We all know that too much screen time is a no-no, but we also know that our kids have been born into a digital age and that a little experience with educational apps can give their learning a boost.
Here are some of our favourite educational apps for toddlers
Recommended for little ones aged two and a half and up, this assortment of games has been developed with input from child psychologists to help build sorting and classifying skills. Players learn about colours, shapes, numbers and animals with games that work on developing hand-eye coordination, vocabulary, concentration and visual perception.
Available from iTunes at R99,44 for a bundle.
This app works in a similar way as your little one’s favourite themed box of Duplo so your child is able to learn about their environment, interact with various elements in a community and develop their vocabulary by recreating a certain scenario (the most recently available app offers a wander around the airport, for example). It’s all about building, breaking and experimenting – all while learning about cause and effect and honing fine-motor skills.
Available from iTunes, free.
CBeebies is definitely one of the better kids’ channels when it comes to educational programming and they’re continuing in this way with their app. Visit the CBeebies website to check out your favourite characters. Then, once you’ve settled on one, you’ll be directed to a host of activities, from building puzzles to colouring in. Whether your tot loves I Can Cook or Mr Bloom’s Nursery there’s plenty of appropriate options.
Available from za.cbeebies.com, free.
The best thing about this app is probably that your kids can build puzzles for hours and hours – and you’ll never have to worry about pieces going missing. It also offers an astounding range: your little one can choose from up to 84 different puzzles featuring everything from rabbits and peacocks, to bees and dolphins. It’s a great platform for building vocabulary skills and its interactive nature ensures that memory and cognitive skills are enhanced, too.
Available from Google Play, free.
This is one of many apps brought to you by Nosy Crow, publishers of some of the best-known children’s authors and illustrators of our time (Axel Scheffler, who brought Julia Donaldson’s The Gruffalo to life, is on the list). Most of the apps are based on books, which is great because it encourages a love of reading when the two are used in conjunction, but they also include a range of fun activities. For example, your little one may need to help Bizzy Bear feed pigs and collect apples.
Available from the iTunes App Store, R66.99.
My Very Hungry Caterpillar
If your little one loved the classic book by Eric Carle, this is the app for her. Children are able to feed and nurture their very own Very Hungry Caterpillar, helping him eat, exploring the garden with him and playing with his toys – then tucking him into bed and exploring again the next day.
Available from the iTunes App Store, Google Play or the Windows Store, R62.10.