Toddlers and iphones – am I mad?

Last week The Guardian published an article on the best apps for toddlers, it’s a top 10 of toddler App’s for the  iphone.  Obviously, there is a debate as to whether it’s appropriate for toddlers and iphones to mix.   I have an iphone (which I love) sometimes my son uses my iphone, not for texting nursery to say he’s not coming, but for the apps.  Apps for those not in the know are various Applications that you can download to your iphone to add to its facilities, for example there is a Twitter App and a various Supermarket Apps in fact there are millions of Apps.  I don’t have a problem with my toddler, occasionally, playing with my iphone as often it’s to my benefit.  Picture the following scenario:

“Mummy”. In a long and drawn out voice.

Me: “I’m just packing this food and paying the lady at the checkout, honey (slightly exasperated voice).  Why don’t you look at this book”.

“Mummy will you read it to me”.

Me: “Here’s my iphone sweetie…let’s find something to play with”.

I think there is a time and a place.

I would say that toddlers, iphones and concrete are not a great combination and to be avoided.  The iphone always seems to get ‘dropped’ whenever the toddler is stood on concrete.

These are the four apps we love the most, at the moment:

My Coloring Book (free).  Often freebies are loaded with adverts that pop up all over the place, not this one.  It’s really simple, the App contains 37 drawings and you tap wheel select your colour and then where ever you touch is coloured with your selection.

My first words: animals (lite version – free) very limited number of words as it’s a freebie, but Noo hasn’t got bored, essentially it’s a spelling game. You drag up the matching letter to complete the word, Noo repeats the letters and while I don’t think he could spell crab left to his own devices (why would he need to?) it’s giving him an awareness of letters. It does have an (annoying) voice over, which confirms what you’ve done. Also available in various other languages.  I’ve seen some phonetic versions which I guess might be useful.

Balloonimals. Noo and I love this so much I spent £1.59 on it, it’s noisy and silly.  By scrolling with your finger you can choose a deflated balloon in various colours, you then blow into the mouth piece of the iphone and  ‘blow’ up the balloon.  Next you shake the phone until the animal appears. Tap the animal to get an action or blow him up to popping point to get your next animal.

Finally, my favourite. AniMatch (bargin 59p) It’s a memory game, touch the squares to reveal the various animals, find the pairs until you have all of them. Each animals makes the appropriate noise and I find it very addictive, it’s timed and I do get a obsessed to see how quickly I can complete it.  Sorry, this is about toddlers; yes Noo enjoys it too, I do it a row at a time, while he does it randomly and our results are very similar.

If you’ve got a favourite children’s/toddlers app I love to know, or an opinion on toddlers and iphones and a duo.


  1. Alyson

    I have an iPad and am constantly greeted by the screech apad apad from my 23 month old, for at least 6months she has been able to negotiate it better than me, I keep meaning to put up a video, it’s quite scary how brilliant and quick she is with it, she LOVE the drawing pad and spongebob is a huge winner, its great when we are out for dinner she will sit quietly just playing on it for the duration of dinner, that’s made it worth its money, an dinners of peace!

  2. Kat @ iRant iRave

    Before I put a key lock on it, D would somehow manage to unlock the blasted thing and start calling people, normally my mum or sisters.

    I have the odd game that might catch his attention for two minutes but the favourite app at the moment is Starfall which is an iOS port of as he’s obsessed with letters at the moment.

    I’ll also admit to chucking a load of videos on my phone to try and keep him busy when we’re out and about and I actually want to finish my coffee before catching him as he makes his escape attempt out of the door.

  3. Superamazingmum

    Definately a time and a place! Both boys 7 and 4 LOVE it and play the following:

    Angry Birds, Toy Shop, ABC Phonics (4 year old)
    Angry Birds, Toy Shop and Where’s Wally ( 7 year old + me!!)

    Am hooked on Where’s Wally!

  4. Jacq

    My DH got himself an IPad but our 3 year old DS has now taken it over. His favourite apps are train based, of course. Tilting Thomas, trainmaster, tiny traxs but also anything with a jigsaw and lunchbox is fun too!

  5. Caroline

    It’s my son’s 11th birthday today and we’ve bought him an iPod Touch. Hooray – I shall be able to at last reclaim my iPhone, and remove all ‘his’ apps from it!! PS – recommend a good sturdy case for iPhones being used by toddlers!!

  6. Anthony

    It’s nice to know my wife and I are not the only ones – our 3 & 4 year old love playing with our iphones – my son loves F1 racing car app!
    We bought an amazing cover called Tech21 iBand case D3o (it was on Dragons Den) really amazing as you can drop your phone and it absorbs the impact! Clumsy little fingers do a lot of dropping 🙂

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