You can say all you want that children should not be exposed to television, computers, or tablets, but the truth is that we do allow our children to be exposed to these things regardless of what age they are. But if we are going to let them be exposed to those kinds of things we might as well make it worth their while with a little bit of fun on the side. So here are five of my favourite apps that I have downloaded onto my iPad for my son to play with:
1. Endless Alphabet 2. Sound Box 3. Peekaboo Barn 4. Toca Train 5. Bug Builder
Endless Alphabet is fantastic because it is like a puzzle with funny little talking letters that repeatedly makes the sound the letter makes -- "are" for the letter "r" -- until you put it in it's correct spot. Once you have spelled the words there is a little video that shows and talks about the definition of the word. There are really good words to spell, too -- like "gargle", "cooperate", and "famished". It's a lot of fun.
Sound Box is a great app because it introduces musical instruments and everyday sounds and then allows you to go wild tapping on the screen, making music and having a lot of fun with rhythms and sounds.
Peekaboo Barn is the very first app that I ever downloaded for my son. He loves how the barn interacts with him and how he has to tap on the screen to open the doors to discover what animal is inside. I like that it introduced him to animal sounds and allowed him to have fun while doing it. This app was a favourite for a long time.
I learned about Toca Train from our speech pathologist at work. It is a reward game that she uses with the kids after they complete all of the activities she has for them. It's a fun one because it's an interactive train track. You get to drive the train around town and collect passengers and freight. You even get to choose the speed and blow the whistle. We all know how much children -- and adults -- enjoy trains so it's a lot of fun for them to get to drive the train around.
Bug Builder allows you to create your own bug. You get to colour it, make it hatch from an egg, give it a hat, take care of it, and then snap a photo. Once you have completed that process, it lays an egg for you to help another bug hatch and then you get to design and take care of that bug, and so on and so on until you turn off the app. It's a simple, fun game.