Is the smartphone the best invention ever invented for keeping kids happy, or what? While you don’t want to put a screen in front of your child around the clock, sometimes the blessed sounds of silence that come from giving your kid a smartphone to play with can save your butt when you’re in a waiting room or at a wedding. It’s even better if you can provide some educational entertainment as these awesome apps do.
1. Elmo Loves 123s
Who doesn’t love Elmo? Use downtime to help your preschooler learn to count to 20. It helps your child identify and count numbers from 1 to 20, do simple addition and subtraction and trace numbers that also open surprises such as Sesame Street videos, puzzles, and coloring pages. Along the way, everyone’s favorite furry character, Elmo, and Abby Cadabby guide kids through learning math.
2. Shiny Circus
This app takes your kids to the circus and then teaches them how to measure things. Don’t worry — it makes sense in the app. The best part? A big lesson on how to share, which comes in handy when you have two kids and one iPhone.
3. Cookie Monster’s Challenge
Cookie Monster has to learn self-control and stay away from a cookie. Now there’s a lesson that’s worth handing your phone over!
4. Word Teller for Kids
The alphabet, words and rhymes; that’s the heart of this educational app that helps pre-readers get started.
5. GoldieBlox and the Movie Machine
Keep your slightly older grade schooler entertained while you spark an interest in making videos with this clever app. By the end of it, your child will know how to create animated GIFs.
6. The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Friends
What child doesn’t want to learn how silk is made (caterpillars and butts)? Kids love this Eric Carle book, and the app includes plenty of fun mini games based on everyone’s favorite caterpillar.