Two days ago I wrote about some of the pros and cons of using an iPad with your child during playtime. Today I will share some of Beanie’s favorite apps. Here are the top 5 apps for preschoolers:
1. Monkey Preschool Lunchbox. This game appeals to the short attention span of a preschooler. The monkey leads kids throu a variety of games, including matching, patterns, and letter recognition. Kids earn “stickers” that they can place on a board periodically in the game. The same company also made Monkey Mathschool Sunshine, which is a math game for preschoolers that follows a similar format.
2. Jump Start Preschool. This is another variey game, where kids earn “jump stars.”. It is slightly more challenging than Monkey Preschool Lunchbox, and it teaches early reading and math skills.
3. Elmo’s Monster Maker. This is a more open-ended, creative game. Kids choose a monster body, then add eyes, a nose, a mouth, and a hat. Then, the monster can dance, play with Elmo, or have its picture taken.
4. Another Monster at the End of This Book. This is part app, part ebook. It’s based on the children’s book, but kids can click on the pictures and participate in the story. This is Beanie’s current favorite. There is also an app available based on the earlier book, “The Monster at the End of This Book.”
5. Letter School. . This is my favorite letter-making game. Kids choose a letter, watch a demonstration of it being formed, then drag fun objects (train tracks, lights, grass, etc.) around to make the letter. After they successfully make the letter, something happens. A train goes around the track, lights blink, a lawnmower cuts the grass, and so on. This is a great app, because it only allows kids to for the letters correctly, rather than just having them trace. ABC Trace is another good letter-forming app.
Here are some apps not to bother with:
1. Puppet Show. You can make the puppet turn and open its mouth. Not too exciting.
2. Jog Nog. This requires constant Internet access. Not ideal for a little kid.
3. Kid Genius. This is just flash cards.