I’ll say it up front: yes, my 22-month old loves to play with my iPod touch. And yes, I feel guilty about it.
It’s not as if I let her have it whenever she wants and plays with it through out the entire day. It’s just that when she manages to get a hold of it when I’d rather that she be doing something else, namely play with her other toys, it’s hard to get it out of her hands.
Believe it or not, I bought this iPod touch specifically to distract V for when we were flying trans Atlantic to Europe, and I wanted to have something for her over the long flights. She was 11 months and 13 months old at the time and I was nervous about flying with her. It helped, but only a very little.
Since that first flight, she’s flown 5 more times, including another 16-hour trip. The iPod was much more useful then, particularly in having video on hand for her to watch Hopla.
She rarely gets it when she’s at home; most of the times that she has gotten a hold of it, it was because IM or I have left it somewhere and forgot about it, and then V grabs it. That’s what happened this morning. Thank goodness the battery was almost dead, otherwise I never would have gotten it back without some tears.
It really is no wonder that she loves the iPod though. There are many very good apps for toddlers to educate as well as entertain. Of course I looked on line to find what other parents were uploading and how they let their kids use the iPod or iPhone. Many are like me; let the kid have it while sitting in a doctor’s office waiting room or another place that requires patient waiting. Some parents I read about let their kid have it while grocery shopping, for example. V can make it through grocery shopping — barely — but I can see how parents might give into the desire to have your kids quiet and distracted while giving an adult time to think about what’s going in the shopping cart.
Because there is one valuable lesson I have learned in being a parent that I never would have known before hand: sometimes the state of the mental health of the parent at a particular moment is just as important, if not at times more so, than whether or not you are potentially spoiling your child.
That being said, here’s what V goes to when she’s got access to the iPod.
Some are free, others I paid for. Here’s the list for any other parent who would like to know our favorites (in random order) for a toddler:
Preschool Adventure: 8 “pages” to go over colors, numbers, animal sounds, and shapes. One of my favorites as is both educational and entertaining.
iTot Cards: These are flash cards. I thought V would lose interest in these after a short time, but she loves these. Food pictures, objects, animals, colors, and numbers. She loves to flip through them. The pictures are clear and well chosen.
Toddler Teasers: Mostly identifying shapes, colors, and numbers. “Touch the triangle.” “Touch the pink balloon.” It’s just alright.
iPuzzle Words: Placing letters and their coordinating pictures in the correct order. This will be more useful when V can recognize how to line up puzzle pieces. Still, for a free app, its well done and cute.
Itsy Bitsy Spider and Baa Baa Black Sheep: Both by the popular kid app creators Duck Duck Moose. I paid for both and don’t really care for either. Pure entertainment, nothing too educational here.
Giraffe’s Preschool Playground: Identifying letters and numbers. “I’m looking for the letter N”. Touch the correct letter. I’m not crazy about this one. The songs and animal noises are very annoying.
Tozzle: Mainly drag and drop puzzles. There is a free version with three puzzles. Since we liked those, I went ahead and bought the app, which has a huge number of them.
Super Match: This is pexesos to me. I think it’s also called a memory match game. Flip over cards until you get two matching animals. I liked this memory matching game out of all others out there, but the menu is not kid intuitive at all.
Baby Piano: Piano keys to tap on. Very colorful and cute. Get the free “lite” version.
Talking Tom: Well, he’s just a funny cat. Pet him, poke him, or give him milk.