Here’s our collection of Kindle apps for babies and toddlers.
My son started playing on my Kindle over a year ago. He was about nine months old at the time, and all he could do was jab at the screen in a random way. But certain Kindle apps really held his attention, and promoted fine motor skill development along the way.
Before letting him loose on my Kindle, I needed some kind of parental control. I use Kids Place, which is currently free and stores all F’s apps in one place.
This is particularly useful for the free apps that often contain adverts. If a game is specifically for a very young child, where they just pop bubbles or whatever, the child is going to be attracted to a flashing advert banner. If you don’t have a blocker, the game will stop and the child will suddenly be faced with a web page. NOT good. With Kids Place it does stop the game but goes to the “home page” that shows all the pre-selected child-friendly apps. Volume cannot be adjusted while in Kids Place mode and you need a four digit PIN to be able to exit the app.
Here are some of his favourite Kindle apps from the early days:
Baby Rattle – currently free with no adverts
This features six themed pages, each with little icons moving around the screen, accompanied with a rattle soundtrack. If the icons are pressed then there is an additional noise. Themes are animals, fish, airplanes, letter blocks, Christmas, random symbols.
My Baby Drum – currently free with adverts
One simple image of a drum kit, with different sounds for each drum. Options of background music and “proper” drumming.
My Baby Firework – currently free with adverts
This features a black screen, with five bright rotating fireworks that make a bang and a flash if pressed. When F started using this app the flashes always startled him, but he has got used to it over time.
Bubbles – currently free with no adverts
Press the screen and a bubble grows and grows for as long as you press it. Let go, press it and it pops. Or just keep pressing and get lots and lots of bubbles. Simple and effective.
My Baby Game (Bubbles Pop) – currently free with adverts
Another bubble popper app but this one has bubbles flowing up the screen instead. Some of the bubbles contain animal heads (pig, dog, cat, duck) which make a sound if popped.
Kids Paint – currently 99c (or there is a free version with ads available)
Black screen, and every time your finger touches the Kindle to draw, you get a different colour “ink”. Very colourful and engaging.
A year later he still loves the Kindle. I limit how often he gets to play on it and we can often go a week at a time without him using it. Because of this infrequent use it is the perfect way to pass the time when I need him to stay put – like the doctor’s waiting room or an airport arrivals hall! His tastes have moved on a bit now, and he can swipe as well as touch the screen with fairly good accuracy.
Here are some of his favourite Kindle apps for the next level:
Sound Touch – currently $3.99 (although there is a free “lite” version)
This app is frequently used by speech therapists, and it is a shame it has such a forgettable name because it’s a very good app. There are 6 categories (familiar animals, exotic animals, birds, vehicles, musical instruments and sounds around the home), and 12 items in each category. Each item has about 5 variations – that’s 360 sounds! Each item has a bright clear photo that accompanies it. There are 20 language options too.
Wheels on the Bus – currently free
A lovely interactive app featuring several verses from the well known song. Each verse has a new image, with a bus you can swipe to move along the road, doors you can open and shut, wipers that swish and so on. On each screen there are several items that move and make sounds.There are many language options too, including some comedy ones like Kazoo and Gibberish!
Peekaboo Barn – currently $1.99
This game features a barn with different animals. An animal sound is played, then on touching the barn doors they open, the animal is revealed, the sound played louder, and the animal name spoken. Very simple but pretty easy for the child to operate without assistance.
Itsy Bitsy Spider – currently free
From the same company that made Wheels on the Bus, this is probably my son’s favourite. Lots of interactive items over connected screens that tell the story of this famous spider. There are eggs to collect, caterpillars to hatch, and a little fly that has interesting facts. Highly recommended!
TooTooNi – currently $3.99
This is a fairly new one for us, and we’ve only scratched the surface of what it has to offer. 10 play options, all featuring different vehicles: Match pairs, water paint, join dots, finger paint, “scratch” to reveal image, draw tracks, build blocks (like a freeform Tetris), vehicle noises, puzzle and blackboard.
Super Why – currently $2.99
This is our latest addition based on F’s favourite TV show. There are five sections, one for each character and a “sticker” screen. Super Why’s game is finding the word that completes the story sentence. Wonder Red’s game is finding words that rhyme. Princess Presto’s game is about forming and writing each letter, and Alpha Pig’s game is about finding the correct letter to form a word. The latter game is the easiest, and the only one that F can really play right now. There are three options for each letter, and he has to select the right one. He really loves it but I know he’ll like the others too when he has a better understanding.