Screen time is one of the hot issues in modern parenting. Screens are such a big part of our daily lives, but we’re still not sure if it’s good for our little ones to spend time on them. As with most things, the key is moderation. A baby can learn a lot and get a lot of stimulation from an app. If you choose the right app, it can be an educational and stimulating experience for them. They’ll also learn hand-eye coordination and technology skills that will help them in the future.
The key as parents is to make sure that screen time doesn’t replace the much more valuable time socialising with you and learning in the real world as well. There’s absolutely no harm done by using devices if you’re sensible about it. For those times, here are some of the best apps that can help your baby learn. These are all suitable for a baby under the age of two.
Hush Little Baby – All In One Educational Activity Center and Sing Along (Free)
If you’re looking to have everything in one place, this app will do it for you. The basic app is free, but to get the full version you need to buy the full version for £2.99 or add on extras. It has a range of fun and educational games, soothing lullabies and the extras include games like balloon popping and colouring.
Baby Piano (Free)
It’s no secret that babies always love something that makes noise. The baby piano is free, but for the sake of £0.79 you can buy the full version which has things that might come in handy, like a locking button so that little hands don’t press the wrong thing. There’s a normal piano, animal noises, and nursery rhymes to play along with, and you can record and play back songs on your device. Plus, introducing your baby to music will help their development.
Pat the Bunny (£2.99)
This is the app version of the popular children’s book by Dorothy Kunhardt. You can read the book to your child, appreciate the lovely artwork and the sweet story, but in addition your baby can interact with elements of it. They can feel part of the story by joining in, and can even ‘colour in’ by swiping the screen to fill the right places with colour. Narration can be turned on or off, and you can record your own voice if you want to always be the one reading to your child. For devices with a camera, there is a mirror page that shows your child’s own face.
Touch, Look, Listen: My First Words (£1.99)
To help your little one learn those first words, this virtual popup book, with Hungry Caterpillar-style artwork, teaches them the names of everyday objects, colours and the numbers from 1-5. There’s also an optional second language option if you’re hoping to raise a bilingual child. Its won countless awards, and for comparatively cheap price it’s got everything you might need.
Whether its time to learn, time to read a story or just spend some time having fun making music, there’s an app for everything nowadays. It’s finding the ones that are engaging and educational that will ensure that the inevitable screen time is always beneficial.