The Google Play Store contains more than 600 apps designed for toddlers. Not only is it important to only allow your child to have screentime for a certain amount of time but it is also important to know what the child spends this time on. Besides, you don’t want to download apps that would take a bite out of your money every time. Some apps can become quite costly! In this article you can read more about the hundreds of toddler apps for Android that are available, to hopefully make the choice a bit easier.
Toddler and screen time.
Official guidelines about how long a child may spend time on a tablet do not exist. Although advice on the topics pro’s and con’s are found everywhere online. In an article written by the NRC, the opinion of Delfos, a phsychologist can be read. The core of the story is about ‘boundries and accomaniment’. Het most important thing to watch for is the affect it has on the behavior of the child, to determine how long he or she can spend on the tablet. It is very important to install the right app to be able to determine this.
The App Store
The Google Play Store offeres thousands of apps which contain more than 600 specifically for toddlers. This many opportunities can make it hard to make the right choice. Luckily, every app is divided in to categories.
To be able to view the toddler apps, you click on the categorie “family”and the sub category “up to 5 years”. You will now be able to see three different tabs:
- The Homepage shows you paid and free apps and sorts them in to very clear categories: fun apps & games, recommended for you, educative apps, brain games, action games, roleplay games, shapes & colors, early learners, puzzles & games, music games and fun creatures.
- The popular items will show all available apps that are based on popularity. You can fist make a choice if you want to see the paid or free section of apps, which after you will see all the available apps.
- The tab New Releases will show the newest toddler app for Android. With this tab you have to choose paid or free apps as well before seeing the available apps.
As we said, there are apps that you pay for and free apps. The apps that cost money usually rein between $0.99 and $8.94. This is a fee that you pay once that makes the app available at all times on your device until you decide to delete it. The apps that are free often contain advertisements to get the costs of the app out of the game that you download. Before you download an app, it is always important to see if the app offers “in app purchases”. This means that after you play a few levels you have to pay to be able to keep playing, to unlock the rest of the game.
Before you click the download icon in the store app, you will always be able to see if it is a free or purchasable app. Watch for this before your child gets excited for an app you might have to pay for later.
3 best apps for toddlers
- Youtube kids is free and contains advertisements. It is a toddler friendly version of Youtube that, as the makers describe it, offers a safe and more simple way for children to explore the online video world. It is a passive way of exploring. If you want your child to play actively itself, the next few apps might be a better choice.
- Funny food is free and offers in app purchases. This popular and educative app contains different games within the app and is focused on learning shapes, sizes, colors, sorting, counting, comparing and more. The down part about this is that after a few games it does asks for a fee to keep playing the game and unlock more possibilities.
- Kid Brain Trainer is a free game and contains (even though the description says otherwise) advertisements. This too is an educative app who focuses on the development of the child by playing different games like memory and spot the differences.
It is not so much about how long your child plays on his/her tablet, but about what your child spends its time doing. Between the hundreds of toddler apps available for Android, there are a few things to concider. Free apps can contain advertisements of can be asking for a fee after playing for a while. Paid apps often don’t contain advertisements, you download (and pay) just once and keep the game for ever. Always read what it says at the description before downloading.
There are many different apps for passive and active learning behavior. To decide what the best choice is for your child, you just have to see and try different apps to see in what way it affects your child’s behavior. At least now you know what to consider when choosing an app for your toddler!