The thought of handing a tablet or smartphone over to a two year old makes a lot of parents cringe when they think of the damage that could be inflicted on their precious device by the unknowingly rough handling of their kid.
And yet, there’s been a lot of discussion in the news lately over the surprisingly high number of toddlers that have used a smartphone and other high tech devices that their parents willingly pass back to them. A recent study carried out by Parenting Group found that over 25% of toddlers have used a smartphone, which roughly correlates with the number of parents of toddlers who own smartphones. (If you’re looking for some awesome new apps for your kids and toddlers, check out Famigo.com, a resource for free apps for families.)
Crazy, right? That means just about every parent who owns a smartphone has allowed their kids to get ahold of it. (Maybe the pristine condition of our shiny new devices means less to us then the momentary happiness of our kids?)
This super early adoption of high tech mobile devices is going to change the way that we create and interact with media. It leads to a lot questions on how kids will be effected by constant interaction with digital screens and how every industry will ultimately have to adjust to fit the new demands of a rapidly changing generation of plugged-in toddlers, kids, adolescents and adults.
For now though, our smartphones and tablets are sometimes transformed into gaming and learning systems for our kids and we need content that will keep them entertained and occupied.
We’ve done our best to find what we consider to be the best apps for toddlers (and they’re free, because we know that, personally, we very rarely pay for apps).
Top 5 Free Android Apps for Toddlers
PBS KIDS video brings clips of some of the most popular PBS TV shows to iPad and iPhone. All of the video content is high quality and appropriate for children because it is directly from PBS children’s programming. The buttons are large and easy to use, especially for a toddler’s hands. Navigation is also simple enough for even young children to use.
2. Alphabet Car
This is the best of both worlds for parents and kids alike. It’s a game that toddlers will love and it’s educational. You drive a school bus by tilting the device from side to side in order to capture letters and spell words. It’s a really nicely designed game that has a great user interface and really excellent graphics. Great for early learners, and fun even for those kids who are to young to read.
This app is like carrying around a library of children’s books. It’s great to have a bunch of excellent content at your fingertips, especially when kids are getting fidgety in waiting rooms or fighting in the backseat of the car. Books provide a great distraction and iStoryBooks is super easy to use so kids will have no problem whatsoever interacting with some of their favorite stories.
4. The Marbians
A gorgeous game with a ton of character. It can be enjoyed by players of all ages, the characters are extremely like-able and the story line is cute. It has some of the same kind of addicting characteristics as Angry Birds, but with an other-worldly spin (literally). You’ll really want to help these little alien dudes find their way home!
For what is ultimately a simple puzzle game, the shapes are actually pretty unique and there’s a bunch to choose from, so your kids won’t get tired of it super fast. It has a bit of educational value, as it names the shapes that are built, and there aren’t just circles and squares, they do all kinds of animals and other objects.
Are there any great apps for toddlers that we’ve left out? Let us know in the comments!
And find even more awesome apps for toddlers and kids of all ages at Famigo.com, an app resource for parents.