This is post #6 in a blog series entitled At-home preschool resources for the very tired, non-creative, really busy mom. You can view all of the posts in the series here.
We don’t use apps all that frequently at home, but they are my go-to solution in the doctors office or other waiting rooms. I rarely remember to pack toys, but I always have my phone on me! Here’s some of our favorite educational apps!
Baby Flash Cards. We used this English Flash Cards app a ton when Ezra was a little bit younger and was in that “learn new words every hour” stage of vocabulary expansion. These vocabulary card are arranged by topic (transportation, anatomy, letters, numbers, animals, food, etc). My favorite part of this app is the sound effects for the transportation and animal sections so that children can learn the sounds that go along with the words too!
Toddler Counting 123. I LOVE this app. Ezra could easily count to 20, but when it came to counting objects, he was very lost. He would miscount, lose count, count items twice, etc. Then we found this app which puts the number counted over the object when it is touched, making it impossible to count an item more than once.
Bubble Pop 1, 2, Free! is an app where you can pop bubbles and then it will tell me how many you counted. I feel like this app is really better for fine motor skills than counting skills – as the child is trying to pop bubbles that are moving, rather than stationary objects. Available for download on iPhone.
Touch and Learn – ABC Alphabet and 123 Numbers. This is a simple app where the child has to follow the instructions and touch letters and numbers when prompted. It’s great for fine motor skills, but the thing I love most about this app is that it mixes letters, numbers, and letter sounds, all at the same time! (It looks like this is only available on iPhone). This developer also has some other amazing preschool apps that I hope to try out in the future!
A Bee Sees. This app is simply cute! A bee has to pop balloons that are different colors.
This last one is non-educational but incredibly helpful!:
Time Timer. This is a visual timer app that has been so incredibly helpful for Ezra. I had tried countless times before to follow recommended advice on “setting a timer” for tasks or time-out, but it always ended in more frustration or seemed completely ineffective. Time Timer takes the amount of time you want and displays it visually in a circle that disappears as the time passes. Now Ezra can actually see the time going away. We have used it for discipline (time-outs) as well as privileges (say, giving him ten minutes to jump on the bed). I’ve also started setting it on nights he asks to be rocked so that he knows I’m taking time to do something special while still expecting that I won’t rock him all night long. I wish I had downloaded this app two years ago. It’s not free, but it’s well worth it! Buy it here on Apple or Android.
There are a ton of other apps on my phone that we have tried and that he plays sometimes, but these are the ones that he has returned to multiple times and plays consistently and seem to be frustration-free.
*This post contains iTunes affiliate links.
What are your favorite preschool apps? I’d love to hear!