Welp we finally gave in. Over the holidays amidst a meltdown, Liam was introduced to interactive toddler apps and that was it. Liam went from naive baby to future techie. Instead of fighting our urge to keep him away from any Apple product, we decided to encourage it by buying the kid friendly ipad protector and finding the right ipad apps that wouldn't make him overly stimulated. Thankfully he would rather run around playing chase, but on days where the windchill keeps us indoors these apps help keep him engaged and active.
- Liam has an unhealthy obsession with The Wheels On the Bus, so when I stumbled upon this app in the app store it was a blessing. This app allows users to customize the experience by uploading and editing your child's face onto the body of the driver. There are several different "levels" that engage users at different touch points. Notice that I said "users" because admittedly even I have found myself having fun playing with this app. Each point along the way, the camera option gives users the option to capture a screengrab of the experience.
- This app is great if your little one loves to stack things. My son loves stacking red solo cups (seriously why do we pay for toys) and I was amazed at how quickly he learned to play this game. It helped him understand different levels of order and he has learned the names of colors quickly based on the direction we give him to help him play this app.
Elmo Calls by Sesame Street
- You know you have a toddler when he/she loves Elmo. I made the mistake of introducing Liam to Elmo a few months ago and it's been love ever since. While he won't sit through an episode of Sesame Street, he is infatuated with the character and always asks for "Eh-mo". This app lets kids pretend that Elmo is face timing with them. Since Liam recently learned how to answer the phone and Facetime, this has quickly become a new go to app for us.
- Liam is at the age where he absorbs words like a sponge. Between "Ceese" (cheese), "App-uh" (apple), "Bus-shhh" (bus), "Dawg" (dog), "Ipah" (ipad) and "NO", he's talking up a storm. This app is great because it flies through different flashcards to teach him the right pronunciation of each image. With every press of the screen, the app will repeat the word. Swipe the screen and the next word appears - easy and educational.
While it was our hope to not be so reliant on technology and TV to keep Liam entertained, we have now found the benefit of introducing it to him. It's inevitable that the kids in this generation will grow up in a world of shortcuts with technology, but that's ok. We'll still teach Liam the value of imaginative play, but will balance it with the valuable teachings that technology has to offer.