When your child was a baby and you needed to distract her, you could simply hand her your phone and she'd be happy punching buttons and pretending to talk on it. Now that you have a big kid on your hands, it's nice to have a selection of fun apps on your phone to keep her entertained during a long wait in the doctor's office or when you really need to get something done. Here is a selection of free Windows Phone 7 apps for toddlers and kids. All the apps can be found by going to the Marketplace and searching for the app by name.
Fireflies: This game is cute and colorful, with sound effects that will entertain your toddler or young child. It's best for a child who knows his colors, but any child who can swipe can play the game (my 2 year old loves it). The objective is to catch fireflies with your net, and the majority of them need to be the color indicated at the start of each round. As you catch the fireflies, they make cute sounds.
Gem Smasher: This really cute (and very simple) game is perfect for 1- to 3-year-olds. Gems fly up into the air, and your child simply touches each gem to get a point and have it explode into sparkly fireworks. If they miss a gem they don't get out. The game ends when three bombs are touched. It's very easy for your child to restart the game if she loses.
Animal Sounds: This game helps your child learn animal sounds. The game shows three animals and plays a sound. Your child has to touch the animal that made the sound. The downside is that it doesn't give your child a clear indication of whether they are right or wrong, and some of the animal sounds are hard for even me to know which animal they came from.
Draw Free!: This is a full-featured drawing app. There are tons of tools for drawing. For a toddler, you can preset the paintbrush to stars or a smiley face and let them scribble away. For an older child, you can explain how to change colors, drawing tools (brush, spray paint, etc.), stamps, and more. It's a very detailed app that you'll find even yourself playing with!
Sticker Draw Free: This is a much simpler drawing app perfect for a younger child. Your child can choose a background to draw on, colors to paint with (by touching a paint splatter), and "stickers" to use. To erase a whole picture and start over again, your child can shake the phone (this feature can be turned on or off in settings). There is also an eraser to erase specific parts of the picture.
A Apple Pie- This app, along with other similar apps from Strange Fellow Productions, is a classic storybook (over 100 years old) adapted to be read on your phone. Other titles include Baseball ABC, Three Bears, Circus Procession, and Humpty Dumpty. You click on the arrow buttons to turn pages, and the book's pages show up full screen. Each book has charmingly old-fashioned illustrations.
All of these apps have been tested and approved by my two and a half year old daughter!More from this writer
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