Ninja #1 has an iPad. I say this with a relief that’s tainted with disdain. Relief that I can keep Ninja #1 occupied at the doctor’s office when Ninja #2 has a checkup. Relief that Ninja #1 is learning when he uses his iPad (most of the apps he has are educational). And relief that Ninja #1s iPad is a pre-owned first generation affordably acquired from eBay (we love a good deal).
Disdain rears its ugly head when I think of my fun and technology-free childhood. I can’t count the number of times in a day I wish life were as simple as it was in my youth, and technology hadn’t evolved so fast. Allowing my Ninja access technology at such an early age still stirs controversy in my heart. My husband and I
fought, ahem, discussed, this in depth before I gave in. And it was the right decision.
Quite honestly, when you have a military family with young children, an iPad can keep them busy in airports and airplanes as you travel from one end of the globe to the other. And, now that we’re not traveling, Ninja #1 has a limited amount of time he’s allowed to spend on his iPad. To my relief, he doesn’t seem to mind, and would much prefer to play with his toys or run outside. Ninjas can’t sit still for too long!
Now that you know my feelings about my Ninja’s iPad (because that’s what you really wanted to know about, right?), here’s some of Ninja #1s favorite apps:
Toca Boca: These are lovely games for young children (and their parents …). They’re very simple and colorful and generally focus on developing skills through toys children would naturally gravitate toward. My Ninja started with Toca Train. He loves Thomas, so a game where you get to drive a train, pick up passengers and cargo, and drive over bridges and through tunnels was an obvious win. Then he moved on to Toca Cars, again, this was an obvious choice (you’ll be happy to know that all of the cardboard in the game is recycled cardboard. Yup. That’s a fact. I know, this made my heart leap with joy too.). Toca Builders and Toca House round out the rest of his collection.
Duck Duck Moose: These award-winning educational games are very popular with parents of youngsters because their youngsters actually want to play them (and learn). Duck Duck Moose apps focus on skills like reading, math, ABC’s, matching, shapes, and following instructions. Ninja #1 loves the Trucks games, as well as the Word Wagon (Ninja #1 is very proud of himself for learning how to spell) and Fish School.
Kindle: We’re a Kindle family. Ninja #1 loves a good story and it’s so nice to be able to take five books (or more) with us to the doctor’s office, without actually carrying around five books. Ninja #1 has tons of books (I may be guilty of constantly adding to his library …), and he loves being a big boy and flipping through the pages, but they’re cumbersome when traveling. The Kindle app nips that problem in the bud. Now, every Thomas and Friends book known to man can accompany us to all appointments.
Oceanhouse Media: Ninja #1 has several books from this company (he likes Little Critter and the Berenstain Bears), that he just loves. Oceanhouse Media brings books to life by allowing the young reader to interact with the story. Words light up as the narrator takes my Ninja through each page. Sounds are also a big part of these books. Music and sound effects are very effective in telling the story to my Ninja.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. Ninja #1 as many more apps on his iPad (which will transform into a shared iPad when Ninja #2 is of age), but these are the ones he tends to enjoy the most (except Toca Cars, which I tend to play more than him. It’s on my phone too, in case I need it). What apps do your Ninjas enjoy? Did you struggle with giving them access to technology as I did (am I alone in this?)?