Mr T tried to steal my iPhone from a very early age, mostly back in those days to chew on it, then too look at photos of himself, yes a vain child. Around the time as he turned two, he just never ever wanted to sit still, a lunch on the go, literally was a lunch on the go, you’d constantly had to drop your fork and go chasing after a hysterically giggling little person. So one day we downloaded some episodes of Thomas the tank engine on to my iPad, and suddenly his ants in his pants seem to calm down ever so slightly. So a Sunday dinner at the pub actually could be had. What I hadn’t counted on was that this was pretty much the last time it was MY iPad, after that he would demand it and sat and watched film clips on YouTube of trains…yes the kind that trainspotters would record. I could quite easily fall asleep whilst he watched them. 10 mins of a long freight trains journey is better than counting sheep.
Since then he has discovered apps, the guilty feeling of leaving the iPad for babysitting is less, when he plays with apps, as he actually learns whilst he plays. Plus for those moments when you have to do some work, cook and you have a blank mind of things to do, it is a great distraction for an hour or so.
So what does he like? Well it is fair to say that anything with trains on it has an instant upper hand, but he has since moved on to things including puzzle and maze games and the like. So in no particular order, here are 5 apps that we think are great! (still a bit train heavy I am afraid)
Little Charley Bear
This was a favorite for a very long time, it is a combination of film clips and simple drag and drop puzzles. The clips and puzzles correlates to some specific themes, like space, jungle, skiing. This app is free, so get downloading straight away!
the Wheels of the Bus
This app is actually a Swedish one, but apart from listening to the wheels of the bus in Swedish, you do not need to know Swedish to have fun with this app. AS you might have guessed it is based on the song “the wheels on the bus” and each part of the song has an interactive page, where you can poke screaming babies, chattering ladies, open doors and move window wipers. Each page also have a puzzle attached to it. The graphics are lovely and it is a fun app for small folks.
This one seems to have been a favourite on a lot of lists of kids apps last year. It features am Elephant that grunts in a ah-ha or uh-huh kinda manner, you you do good or bad. Game’s works like this, you are on a train, out the window the Elephant will show you some shapes and items, you will then have to remember what the items looked like by multiple choice answers. If the muttering elephant thinks you did well, train speeds up, if not it slows down. It took awhile for Mr T to actually understand the workings of it, but once he did he had lots of fun, and it is actually quite fun to sit with him doing this one.
Build a Train
This is a Train game/simulation thingy that lets you choose locomotive and carriages and then a map where the train runs on, the whole purpose of the game is to move tracks around so the trains can go and pick up boxes that little trucks drops of at stations, this earns you points. These points the later allows you to buy more train maps. It has to be said that you need sooo many points to get these maps and with an impatient toddler demanding a new map, I sometime gave in and bought a new map as an app on instead.
Oh surprise surprise more trains. But actually this app is extremely cute and nice. It includes a bunch of different type of games, that you collect stickers for. Games such as turning tracks so the train can run on it, playing nursery rhymes on some train whistles and pulling down letters of the alphabet onto letters sitting on a train that correlates to them. So a great way of getting little ones into spelling and letters. The people behind this app Busy Bee Preeschool makes two really cute other apps too, bugs game and giggle ghosts.