Toddlers and preschoolers love tablets. Wouldn’t it be terrific if parents could download apps that actually developed skills instead of just kept children happy?
The LEGO Duplo apps series for toddlers will enchant kids and their parents. Occupational therapists like them because they develop perceptual and ocular control skills, as well as muscle strengthening when a child uses a stylus to accurately drag and drop objects in all planes of motion on the screen. The five apps (train, zoo, circus, food, and ice cream) are simple enough for a 2.5 year old to navigate independently, and creative enough to keep playing without boredom on a cross-country flight. A child moves objects around the screen or taps on them to build and drive a train, visit a zoo and deliver a present to a lion, serve food, or run a circus. Children can make choices that result in a wide variety of outcomes that extend play and produce a sense of mastery. Younger toddlers cannot wildly tap or move items accidentally, thus improving their focus and preventing meltdowns. The apps are available for both the Apple and Android platforms.
My favorite of the five apps is the train, due to it’s entertaining sound effects and the wide appeal of trains for both boys and girls at this age. But they are all fun and engaging for both children and parents. Oh, did I mention that they are free?