BY HELEN HUBAN
Long haul flight coming up? Looking forward to relaxing car rides? We’ve road tested the best apps for 2-4 year olds to keep them occupied and happy on your trip.
1. Kapu Blocks
Let your child’s imagination run wild as they construct awesome towers with crazy combinations. Your budding builder will love the surprise animations and quirky sounds too.
2. Fish School by Duck Duck Moose
Teach your child letters, numbers, shapes and colours at Fish School with audio and visual representations. With one swipe of the screen, watch as the fish form different letters, numbers and shapes to the tune of wonderful orchestral music where children can sing along to the ABC songs.
3. Toca Kitchen
Cooking and eating is so much fun in Toca’s Kitchen! With realistic images of food and ingredients, your child can prepare their own favourite meals like spaghetti bolognaise and season to their own taste with their choice of sauces! A great way to introduce children to the idea of food preparation and get them excited about exploring new ingredients.
4. Elmo loves ABCs
Elmo is here to teach your child their ABCs in this colourful and engaging bright app. Your child will learn to recognise, sound out and write upper and lowercase letters by tracing them on the screen and viewing pictures that start with their chosen letter. Another awesome feature of the app is that kids can watch short videos of objects and animals that start with each letter and listen to Elmo’s ABC song! You can also personalise this app by adding your own photos and videos. There is also an ABCs tracker for grown ups to see how your child is doing.
5. Sago Mini Monsters
Who doesn’t love a friendly monster? Your child can create and take care of their very own monster by drawing on them, feeding them pizza, brushing their teeth, accessorising them and listen to their monster babble away in their own funny language!
6. Toca Band
Your child can put their own band together with a variety of characters to choose from, together with catchy tunes, harmonies and different instruments. This eye-catching app with funky graphics is sure to please your budding musician!
7. Night Night
A beautifully illustrated bed time story app for kids where your child is led through the farmhouse to say good night to all the sleepy animals and turn off all the lights. This is a great way to for your child to unwind after a long day and also encourages them to recognise all the different animals in the farmhouse.
8. Sago Mini Ocean Swimmer
Trail along with Fin the little fish and learn about his vibrant ocean home. Your child will make new friends, get zapped by an electric eel, discover shipwrecks, treasure chests, devour ice cream, make a birthday cake and join a band! The fun sound effects with adorable singing sea creatures and quirky graphics will keep your toddler enthralled!
9. Old Macdonald by Duck Duck Moose
This classic nursery rhyme is brought to life in this bright and colourful app where your child can learn to recognise all the animals on the farm and sing along to their favourite tune with funny sound effects and engaging graphics.
10. Itsy Bitsy Spider by Duck Duck Moose
Watch everyone’s favourite spider in action in this adorable app as itsy bitsy spider climbs up the water spout, is washed out by the rain, and see itsy bitsy spider climb up the spout again!
11. Peek-a-zoo treebetty LLC
This award-winning interactive app asks children to identify different animals who dance, eat, wag their tails, wear sunglasses, sleep and more. Children learn about animals, emotions, actions and sounds while listening to jazz version of popular children’s song played on the guitar, drums and cello.
12. Paintsparkle by Tabtale
Get creative and teach your child all the colours of the rainbow with this delightful app! Your little artist can choose their own crayon with over 12 categories, more than 230 colouring pages and 10 cool colouring utensils!
13. Lazy Larry the Lizard
Early readers are invited to play an active role in this adorable story and are rewarded with rich interactivity – when they poke Lazy Larry on the screen, he wakes up and comes to life. But as surprising and delightful as that is for the reader, it’s not so much fun for poor Larry and your child will learn of better ways to make Larry happy at the end. Larry’s facial expressions, noises and curling up to rest are sure to delight and entertain the whole family!
14. Gorilla Band Story book
Immerse your child in this 3D jungle world with a cast of cute gorillas who learn to play instruments and form a brilliant band. This app has the option of letting your child read the story themselves or have the story read to them. A dazzling sensory story that is packed with educational benefits for toddlers and pre-schoolers.
15. Monkey Preschool Lunchbox
Learn and have fun by helping monkey pack their lunch box. With 7 different games to teach kids about colours, shapes, letters, counting, sizes, matching and differences, there isn’t a dull moment as the lovable animated monkey helps kids along to play all the games!
With 35 different puzzles to choose from, this easy to use app is sure to excite your toddler! Just let them drag and drop the pieces and once a puzzle is solved your child can play around with the sound effects by tapping on the figures.
17. Peppa Pig Paintbox
Kids can choose from Peppa or George to paint with in this creative app which brings together traditional drawing tools and some cool surprises that little ones will love. Your budding artist can either draw straight onto canvas or choose a background or character to colour in. Peppa and George will pop in from time to time to see how your child is doing and once they are finished drawing, they can have their own exhibition at Peppa’s school! Another great feature of this app is that you can also save their drawing onto your camera roll.
18. My Very Hungry Caterpillar
The wonderful story of The Very Hungry Caterpillar is now a 3D app for kids. Your child can join the world’s favourite and adorably cute caterpillar as he explores his world and eats and transforms into a butterfly! Your child will love helping him explore, taking a peek inside his toy box, hatching him from an egg, drag tasty fruits from a tree and when caterpillar gets tired tuck him in.
19. In the Night Garden
Your child can meet up with Iggle Piggle, Upsy Daisy and Makka Pakka to explore the enchanting world of In the Night Garden. It features many of the locations from the show including Stepping Stone Path, the Dasiy Patch, Makka Pakka’s Cave and the Tombliboo Bush. The simple touch controls are specially designed for young fingers.
If your child loves puzzles then you must try Puzzingo – an educational puzzle that is fun, vocal and packed with animations. It will help build your child’s vocabulary, memory and cognitive skills. This game is designed to be played with you or your kids, so you can join in with your kids too!