I’ll be honest, I was never a huge fan of iPad apps for children due to the way mine used to behave when I tried to take the thing away. However I can no longer deny that actually, tablet apps can actually be marvellous.
They’re great for long journeys as well as trying to keep your sanity in that last half hour before bed when everyone’s tired and grumpy, and the alternative is In The Night Garden but you don’t want to give everyone nightmares.
There are millions of iPad apps for toddlers and preschoolers available and they vary wildly in quality.
You have to be so careful what you download for many reasons.
Some iPad apps for kids are just poor quality, they glitch and don’t work or just aren’t very good. Some appear fine but have questionable or unsafe content.
Other children’s apps rely on having a WiFi connection meaning they’re no good for journeys, or they aren’t toddler friendly and have your child whinging every ten minutes because they’ve hit the wrong button. The ones with sneaky in-app purchases at every point are by far the worst.
The holy grail is an app that they can be left with unsupervised for a short time, with child friendly content which they can easily work by themselves and which won’t lead them down some kind of awful youtube rabbit hole. After all, we all have deadlines, meals to cook, houses to clean and times when it would be good to be able to leave them safely and happily entertained for half an hour or so.
We were asked to review the Toddler Fun Learning app for iPhone and iPad.
The app and its contents have been designed by parents and teachers to be fun and educational for toddlers and preschoolers.
The clincher for me was the concept of a timer, which sings the child a goodbye song when their time is up, helping to avoid the otherwise inevitable tantrums. What a brilliant idea!
We were happy to give it a whirl.
What is Toddler Fun Learning like?
The app is free to download and watch a small number of videos, but to access all the content ad-free it costs £2.99 a month or £29.99 for an annual subscription.
Although when they were younger I was reluctant to pay for children’s iPad apps I soon realised that unless you want to end up with a very high bill for ‘coins’ or other irritating in-app purchases it’s best to carefully select your apps and purchase ones that are ad-free.
The app is brightly coloured and appealing, with the opening screen showing featured videos which you can scroll through, latest videos and then popular playlists. There is a search function to look for specific videos but the interface is easy for a small child to operate.
The app has lots of animated songs – a whole bunch of recognisable classic nursery rhymes as well as original songs.
There are also little cartoons, stories and educational videos and unlike a lot of children’s apps available in the Appstore they’re narrated in a British accent which I love. I am so over American apps everywhere and my children have started copying it which is just the pits.
There are new videos added to the app every week.
There are ones that will help with counting, learning shapes, colours, the alphabet and even videos about gravity and what different animal babies are called.
Gecko’s Garage (YouTube’s best kids’ truck series) and JCB Digger Videos were particular favourites of my son, whilst the Animal Alphabet is a good one for my daughter who is currently learning phonics.
The kids love the Toddler Fun Learning iPad app, and I thought it was pretty good too! If you’re at all worried about what your children might watch on YouTube, or you are travelling or somewhere without WiFi then it’s a great option as you can predownload all the videos you want to watch.
I know what you’re thinking though:
Did it keep my son awake in the car and save us all from the dreaded car nap?
Not a chance.
You can download the app here! Find out more at the Toddler Fun Learning website here, which also has fun resources to download. They’re on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram too. Go and see some of the videos over on their YouTube channel!
This post is in collaboration with Toddler Fun Learning but opinions and pictures are mine.