Apps and Toddlers - the 18-month old edition
March 19, 2017 11:03 AM   Subscribe

Which iPad apps will help keep my 18-month old entertained and help keep me and my husband from wanting to jump out of the plane?

We are taking my 18 month old for a trip to Florida next week, which will involve about 2 hours in the plane, each way.

Looking for some app recommendations for a kid who isn't QUITE iPad advanced for games like "Endless Alphabet", yet. I've been introducing her to the iPad slowly over the past few weeks and right now her plan of attack is just to smack it with her hand and poke with her finger. Endless Alphabet, as much as I love it, doesn't really do anything for her.

I think coloring apps might be OK, or an app where you can just poke at bubbles / pop things? There's an in-app game in one of the Sesame Street apps where you need to poke bubbles that she seems to like.

I will be checking out the recommendations from this thread, but really looking for recommendations specifically for younger children.

Non-free is fine, I have a budget for this but would rather spend in a targeted way.

We will also be bringing along books and crayons, and some episodes of Sesame Street / Daniel Tiger / Mickey Mouse Club, but two hours is a long time for a kid with a 5 minute attention span.

posted by kellygrape to Technology (10 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
This is not very educational, but when I was traveling with young toddlers, I relied on balloonimals. It was very distracting during those moments where a meltdown was almost about to happen.
posted by gnat at 11:57 AM on March 19

I traveled with my son a lot, and would never have relied on an iPad for any flight.. It just wouldn't work. Keeping him seated was just impossible at that age. Maybe your kid is different and not as active, but I would still prepare to basically just walk around. Up and down the main aisle, saying hello to everybody, down into the crew bay (who were always super cool and helpful about keeping the kid entertained, giving him bottles of water, letting him open and close all those little compartments, he even got on the phone to the captain once........), then back to the seat, a book and a couple of toys and it's done. So, sorry I'm not answering your question, but just giving you other ideas instead. I wish you safe and fast take off and landing and that you don't get stuck in the aircraft waiting for a slot (that one is bad).
posted by neblina_matinal at 12:56 PM on March 19 [1 favorite]

SAGO MINI. Any of it. All of it.
posted by nkknkk at 1:15 PM on March 19 [3 favorites]

The SAGO MINI games are really great, lots of items to click and press, and the music and audio features are only minimally annoying after a period of ipad play.
posted by nickggully at 3:18 PM on March 19 [1 favorite]

Tesla toy entertains babies and cats alike: Tesla Toy by PDJ Apps

Silk drawing app is another one that is equally enjoyed by babies and teens:
Silk 2 – Interactive Generative Art by Yuri Vishnevsky

Those both work well because they are apps that react big to touch. My very verbal 18mo old stepson loved Duck Duck Moose's Old Macdonald and Trucks and Itsy Bitsy spider, and then all three of mine graduated to Toca Boca's train app and from there to their entire catalog.
posted by annathea at 3:43 PM on March 19

My (20 month old) girl likes the fisher price apps like giggle gang and counting animals.
posted by cabingirl at 3:52 PM on March 19

Maybe my kids are abnormally self absorbed, but they also loooove watching videos of themselves and photos of themselves doing fun things (here I am with grandma, here I am with a dog, etc). These work better than apps for me. I also think travel-sized magna doodles and a bag of toys. One thing that can work is if you take away their favorite toys for a week or two before the trip and then slowly bring them out during the airplane ride. God speed!
posted by areaperson at 5:51 PM on March 19 [2 favorites]

Check out KneeBouncers.
posted by Leontine at 8:56 PM on March 19

Not an app, but I have flown cross country with a toddler a few times. Post it notes. Seriously. Buy a multi size pack and let her go to town pulling them off. It's not too hard to clean up. Also, lots of tiny wrapped new toys - nothing fancy, you just want novelty. Cheerios or cheddar bunnies/goldfish are good, she can eat one at a time. Good luck!
posted by john_snow at 9:00 AM on March 20

Thanks everyone for your answers! We fly off on Saturday - wish me luck and sanity.
posted by kellygrape at 5:37 PM on March 23

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