We know kids need a good balance of screen time and play time (maybe with more emphasis on the play time) but when you're waiting at the doctor's, in a supermarket queue or even to bring a crying toddler out of a meltdown, there's no better time than to whip out the mobile phone/iPad or Tablet for a few minutes distraction.
Here are five of the top educational apps out there right now:
Monkey Preschool Lunchbox
This is all about recognising letters, colors, shapes and patterns and the aim is to fill a monkey's lunch box with fruit. Available on iPhone, iPad, RRP$0.99; and Android, $1.99.
Kids learn to recognise letters by sight AND hear how they sound. http://www.commonsensemedia.org gave this app an "E" for excellent, saying it was fiilled with creative and clever interactive activities, Price: $1.99 for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android, Kindle Fire.
Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood: Play at Home with Daniel
This is an exploratory game where kids get to pretend to do everyday activities such as being a doctor, putting Daniel Tiger to bed or helping him have a bath. Price: $1.99 for iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android,
Giraffe's Preschool Playground
This app has six games based around teaching the alphabet, and numbers, seek-and-find skills, and animal names. Price: $.99-$1.99 for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android, Kindle Fire.
This is a dollhouse-style app for kids that encourages creative play. Kids can choose their family "type" and the game is highly interactive. Price: $3.99 for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android, Kindle Fire.