Toys for toddlers are expensive, and often, let’s face it… annoying! Repetitive music in high-pitched voices, flashing lights and lots of clickety-clackety buttons. Apps might have a bad rap since they mean giving dreaded “screen time” to our tots, but I think that, like TV, when used sparingly, the iPad or iPhone can be a learning tool and also the perfect portable activity for travel. Every toddler is fascinated by screens, and, let’s face it, they’re almost unavoidable. I don’t let Cub play on my iPad unchecked, nor for more than 10 or 15 minutes. He’s learning to say “bye bye” to his game when it’s time to switch gears, which is also a valuable skill!
I always feel like I’m breaking the bank when I pay for an app (for myself or Cub), but when you really think about the functionality of the app and how much use you will get from it, .99 cents or $1.99 is kind of a bargain! Cub has one paid app, and it is hands down his favourite. It’s also MY favourite to play with him because it’s not obnoxious… it’s… well, really fun! The app is called Forest Flyer and is $2.99. (If you want to save $1.00, sometimes it goes on sale!)
A lot of other games available for toddlers aren’t suitable for younger tots with poor coordination. Just mashing his chubby paws on the screen allows Cub to interact with this game, much to his delight. There’s so much to see and do, and talk about in Robin’s woodland habitat. Cub doesn’t say much yet, but doing what I suggest in the game shows me how much he understands!
Essentially, you use you finger to fly Robin around the forest. She interacts in different ways with her environment, and it’s silly, sweet and surprising. Cub loves the predictability of it: he knows that when he touches the radio, Robin will do a dance. He dances along with her. It’s a lot like reading our favourite books!
I certainly don’t advocate using apps to babysit your toddler. We used this app while flying cross country (it doesn’t need the sound on to be fun), and now we give it a whirl for a few minutes, either together, or Cub can fly solo for a few minutes if I’m putting something in the oven or grabbing the laundry.
What apps wet your cubs appetites?! (I’m so punny!)