It can be hard for parents to watch their kids' desires for electronics outweigh their desire for other "more educational" things. As a mom of a 2-year-old, I'm growing increasingly more aware of the effects technology has on my daughter and do my best to ensure she has a healthy balance of "screen time" and non-screen time. Luckily, for parents who are concerned, there are plenty of amazing apps that spark creativity in children, ensuring that your child isn't completely shutting off their minds during screen time.
In fact, an article from Forbes notes the absurdity of the claim that children can't learn anything beneficial from playing with electronics or watching movies. While the frequency in which your child is in front of a screen is certainly something to take in to consideration, even more important is the question of what your child is consuming during screen time.
Letting your child play with apps that will stretch their imagination, teach them new skills, and show them pieces of history are definitely worth their weight in gold. And while an app about playing outside certainly can't replace the real thing, they're an amazing tool for learning— and lets be honest, keeping kids entertained on road trips.
1Hopscotch For Iphone
With the popular app for iPads having over 4 million downloads, Hopscotch (Free) makes programing software easy for kids and teens, letting them design their own games, art, and more.
2Sago Mini Music Box
Best for ages two to four, Sago Mini Music Box ($3) teaches kids control the music no matter where they touch on the screen.
3PicsArt For Kids
PicsArt For Kids (Free) lets toddlers draw, scribble, and create silly scenes with the touch of a finger with a huge selection of colors, shapes, and pictures. And it's free!
My PlayHome ($4) is essentially a virtual doll house where your child can dress, rearrange, and play with the dolls just like she would with a physical doll house. All of the fun and none of the tiny pieces.
5Create A Car
If your kiddo is into cars or trucks, this app will be perfect. Create A Car ($0.99) lets children design and drive their very own vehicles.
This interactive app lets children create their own cartoons. In Toontastic (Free) children can draw, animate, and tell their own stories — the perfect outlet for a budding storyteller.
7My First Classical Music App
My First Classical Music App ($5) teaches your child about different instruments, genres and composers, complete with dancing and singing animals. It's recommended for kids ages four and up.
8Art Class With Dr. Panda
Art Class With Dr. Panda ($3) lets children break out their virtual scissors, crayons and paint and make masterpieces as beautiful as if they were in art class.
9Toca Hair Salon Me
Despite its odd name, your kids will love this app. Toca Hair Salon Me ($3) lets children upload their own photos and then give them ridiculous hair-cuts and makeovers. Not necessarily educational, but most definitely creative.
10The Daily Monster Monster Maker
Your child can hand make their own monsters in this creative app best suited for kids four and up. The Daily Monster Monster Maker (Free) features a large selection of pre-drawn "monster parts" kids can combine, or gives them the option to draw them on their own and send them to a friend.
11MoMA Art Lab
The MoMA Art Lab (Free) is an interactive design space for kids to work with shapes, colors, and sound to produce unique works of art.