Whether you’re looking for good teaching tools, or just a temporary babysitter while you regain your sanity, I’m sharing the best iPhone and iPad apps for toddlers!
How obnoxious would you think I am if I told you that Lucy Goose has an iPad?
Ugh. I know.
Technically it’s not HERS, I bought it about four years ago when iPads were a newer-ish thing, but then a couple of years ago my husband bought me an iPad mini for my birthday, which I like better because it fits in my purse.
When Lucy was in a rear facing car seat, I loaded some cartoons on the big iPad I didn’t really use and used THIS to mount it to the back headrest. She screamed when she had to sit in the car, the school line to pick up Jon David was a 30 minute wait, and I was desperate.
And it worked! She’d sit and watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse or Sesame Street happily (most days) until Bubba got in the car and we went home. And now that she’s in a front facing seat, she can watch the DVD player that is in the car…but she was already thinking of the iPad as her own.
She asks for her “pad pad” quite often. Do not judge me, for the love of Pete, toddlers are hard.
The iPad is actually a fun tool for winding down or keeping her busy in waiting rooms…or while I put her hair in cute braids. Sometimes if we have just had A DAY OF ALL THE THINGS, we sit down and play a few apps together — here are the ones we love best, and I think your toddler will love too! Some of these are free, many of them are not. I have learned that $3 is a small price to pay for my sanity, so.
This app is really simple. It’s just a bunch of pictures of animals, and when you touch it, it tells you what sound the animal makes. This is a great beginner app because it helps littles learn that when you touch things on the screen, it makes things happen. Lucy is super into animals, and she hasn’t grown out of this one yet! It also has some different vehicles — cars, ambulances, trains, so there are lots of pictures to choose from!
This is a really fun and really detailed app! Not only does Elmo tell you your ABC’s, but you can trace each letter, hear words that begin with each letter, and watch a brief Sesame Street video about the letter! Some aspects of this app are just a tiny bit advanced for my 20 month old, but she’s growing into it and has fun with it. This would be a good app well into preschool and going into kindergarten.
This is another alphabet app that is SO adorable and fun! There is so much detail on this app! Monsters help show words that start with letters of the alphabet. The letters fall away and you can drag the letters to the correct blank spots — like a puzzle. Lucy still has trouble matching up what letter goes where, but she’s starting to get it! The monsters also act out scenes using the words. Another great app for older toddlers or even kiddos going into kindergarten.
This is another super simple app that is a great beginner app. The barn doors rattle and when touched, they open to reveal a different animal making a noise. It’s fun for kiddos who love animals — Lucy always gets a kick out of seeing which one it is when the doors open! There is a Sesame Street version of this app that is cute as well.
Minnie Mouse is Lucy’s favorite, so this is a big hit with her! It’s just puzzles — you can choose from difficulty levels easy, medium, and hard. The puzzle tends to drop the pieces into the right spot even if you just drag it in the vicinity of where it goes, so this is a great introduction to puzzles.
This is an interactive version of the classic book by the same name. Kiddos can paint, or hear the story, which features tons of stuff for the kiddos to explore. Most things you touch on the page will move or react — you can make water come out of a hose, causing flowers to grow, for instance. There are three reading modes with this app — you can have it read to you, you can turn off narration and read on your own, or you can record your voice to the story.
This is BY FAR Lucy’s favorite app, and mine too!! It’s so much fun! This is an interactive story, in which Grover is scared to get to the end of the book because there is a monster. Elmo, however, is fearless and wants to see! So Grover keeps doing things to try to prevent you from turning the page — paper clipping the pages together, gluing them, or building a block tower in front of the pages! At Elmo’s urging, your kiddo has to remove the paper clips, wipe the glue, knock down the blocks, etc. It’s SO much fun and Lucy has gotten really good at it. If I had to recommend one app from this post, it would be this one because it’s just so dang adorable.
Those are our favorites — I’d love to hear yours! Have a great day and thanks for reading!