with these friends. You’ll expose the characters to over 100 unique props and watch their reactions to each in the playhouse.
This app helps build your tot’s language skills, develop empathy, and make predictions based on the animals’ responses to different stimuli.
If you worry about your child’s television time, try downloading PBS Kids Video. The app features popular and educational shows like Curious George, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Peg Plus Cat, and more. It’s updated with new videos each week and has safe, child-friendly controls. Best of all, it’s free!
Note: This app can only be viewed in the United States due to licensing restrictions.
Practice Mindful Screen Time
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends avoiding any screen time for children under age 2. Once you reach the toddler stage, you’ll still want to keep your child’s exposure between one and two hours a day. Otherwise, be mindful and create media-free zones that allow your child to explore the real world in a meaningful way.
That being said, apps can be a fun way to augment the learning experience and connect your little one with technology.
This piece was previously published on Healthline.