Best Smartphone Games and Apps for Infants and Toddlers
"Infants and toddlers? Imayen, isn't that too young?"
In a word: No.
We're not talking Grand Theft Auto, here. Or even Skylanders, really. The more innovative among us have created the most mind-blowingly simple games and apps to stimulate even the youngest minds.
If you're more selfish, maybe -- just maybe -- they'll help you sneak in a coveted bathroom break without feeling like you're re-enacting a scene from The Shining. Heeere's Johnny!
Not that I've ever... *ahem*
We totally underestimated how tech-savvy babies could be. I promise you -- I think they coming out of the womb with a penchant for unlocking phones. This was the first child-related app I downloaded, and its use has lasted through two kids. Activating the app immediately puts your phone in airplane mode. No calls in, no calls out. When your wee one taps the screen, bright shapes pop up accompanied by high-pitched (but quiet) tones that kids love. Thy can drag their fingers across the screen to doddle. They'll love the stimulating contrasting colors, and you'll love not hearing your kid whispering in the corner because he called your father-in-law.
Freakin' bubbles. This one isn't just for the kids. Everyone likes bubbles. If you don't, you might be dead inside. The app is pretty much like Toddler Lock, just with pop-able bubbles. With kiddos, even the smallest change can amount to a whole new experience.
Baby Sign and Learn
Android; Free Lite Version, $2.99 for full versions
iOS; Free Lite Version, $2.99 for full versions
The most frustrating thing about younger babies is that they can't freaking communicate. So they cry. And they cry. And they cry some more. But just because they can't verbally communicate, that doesn't mean that they can't pick up some non-verbals and make the day a heck of a lot easier for everyone. Encourage their vocabulary through sign languate. This app features babies signing words appropriate for this age range. Start with the free Lite version, and hit up one of the many paid expansions if you like the progress you and your child are making.
Parent's Flash Cards
Android; Free Colors card pack, $0.99 for each additional card pack
iOS; Free Colors and Shapes card packs, $0.99 for each additional card pack
Flash cards suck. The information is useful, of course, but handsy, grabby, gotta-do-what-momma's-doing kids wreck them after the first couple of uses.Parent's Magazine offers a whole series of mobile-based flash cards that won't end up bent, or lost, or in the kids' toy box, or outside by the car (that number 16 card went seriously rouge). Younger kids can learn numbers, letters, colors, and shapes. Older kids can focus on addition, subtraction, and division.
My toddlers love cars. They love anything with wheels, really. Trollies, trains, dump trucks --you name it, we have 'em. Toddler Cars features animations of common vehicles -- motorcycles, airplanes, firetrucks, and so on -- with their cool sounds.