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The 8 Best Apps for 2-Year-Olds

photo credit: istock / Nadezhda1906

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends waiting until your child is two years old to bring digital devices into his or her life. Just in time—the terrible twos bring temper tantrums, willful disobedience, and endless whining. If used correctly, smartphones, tablets, eBooks, and apps can be powerful tools during this wonderful and confounding age. From Born Reading: Bringing Up Bookworms in a Digital Age–From Picture Books to eBooks and Everything in Between.

The Monster at the End of This Book by Sesame Workshop Apps

This was one of the earliest kids’ book apps and it stands the test of time. It takes a beloved Grover story and makes it interactive. Be sure to cheer your child on occasionally while playing.
Available in the Apple App Store; works with iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad.
Requires iOS 8.0 or later.
Available in Amazon Appstore for Kindle Fire and Android Devices

Born Reading cover

Fiete by Wolfgang Schmitz and Ahoiii

This book app chronicles the adventures of a sailor crossing a fairy-tale seascape. Instead of nonstop action that defines the video game genre, it tells a quiet story of fixing hats, putting wheels on cars, and playing a good old-fashioned record. Most two-year-olds can master the simple navigation, perhaps prompting some sailor adventures around the house.
Available in the Apple App Store; Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
Requires iOS 6.0 or later.

Interactive Alphabet by Pi’ikea St.

This app introduces toddlers to uppercase and lowercase letters, giving kids a chance to play with an olive-eating ogre, a Jack-in-the-box, and an old-fashioned quill pen that really works on the screen. Includes a letter-tracing function for older kids.
Available in the Apple App Store; works with iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 9.0 or later.

One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss and Oceanhouse Media

This is a great way to introduce kids to Dr. Seuss’s master storytelling. If your kid loves the print edition, try this eBook version with a professional reading and interactive words that literally pop off the page.
Available in Google Play for Android devices.
Available in Amazon Appstore for Fire TV.

Pango Book series by Julien Akita and Studio Pango SAS

This lovable storybook app series features the adventures of a cute raccoon. The book app offers simple gestures and games to make the books interactive. The gentle app will transfix your child without overwhelming him or her.
Available in Google Play for Android devices.
Available in Amazon Appstore for Android devices.

Endless Alphabet by Originator Inc.

This is my favorite letter-oriented app—a crew of mischievous monsters teaches your kids letters, phonics, and a huge set of 25-cent words.
Available in the Apple App Store; works with iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 9.0 or later.
Available in Amazon Appstore for Android devices.
Available in Google Play for Android devices.

ArtKive by The Kive Company

If you have a kid who loves drawing, painting, or scribbling, you can use this app to preserve digital copies of his or her masterpieces. It will help your child be proud of his or her work and see how useful the device can be.
Available in the Apple App Store; Requires iOS 9.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
Available in Google Play for Android devices.

Wheels on the Bus by Duck Duck Moose

An animated version of the classic song that most kids learn during this time in their lives. The app shares the lyrics in five different languages and adds interactive features to make the song more engaging—a good way to make device time more active.
Available in the Apple App Store; Compatible with iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 8.0 or later.
Available in Google Play for Android devices.

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