Oh Sweet Release of Silence (Apps for Kids)

Make Me Music from Fee-Fi-Fo-Fun

It’s like a whole new world has opened up before my eyes. I’ve been totally down for iPhone apps that I can give Delilah in case of emergency (where emergency = me needing to take a work call or get my eyebrows waxed) but it had just never really occurred to me for my iPad to act as an activity center for my HIGHLY FOCUS-ABLE TODDLER.

And then Randi came over for dinner with her iPad so she could show us the proofs for her wedding invitations (three months!), and with it came all of her speech-pathologist-sanctioned (that’s what Randi does, she’s a speech pathologist. Now say it five times fast.) iPad apps for kids. And, well…Delilah is very vocal during dinner parties. She likes to sit at the table and visit with “our friends” — as she calls them — and even her most interested aunties and uncles are eventually begging to be rescued.

So lo-and-behold out came the iPad. Namely, Cookie Doodle from Shoe the Goose, or as Dee likes to call it “The Bone Game” since she chooses the same cookie shape every time (the dog bone) despite fully understanding that there are at least thirty other options LITERALLY AT HER FINGER TIPS.

By the time she was saying goodnight and being ushered off to bed she was begging to take The Bone Game with her.

Now, as I type this (and do all the rest of my super-important-business-stuff) she is happily baking cookies and collecting little treasures at the end. (She’s showing me each and every one.)

FORGET PRE-SCHOOL! Spend $.99 on Cookie Doodle! {I kid…I think.}

Ready for the disclaimer? I’m not a bad parent! Like everything in moderation, iPad apps for kiddos can actually help them learn a thing or two! Cookie Doodle exercises your child’s fine motor, language and sequencing abilities, in addition to your own relaxation abilities.  And when you tire of cookies, for 99 additional cents a pop you can move on to Cake Doodle, Icebox Doodle, Donut Doodle, Candy Doodle, and Jelly Doodle before going full blown Jackson Pollack with Caboodle Doodle, and getting your fashion on with Tye-Dye Doodle and Shoe Doodle.

(I swear this isn’t a sponsored post, I just write this way — like a crazy person.)

Next up? Ooooh…friends and lurkers, I hope you are not ignoring those little “free app” cards from your local Starbucks because sometimes they are real winners!  Dora ABCs would have set me back $3.99 if I’d had to purchase it (read: Never would have happened) but thanks to my Starbucks habit, I got it for FREE! WHEE! Anyway, even if you can’t score a code for it, it’s totally worth skipping one latte. Dee had some choice letters under her belt, but this app has got her little letter-learning mind working over time.

Kiddos trace each letter leading Tico’s plane to skywrite both upper and lower case while Dora narrates the sounds the letters make. Kids then move on to a little puzzle (which Dee usually requests help on citing that she’s “too busy” to do it herself) doing a little “get the ball in the hold” rolling game to reveal a familiar image that starts with the letter they drew. In short? Very read-y. Delilah is learning her alphabet at light speed and I’m not ashamed to say I think this app has had a hand in it.

Make Me Music by FeeFiFoFun is a favorite of both Dee’s and mine: Little loves it because she has a penchant for percussion and goes nuts for the making music aspect of the game, and I dig it because it’s A) really pretty & B) not annoying to listen to. (Unfortunately the same can’t be said for Dora’s ABCs, but a little headphones go a long way.)

Bonus points for being a Mama-created app, and triple bonus points to those Mamas for hiring art-legend Alan Aldridge to do their graphics…dude’s list of collaborators include The Beatles and Andy Warhol…no big. $1.99 gets you this tiny symphony of joy.

And lastly…have you seen this paintbrush that actually works with your iPad? Incredible. Dee really wants one and her birthday is in October.

Okay…that seems like enough brain rotting apps to recommend at once, no? I kid. I think these apps are better than flashcards. Or at least…as good.  I mean…Randi started it, and she’s a kids-learning-stuff professional.

Feed Me Seymour