As an Ed Tech Geek, I often get asked what’s on my daughter’s iPad.
Well, not so much….
My oldest will be four in December. Although she has an iPad, all 5 of my choices can be used on any device that has the Internet. Plus, the apps are available on iPhones or Android devices.
It’s way easier to manage a few apps versus a ton of content on a tablet. Plus, we don’t even want the option for her to make in app purchases. The answer to that will always be, “no.” And, let’s face it, no kiddo wants to be told, “no!” Avoid the argument all together!
I also find that when faced with too many options, kids (like adults) become overwhelmed. Too many choices can be daunting!
So, I’ve broken it down for you….
Make it simple for you and your kiddo!
Here are the ONLY 5 things you need for your kid’s device. Promise.
#1: a Durable Case
For obvious reasons that relate to typical 3-9 year old behaviors….you need a case that can withstand their little hands. I also like cases with handles.
- Here are my top picks for durable cases:
I recommend getting an older used iPad because they are affordable and will definitely be capable of housing a few apps for your younger child.
#2 ABC Mouse
ABC Mouse is just a powerhouse of educational content combined with the fun of your other “game” apps.
- My favorite parts of ABC Mouse are:
- You can earn coins from learning to buy new outfits- Norah approved!
- A complete curriculum
- Continuous updated content
- Games along with learning
- Scaffold and leveled learning
Check with your child’s school to see if they already have an existing account. If they do, it may be free of charge to your child.
#3 YouTube Kids
YouTube Kids– you’ll be amazed by the goofy stuff your kid gets into watching on YouTube. Plus, it filters its content (to a degree). Obviously you should still pay attention to what they’re watching. Better yet, make them a playlist!
- My favorite YouTube Kids Channels are:
When your kid watches the crazy toy reviews (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, you will if you put YouTube on your child’s device)…you will always know what toys to get for birthday and Christmas presents.
#4 Netflix or Amazon Prime
Netflix-only if you have a subscription. This can be replaced with Amazon Prime. If you don’t want to purchase a subscription based video library, just use YouTube and make a playlist for your kids (see You Tube Kids above).
- My favorite Netflix titles for kids ages 3-9 are:
- Room on the Broom- perfect example of connecting books with video.
- Jake and the Neverland Pirates- can you say teamwork? I mean, the song even says “together as a TEAAMMMM!” It happens to be on repeat at my house.
- Ask the Story Bots- they explain lots of cool stuff in kid friendly language.
- Puffin Rock- so cute and mesmerizing!
- Inspector Gadget- this is a throw back for me so I can’t help but love Inspector Gadget all over again!
Amazon Prime– if you don’t already have a subscription, it’ll only cost you $99 year which will get you music, movies, and free 2 day shipping on a ton of products.
- My favorite Amazon Prime titles for kids ages 3-9 are:
- Dora the Explorer
- The Backyardigans
- Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood
Let your kid pick! Of course, you can have the “final say” but giving them a bit of independence starting early on can boost their confidence and help teach them decision making skills.
#5 Pictures and Videos
Last but certainly NOT least, include updated pictures and videos of friends and family on your kids device.
- There will be no WiFi needed for your kiddo to enjoy pictures and videos of the family.
- Plus, it will inspire your family to create more photos and videos to upload. Trust me, your kid will be asking for new pics and videos to watch.
Put all the stock apps in one folder away from prying little fingers. That way, they can’t mess with settings (knowingly or unknowingly).
What do you think the list is missing?
Let me guess….
-Drawing or coloring pages? Nope! Check ABC Mouse!
-Educational TV? Nope! Netflix, Amazon Prime and Youtube will cover that!
-Puzzles and games? Oh, yeah, that’s ABC Mouse, too!
-Family-centered goodness? You have that covered with your awesome photos and videos!
(sorry for all of those explanation points!)