We have all been there. Picture; a quiet restaurant, your food just came out and it looks amazing- and then your baby starts screaming. He’s not hungry, he’s already been changed- He’s just fussy. You give him all the toys you have in the diaper bag, you even give him your car keys- which distracts him for maybe 30 seconds. You and your husband take turns leaving the restaurant so you don’t ruin everyone else’s meal. A $40 meal ruined.
I have a certain criteria for the apps I let my son play with. Obviously when babies are under a year, they can’t actually engage- so I look for apps that make things happen as the baby is hitting the screen. I also look for games that do NOT have ads. You might think, “who is dumb enough to put an ad on a baby game that can be easily hit and opened by the child?” Well actually, it’s probably a great way to get clicks, but it becomes very frustrating for the baby and the parent. Another thing I look for is how easy it is to go back to the menu of the game. I like games that you need to double tap the home button, so the baby doesn’t keep exiting the screen.
These apps are FREE and available on iPhone, iPad, and I even have some on my Go phone. I have not paid for any of my baby game apps- so if your reading this and thinking, “well this $5.99 app is way better and it’s not on the list!” Well, it might be, but again- I’m talking about the free options. Check your app store- you may be surprised at how much is out there.
Alright, so about the actual apps…
#5- B&W High Contrast
I have tried a few of the high contrast baby games. I like this one the best. All the little animals are black, white, and red which provides excellent visual stimulation to really young babies. It’s basically like those fancy flash cards but on your tablet. It plays classical music in the background and as your baby hits the screen, different things come out. Example: a butterfly comes out from the side (hit) disappears and monkey comes out (hit) zebra appears, etc.. It is made by fisher price, so it gives you the option to use it with a Fisher Price toy or you can use it on its own. This app doesn’t even give the option to go back to the menu, you just have to exit the app.
#4- Baby Apps- Funny Learn Bubbles
This one says it’s for 1+ years but my son plays with it fine at 6 months. It is essentially a screen filled with bubbles and they have a number in them. When your baby hits the bubble, it pops and a voice says the number that they hit. It also has paid options for letters, animals, etc. There is an arrow to get back to the menu but you have to double tap it. The bubbles are very easy to pop, which is why I think it works well for under 1 year olds.
#3 Fisher-Price Giggle Gang App for Baby
This one has two levels. Level one is a blue screen and it has little toys (they look like those sensory stuffed toys that you buy for infants) and the more you hit the screen, the more little toys pop up. They make giggle sounds that can be annoying after awhile but you can turn the sound off if you want. Level two is more fun, its a little keyboard that makes piano noises when it is hit. Again, it has a double tap home button to get back to the menu.
#2 Laugh & Learn Shapes & Colors Music Show for Baby
Yet another Fisher Price app. I love this one, thats why it is in my #2 spot. It is very similar to Giggle Gang. It has two levels, the first one is a orange screen and as the baby hits it, more shapes in all different colors appear. They can be moved if dragged and also “thrown”, which is great for when a baby is just moving their hands across the screen. The shapes also float around. I was quite impressed when my son followed one shape all the way across the screen with his finger at only 5 months old. Level 2 has the same keyboard that Giggle Gang app has. My son is very entertained with this app so its definitely a great one to have.
#1 Baby Bubbles
Possibly the greatest thing since sliced bread. So great and easy to use for babies, my son has used this one since 3 months old. Not too overstimulating at all. Its a black screen with colored bubbles that just float upwards. They are extremely easy to pop (great for babies that are just rubbing the screen). It plays classical music in the background and has baby laughing sounds. Such a simple app, but so entertaining. There isn’t a menu at all so no menu button, and if it is exited by accident (like if you left that pesky multitasking feature on) then it can be quickly turned back on without having to go through menu settings. The only thing is there is no “sound off” option so if that laughing noise is driving you nuts, you have to turn off the sound to your phone or tablet.
Now for my little disclaimer. Obviously, you shouldn’t sit your baby in front of a screen for hours on end. These games are intended to distract the little ones when you need something quick, like in public, or when your making dinner, etc. Always supervise play and watch for signs of overstimulation. If your baby starts fussing, or looking away from the screen- take it away. Also, these reviews are my honest opinion- I did not get paid to write this post. Enjoy!