Favorite iPhone Apps for Toddlers

 In Tech

Kids are learning fast these days. They pick up technology that we couldn’t even dream about at their age. Dek knew how to open my iPhone apps before he could walk. I’m still not sure how he got to my phone, but that is another matter all together.

I know there are many schools of thought out there about children using technology. I’ve read the studies. I know the risks. Then again I’m showing my son the world. He is not sitting for hours in our house watching TV all day. He gets outside, experiences new cultures, languages and foods several times a year.

Tozzle is the app du jour in our house right now. Dek would play for hours if we let him.

Sure we can say this is a justification for the guilt I feel whenever I hand over my phone to keep Dek quiet and happy on a plane or restaurant, but really, it’s just keeping the peace for all of us involved. As I like to say in our house “this is a treat, not a right.” Dek gets my phone when I choose to give it to him, not when he thinks he should get to “play puzzles.” I really do like to use my phone for myself now and then after all.

I’ve gathered up some friends with toddlers to compile a list of our favorite toddler friendly apps to take on the road. All apps have been tested by kids 2-5 years old.


  • Teach me Toddler (US$0.99) letters, abc phonics (letter sounds), numbers, shapes, colors and counting
  • Teach me Kindergarten (US$0.99) sight words, addition, subtraction and spelling
  • Interactive Alphabet (US$2.99) Every letter is an interactive toy. “Play the xylophone on the ‘X’ card, make the ‘D’inosaur roar, ‘Z’ip the Zipper, etc.”
  • Monkey Preschool Lunchbox (US$0.99) colors, letters, counting, shapes, sizes, matching, and differences
  • First Words (US$1.99) learn to recognize and match letters, the sounds letters make, names of letters and how to spell words
  • Toddler Teasers (US$0.99- $2.99 each, some free versions) Lots of categories to choose from including Shapes, Colors, Numbers, Letters, Animals, Bugs, Food, Transportation, etc.
  • I Hear Ewe (Free!) English, Spanish, German or Chinese verbal descriptions of animals and vehicles
  • Tozzle (US$1.99) 42 puzzles to challenge little minds, help with shape recognition and motor activity
  • iTot cards (US$0.99- $1.99, some free versions) flash cards cover animals, foods, things, the alphabet, numbers, shapes, and colors

Monkey Preschool Lunchbox- figure out puzzles, learn shapes, match like images and win stickers

Games: Dek loves Angry Birds. What’s even worse, he is actually pretty darn good at it. His dad got him interested when we took the Clipper up to Victoria before Christmas 2011. It only comes out on very, VERY special occasions.

Angry Birds

Videos: I always have at least one video loaded on my phone in case of emergency. Disney still offers real digital copies with their DVD and Blue-Ray packages that can be downloaded to your computer, not left in a cloud and only accessible via the Internet. If you don’t want to spring for the triple combo pack, check out iTunes for movies you can download.

Photography: Don’t underestimate your toddler’s ability to work the camera on your phone. Open your camera and let them go to town. You can always erase every belly and floor shot they capture once they are done.

Note: All apps are available in the iTunes App store. I was not asked to review these apps or compensated in any way. I am simply giving my opinion on apps we have used. All images are property of their manufacturer. 


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Showing 5 comments
  • Reply

    Love all the apps available. My kids are always talking about the cool things they’ve found.Wanted to let you know that I linked up, but I’m unable to see any of the links that are shared this week.

    • © Keryn Means/ walkingon travels

      Thanks for the heads up. There was a glitch in the code but we are up and running now. Thanks for linking up!

  • Lisa

    Great list of apps! I’ve also linked up and can’t see the links that have been shared – have sent a message to Jessica as well.

  • Elias

    I agree with Lisa and Tanya, these are great. I never even saw a computer until I was in fourth grade, and yet my six and four year olds are already old hands when it comes to running my iPhone. It really is quite an amazing thing to see, and though limiting their use of this kind of thing is important, I also think not allowing them to be exposed to technology would cripple them in the future. One app I use myself often, and for the kids once in a while we travel, is actually one I picked up through my job at Dish. They have a remote access app that lets me pull live or recorded shows off our box at home and watch them on my smartphone or tablet. The kids love National Geographic, so I have a number of nature and educational programs recorded for them to watch. We treat it like a special occasion so their use is limited, but at the same time, when I really need them to give me (or everyone else on the plane) a few minutes peace, it has worked like a charm, every time.

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