When we travel, I always bring the iPad because, let's face it, at some point, I want my child to do something other than watch movies. And the reality is, my son has a limit of about two hours before he tires of cartoons and movies.
Today I'm sharing some of apps that we've tried and tested on the iPad. When I let my son use the iPad, I prefer that he plays with games that are interactive and, if possible, educational. My son will be three in a week, but we've been playing with several of these apps since he turned two and a half. With the exception of the Tangrams and Tiny Space, I get the sense that I'll need to "graduate" to more challenging applications in the near future.
Here's what his page on my iPad looks like at the moment. I'll be highlighting four of the apps below, although at the moment, my son enjoys all of them.
We have 'Sorting 1', 'Sorting 2', and 'Sorting 3'. All by the same developer, just different levels of sorting games. My son loves the visuals of this game and I love the ease of use. No need for me to show him how to play the app. He knows how to do so intuitively.
There are five levels, with graduating difficulty. The second screen below is a from level 2. As you can see, no explanation is needed.
My First Tangrams
I loved tangrams as a child, so of course I had to see if my son would like them, too! I love this app because it has varying degrees of difficulty, from providing a full template (no imagination needed) to no template, just the finished product, which the user must create from the shapes provided. I've included a sample of a template (filled in with a few pieces). That's the level my son likes best right now. I can see him growing into the more difficult levels as he gets older.
Dr. Panda's Hospital
This app is probably the least educational (in my opinion) of the four of featured today. However, my son really enjoys this app and there is a video game quality to it, yet it is still easy enough for a toddler to intuitively pick up. The idea is that animals check into Dr. Panda's hospital for various ailments. The user checks each patient into a bed and then sees each patient in an effort to cure them. Some patients simply have a fever, others have broken ribs (which need to be set back in place), and in the screenshot I've shared below, some need a little dental work. I like this particular problem, because I've used it to help my son brush his teeth. I explain that he needs to scrub the bugs away, just like he does when he plays Dr. Panda.
If you have a toddler around the ages of 2-3, and you're in search of fun apps, these might be ones that you haven't heard of. We've got the usual expected apps like "Wheels on the Bus" and various puzzles of all kinds, but I've found these to be a little unusual.
Do you allow your child to use the computer or smartphone to play computer games? Do you have any iPad or smartphone apps you can recommend for 3-5 years of age?