Increasing screen time and screen dependency is a problem common to all parents. Studies report that screen time among children aged 8-12 years was around 6 hours, and 9 hours for teens. What’s more shocking is the increasing number of toddlers who are screen dependent. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) strongly recommends that children between 2-5 years of age have a screen time of only 1 hour. How can we make this 1 hour productive and beneficial for our kids? The answer- educational apps for toddlers. Here’s a list of the 5 best apps for toddlers, for the year 2021.
AAP Recommendations for Screen Time Use:
As per the recommendations set out by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), children:
- Till they are 18 months of age must use screens only for video chatting with an adult (family member).
- Between 18-24 months of age must be permitted to watch only educational content in the presence of a caregiver.
- Between 2-5 years of age must be permitted screen time only for 1 hour on weekdays and 3 hours on weekends.
They also recommend developing healthy screen use behaviors in children as early as 6 years of age.
Educational Apps For Toddlers:
Although a bibliophile, I’m constantly reminded that we live in a digital world. While there are certain pros to going old school, advanced technological e-learning is not without its sets of benefits, such as:
- It is interactive and provides children with instant feedback with just a swipe, scroll, or click.
- It’s more captivating. For young children, audio-visual stimulation is extremely important, and educational apps provide children with that sensory input.
- It’s space-saving. You need not have shelves overflowing with books.
- Numerous options, which give you the freedom to try and find an app that fits right with your little one.
And to help you save time finding the right apps for your toddler, here we have the 5 best educational apps for toddlers 2021.
This is without a doubt the best overall educational app for toddlers. If you’re already familiar with Khan Academy for older kids, know that their Kids app is a versatile tool for your little ones. It’s free and can be set up for multiple users, useful in families with many kids. With its parental controls and accessible features, this educational app is easily installed and used.
The best part- the library and activities. Yes, Khan Academy Kids have a wide range of books for all ages, that have both a read-alone and read-aloud option, giving you time to spend bonding with your child. Plus, the wonderful activities teach children the different concepts in a fun, simple, and interactive manner.
With playful characters and short scripted activities, your child’s one hour of screen time is well spent using Khan Academy for kids.
If you grew up watching Sesame Street, you will love their app too. Why worry about potty training or concept teaching when you have Elmo and the gang to help you out. Read books, watch Sesame Street videos and play interactive games all catered to your child’s age.
As a bonus, you can even set the learning areas you want to strengthen within your children such as health, arts, emotional development, and many more.
All you got to do is select the learning areas and the app will provide you with resources specific to them.
This free and easily downloadable app can be used with children up to 5 years of age.
Sesame Street with its fun and engaging content, and child-friendly design, also has been awarded the Teacher Approved Badge.
If you would like to spark your child’s curiosity and imagination, as well as develop their skills, then download the Sesame Street app for toddlers.
If you would like to set your child on a structured step-by-step learning path, then this is the app for you.
This educational app for toddlers 2021 will provide you with a comprehensive learning program that was specially designed by teachers and educational experts.
Parents seeking a more ‘academic experience’ for their children will enjoy this app, as it has activities to advance your child’s kindergarten readiness.
The unique ticket and reward system of this app will certainly motivate your child to complete its 10 levels.
The downside, there is a subscription fee. You could try it out for a brief trial period of one month for free, but the further use of the app requires you to pay a small fee each month. But on considering its benefits, ABCmouse.com is a worthwhile investment for your child.
Subscribe to PBS kids and get access to a wonderful variety of resources.
Be it to teach your kids some basic habits like washing their hands, or to introduce them to the world of science, PBS kids have activities and e-books to help you out.
Or simply let your child catch up on his/her favorite shows like the Cat in the Hat and Daniel Tiger?
With PBS kids you get an app for your toddler that can be used both for educational and entertainment purposes.
You’re probably wondering why this is included in a list of educational apps for toddlers. Well for the fundamental reason that physical skill development plays a vital role in learning behaviors. For example, a child with good postural stability has better control over his writing tools. Also, Comic Kids can help develop mindfulness in children, which is vital to developing attentive skills in the classroom.
Another reason to love cosmic yoga is that it allows you to be free and have fun with your kids while getting a good workout in between.
Otsimo started out with the aim of democratizing special education in mind by making it more accessible and affordable for all children. They have two apps: Otsimo Special Education and Otsimo Speech Therapy.
The speech exercises within Otsimo Speech Therapy are created under the guidance of parents and speech-language pathologists. Otsimo Speech Therapy helps improve speech and communication skills with exercises involving repetition, mimicking, and peer modeling, a popular method used in traditional speech therapy sessions as well.
Otsimo Special Education engages children’s motor and cognitive skills through assistive matching, drawing, and ordering games with the help of visual and auditory cues.
Each and every child develops at a different pace and has different needs when it comes to education. To serve these unique needs, Otsimo offers curricular teaching in line with the kids’ age and developmental level.
That’s where the developmental test composed of experts in the field, assessing the cognitive, communicative, and social skills, as well as other areas, comes into play.
Your answers shape your child’s learning path. Parents and caregivers can also customize the games that suit their child’s levels best from the catalog. The app also has a newly updated AAC (Alternative and Augmentative Communication) module with 1700+ unique words for nonverbal communicators.
The app utilizes speech recognition and machine learning technology to understand and evaluate children’s speech for accurate results, enhancing the speech therapy experience. It also has filters and mini-games that are fun and motivating for the kids to keep on practicing.
Both Otsimo Special Education and Otsimo Speech Therapy are ad-free, which is crucial to prevent any disruption of the learning experience of kids. They are free to download but you can always upgrade to premium where it offers 100+ exercises and detailed progress reports for your child!
Open your app store and you will realize that there are countless apps for toddlers. But be careful when selecting them. Make sure that the app has parental controls, is kid-safe and ad-free, to ensure that kids are learning in a safe environment. You must also establish safe screen use and set specific time limits as recommended by AAP.
While it cannot replace books, educational apps for toddlers are also useful, as long as they are used in a supervised environment. With these best educational apps for toddlers 2021, you can be assured that your child’s screen time is productive, promoting active learning.