Hello fellow terrible parents who let their preschooler use a tablet! Nice to meet you. There are many articles and blog posts out there in the world that exist purely to make you feel like an inadequate human being and I’m here to tell you this is NOT one of those posts. I will not argue why I think a little tablet time is perfectly reasonable for children. I also won’t go into why those parents who don’t allow their children any screen time amaze me and seem like magical unicorns (extremely rare and, well, magical).
Instead, I thought I would share with you my preschooler’s very favorite apps that she goes back to multiple times on her tablet. Some are educational and have actually helped her learn to read and write and others are silly, ridiculous, and purely for fun.
With that being said, here are my daughter’s (and my) ten favorite tablet apps:
- Endless Alphabet (Available in the iTunes store and on Google Play)
- This is probably my daughter’s favorite app, educational or otherwise, and has been for about a year. It also happens to be FREE! The app teaches your preschooler to spell words by allowing them to drag the letters into the word. Once the word is spelled correctly, an animated sequence (featuring hilarious and colorful monsters) appears which illustrates the word’s meaning. My daughter uses words like “hilarious” and “opera” because of this app, so I’m a happy camper!
- Price: Free!
- Endless Reader (Available in the iTunes store and on Google Play)
- From the makers of Endless Alphabet, this app focuses on spelling, sight words and using them in a sentence. Like Endless Alphabet, this app is fun and colorful and doesn’t frustrate my daughter like other reading apps. Honestly, any of the “Endless” apps from Originator Inc. are amazing. Did I mention this one is free as well? Score!
- Price: Free!
- Learn With Homer (Available in the iTunes store)
- Who would have thought that a poet pigeon named Homer could teach a kid so much? The Homer app is a great all-encompassing educational app that is fun and endlessly entertaining. Not only does the game cover spelling and reading, it also does a great job of teaching phonics, poetry, songs, stories, numbers, etc. And, did I mention it’s fun? My daughter truly loves playing this game. It’s the perfect combination of education and fun playtime. You can learn more about the app on their website.
- Price: Free to download (First month is free and then is $7.75/month after that)
- Writing Wizard (Available in the iTunes store and on Google Play)
- This app has greatly improved my daughter’s letter-writing skills. It’s easy, straightforward, and fun. After tracing the letter, you can play with it, which allows for a little reward when you do it correctly. If you download this app, I would highly recommend purchasing a kid’s stylus (like this) so that your child can have an experience like that of writing with a pen or pencil (because no one writes with the tip of their finger IRL).
- Price: $4.99
- Bugs & Numbers (Available in the iTunes store and on Google Play)
- Raise your hand if your preschooler is fascinated by creepy crawly bugs (I’m raising my hand right now, you just can’t see me.)! This combines lovely bugs like ladybugs and roaches with learning numbers and basic math. I like that it’s kind of “ugly” if that makes sense. You have to move trash and leaves to find bugs underneath and move the roach left or right so he doesn’t get smooshed. This app grows with your preschooler as well, which is great. As your child gets more advanced with numbers and math, the lessons increase in difficulty. Most kids apps are so pretty and cute, so it’s fun to have a gritty big-infested one!
- Price: $2.99
Just For Fun:
- Sago Mini Apps (Available in the iTunes store and on Google Play)
- We just recently downloaded the Sago Mini Road Trip and my daughter loves it! She played it for quite a while and didn’t get bored. I plan to get more of the Sago Mini apps when she’s ready for new apps. Jinja the cat is adorable and goes on multiple adventures from road tripping to space exploring. The graphics are simple and clean and the sounds are cute (not annoying like SO many apps!). I think these apps would work for a younger audience as well as preschoolers.
- Price: $2.99 each
- Toca Boca Apps (Available in the iTunes store and on Google Play)
- These apps are AWESOME. I cannot stress this enough. I like to play them almost as much as my daughter does! Some of her favorites include: Toca Town, Toca Hair Salon, Toca Pet Doctor, Toca Doctor and Toca Lab. The hair salon might be my favorite since you can give a poor unsuspecting person a pretty fantastic purple buzz cut. All of the Toca Boca apps are creative and fun and they keep coming out with new Toca Boca Apps all the time!
- Price: Varies (Most are free or $2.99)
- Lazoo: Squiggles (Available in the iTunes store)
- Looking for a silly, fun drawing app that animates your child’s own creations? Enter: Lazoo Squiggles. It’s just a little app that doesn’t have a ton of variety, but she loves it and goes back to it often.
- Price: Free!
- Petting Zoo (Available in the iTunes store and on Google Play)
- I would love to meet the people behind this app. It’s called petting zoo because the main concept is “petting” the animal on the screen. But, the fun comes in when the animal stretches, squishes and turns into another animal entirely! We love doing this app together and she plays it often.
- Price: $2.99
- Press Here (Available in the iTunes store)
- If you and your preschooler are fans of the Press Here book by Herve Tullet (and if you aren’t, I suggest you get it.), you’ll love the app! It takes all the fun of the books and makes it even more interactive with music, etc.
- Price: $1.99