her my iPhone and iPad. I love that they can serve as a distraction when she starts to get cranky in the car or wants me to pick her when I’m trying to get dinner made, etc. I think people who say children under 2 should not be exposed to media at all are bonkers. I’m talking to you, American Pediatrics Association. My daughter watches Sesame Street and/or Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood almost everyday. Often it’s in 5 or 10 minute blocks because she has the attention span of a 15 month old, and if they are not singing, she’s not interested. Unless there are dogs, or animals that look like dogs. She’ll watch dogs. And the advertisements that come on before Sesame Street. They are the same every time and get her excited. Sesame Street is always brought to you buy Earth’s Best Organics for Kids and PNC.
The best apps for her age are those that have simple illustrations and basic steps (just like books). If it requires more than one or two steps then it’s too advanced. She’s working on her hand-coordination skills, learning how her hands and fingers manipulate the screen, and even better, her favorite button (the home button) will exit her out of her favorite app and might just call on Siri. So, she’s also learning how to find her apps and open them.
I mean, do I even need to explain? Elmo calls your child. No, he doesn’t just call your child. He FaceTimes with her. Why didn’t this exist when I was a kid?
#2. Peekaboo Barn by Night & Day Studios
This app is super cute and super simple. There is an image of a barn, and the doors start to shake. You tap on the doors, and it reveals an animal inside. It makes the animal sound, says the name of animal in addition to revealing the name in print as well. Once you go through all the animals, night time falls, and all the animals go to sleep. Ellis hates this part. Wake them up! Let’s keep playing! At least I think that’s what her whines mean. She learned you either have to go through the motions or close the app and open it to start it all over again.
Similar to this, she also loves: Peekaboo Vehicles by Touch & Learn (super loud and annoying, but she loves it!) and Peekaboo Trick or Treat with Ed Emberley by Night & Day Studios. (Lately, she’s been playing these last two all the time. I think she needed a break from Peekaboo Barn. Surprisingly, she’s not really into the Peekaboo Sesame Street version.)
Itsy Bitsy Spider is one of her favorite songs. So, it made sense to find an app that played the song over and over. This app is so much fun for her, but so weird. It mixes elements of realism and fantasy, so it’s not quite educational, but then when you click on certain objects like the sun or a fly, a child’s voice gives a scientific explanation that is far too advanced for a 15 month old, let alone a 3 year old.
If Peekaboo Barn is the digital version of that old school toy where you pull a string and a bored man’s voice says, “The cow goes moo!,” then this app is the digital version of the plastic ball with the different shaped holes that you have to fit plastic pieces into. How in the world am I supposed to describe that? A shape-sorter ball toy thing. Yeah, so this is the digital version of it.
So, she’s kind of over this one already, but it was her favorite for so long that I had to include it. It’s really pointless fun. It’s colorful and makes a lot of sounds. The more you touch the screen, the more colorful balls appear accompanied by various sounds depending on what theme you select. You hold down on a ball and a surprise pops out like a fish, cat, or dog.