Apps for Remy's "IcePad"
I NEVER wanted to be THAT mom. The one you may have seen at the grocery store or Target, the one with her kid sitting in the cart staring at a blinking, noisy iPad or iPhone screen, drooling outside the side of their mouth and barely blinking, oblivious to the world around them. It may sound harsh, possibly judgmental, but I am not passing judgement, only giving you the imagery I have witnessed in reality. I have been THIS mom! Maybe not whit an iPad, but with something else, whatever else, YOU want to fill in the blanks with, the mom YOU would never be. I AM that mom with the kids wearing no shoes on a Target run, and I am THAT mom that feeds them food after it has fallen on the floor for a second, and I AM that mom that has a filthy stroller most days and crumbs in the car seat. So we all have our thing... I was hesitant, if not reluctant, to introduce Remy to the iPad. It was mostly giving in to my husband that she was baptized in the glow of the i-screens. When you are married, or co-parenting a child, you learn to pick your battles, collaborate, and compromise. Some might call it caving, or giving in, but you know what, sometimes, yes, you do to have peace. So, when Arlo came along, and breast feedings pulled me away from our bedtime routines with Remy, and husband helped out in that arena, the technology and cartoons were kicked into high gear to occupy her while he fed her or until I fed Arlo and could get back up to do her story time and put her to bed. A terrible habit to break I am afraid. Caillou is her main squeeze. The name is growing on my husband as he turned to me the other night and said how he kind of liked it.
Now, I feel a little "ice pad," as Remy calls it, is OKAY. In moderation. I can't even say how often she looks at it, because it isn't enough to track yet. We keep it at home, and we mainly use it to occupy her while we are handling Arlo and need her attention to be peaked while we put Arlo to bed. On occasion we do have it at the dinner table to convoke her to eat her food. Terible, probably. Is it though? The worst I could do? Who knows...but I know it is a bad habit I WNAT TO BREAK....sigh...
We also used the iPad on our recent road trip, which was actually a life saver! Before that trip, I researched and researched apps for toddlers. I looked on sites, read reviews, downloaded at least three dozen, would test them out, see how they worked, what they did, and then kept the ones I liked most. Sometimes, I would leave them on there for the next day and see how Remy engaged with it. Here are a few apps that stuck, and the top two most used apps by Remy being Mr. "Monato" Head, as she calls it, and Monsters (#1 and #2).
I, at this point in time, am OKAY with the idea of her using apps and interacting with technology. It is the future, her future, and I am okay with it as long as she has balance, is physically active, uses it sparingly, at best, AND, OBVIOUSLY, it is monitored and filtered with adult supervision. Some apps are educational, but these ones seem to be more about fun than anything else. I think it is just as important for her to have FUN with technology as it is for her to have the power and knowledge to have it work in her favor later on. Hello "Girls Who Code!"
The best part, these were all FREE! You can pay small fees to upgrade the apps for more features and access on most of these, but we use the free versions.
What are some of your favorite apps for toddlers? How do you feel about toddlers and tech?
1. Mr. Potato Head- A fun app that let's toddler dress up the Potato Head in different costumes with different scenes. Remy LOVES this! I recently found a Potato Head toy and brought it home as a surprise thinking she would be so thrilled, NOPE. Instead, I find arms, ears and mouth pieces about the living room.
Image via YouTube.com
2. Toca Monsters- SO CUTE! Minimal sounds except the sounds of two hungry monsters you get to feed. Choose food from the refrigerator on the left, and then on the right, learn to dice, slice, blend and spice for monster. Then serve it and feed it to him and see his reaction. Love the graphics!
Image via www.learninginspired.com
3. Forest Animals- Okay, so this is MY favorite app! SO ADORABLE! The graphics are so darling, but you can choose different tasks and chores with little furry forest animals! Bake a cake and wash up the dishes, or do laundry! A few free sets, but worth the upgrade fee.
Image via Google
4. Sorting 1 App (Also Sorting 2 App)- These are great for learning basics like colors, shapes and objects. Not Remy's go-to app, but more of an educational one. It seems to be on the level of a one and half year old though. You may want to pay for the upgrade as it is REALLY limited on the free version.
Image via iTunes
5. Paint Melody App- I THOUGHT this one would be a total hit with Remy since it combines her two FAVORITE activities, coloring, and music. Lately everything is a drum; the waste basket she found at Ross and tipped upside down and started beating on, or the laundry basket she did the same with the other night at home, or Baba's tummy like she strummed on tonight. She hasn't really tapped on this app too much, but I want to engage with her more on this one to see if she likes it anymore, but I guess its a GOOD thing she would rather DO the REAL THING! :) I liked how this one has the tool bar on the right of the sound effects and once you choose your instrument you can use your finger as a paintbrush and it makes sounds as you swipe.
Image via iTunes