4 Interactive Apps That Help Toddlers and Preschoolers Learn

Fun, interactive apps reinforce learning.
By Leticia Barr
May 24, 2013



May 24, 2013

Learning is always more fun with a friend! Today's digital toddlers enjoy learning through various forms of multimedia, so it makes sense that favorite television characters help kids extend their learning beyond television programming to mobile apps. Here are four apps featuring beloved characters who will make learning more fun.

Fans of Peppa Pig who love her in the animated series will enjoy the Happy Mrs. Chicken app. Happy Mrs. Chicken is perfect for toddlers since it supports the development of coordination skills, creative thinking, and hand-eye coordination through touch screen interaction. The intuitive game play and audio instructions allow children to enjoy the app independently while playing with beloved characters like George, Mummy Pig, Daddy Pig, Suzy Sheep, and Rebecca Rabbit. The app contains five engaging and interactive games -- plus a bonus virtual sticker book where kids get to keep stickers earned after game play.  

Cookie Monster made his app debut through The Great Cookie Thief, an interactive book set in a town in the Old West, for iOS devices. In this engaging book, kids use critical thinking skills to solve who is responsible for the cookie thefts from bakeries. With a wealth of story paths, young learners get unique endings with each game so play never gets old. Additional features include one hundred animations that come to life when tapped and a "create" mode that allows players to make "wanted" posters of cookie thief suspects, print, and share them.

Featured in over 200 books by Mercer Mayer, Little Critter invites children to travel along with him and his family as they go on an action-packed road trip on The Trip – Little Critter Reading Adventure app. Kids help Little Critter choose the route the family will take to various vacation sites such as the countryside, city, and beach; help fix the car when it breaks down; engage with animals like a horse stuck in the middle of the road; and feed seagulls while playing games with Little Sister along the way.  The app emphasizes basic preschool and early elementary curriculum and builds critical problem-solving skills while teaching and reinforcing letter recognition as children search for alphabet flash cards hidden on every screen. Text highlighting, visual interactive item clues, and professional narration and dramatization keep non-readers engaged with the story.

LeapFrog's beloved Scout helps preschoolers practice the alphabet through Scout's ABC Garden. Through the app, kids explore Scout's garden by touching and triggering sounds and animations like interactive clouds, bubbles, ticklish gophers, and Scout and Violet's virtual radio that plays traditional kid-favorite songs. Kids can also rub Scout's or Violet's belly to hear a song with their name, or grow their own letter garden. Additionally, each child's experience is customized based on his or her name, favorite food, favorite color, and favorite animal.

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