We don’t have a DVD player in our car. Gasp! I know. How 2004 are we? My theory is this…I survived without one (of course one car trip to Toronto meant listening to my sister sing the same Puff the Magic Dragon lyric over and over again until I almost ended her). But in most cases, I believe that kids should be able to play the license plate game, I Spy or actually sing a song like they did in the oldy days.
But my happily screenless dream car ride inevitably turns into “arewethereyetarewethereyetarewethereyet?” after about two hours.
With our upcoming five-hour ride to NYC for BlogHer ‘10, I’m armed with several options for our daughter. I have magnetic fairy dressup puzzles. I have a felt book. I have stickers and travel paint sets.
And yes, I have my IPhone.
Here are some apps I’ve discovered that are great for when your little one needs a little distraction. They’re educational too, so no mindless staring at a screen. And who are we kidding…the DVD player (and Dora) will be sitting in my purse for hour #4.
Letter Tracer Preschool (99 cents) – Lets kids trace letters (upper and lower cases) and numbers. There’s voiceover with three modes: flashcade, tracing and freeform (for older kids who can freehand draw the letters). For kids ages 2-5.
Peekaboo Barn (free light version, $1.99) – Voted best Toddler App 2009 (MacWorld Expo), kids tap the little bouncing barn and it opens to friendly farm animals making sounds. They also have a brand new Peekaboo Wild.
JirboMatch (free) – Great for ages 1-10, this app is the quintessential memory game. Even comes with timers and scores, so older kids can compete for #1.
Site Words (free) – A basic app that is based on the fundamental principle of Dolch Sight Words (common words that if memorized have been shown to improve a child’s reading ability). A pro: the voice doesn’t say the word until your child taps the button, giving them a chance to work it out themselves.
Shape Builder (free light version, 99 cents) – For kids 2.5 to 6, players drag the shapes over to the correct openings to finish the puzzle. The light version has 15 puzzles, the full version 146.
IDoodle (free light version, $1.99-$2.99)- A magnadoodle type toy for the IPhone, this is constant fun. Kids (and adults, who are we kidding) can change pen, brush, shapes, fill. Then they can email their masterpiece.
Poppin’ (free) – Because really…who doesn’t like to pop packing material bubbles?
For more on-the-go fun minus the phone or video, check out LilSugar’s downloadable travel games for kids of all ages.
Do you have any apps that your kids love? Please let me know, because I’m sure our daughter will grow tired of these!