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Does your 3yo use any "learning apps?"


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I'm generally not a fan of screen time for little kids. However, when my DH is home and I'm cooking dinner, taking a shower or whatever, DH has a habit of letting our 3yo use the iPad to watch little kid shows, or surf YouTube (with his guidance of course) for videos of construction vehicles, animals, etc.

 

I'm just wondering if there are more productive things that DH could give the little guy to do on the iPad other than be passively entertained. I understand that there is no substitute for real life learning with real people, and that reading books to him would be a much better choice, but the reality is that there are times (often daily) when I'm busy and DH just doesn't have the energy to play, read or otherwise engage.

 

I also understand that there are thousands and thousands of "learning" apps that are marketed to preschoolers and their parents, but I'm posting the question here because this is a group that I trust to share some options that will be the lesser of the evils. :)

 

So...if you have any favorite iPad apps or videos that you think are not too bad for little kids, please share.

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I get it. I feel the same way you do about screen time, yet there are times that I resort to it too. Mostly, my toddlers listen to audiobooks on auto play. We now have a pretty good collection of Dr. Seuss and other Oceanside Media books. They're very high quality. We also did abc mouse a few years back and liked that very much for that age group. Now, I just don't want to pay for it. I've found very few actual apps that I like. Seems like so many of them are just too complicated for that age group, and feel more like entertainment than educational. So I stick with books.

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I have many starfall apps on my kindle for my 3yo. I think they are fantastic. She has learned to read mostly through playing those games. It's pretty darn cool and I am not a fan of screen time either, but when I need her to occupy herself while I am otherwise engaged, she plays a starfall game and has a great time doing it. Technology is a tool. It can be toxic or terrific depending on how it's used.

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We only let 3 yr old do screen time as a last resort while big guy is doing school, so it's pretty limited.  I like starfall apps.  

 

DS made an app for her, too.  It's a counting game - Summer Night ... Catching Fireflies.  You could try it.  The voice saying the numbers is mine and the laughs and giggles are DS and DD.  I've never linked it here before because I'm afraid of violating rules, but maybe it's okay since it was made as a homeschool project by a 10 year old? 

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We only let 3 yr old do screen time as a last resort while big guy is doing school, so it's pretty limited.  I like starfall apps.  

 

DS made an app for her, too.  It's a counting game - Summer Night ... Catching Fireflies.  You could try it.  The voice saying the numbers is mine and the laughs and giggles are DS and DD.  I've never linked it here before because I'm afraid of violating rules, but maybe it's okay since it was made as a homeschool project by a 10 year old? 

 

That is impressive.

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That is impressive.

 

Thanks.  I will tell him.  :)

 

It was part of our experiment in project-based homeschooling and it was a huge deal for him.  He had to learn a lot about communicating his ideas, sticking with something long-term, and we all had a big learning curve.  Huge learning curve.  And, of course, it will soon be obsolete with a new OS coming soon.   :001_rolleyes: But it was fun, and he learned a lot.  Most importantly that he can visualize something, and with hard work - make it real.

 

Bonus is that our DD (3) really loves playing it.  

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Agree with what others have said about not loving screen time but it being a necessity sometimes. And DH is less stringent about such than I am, as well.

 

DS3 likes Monkey Preschool Lunchbox. There are others in the series too but that's the only one we have. We mostly only pull it out on long car rides, etc. We did try Reading Eggs for a bit when there was a free trial, but he wasn't interested.

 

I like the look of the Starfall apps, though. Might have to check those out. Thanks to those who recommended them!

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