Big-time apps appeal to really little kids

  • Article by: JENN SAVEDGE , Mother Nature Network
  • Updated: July 18, 2012 - 2:41 PM

Here are 10 favorite apps to teach and entertain your inquisitive toddler.

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"The Monster at the End of This Book."

While the debate rages on about whether you should let your baby use your iPad (or give your baby her own iPad), the fact is, if you have a young child and an iPad, there probably will come a time when the two will cross paths.

There are lots of great apps made specifically for your iPad that can keep baby entertained on a plane, in a restaurant or at the doctor's office.

Here's a list of readers' top 10 favorites. The apps are available through iTunes.

5-in-1 Kids Pack HD ($1): If your little one loves matching games, this is the app for her. Lots of matching games are included, and you can customize each one by the size of the grid, timing and types of objects to be matched -- numbers, pictures, letters.

AlphaBaby ($1): This simple app is great for even the youngest of babies. Kids can touch the screen and a letter (or number, or shape) will appear. If they touch again, they will see a new image. A voice says the name of the letter, number or shape out loud when it's touched. It might sound dull, but to a little one, it's just the right kind of cool.

Bubbles ($1): It's a scientific fact that kids love to pop bubbles. (Just ask any scientist who has kids.) That's all this app aims to do. There's no teaching, no repeating, just the ultimate in super-fun bubble-popping distraction. Go ahead, just try and tear your toddler away.

Drawing Pad ($2): This app is like a virtual arts-and-crafts kit for kids. Tots can choose from crayons, pencils, brushes and big, fat erasers.

Fish School ($2): This app includes lots of fun activities for kids working hard to master the basics. Toddlers can name numbers and letters, guess colors and play memory matching games.

I Hear Ewe (free): This fun app includes 24 animal cards and 12 vehicle cards, each identified by name and by sound. It's like a See 'N Say toy for the next generation. For the price, you can't beat it.

Squiggles (free): This app is marketed for toddlers and preschoolers, but older kids (and even parents) might fight to play it if they could. This fun app makes a child's hand-drawn "squiggles" come to life -- from a wiggly line to a sheep's wool, a curly bear, rocket smoke -- you name it.

Peekaboo Barn ($3): This app is a fun animal recognition game featuring all of your toddler's favorite critters, including pigs, roosters, cows, goats and more. Of course, the game wouldn't be complete without the playful version of "Old MacDonald Had a Farm" tinkling in the background.

ø The Monster at the End of This Book ($4): Kids can read the story and use the interactive features to untie knots, knock down walls, and help Grover overcome his fear of monsters.

Toddler Counting ($1): How fun could it possibly be to count? Count cows. Count sheep. Count strawberries. This app not only counts along with you, but it applauds when you're done. That's pretty darn fun for a 2-year-old.

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