Fast forward to our recent trip to New Orleans. Now that Abe was able to climb and walk I knew he wouldn't want to sit still for more than 10 minutes at a time. I downloaded a few more apps and off we went. He seemed to enjoy flying even more than the first time and spent much of his time looking out the window, playing peekaboo or chatting with nearby passengers, and dozing off for a couple good naps, but when he was awake and started to fidget I was glad I had my iPad. For a baby that rarely gets any screen time, the iPad is a novel distraction.
2. Baby Look Peekaboo - $0.99
Another easy app for babies, this one features a baby face that pops up at the edge of the screen, wherever baby touches, and says "peekaboo," "hi," or "hello." The baby's voice is sweet and the tone changes to keep it from getting too annoying or repetitive.
3. Peekaboo Vehicles - $1.99
I found this the other day after searching endlessly for an app that would appeal to my car loving kid. Normally I wouldn't pay two bucks for a baby game, but I purchased Peekaboo Ocean awhile back (after trying the free version for awhile) and we love it. Since Peekaboo Vehicles is made by the same company, I felt pretty confident that it would be just as much fun. My son loves it and it's easier for him to use than Peekaboo Ocean (which is why that one didn't make this list). In addition to cars, Peekaboo Vehicles also contains trains, trucks, tractors, rockets, planes, helicopters and more! Touch the screen to clear away the clouds and an animated vehicle appears, along with the name which the narrator reads. Touch the screen again and the vehicle will move along producing a puff of exhaust that gets cleared away to reveal the next vehicle. The animations are super cute and the sounds the vehicles make are realistic and fun.
4. Monster Chorus - Free, in-app purchases $0.99 each
I found this one while searching for a baby piano app. Cute, easy to use, and it has monsters in outer space. What could be better? Each monster sings a different note when you touch it, and there's a songbook that shows you which monsters to press to play four different songs (two more sets of songs are available as in-app purchases). Unfortunately, the record and songbook buttons are in a bad spot (lower left hand corner) and get pushed accidentally quite often. It's not too hard for baby to navigate back to the main page, but it takes a few seconds which sometimes results in a lose of interest. As a free game though, it's really one of the best!
I knew my son was too young for this when I first downloaded it, but once he figured out how to turn on and unlock the iPad, I figured it was time to give puzzles another try. Just slide the pieces into place. The shape puzzle tells you the name of each shape as it's put in place, the animal puzzle makes animal noises. My son loves it, and at 14 months he was able to solve the easiest puzzles by himself! I downloaded the full version, but I recommend the Lite version for younger kids. All of the easiest puzzles are on the Lite version, so once baby has mastered those, go ahead and buy the rest! (There are also three holiday puzzles I wasn't aware of when I had the free version. From the main page, swipe your finger across the screen to get to a second menu with the holiday puzzles.)
When I was a kid we had one of those Fisher Price "The Farmer Says" Toys. This is the modern day version... Tap a picture of an animal (or vehicle - there are three different pages) and the narrator (which sounds an awful lot like Al Gore) says "This is the sound a _____ makes..." followed by the sound. It's cute, easy to use, and free!
So those are a few of our favorites. Do you have any favorite apps for your kids? Or discovered any great app makers? I'd love to know what else is out there!