Earlier, I listed my favorite apps for myself. However, my three year old has two folders of her own apps on my phone. Some are rarely used, and some are terrific. Here are her top five favorites:
1. Disney Junior Sophie loves to watch episodes of her favorite shows (Little Einsteins, Jake and the Neverland Pirates) on this app. With certain television providers, you can watch more episodes and current episodes. However, DirecTV is not a participating provider. She's happy with the app as it is, though. Preschoolers like the familiar, and after a few viewings the episodes are definitely familiar. They do update every few days thank goodness.
2. My First Puzzles: Dinosaurs (also available for Android) Sophie loves dinosaurs. This puzzle is one of her favorite game apps. There are three levels, each one progressively harder. The puzzles are modeled after a traditional wooden child's puzzle, and the pieces are placed by touching and dragging to the correct spot. On harder levels, the pieces are lettered and can only be placed in alphabetical order.
3. PBS Kids Video Video clips and episodes of all the shows on PBS Kids! There are several to choose from for each show.
4. iTube List With this app, the parent creates or finds playlists of YouTube videos and adds them to the app. I like that there is a preview option, to ensure there is nothing I wouldn't want my three year old to see hidden inside someone's playlist. You can also import your own saved lists from your YouTube account. It's very easy to navigate within the app; Sophie is quite adept at moving between lists.
5. ABC Flashcards This app is a standard flash card app, with letters and pictures to illustrate the letter, but has a little more. The child can hear the letter by name, the sound it makes, and the word depicted on the card (apple for A, dog for D, etc). There is one more feature that I love, though. If you tap the magic marker icon at the bottom of the screen, the child can trace each letter and learn to write the alphabet. Last night Sophie was playing with the app before her bath, and brought me my phone so excited. "Mommy, I made a K!" And she really did!