Roundup of My Favorite iPad Apps for Pre-K

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From the moment Ryleigh was born, she was predisposed to be a techie. In 2008, I tweeted letting my followers know my water had broke and was on my way to the hospital. Those days were pre-iPhone days for me. It was before apps and I toggled the internet from my old school Blackberry.As soon as we knew we were pregnant and had picked a name, I immediately set up a Twitter account and bought a domain so she could take control of her online identity.

Hubby and I caved last year just before Ryleigh turned 4 buying her an iPad mini. Since Greg and I are both business owners, we take business calls and live and die by our phones. That’s hard to accomplish when your iPhone serves as the primary movie watching and child entertainment device. Now, I’ve reviewed iPad apps before, but unfortunately, they only hold the attention for a short period of time.

One of my biggest complaints of iPad apps as a mom is those apps that appear free only for your child to be bombarded by ads and other other ad ons. There’s nothing more annoying as a parent than downloading a new app only to have your daughter ask you to purchase some new feature for $5.99. We’re working on it but at age 5, you really don’t yet grasp the idea of money.

Buyer Beware

We downloaded a gymnastics app for Ryleigh called A Gymnastic Girl Fun Game, and it was ad ridden, spammy but was advertised as free. You could remove the ads for $4.99 but had to purchase additional gymnasts at $9.99 each. Like most things, we downloaded this at a critical time where I needed peace and quiet. Even paying $9.99 to keep from having a tantrum filled 4 year old still created problems because the ads direct you all over the place interrupting my little girl’s game.

Apps That Keep Your Attention

While I try to avoid paying for apps as much as possible, there are great educational paid apps for kids that my daughter really enjoys. They keep her engaged, learning and are even fun for parents to play. Bubble Puppy is one of our favorites that has lasted through the action packed holiday. At $6.99, it’s generally more than I spend. It is, however, fun for the whole family. Kids complete games and earn bones to buy toys for the Bubble Puppy where they can then play with their toys in the doghouse. It’s great learning for counting, letters and hand eye coordination.

Free Apps We Love

Having been extremely disappointed in our earlier gymnastics app purchase, we finally found a free and fun app that is spam free. American Girl offers an assortment of simple and high quality app games that are at no cost to you. McKenna Girl of the Year 2012 is by far our favorite app right now. The game isn’t complex but is very similar another one of our favorites, Robot Unicorn 2 except it’s far more girly adding in the gymnastics, tumbling and a parallel bars twirling for good measure. McKenna also has a web page with additional games making me love American Girl more than ever.

Another great app I love is from Disney Jr.. Their app lets you watch disney shows. Ry is currently entranced by Doc McStuffins and prefers to watch the show from her iPad instead of the tv. I love this app. It has current shows and unlike Netflix is absolutely and completely free.

What’s your favorite Pre-K and children’s apps for the iPad? I’d love to get your recommendations in the comments section below. 

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