Confession (one that I may have made before): I let my child play on my iPhone. She plays on my husband's iPad. She's been playing around with (yes age-appropriate) apps since she was about three years old. We aren't the only parents who do this (just check out some of the funny videos of toddlers working those iPads like pros). And what was one of the hottest toys in 2011? You guessed it, that iPad-like learning tablet from LeapFrog.
There is something to be said for using the natural pull kids have to apps and that iPad and "video games" as a learning tool. Now, sure, my daughter loves playing regular games like Cut The Rope, but more often than not, she chooses to play the educational apps, ones with patterns, puzzles, memory games, ones that work on pre-reading skills. I've gathered a few of the apps that are perfect for little hands to try that really make learning those letters fun.
Preschool EduKitty - My daughter loves this one. She almost five and is on the highest level, which makes it perfect for two and three year olds just starting out. This great go-to app reinforces all of the basics -- numbers, letters, colors, matching. The graphics are cool, but it is that little green kitty that makes the app so fun.
Letter School -- Your kiddos can learn their letters with LetterSchool and its off-the-hook, awesome set-ups. After selecting what kind of graphics you want (think monster letters or robot letters or train track letters or one of the other gazillion options), kids can trace the letter (upper and lower case), learn the sounds the letter makes, and even try writing it from memory. With many levels and ways to learn, this is one for all of the kids in your home.
Nick Jr.s' A-to-Z with Moose and Zee - There are many apps out there that feature characters our kids love, but this one is really top-notch. Using the same voices as we have come to know, your kids can follow that cool moose and his little blue birdie sidekick as they make learning the letters fun with hidden pictures and other puzzles.
Does your child play on an iPad or iPhone or Android? Share your best learning apps!