Toddler Wants to Use My iPad - What Apps Should I Download?

Updated on September 06, 2012
M.F. asks from Miami, FL
18 answers

Hello, I'm looking for good recommendations on good learning-oriented apps for iPhone and iPad to download for my toddler (2 1/2 years). He has recently discovered my iPad and LOVES to use it. Also looking for hints on good channels to watch on youtube.

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So What Happened?

Thank you everyone for all your helpful suggestions and cautions! I will definitely try out some of these apps. And he does have time limits and an unbreakable case so we will see how it goes. But thanks for all the advice!

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answers from Orlando on

we like Zoodles! It will put the device on Kid Safe Mode, so they can play and you don't have to worry. It also tracks their development and sends you weekly emails (if you want them). There are lots of games, videos and activities (all educational). I think it's really great!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Just a warning, a few moms already said it, don't get him started getting addicted already. My 5 year old told me yesterday the only toy he can play with on his own is the iPad. We have so many toys but he won't play on his own while I am trying to cook dinner, so it's gone now. I told him only special times, maybe only once a week. I would let him play for about 30 minutes after we got home from school rather then watch TV while I cook dinner as long as his homework is done and he got a good report back from his teacher. Now he will have to relearn how today with his toys, and he is my only child.

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answers from St. Louis on

*imagines the first time toddler "sets" it down breaking the screen*

You are asking for a world of trouble, let your toddler play with toddler toys, not adult toys!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

If you go to the Apple store, you can see and read the reviews of kids apps.

You can also stream Netflix kids shows, on the iPad.
Versus, using YouTube.

The iPad is very intuitive.
And just a hint: A Toddler, will not know to not, download certain things... and then you will end up paying for it.
Some of the kids apps, are tricky. They have prompts that you click on, to "buy" more versions or other characters etc. And if a kid clicks on it, they will then "buy" it. When my son was 3, he did that while playing a game. And then my Husband got charged for it. Like $80 bucks!
So we explained to my son, and there is a password that has to be input in order to prevent stuff like that happening. ONLY me or my Husband, can download or "buy" other things per games.
You need to have 'rules' per using the iPad.
Will your Toddler, know that and do it?

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

Talking Tom... My son LOVES it

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Sarasota on

Please let her imagination grow without the technology. We are starting to produce little people that can't create for themselves. I'm also not convinced that these devices are safe for new nervous systems. I have a very sensitive nervous system because of my MS, and I have problems with my hands when I am on my phone to long, and I can't put my husband's Ipad on my legs because I get very strange sensations after about 15 minutes. It' s not worth taking a chance when I don't know for sure. My only child has learned to entertain herself with books and drawing when she is bored. She also creates great adventures because she has been forced to think up the next game versus an electronic game doing it for her.

Just a thought considering your child is only 2.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

Nothing... do you realize what kind of bad habits you're starting?

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Harrisburg on

My kids have played with my Iphone for years. They are 3, 5, 7, and 9. They love it. The little one has been playing since he was 2. The little one loved Ant Smasher when he was younger. There are many coloring apps also. I will warn you tho my iphone got dropped and broken by the little ones and now I have a droid that is ruggedized which means it can be dropped and is water resistant. Be prepared to possible have to replace it!


answers from San Antonio on

My son (4) likes, plus they're all FREE:

-- Agnitus
-- "Kids & Toddler Puzzle..." (Theres a clown on the app picture). It's a matching shadows type of game
-- Mouse Maze (not a TON free, but it's like PacMan)
-- Kinder Add (fish with a K+ symbol as the app picture)

Thanks for this post. We just got an iPhone and I can't wait to show my son Talking Tom (as recommended below).



answers from St. Louis on

On my Kindle Fire, my 3 year old loves these (not sure if they are all available on the IPad?): Ant smasher, Fart Noises (gets lots of laughs), Angry Birds (all versions), Tangram (very good for educational stuff), and just recently a circus one where he moves the Kindle all around to move a ball through a maze :)



answers from Los Angeles on

Slap the ipad in a colorful bumper cover and viola! It's a kid toy. I use lots of apps. Before I start: block YouTube before you give it to your child. I hate what YouTube showcases and would rather they not simple watch videos all day. Block in-App purchases and set it so you have to input your password to buy apps. I also block the App store and iTunes store just in case they start perusing and I get constant "Can I get this game...".

Agnitus: I just discovered this and it's a good toddler app for learning.

Monkey Lunchbox: Cute, cute, cute. And so good for shapes and colors.

Drawing Pad: Lets them be creative, save the picture and then no mess and no crayons to constantly replace.

Draw and Tell: LOVE THIS!!! They can draw but also record themselves. I record stories and songs and move the stickers around as we sing. They replay it. I also love listening to the things they record.

Teach Me Kindergarten: It's simple and my kids actually so love it.

Grade 1+:
Kindle: great for my older kids too. I buy their books in a pinch and they read it on the iPad rather than pile up books in the house (Our house is wall to wall bookcases so don't think the kids are not around books).

BrainPop: A free video each day.

Times Tables: For the older kids.

Math Board: Again for the older kids.

Cash Cow: It's a game about money and they love putting the change together to make new change.

Just for fun:
Grab a few fun games like Angry Birds, DoodleJump, and Fruit Ninja, what ever is free so you can delete it and not feel bad. It helps with hand and eye coordination and some critical thinking skills.
I know some are not in your grade level yet but you can reference this later. You can always search Miss Sunnypatch and Disney apps. I didn't grow up with all this technology but I don't believe in limiting children to "the way I grew up". Technology will advance and tomorrow's classroom may not be like todays. We still do pen and paper and my kids still put up sheets to make houses and pile up boxes to build castles so being tech suave does not limit their imagination... we do that.



answers from Albuquerque on

At first, my girl loved: Tozzle, TappyTunes, and anythink by the "duck, duck, moose" brand. She has since moved on to games like Angry Birds, Hungry Cat, Egg Punch, and educationals like Monkey Math, LunchBox, and Diego. The free-draw ones are good for all ages, as are the copy-cat ones (Talking Tom). Like others said, just be sure to set the rules for playing and set passwords and restrict internet/purchases. For us, the rules were: Good behavior, Ask nicely, Must be sitting with an adult. We taught dd which folders have her games, so she wouldn't open any other apps (facebook, email, etc). We don't let her access Youtube. We've copied a few of her favorite movies (from DVD) and saved them as videos. Sometimes, we'll also let her watch movies/cartoons from Netflix. Oh, and we have a "sling adapter" for DishNetwork that lets us watch our DVR shows (live, or recorded) on our devices! We are a very techie household! :)



answers from Los Angeles on

Mine loves preschool lunchbox and the Word world apps. Cute and educational! The Brave app is a cute game and the story told in a very cool way.



answers from Chattanooga on

Art of Glow

It's a FREE app. I wouldn't call it 'learning oriented', but it is definitely a creative one!

My 2 1/2yo DD draws with her finger, and the light follows. I like to draw shapes or letters with it set on 'repeat' mode, then turn the repeat off (the shapes drawn with it on stay, the new shapes disappear.) and let her trace them. She loves it! :)



answers from Muncie on

PBS Kids, Starfall, KaBongo and ABCMouse are all online learning sites. My daughter loves these.

As for apps, I would go looking for the characters from PBS like Clifford and Curious George.

Anything and everything associated with PBS kids is usually pretty safe and educational.


answers from Washington DC on

Our toddler likes the iPad too. He wasn't allowed to play with it until it had a case to protect it. Just (as in yesterday) received the new Lifeproof Nuud case. Every penny worth the money for situations like Jo W mentioned below. Highly suggest a rugged case (Lifeproof or Otterbox) before letting the toddler play. My lifeproof iPhone case has saved us hundreds of dollars.

Oh ... Apps ... We like Bubbles, BallonMaker, and PBS Kids.


answers from Chicago on

My kids (4 and 2) love matching games (like Memory), bowling and Angry birds.


answers from Dallas on

We also like Zoodles. There are a ton of games on that app.

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