App Weekly: Ten apps that will help your toddler grow smarter

Nighty Night is a simple app with an illustrated farm filled with animals who can’t get to sleep.

By Anusha Sinha

If you have a child or a younger sibling or are somehow related to a tiny human who likes using a phone or tablet, these apps will make them smarter. There are a number of beautiful apps dedicated to the toddler market and these might help teach them different subjects and life skills through games. If nothing else, these apps will keep them entertained and out of your hair!

1. Nighty Night: Android

Nighty Night is a simple app with an illustrated farm filled with animals who can’t get to sleep. Through a series of animations, the child can turn off the light for each of the animals and get them to sleep. The narrator's voice is soothing and the app itself is calming. This app could easily become a part of child’s bedtime ritual. In fact, some adults may benefit from switching over to this app to slowly detach from their devices instead of browsing Reddit till 3 AM.

2. Alphabet Kitchen: Sesame Street: Android, iTunes

In Alphabet Kitchen, the child can interact with the Cookie monster or Elmo. The mission is to create delicious cookies by spelling words correctly.  If this kid you know watches Sesame Street, they will love it when their favourite characters are also their play buddies.

3. Miffy’s World : Android, iTunes

Miffy’s World is based on the TV show, ‘Miffy’. It features an adorable rabbit and her adventures at home and school. The game plays like a point and click adventure where Miffy can interact with the objects around her. There is a narrator as well and the voice guides Miffy and the player through a range of activities related to getting ready for school and doing chores around the house. The animation is super cute as is the voice acting for Miffy.

Image credits: iTunes

Image: iTunes

4. Sago Babies Mini Dress Up : Android, iTunes

This is a basic dress up game where you can dress up baby animals in a variety of costumes and accessories. They do have preferences, though and will coo with pleasure or fix you with a stare depending on how much they like the sartorial decisions made for them. The art is pretty and the number of costumes available will always leave the kid spoilt for choice.

Image credits: iTunes

Image: iTunes


5. Toca Kitchen : Android

Toca Kitchen is one in a range of games created specifically for kids. These feature amazing art and unique games for kids to be creative in a number of settings, whether it be in Toca Hair Salon or Toca Stable. Most of their apps cost Rs. 150 on Google Play Store but Toca Kitchen is one of the free ones. Here, kids can select a character to feed and then experiment with several ingredients and methods of cooking in order to create a new dish. This has the advantage of showing a child what a kitchen looks like as well as the processes involved in making food while keeping them away from knives and the other dangers that come from working in a kitchen environment. The game is easy to play and the steps are pretty intuitive. There are a number of combinations of foods and processes which will keep the kid engaged for some time.

6. Star Walk Kids : Android

Kids, in general, are fascinated with a lot of the things they come across. Dirt, plants, dogs, the insides of their nose. However, what better thing to be fascinated by than space! Have the child learn about space from a cow who was abducted by aliens and taught the secrets of the universe. Star Walk Kids is brilliantly illustrated and has stops on all the major spots in the solar system and even beyond! Kids can explore facts about celestial bodies through audio clips and lavishly designed videos. This app, and your explanations about space could go a long way in perhaps developing a future astronaut!

7. YouTube Kids : Android, iTunes

YouTube Kids is a service where videos are automatically filtered to include only child safe content. The videos are selected from across all of YouTube and are available in a neat queue for the child to choose from. There is some great content including cartoons and educational videos for kids. You also have the option of setting up parental controls and time limits so you can monitor what your child is watching online and protect them from content you wouldn’t want them to accidentally come across.

Math for Kids

8. Math for Kids 

Math for Kids is a neat app to help kids practice basic mathematical skills like addition and subtraction. While the interface is not as pretty as it could have been, the app itself has a nice progression between levels and little exclamations of positive reinforcements. The numbers are large and stand out and the buttons are kid friendly as well. The app does not have any lessons, which could have been a nice addition. The app could make for a good.

9. Endless Alphabet : Android, iTunes

Endless Alphabet is a delightful game about spelling and learning new words for kids. The words in the app are probably suited to a second or third grader or a particularly precocious first grader. The design is quirky and the letters hum their names when you move them around. However, to unlock all the words, there is an in-app purchase of Rs.600 which might seem a bit excessive. This purchase allows you to play the words in any order that you wish.

10. The Hungry Caterpillar

This app is based on the popular children’s book, ‘The Hungry Caterpillar’. You can play as the caterpillar and tend to your garden and eat some of the fruit hanging from the trees. The full version of this app costs Rs. 250 and includes a number of other features and ways to explore the hungry caterpillar’s world.

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