I’ve shamelessly touted the iPad as my favorite travel accessory and now you can stock yours up with a bunch of apps that will keep your tot busy, or at least clicking around, while you travel. Some of them Karam has been playing since he was 18 months and others he is still growing into. Figure it out, based on your child’s age and interests. The good news is, more than half of them are free!
1. Learning Touch First Letters and Phonics: Your little one will spend hours (okay, minutes) dragging the letters around to hear the sounds even if he/she has no idea what they mean.
2. Learning Touch FirstWords: Animals: Your child will look like a genius to fellow passengers who will see them matching letters and think they can spell! Plus it’s good for the kid too.
3. Shape Puzzle HD Free – Word Learning Game for Kids: Karam has suddenly gotten into these shape matching games and he really enjoys them. Great for spatial understanding and colors and prints. The full version has lots more options, but the free one has over 10 shapes that to match. More than enough given the current state of their attention spans. Plus, it’s animal kingdom! Cost: Free
4. Preschool 12 in 1 Kids Pack: Claims to be rated number 1 for kids on the appstore. Don’t know how to verify that but definitely a good app for preschoolers. Lots of options that will keep them engaged just bouncing between them if nothing else. Cost: $1.99
5. The Cat in the Hat – Dr. Seuss LITE: For great animation, optional story-telling and of course, a super fun tale, toddlers and above will enjoy The Cat in the Hat. You can read it yourself too! Cost: Free
6. Farm Flip Memory Match for Kids: Remember that incredible time sink, Memory? Well it’s back, in full iPad glory. There are several options out there but this one is particularly fun for little kids who can identify their favorite farm animals. The good news: you can play too! Cost:Free
7. Baby Piano HD Lite: Cute animation over an 8 key piano encourage kids to play their own music and experiment. Flip the switch and get cute little animal sounds too. The full app is $1.99, but the free app seems to have enough options for short attention spans. Cost: Free
8. Draw: Let your little one express his/her inner Picasso with Draw. It’s also super fun because you can play tic-tac-toe, spell out words and email their creations for your own digital archives. Cost: Free
9. Talking Tom Cat: Now please note that there is nothing remotely educational about this cheeky cat but boy, is he fun! Pet him and hear him purr, punch him and knock him over, and have him repeat what you say in his squeaky feline voice. Karam is having kittens over this one. Only word of caution is not to have the volume too high on a flight, this cat ain’t soft. Cost: Free
Of course, you can also download videos and books if this isn’t entertainment enough. Isn’t technology wonderful!
“Two of the greatest gifts we can give our children are roots and wings.”- Holding Carter
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