Long car rides with kids are tough.
Like most parents, we have always tried to keep screen time with our daughter Everly at a minimum. I’m not here to tell you how much time is too much with the TV or iPad. Personally, we didn’t let our daughter watch any “screens” until after she was 1 year old. My original plan was to wait until she was at least 2, but then life happened. And I wanted to go out to dinner and enjoy a meal without having pasta thrown in my hair. And I wanted to have an uninterupted conversation with my husband. Consequently, I’ve found some apps that we love to use in the car, out to dinner, or even for a few minutes at home when we need some time to chill out.
With summer approaching, your family may have some road trips planned to the beach, on vacation, or visiting friends and family. Even if you are trying to limit screen time with your kids, there are times it can be helpful, and even educational! Anytime we do a trip, I dig deep to find some new apps to keep my daughter busy.
Here is a roundup of some of the new apps we like, and some old ones we have enjoyed over the years.
For the younger kids (2 & under):
- Peekaboo Barn – Tap on the doors to find out who’s behind them and learn about lots of new animals.
- Fish School – Duck Duck Moose has a few great apps for kids, this one being our favorite when Everly was younger. Learn letters, numbers, shapes and colors with colorful fish and friendly sea characters.
- BeBop Blox – Fun little creatures that play and sing inside blocks. Move the blocks to the correct position to form a picture.
For the older kids (2+):
- ABCmouse.com – This is one app that is a little more pricey (an annual membership is about $60), but totally worth it in my opinion. We first started using this when Everly was about 2. At the time, I’d have to sit and work through some of the lessons with her. Now that she’s 4, she’ll sit and play this one on her own. The lessons go all the way up to second grade, so this app can grow with your child.
- Endless Reader – We love all of the “Endless” apps, with Endless Reader being the one we are currently using the most. Friendly monsters help children how to read, spell, and use words correctly in a sentence. Also check out Endless Alphabet and Endless Letters for the younger kids.
- Toca Nature, Toca Builders, & Toca Band – Toca has some of our favorite apps, with these three coming in at the top of the list! Toca Nature is MY favorite! Build your own forrest by adding trees and adjusting the landscaping. Watch as different animals emerge that you walk around to feed and take care of. Toca Builders is one of Everly’s favorites. Choose between six different characters who will help build whatever you can imagine. Finally, Toca Band is a favorite of everyone! Choose between 16 characters and put them on stage to create your own beats and sounds together for a hit song. Also check out the other Toca Apps, we love them all!
Which apps do you use and love with your own children? Please share in the comments below!