Parents know that toddlers have a healthy curiosity for the world around them. Kids seem to come hardwired ready to embrace technology these days. Unfortunately the technology your toddler is most likely embracing is probably your expensive tablet computer or smartphone. And without all the parental controls on tablets they could easily go from watching Dora The Explorer and switch over to watch bones online which may not be your ideal child program of choice. It is much easier to lock them into something that is both entertaining and educational so that you can rest assured that they are using their time constructively.
Luckily there are plenty of choices in handheld learning tablets geared specifically to kids and built tough enough to survive your little one’s, terrible 2s, thrilling 3s and beyond.
Learning apps come in many forms. Some teach your child the basics: letter recognition, basic language skills, counting, colors, shapes and all of the things every preschooler needs to know. Other apps appear to be more like fun and games but really work on developing things like hand/eye coordination or cognitive skills, such as logic, reasoning, attention skills, or visual processing. Here are a few of the best games from two of the leading learning tablet producers. There are many innovative and engaging learning apps available on each system.
Leap Frog Leap Pad 2
Leap Frog is a leader in electronic learning devices and makes one of the most popular learning tablets. The Leap Pad 2 is has an extensive library of downloadable apps. Popular characters from Nickelodeon and Disney will be recognisable to your toddler and will help them become engaged in the learning fun. From Dora the Explorer to Mickey Mouse there is no shortage of great titles.
Stretchy Monkey –
This Leap Pad 2 game might appear to be all about fun but it really is an exercise in physics, as your child must figure out what angles and speed are necessary to catapult Stretchy Monkey from one tree branch to the next. In between, there are pattern sequences to solve as they advance through the 20 levels of game play
Bubble Guppies –
Go on an adventure with the Bubble Guppies and along the way learn about the importance of recycling and fossils. Besides lessons on environmental science, there are puzzles to solve which strengthen reading comprehension skills.
Jim and the Lost Gems –
Swing into action as you scale skyscrapers and dive for sunken treasure, all while helping Jim find the lost gems, in over 30 levels of action. Children reinforce logic and reasoning skills as they solve puzzles to collect gems.
Roly Poly Picnic –
Experience motion-based game-play through 36 levels of action and help the Roly Poly bugs collect berries. Kids develop basic phonics skills and learn to recognise simple words as they advance through each level.
VTech – InnoTab2, Interactive Learning Tablet
The InnoTab2 is the second-generation touch tablet from V-Tech. The tablet can store 2GB of games and you can buy additional storage space. There are some great games for the InnoTab2, including several Disney titles as well as a healthy library of other games.
Monkey Moves – This game really gets your toddler moving, as they mimic the singing and dancing monkey’s dance movements and learn all about the parts of the body.
Alphabet Bubble – Toddlers will learn the alphabet while they and pop musical bubbles, discover objects and sing along to the alphabet song.
Jake & the Never Land Pirate –
There are big adventures ahead as your toddler navigates their way through three exciting games as part of Jake’s Pirate Crew! This game encourages creativity and builds logic and reasoning skills.
These tablets are both touch screen, and Wi-Fi enabled which makes it easy to transfer apps from the internet to the tablet. If you want to reclaim your tablet, consider buying your tech-savvy tyke a child-friendly learning tablet.