Favorite iPad, iPhone & iPod touch Games & (FREE!) Video Apps for Babies & Toddlers

Favorite Games & Video Apps (iPad & iPhone) for Babies & ToddlersI’ll wrap up our series of posts about Tommy’s favorite apps (for iPad, iPhone & iPod touch) by sharing his favorite games and video apps. Some of these apps are educational and some are purely for fun. All of them keep him busy and put a smile on his face. Read on below for a round-up of some of the most entertaining apps that Tommy has loved, categorized by age.

Favorite Games for 0-1 Year Olds:

  • Giggle Gang – Fisher-Price – Free – iPhone, iPad & iPod touch

FP_Giggle GangThis app was one of Tommy’s first favorite games on my iPhone. It is essentially the same as the Laugh & Learn™ Shapes & Colors Music Show app by Fisher Price. Level 1 has six cute characters that pop up when you tap the screen. When you tap on them, they giggle, and you can even record your own little one’s giggle. Level 2 has all of the characters up on a stage. When you tap on a character, it will come forward and dance to a little jingle about its name. After you have tapped the characters a few times, they all perform a song together. There is also a little piano at the bottom of the screen that plays notes when you tap it. This sweet app is great for young toddlers and babies.

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  • Storybook Rhymes Volume 1 – Fisher-Price – Free – iPhone, iPad & iPod touch

FP_Storybook1Another great app by Fisher Price, this one flips through two nursery rhymes (One, Two Buckle My Shoe and The Itsy Bitsy Spider) page by page. For each nursery rhyme, you can choose to either “Read & Sing” or to “Read & Play.” The “Read & Sing” option sings the song as it highlights the words and a short animation plays for each page. “Read & Play” follows the words to the rhyme as it is narrated. If you click on the different parts of the interactive pages, objects and characters move and make sounds. At the end of the “storybook” for either option, the whole song plays with an adorable animated scene. Lots of fun for little ones!

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  • Storybook Rhymes Volume 2 – Fisher-Price – Free – iPhone, iPad & iPod touch

FP_Storybook2This app is exactly like Storybook Rhymes Volume 1, except with two different nursery rhymes: Row, Row, Row Your Boat and The Animal Fair.

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  • Storybook Rhymes Volume 3 – Fisher-Price – Free – iPhone, iPad & iPod touch

FP_Storybook3Again, this is identical t0 Storybook Rhymes Volume 1 and Storybook Rhymes Volume 2 , except with two new nursery rhymes: Hickory, Dickory, Dock and Pat-a-Cake.

    

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  • Elmo Calls – Sesame Street – $1.99 – iPhone, iPad, & iPod touch

Elmo CallsMy Elmo-loving boy thinks this app is great! It basically lets your little one receive phone calls and video calls from their best buddy Elmo. There are even silly voice mails they can listen to. When they get a video call from Elmo, a little screen shows up in the corner using the front-facing camera to show what you are up to (like FaceTime or Skype). T loves watching himself almost as much as he enjoys watching Elmo. It’s a very cute app!

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  • Cookie Calls – Sesame Street – $1.99 – iPhone, iPad, & iPod touch

Cookie CallsThis app is exactly like Elmo Calls, but with Cookie Monster instead. There are funny video calls, phone calls, and voice mail messages featuring your pal Cookie Monster. If you have a Sesame Street fan in the house, buy the bundle and get both apps!

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Favorite Games for 1 & 2 Year Olds:

  • Laugh & Learn™ Where’s Puppy’s Nose? – Fisher-Price – Free – iPad

FP_Where is PuppyThis is a great game for kids who are learning their body parts! Level 1 lets you tap on a body part on Puppy and it tells you what it is called. Level 2 asks you “Where is Puppy’s ___?” and you have to tap on the right body part. There is also the option to switch to the Kitty character. Both have a cute little frog sidekick that waves and dances. It’s a simple game with cute music and fun animation- great for toddlers!

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  • Sago Mini Ocean Swimmer – Sago Sago – Free – iPhone, iPad, & iPod touch

Sago Mini OceanThis is a really funny game! It’s such a simple concept- you just drag a little fish through the ocean and as you approach different objects and characters, he interacts with them. You can explore from the water’s surface down to the sea floor and scroll on and on in either direction. As you move along and tap on things, creatures pop out, the fish hides, he puts on costumes, eats things… the options are seemingly endless! Every time we play this game, I see something that we haven’t found before.

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  • Bugs & Buttons – Little Bit Studio, LLC – $2.99 – iPhone, iPad, & iPod touch

Bugs and ButtonsYou get so much for the price with this app! The graphics are beautiful and realistic, and there are 18 different games to choose from. Toddlers will need assitance playing some of these games, but many are simple enough for a one-and-a-half or two-year-old to play independently. Games include flinging bugs onto a flower with a slingshot, completing patterns with colored buttons, counting bugs, tic-tac-toe, catching bugs, sorting colored buttons, picking apples, connect-the-dots, catching buttons as they fall off a moving truck, helping a bug get through a maze, sorting colored fireflies into jars, bug races, navigating a flying butterfly around obstacles, finding hidden bugs, a picture matching memory game, and a letter train. This app cleverly teaches kids hand-eye coordination by adding obstacles into the games and having them manipulate the screen in a variety of ways by tapping, dragging, pulling, pushing or pinching objects on the screen and even physically tilting the screen to help objects move. There is so much educational value in this app and hours upon hours of entertainment. It is an app that will grow with your child so that they will love it for years. Worth every penny and more!

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  • Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: Play at Home with Daniel – PBS KIDS – $2.99 (or buy Daniel Tiger Collection bundle of 3 apps for $5.99) – iPad

Daniel Tigers NeighborhoodThese apps are so great- especially for a little one who loves Daniel Tiger as much as mine does! This app has 5 games included. You can play with a doctors kit, use various instruments to make music that shows different emotions (happy, sad, angry), explore the bathroom (flushing the potty, brushing teeth, washing hands), help put Daniel to sleep, and create a picture using different scenes and stickers (or even your own photographs). Very fun, educational, and cute, cute, cute!

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  • Daniel Tiger’s Grr-ific Feelings – PBS KIDS – $2.99 (or buy Daniel Tiger Collection bundle of 3 apps for $5.99) – iPad

Daniel Tiger Grrific FeelingsThis app is all about feelings (as many episodes of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood are). There are 4 games within this app. The music box plays little videos with 18 different songs about specific feelings. The drawing easel lets you make a picture using markers, crayons, paint, stickers, and photos. The feelings photo booth uses the front-facing camera and asks you to take photos making faces showing certain emotions (also demonstrated by Daniel Tiger). The trolley game is Tommy’s favorite part of this app. It’s a little board game where you use a spinner with different shapes and move the trolley along to corresponding markers on the board. Then you complete a series of mini-games to help move the game along. The photo booth pictures are also positioned along the game board showing the different emotions. Very fun, and T has learned a lot about feelings and how to interact better with others by playing this game!

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  • Daniel Tiger’s Day & Night – PBS KIDS – $2.99 (or buy Daniel Tiger Collection bundle of 3 apps for $5.99) – iPad

Daniel Tiger Day and NightThis app goes through the steps of Daniel Tiger’s songs that remind him the processes of getting ready for school as well as getting ready for bed. In the “Good Morning” part of the app, you wake up Daniel Tiger, then help him get dressed, eat breakfast, brush teeth, put on shoes, and head off to school on the trolley. The different steps have a lot of options within them… for example, for the “eat breakfast” step, you help set the table, then add toppings to Daniel’s pancakes, and finally you can watch a silly animation “imagining” your decorated pancake dancing. The “Good Night” part of the app lets you help Daniel take a bath, brush his teeth, put on his pajamas, read a story and sing a song, and then go to sleep. The “Good Night Daniel” song and video are so sweet, and T could watch this part over and over again. The “brush teeth” step of this game is the most simple, but has been great for us. T used to scream and fight every time I brushed his teeth, but after helping Daniel Tiger brush his teeth in the morning and before bed, he has learned that it’s not so bad after all. We LOVE this app!

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Favorite FREE Video Apps for Babies & Toddlers:

  • PBS KIDS Video – PBS KIDS – Free – iPhone, iPad, & iPod touch

PBS kidsThis app is T’s favorite for watching videos. It is so easy to navigate, with a sidebar showing character icons to help little ones easily scroll between all of the PBS Kids shows. T’s favorites are Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Sesame Street, and Super Why, and he can easily find them by choosing the picture of the corresponding character. They can watch full episodes of the shows, as well as video clips. Amazing!

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  • Nick Jr. – Nickelodeon – Free – iPhone, iPad, & iPod touch

Nick JrFor free, you can choose video clips to watch from various Nick Jr. shows, and if you log in with your cable account, you can watch full episodes and even live TV. The main menu is a little jumbled, but shows all of the different shows in one place, or you can tap the “Friends” icon at the top of the page to choose a specific show by selecting an icon with a character’s picture (similar to the PBS Kids app). This is a great app!

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  • YouTube Kids Youtube – Free – iPhone, iPad, & iPod touch

YouTube KidsT could scroll through this app all day long if I let him. It has music, video, learning and exploration channels, and all are totally kid-friendly! The content is uploaded from all over the world, so there are fun shows that kids here in the U.S. won’t find on TV. I swear he’s learning Russian from all of the episodes of “Masha and the Bear” that he watches! There are also these strange videos just showing hands opening plastic Easter eggs and playing with cars that he LOVES. And Tayo the bus! He loves this app!

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What are your favorite toddler games and video apps for iPad, iPhone & iPod touch? Any that we missed? Share in the comments below!

And don’t forget to check out our Favorite ABC & 123 Apps for Toddlers, our Favorite Art, Shapes & Colors Apps for Toddlers and our Favorite Puzzle and Sorting Apps for Toddlers.

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Favorite (Mostly Free!) Art, Shapes & Colors Apps (iPad, iPhone & iPod touch) for Toddlers

Favorite Art, Shapes & Colors Apps (iPad & iPhone) for Toddlers

Last month, we took a two week vacation to California. As I mentioned in my previous post 10 Must-Haves for Flying with a One-Year-Old, one thing that I always take on the plane is my iPad loaded with in-flight entertainment for my little guy. I seriously don’t know how my 22-month-old and I could do the cross-country flights without it!

I have spent the past couple of months downloading tons of new apps and having Tommy try out one or two a day. Because I let him use the iPad not only for flights (when he is sitting on my lap), but also when I need a moment to cook dinner, check my e-mail, or run to the bathroom alone, I look for apps that will hold his attention for an extended period of time. I also try to find apps that he can navigate on his own with little to no help from Mommy so that if I am busy, he won’t be whining for me to come over and help him if the app freezes up or if the app is too complicated for him to use without help. We do also enjoy snuggling up and using the apps together. Most of the apps that I download for him are learning apps, and I love to work on them together with him or to at least be close enough to watch so that I can see how he’s learning and growing. After a lot of trial and error, I have added some really awesome new apps to our handful of tried-and-true apps that he has been using since he was about a year old.

There are a lot of apps that I want to mention, so I am splitting them up into a few separate posts. I will start here with our favorite art, shapes & colors apps. Without further ado, here is our list of Tommy’s favorite art, shapes & colors apps for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch:

Favorite Drawing/Art Apps:

  • Kids Doodle Bejoy Mobile – Free ($0.99 to upgrade to ad-free) – iPhone, iPad & iPod touch

Kids DoodleThis is one of the first apps that I ever downloaded for Tommy when he was about a year old, and he has always enjoyed it. It’s a drawing app where he can use his finger to scribble a design, but the black background and neon colors make it more fun than old fashioned pen and paper. Now that he is a little older, he is using some of the more advanced features, like changing the brush style, watching the movie play back of this drawing steps, and drawing on top of photos from the camera roll. It’s simple enough to entertain a one year old, but has enough to it that I think he will enjoy this one well into his toddler and preschool years.

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  • Kaleidoscope Drawing PadBejoy Mobile – Free ($0.99 to upgrade to ad-free) – iPhone, iPad & iPod touch

Kaleido FreeVery similar to Kids Doodle, but this one makes beautiful symmetrical designs with the tap of a finger. Tommy loves watching the bright colors change and watching the replay videos. He also likes to switch between the 8 kaleidoscope modes and 10 brushes to get new effects. Fun app for babies and toddlers!

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  • Cool Coloring DB Best Technologies LLC – Free ($0.99 to upgrade to ad-free) – iPad

Cool ColoringI was really surprised how long it took us to find a coloring book app that we liked. Most of the coloring book apps that I found have lots of ads, in-app purchases, and locked images. Tommy would get so frustrated with them and was always clicking links that took him out of the app. I love Cool Coloring because it has a variety of cute, simple images to color, is super easy for a toddler or baby to use, and has a pretty texture over the images that is nice. I like that you only have to tap on an area and it fills with color- some of other coloring book apps require you to actually scribble the color in and that is too hard for a one or two year old to do on their own. I also like that you can turn on fun music to listen to while coloring. Another great thing about this app is the rainbow colored paint drop that you can select- it automatically changes the color every time you tap it so that the kid doesn’t end up coloring the entire image one color each time. Best free coloring book app out there, hands down!

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Favorite Shapes & Colors Apps:

  • Laugh & Learn™ Shapes & Colors Music Show – Fisher-Price – Free – iPhone, iPad & iPod touch

FP_Shapes and ColorsThis was one of Tommy’s first favorite apps. There are two different levels and both are cute and fun (especially for one-year-olds). Level 1 has five fun little shape characters (blue circle, yellow star, etc.) that pop up when you tap the screen. When you tap one of the animated shapes and drag it around the screen, smaller shapes will trail behind it, music will play, and a cheery voice will tell you name of the color and shape. Level 2 has all five shape characters up on a stage. When you tap on a character, it will step forward and dance to a fun song about its shape and color. After you have tapped the characters a few times, the curtain comes up and they all sing and dance together. There is also a little piano at the bottom of the screen that plays notes when you tap it. Very cute and fun, and a perfect first app for babies!

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  • Shapes Toddler Preschool Toddler Teasers – Free ($3.99 to add all categories) – iPhone, iPad & iPod touch

ShapesAnother awesome (and free!) app for learning shapes. This one has flashcards, quizzes, games, and puzzles to help kids learn their shapes. They can practice recognizing their shapes by viewing the flashcards and hearing the name of the shape, then the quiz will ask them to “find the (circle, crescent, triangle, etc.)” among other shapes. When they tap the correct shape, they will hear cheering, and after a few right answers in a row, they get to choose a “sticker” to add to their sticker collection. There is also a “Toy Box” game where they get to pop balloons to reveal shapes, launch shapes out of a cannon, build a train with the various shapes, and build a block tower with the shapes. The “Puzzle” option brings you to a shape sorter where you match the shapes to the matching negative spaces in what looks like a wooden board. There is also an option on the top of the homepage for “Stories,” where there are little mini eBooks about shapes. (In all honestly, this is the one part of the app that Tommy is not interested in at all.) This app also has great options in the adults only section: you can change the language to English, Spanish, or French; buy 29 more categories to learn (including colors, letters, numbers, animals, food, musical instruments, and money- just to name a few!); change the theme of your reward stickers (picnic, underwater, or robots), and see a “report card” showing which shapes your child is getting right most of the time and which ones need more practice. There is SO much included in this app for FREE, and paying $3.99 to add the other categories is really a great deal. It’s so exciting to see when he is asked “find the octagon” and he picks it out among 5 or 6 other shapes!

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  • My Colors & I My Digital Photo Story – Free (upgrade to full version for $1.99) – iPhone, iPad & iPod touch

Colors and IThis app is really only worthwhile if you pay for the upgrade. The free version uses a default child’s image, but with the full paid version of this app, you can upload your child’s photo and they will burst into giggle fits when they see themselves inserted into all sorts of silly scenes wearing costumes of different colors. You can choose between 15 different colors and it will display a screen covered in 9 cards with objects of the selected color. As you tap the objects, it tells you the name of the object and the card is lifted away to reveal part of the image underneath. The revealed image is a scene of the selected color with your child wearing a silly costume in the same color. There are over 50 unique costumes with different options for girls and boys. This app is so much fun, and Tommy’s 3 and 5 year old cousins couldn’t get enough of it, either. I like that it not only teaches colors, but also teaches over 100 vocabulary words with corresponding images, which is awesome for babies and young toddlers who are learning to talk.

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*UPDATED 6/28/15- we added a new favorite shapes & colors app to the list!*

I was contacted by an app developer, Rico Zuñiga, with an offer for Tommy to try out his new app. We are always interested in the opportunity to experience new products and thank those who are generous enough to share with us. Most of the products that I recommend and review on this blog, Instagram, and Facebook, are products that I have found and purchased on my own or that we have received as gifts from friends or family. Whenever I do mention a product that I was given the chance to review for free (or if I was compensated in any way by a product’s maker or distributor), I will state it. I assure to all of Make Learn Go’s followers that I will only share positive reviews for products that Tommy and I truly do feel are great enough to recommend… and this app happens to be a really good one, so read on below for the review! 🙂

  • Shape Match Kids Alpabeto Games – current discounted price of $0.99  – iPhone & iPad

Shape Match KidsAs I have mentioned before, Tommy LOVES puzzles, so this app was a hit with him right away! The game is set up like a shape sorter puzzle, with a shape’s outline shown at the top of the screen and a smaller shape below that the child taps and drags over to fit inside of it. As the child progresses through the levels, it gets more difficult- additional shapes are added in to make it harder to find a match, and various colors are added so that the child has to match not only the shape, but also the color. The app has music and sound effects (that can also be muted). The graphics are simple, but bright and engaging. I appreciate that this app has no ads or in-app purchases, and there is a “parents” section with news, upgrades, and support that can only be accessed by holding down your finger for 5 seconds. It’s so great to find apps that are easy for my just-turned-two year old to navigate and play without being constantly led out of the app by pop-ups and links. This app was clearly developed by a parent of a young child for parents of young children. I also love that this app teaches him shape recognition, color recognition and matching, and helps to sharpen his visual perceptual skills. It has quickly become a favorite app of Tommy’s, and would be a great addition to the app collection of any toddler or preschooler!

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Do you have any favorite art, shapes, and colors apps that I should know about? Share in the comments! Or just download these ones, try them out, and let us know what you think about T’s favorites!

Don’t forget to check out our Favorite ABC & 123 Apps for Toddlers, our Favorite Puzzle and Sorting Apps for Toddlers, and our Favorite Games & Video Apps for Toddlers.

Easter Egg Color Sorting

Dollar Tree is one of my very favorite places to shop lately. The place is loaded with inexpensive supplies for all sorts of fun projects and activities, and the best part is that EVERYTHING is $1! I can let T choose whatever random toy or book he wants and I don’t have to worry if it will break or if he will get tired of it in a week, because it only cost a buck!

The other day when I entered the store and saw all of the colorful plastic Easter eggs in front, a fun activity for T instantly came to mind. Recently, we have started working on learning colors. What better seasonal objects to use for a color activity than Easter eggs? At 21 months old, he’s not quite getting the hang of recalling all of the color names, but we are working on color matching to start. So I browsed through the aisles in search of single-colored objects that would fit inside of the plastic Easter eggs and matched the colors of the eggs. For $4, we got all of the supplies needed for our color sorting activity: a package of 18 plastic Easter eggs, a bag of colorful pom poms, a bag of colorful pony beads, and a box of Skittles candies!

T had lots of fun doing this activity, and an added bonus is that all of the items can be re-used for other projects and activities later on! Score!

Easter Egg Color Sorting

For this activity you will need:

  • An empty egg carton
  • Plastic Easter eggs (the hollow kind that you can open up) in a few different colors
  • Small single-colored objects that match the colors of your Easter eggs (Eg. pom poms, beads, candies)

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To do this activity:

  1. Grown-up: Open up the plastic eggs and place the bottom half of each color of egg into your empty egg carton. (You can set the top half of the eggs aside for now- you won’t need them for this activity. I also cut our egg carton in half so that there would be fewer empty spaces. I didn’t want him to get distracted and try to just move the eggs from space to space.)
  2. Grown-up: Gather together your colored items and place them in the empty spaces in the egg carton. (We used pom poms first, then Skittles, then pony beads.) 
  3. Child: Let your child move the objects one at a time to the egg of the coordinating color.
  4. Repeat steps 3 & 4 with the various items you have gathered.

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Try it out with your little one, and let us know how it goes! What other items did you add to your color sorting egg carton? Share with us in the comments below or tag @makelearngo on Instagram!

And don’t forget to check out some of our fun Easter crafts and learning activities that you can do with your little one:

And if you’re still trying to figure out what the Easter Bunny is going to bring this year, here’s our helpful list of Easter Basket Ideas for Toddlers & Babies.

Dot Art Rainbow

I featured this project on Instagram (@makelearngo) and Facebook (Make Learn Go) last week, but never got around to posting about it here on the blog. We did this project while learning about rainbows before St. Patrick’s Day, but this is a great project to do any time of the year! It’s a fun way for your child to work on color recognition and color matching as well as hand-eye coordination.

(For another fun St. Paddy’s Day craft your child will love, check out our Tissue Box Leprechaun Trap!)

Dot Art Rainbow1

For this project, you will need:

  • Plain white sheet of paper
  • Markers, crayons, or colored pencils (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, & purple)
  • Dot markers (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, & purple) – we love Do-A-Dot Art! Markersrainbowart2

To make the dot art rainbow:

  1. Grown-up: Draw a thin arc in each color of the rainbow to make the template for your child to stamp over.
  2. Child: Choose the correct color of dot marker to match the first arc of the rainbow.
  3. Child: Stamp over the arc with the coordinating color of dot marker, trying to keep the dots following along the line as closely as possible. Continue until the entire arc is covered in dots.
  4. Child: Continue steps 3 & 4 with each arc until your rainbow is complete!

So easy, fun, and educational! Go get to work with your little artist, and share a picture with us for a chance to be featured on our Instagram and Facebook pages!

To submit a photo on Instagram, tag @makelearngo or send us a direct message.

On Facebook, send a message to Make Learn Go.

Or e-mail us at makelearngo@gmail.com.