Apps can be fun learning time for your toddler and baby

As parents, we want our children to be entertained, but we also want them to be safe and learning. These three apps are enjoyable, safe for your toddlers’ curiosity, and will generate exciting play for them.

Breathe, Think, Do

This app brought to you by the iconic Sesame Street is a colorful interactive app that helps your toddler learn problem solving skills. There’s a cute little monster that your child will help to learn how to navigate various toddler problems and learn how to calm down, think, make a plan, and then tackle the problem with confidence.

The app is free to download and there are no sneaky in-app purchases that your toddler would be able to get into so you can rest assured it is free play space for your child.

One thing I like very much about this cute app is that you can customize the “cheering” voices that your child will hear while playing. So instead of “Help the monster take three deep breaths to calm down,” spoken by the app narrator, you can record your own voice saying “OK Benjamin, tap the monster’s belly to remind him to breathe and calm himself down, just like you do! Good work!” What a great way to ensure your child is learning to solve their own problems and knowing you are there for them the whole way.

The graphics are clean and colorful and of the high quality you’d expect from Sesame Street. Your toddler will tap the monster’s belly to help him take deep, calming breaths, tap the idea bubbles to help the monster think of a plan, and then choose one of the plans for the monster to try. The messages are so important here. Teaching your child: patience, coping, how to calm themselves, how to think creatively, how to solve real world problems they will face at their age.

There’s even a parent portal with helpful information for you to teach and encourage your child along with the app, as well as some helpful information that supports the concepts your child is learning.

Here is how you can get this free app for your toddler(s):

PBS Kids Video

PBS has a long history of providing valuable educational and entertaining content for children. Especially when on the go, this app is a fantastic way to entertain your toddlers (and even older babies) with fun and educational material.

This app is free to download and is one of the editor’s choice apps at the Google Play store. Your little ones can view their favorite PBS cartoons, build robots, make virtual cupcakes, whack piñatas, and play fun music. This app is sure to keep your little ones entertained while you get things done and you will have the assurance of quality PBS content.

The app looks like a tv screen with colorful icons along the side for your child to choose their favorite shows such as:

– Full episodes come out every Friday from your favorite PBS KIDS shows, including:

– Wild Kratts

– Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood

– Sesame Street

– Odd Squad

– Let’s Go Luna

– Nature Cat

– Cat in the Hat

– Curious George

– And more!

For parents there are features accessible through the Grownups button on mobile devices which will provide a TV schedule for your local PBS station, intended age group and learning goals for specific shows, more fun apps by PBS available for download, and more full episodes that are available to purchase.

Keep your kids overjoyed with their favorite cartoons by downloading this fun app:

Fish School

Duck Duck Moose brings us this delightful app. The app has been awarded  the Parents’ Choice Gold Award from the Parents’ Choice Foundation and the  Children’s Technology Review Editor’s Choice Award for Excellence in Design.

A simple and very colorful format brings educational material to your toddler or baby in an easy point and click method to encourage learning on their level. It will help prepare your child for preschool or supplement their preschool learning activities. Babies will love the colors and cute commentary and toddlers will love interacting with numbers, letters, colors, and shapes.

Educational activities provided by this fun app are:

– LETTERS: Learn ABCs by watching the fish make letters

– NUMBERS: Recognize numbers and learn to count from 1 to 20

– SHAPES: Follow the fish as they form different shapes

– COLORS: Select a swimming fish of any color, and watch the ocean become that color

– DIFFERENCES: Identify which fish doesn’t belong

– MATCHING: Find the matching fish

– PLAY: Touch, tap and drag colorful fish to make them do funny things

– MUSIC: Listen to classical variations of the ABC Song

To download this fun app for your toddlers:

It is important to note that there is such a thing as too much screen time.

Set reasonable time limits for your toddler so they know that screen time is pleasurable but should not be overused. Perhaps use it as a reward tool to reinforce good behavior. Or have a set time of play for screen time to encourage them to make the most of their time, but not play for hours on end. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends children ages 2 to 5 be limited to one hour of screen time a day.

Thank you for reading. I invite you to join the Babienet parenting community and to follow the Babienet Parenting Blog for more helpful articles like this one.

For further reading:

Limiting Screen Time
More Great Apps for Toddlers

Christina M. Ward,

Babienet blog contributor

Proud mother of 3 and  grandmother of 2

3 Must Have Baby and Toddler Apps tells parents about three exciting, fun, and safe educational apps for toddlers: “Breathe, Think, Do,” “PBS Kids Video,” and “Fish School.”