Toddlers are not known for sitting still. So when you’ve planned a long daytime flight or are stuck waiting in line just about anywhere, keep your kid in one place with these great toddler apps.
This is part 2 of a 3-part series. For baby apps, see Best iPad Apps for Travel with Baby. For elementary-age kids, see Learning on the Go: Best iPad Apps for School-Age Kids.
The Monster at the End of This Book… Starring Grover
Grover doesn’t get a lot of airtime anymore with Sesame Street, but The Monster at the End of This Book definitely puts him center stage. This lively book app reads like TV, in that it is so interactive you won’t even remember that you’re reading. Grover, of course, doesn’t want your child to turn the page, so he will delight in breaking down walls and untying knots to do so. Parents’ notes also tell you how to approach your kid’s fear of monsters. This book app should be one of the first in your collection.
Grimm’s Rapunzel – a 3D Interactive Pop-up Book
A whole world is created inside Grimm’s Rapunzel pop-up book app. Your child can read the warm, innocent story of Rapunzel and interact with each pop-up scene in a meaningful way. Hints on the screen give a task to complete like watering flowers or picking apples, and many other objects on the screen move if tapped. The 3D nature of this book makes it seem like a real reading experience rather than just pages on a screen. Narration is available in 4 languages, so you’ll definitely get your money’s worth with this app.
Bob Books Reading Magic Lite
Teach your toddler how to read with Bob Books Reading Magic Lite. Hand-drawn pictures let your child focus on one word at a time to sound out and put letters in the correct order. Simple, short words are easy to place even for the littlest of fingers. The best part is that the picture colors and animates after the word is correctly spelled. The Lite version provides a few pages, and if your young child is interested in spelling already, it’s worth paying for the full version.
Cost: Free for Lite version
Toon Goggles – Cartoons for Kids
The amazing kid-safe cartoon portal Toon Goggles takes onscreen education and entertainment to a new level. Your child can access never-before-seen cartoons, high-quality international animation and educational shows via one special app. Stream or download unique cartoons like ABC Monsters, a letter-based learning show, or MONK, hilarious clips from a dog’s eye view. The great thing about this platform is that, unlike Netflix, which requires Wi-Fi or 3G to work, you can download cartoons to your Toon Box for viewing when there’s no Internet (although this requires a monthly subscription fee of $4.99). This can be especially helpful on cruises, planes and in areas with spotty or no service like campgrounds. The app is free, but registration is required. The first few episodes of each show are free, but to unlock the rest you’ll have to register and pay the subscription fee.
Cost: Free with optional $4.99 monthly service
Disclaimer: My husband is the chief technical officer for Toon Goggles, supporting its foray into the wide world of mobile media.
Millie Was Here: Book 1, Meet Millie
Millie was Here puts other book apps to shame with its original content, unique animations and of course, the most adorable dog, Millie. The narrator sounds magical and mysterious, yet you’ll catch yourself laughing at Millie’s antics and noticing the unusual twists they’ve put on a typical dog story. Videos embedded in the story are really cool and the design is pleasing to the eye. This free app will keep your kids occupied for a long time, but if they want more Millie, you can purchase other stories (a portion of which go to pet charities).