Early Childhood

Below you will find a collection of apps researched by Tech Goes Home for the Early Childhood Development program, including links to the iTunes App Store and reviews by CommonSenseMedia, if available.

To find a location near you offering the TGH CHA Early Childhood Program, visit our Course Locations page.

Common Sense Graphite

Graphite is a free service from Common Sense Education that makes it easy to discover the best apps, games, and websites for classroom use.

Common Sense Media

"Common Sense Media is dedicated to improving the lives of kids and families by providing the trustworthy information, education, and independent voice they need to thrive in a world of media and technology."

Resources for Early Learning

Resources for Early Learning offers fun learning resources for educators, parents, and caregivers. From detailed lesson plans to simple, everyday activities, you will find everything you need to help your children succeed.

Art

Develop your child's creativity.

Color Me – Free

According to iTunes, Color Me is "a coloring booklet for children at the age of 2-6 years. Diverse pictures and color palette will trigger the development of your child’s imagination and shape his/her senses. A very friendly and intuitive application enables your child to easily create extraordinary pictures."

Draw And Tell – $2.99

CommonSenseMedia- "Draw and Tell keeps it simple. Kids choose from a variety of different backgrounds, colors, characters, objects, and even stencils to create their drawings. Once they are ready, they can record a story or whatever they want while moving around the characters. There are also many coloring templates for those who just want to color."

Drawing Pad – $1.99

Drawing Pad is designed to let users express themselves artistically by creating drawings using a set of drawing and painting tools. It includes one-touch connectivity to social networking sites Twitter and Facebook. Parents may want to monitor the images children create before allowing them to post them online.

Duckie Deck Trash Toys – $2.99

CommonSenseMedia - "Kids choose from a variety of recycled and found items and make creatures. Kids aren't limited by how many items they can add to their creature. No ads, parent settings, or instructions distract or limit kids. They are totally free to be as creative as they want."

Feed Me! – $2.99

CommonSenseMedia- "Parents need to know that Feed Me! - Pencilbot Preschool is a fun and colorful learning game for kids under five, with a fantastic gimmick -- you "feed" your answers to the adorable monster. The app is only compatible with iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPod touch fourth generation, and iPad."

Plum’s Creaturizer – Free

Plum's Creaturizer lets kids make their own fantastic creature and then photograph it in a habitat kids choose, based on the creature's features. Kids can take pictures inside or outside with their creature superimposed onto the image; kids are reminded to get an adult's permission before going outside. For each creature kids can take four pictures and save them to their creature gallery. There are no sharing options from within the app, but the photos are saved to the device's camera roll and could be shared from there.

Sago Mini Monsters – Free

CommonSenseMedia - "Sago Mini Monsters is designed for kids ages 2 to 4 to have fun creating their own custom-made monsters, but monster-making is so fun that older kids and parents may want to join in the fun, too. It's all designed with the littlest app users in mind, so creating the monster is easy, and there are no time constraints."

Community

Help your child learn about living with others.

Avokiddo Emotions – $1.99

CommonSenseMedia - "Avokiddo Emotions is a charming way to teach kids about emotions. It can also be helpful for kids with non-verbal learning issues, such as difficulty reading facial expressions or inability to read body language. With three characters and 100+ props, kids can make a disco-themed zebra blow up a balloon, dress a giraffe in fiesta gear, or feed garlic to the mustachioed sheep -- all while observing the animal's reaction."

Barefoot World Atlas – $4.99

CommonSenseMedia - "Barefoot World Atlas is an educational app that gives children an interactive look at animals, indigenous people, and other topics of interest around the world. By spinning, pinching, and zooming, kids can find something that interests them and learn more about it through descriptions and photos."

Cookie’s Challenge – 2.99

Common Sense Media - "Parents need to know that Cookie Monster's Challenge is a collection of activities designed to stretch kids' non-academic school-readiness skills, such as problem solving, memory, self-control, and following directions."

Daniel Tiger Grr-ific Feelings – $2.99

Daniel Tiger's Grr-ific Feelings helps kids identify and express emotions through fun games and songs. This early learning app for kids ages 2 to 5 incorporates many feelings words -- such as "jealous," "patient," "frustrated," and "proud" -- to expand the ways kids can verbally express what they're feeling inside. It also includes instructions for a simple calming technique, and a photo feature encourages kids to take a photo of themselves expressing an emotion to see if how they look is similar to how Daniel Tiger looks when he feels the same way. The easel activity presents another way kids can process emotions through drawing or painting.

PBS Kids Video – Free

CommonSenseMedia - "PBS KIDS Video is an educational app for kids to watch a variety of clips from more than a dozen PBS Kids shows. The app allows parents to share video clips with friends through email, Facebook, or Twitter. Users can also tap a link to buy videos through iTunes."

Peek-a-Zoo – $2.99

CommonSenseMedia - "Peek-a-Zoo by Duck Duck Moose is an app game that asks children to look at different groups of cartoon animal characters and distinguish which ones are exhibiting a specific trait or behavior ('Who is crying?' 'Who is surprised?' 'Who is angry?'). It's super simple to use, making it a nice tool for toddlers and preschoolers to use in terms of learning social cues."

Sesame Street Autism – Free

These resources are for all families, with or without children with autism. They’ll help build understanding, reduce stigma, and provide support with everyday routines. For parents and caregivers, the Sesame Street and Autism: See Amazing in All Children app provides tools to help families with preschool children with autism, as well as help those just learning about autism celebrate differences and build bridges of acceptance.

Seasme Street Breath, Think, Do – Free

Sesame Street once again delivers a helpful and valuable educational experience with Breathe, Think, and Do with Sesame. Kids may quickly make their way through the five scenarios, but each is worth revisiting, especially in the moment if kids are struggling with a particular problem. Don't miss the parent section, which is chock-full of free resources such as tips and strategies (including video clips to watch with kids), as well as options to personalize the encouraging audio messages kids hear when playing the app, which can be played in English or Spanish.

Toca Tea Party – $2.99

CommonSenseMedia - "Once kids get the tea party for three set up, they can invite their friends, stuffed animals, or parents around the iPad 'table' to pretend to eat and drink by tapping on the food and drink on the screen -- and even 'clean up' an imaginary spill on the table. The beauty of this app is it incorporates play with building on skills to help kids who have difficulty with understanding visual information and trouble with eye-hand coordination as well as fine motor issues."

Toca Town – $2.99

Toca Town is an open-play environment designed for little kids. It's like a whole setting of virtual doll houses and people for kids to play with. The town includes a home, an apartment, a restaurant, a store, a police station, and a park, along with about a dozen diverse characters of all shapes, sizes, and colors, including some familiar Toca Boca characters. Whatever kids do to a character carries over into other places in town, so they could shop in the store and then take those items home and put them in the fridge. Kids can reset everything using the circular arrow in the top right of the screen.

Toca Train – $2.99

CommonSenseMedia - "Toca Train is great for kids who love playing with trains. It’s a virtual train set, plus more. Instead of pushing a train around, kids can actually be the conductor, deciding when to pick up and drop off passengers and cargo. As with other Toca Boca apps, kids are meant to explore what they can do on their own, so there’s little instruction."

YouTube Kids – Free

CommonSenseMedia - "YouTube Kids is a kid-centric portal to YouTube that features curated TV shows, music, educational videos, and user-created content... There are parental control features in place -- like a timer and a way to disable the search feature -- but the parents' gate is accessed via entering the numerical versions of spelled-out numbers, so when kids can read, they'll be able to access the settings.

Math

Practice numbers and math in a fun and interactive way.

Alien Buddies – $1.99

CommonSenseMedia - "Alien Buddies is a preschool-friendly educational app to introduce kids to pre-reading skills and counting with fun little alien buddies helping them. The games are easy to navigate, and the aliens are cute and silly -- not scary at all. Each game moves pretty quickly, and it won't take kids long to work through the activities."

Dr. Panda’s Supermarket – $2.99

iTunes - "In Dr. Panda’s Supermarket your kid will work on their organizational and spatial skills while playing fun, store-themed minigames. Helping animals find the foods they need, weighing different vegetables, wrangling shopping carts and organizing crates of food in the back are just a few of the many activities waiting in store for your 2-6 year old!"

Elmo Loves 123s – $4.99

From CommonSenseMedia - "Parents need to know that Elmo Loves 123s is designed to teach preschoolers numbers from 1 to 20. Sesame Street favorites Elmo and Abby introduce kids to the number and activities. In Sesame Street style, little ones' best interests are the focus. When first opening the app, parents can view information about their kids' past play, including time played, numbers and activities covered, and percentages correct, but kids can't access those screens without restarting the game."

Feed Me! – $2.99

CommonSenseMedia- "Parents need to know that Feed Me! - Pencilbot Preschool is a fun and colorful learning game for kids under five, with a fantastic gimmick -- you "feed" your answers to the adorable monster. The app is only compatible with iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPod touch fourth generation, and iPad."

Kids IQ: Math, Spelling, Words – Free

Kids IQ Math, Reading & Writing Learning Program for Kids in Preschool, Kindergarten & 1st Grade is a collection of (mostly) math and literacy games that increase in difficulty as kids progress through the program. Games, therefore, are specifically tailored to each kid's needs. In addition to math and literacy skills, there are a few games that address self-care (for example, brushing teeth), and one addresses career choices. It runs on a monthly subscription, which gives kids access to all available games, and parents get detailed progress reports, including weekly emails.

Montessori 1st Operations – $3.99

CommonSenseMedia - "Montessori 1st Operations is a well-designed math activities app based on Montessori principles and tools. Kids can practice basic addition and subtraction (1-99) in a concrete, visual way, and become familiar with the building blocks to division and multiplication. The games include recognizable Montessori characteristics -- kid-friendly explanations of math definitions and concepts -- and Montessori materials, such as red and blue number rods and counters."

Park Math – $2.99

CommonSenseMedia - "Park Math presents kids with a series of fun, interactive math games. Kids will count a rabbit's swings, subtract ducks as they go down a slide, make two amounts even by adding or removing mice from a seesaw, and more. The activities all allow the children to physically manipulate the objects they are counting."

Music

Encourage your child to explore music.

DoReMi 1-2-3 – $0.99

DoReMi 1-2-3: Music for Kids is a music-making and tone-training app that's part of the Fingerprint Digital Network of apps. Kids can choose from music-related activities, such as creating their own music or learning to play popular kids' songs, such as Mary Had a Little Lamb. Parents can create an account to receive details about which apps in the network their kids are playing and what they're learning in those apps. Kids can connect with friends online in a social network designed for younger kids, where they can play games together and post to a wall. Kids have to choose nonpersonal usernames from the lists, and no personal information is collected from kids.

Musical Me! – $1.99

CommonSenseMedia - "Parents need to know that Musical Me - by Duck Duck Moose is a selection of music-based mini-games that allow kids to play around with pitch, rhythm, and instrumentation. One game lets kids tap out the melody to a classic tune on flying birds; whichever bird is tapped will play the next note in the song, allowing kids to learn the rhythm without worrying about hitting an incorrect key."

Peg + Cat Big Gig – $1.99

Peg + Cat Big Gig combines music with math concepts such as those featured on the show in three preschool-level activities. All directions are given verbally by Peg or Cat, and there's lots of freedom for kids to explore music and create their own. The songs included aren't traditional kids' songs, but they'll be familiar to fans of the show, such as "Problem Solved" and other math songs.

Toca Band – $2.99

CommonSenseMedia - "Parents need to know that Toca Band is a super cute and creative app that encourages kids to discover and explore music. The app includes bunch of fun characters like "Bang Bang Chef," who plays the drums, and "Balooney," who is a musical balloon. As with other apps by Toca Boca, the app is pretty hands off, giving kids room figure out for themselves what they can do. The Parent Center offers settings to disable external links and provides discussion topics to help parents extend the learning."

Wheels on the Bus – $1.99

CommonSenseMedia - "Parents need to know that Wheels of the Bus is an interactive version of the children's classic song brought to life on either the iPhone, the iPod Touch, or iPad. In addition to hearing the song sung in 5 languages, kids can participate in the action by touching the device's screen to make the bus roll along the road, open the doors to the bus, and even make the windshield wipers go "Swish."

Zoo Train – $1.99

CommonSenseMedia - "Parents need to know that Zoo Train is a five-in-one learning game for preschoolers. The games are mostly simple and easy to use, and the colorful animals and trains are appropriate for young children. Aside from the info screen, there aren't any brands or ads, and since the game does not connect to the Internet there are no privacy or safety issues."

Reading

Help your child learn their ABCs, develop vocabulary, and more!

Alpha Tots – $1.99

CommonSenseMedia- "Parents need to know that AlphaTots is an excellent tool for helping children learn the alphabet. Filled with creative and clever interactive activities, the app reinforces letters with interactive elements that are fun to do (such as assembling a building for the letter B or cutting strings for the letter C). Letters are sounded out and the app is easy for kids of virtually all ages to navigate."

Feed Me! – $2.99

CommonSenseMedia- "Parents need to know that Feed Me! - Pencilbot Preschool is a fun and colorful learning game for kids under five, with a fantastic gimmick -- you "feed" your answers to the adorable monster. The app is only compatible with iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPod touch fourth generation, and iPad."

Frugoton City Letters – Free

From iTunes - "City Letters is dedicated to teaching the basics of communication to preschoolers. Your child will learn to identify alphabet letters, recognize their sounds, trace them, and solve exciting puzzles and mini games! Created for children ages 3 to 5, this game provides a unique learning experience by combining teaching letters with vocabulary enhancement and memory training."

Letter School – $2.99

CommonSenseMedia - "Parents need to know that LetterSchool is a letter-writing app that incorporates engaging animated features. As kids write a letter, it animates; for example, it may light up or turn into a rocket flying through space. While this app is meant for kids who can probably already recognize their ABCs, each letter is first labeled and paired with an object to reinforce letter recognition. Parents can adjust the settings, so kids can also practice writing numbers and lowercase letters."

Rosetta Stone Kids Lingo Letter Sounds – Free

CommonSenseMedia - "Parents need to know that Rosetta Stone Kids Lingo Letter Sounds helps kids explore letter sounds and basic Spanish vocabulary. Kids interact with cute animated blobs called Lingos as they identify the beginning letter of English words and see, hear, and speak a few Spanish words and phrases. For the Spanish games, a microphone and speech-recognition software lets kids practice speaking a little Spanish."

When I Grow Up - Little Critter – $1.99

When I Grow Up is a book where the child can be read to (interactive), read on their own (interactive) or autoplay. During the reading the child is able to tap on all people, places and things to have the word displayed and read to them. As the parent goes through the story with the child they can ask questions to help the child relate more to the book and notice more of the little details.

Zoo Train – $1.99

CommonSenseMedia - "Parents need to know that Zoo Train is a five-in-one learning game for preschoolers. The games are mostly simple and easy to use, and the colorful animals and trains are appropriate for young children. Aside from the info screen, there aren't any brands or ads, and since the game does not connect to the Internet there are no privacy or safety issues."

Science

Introduce science concepts in a fun and educational way.

Build-It-Up – Free

iTunes - "Build-It-Up helps develop visual perception skills and fine motor skills among toddlers aged 2.5+ years old. It also helps develop primary math concepts such as size, top and bottom, before and after... Each board displays parts of an image. The goal of the game is to assemble the parts correctly, one on top of the other, to create the whole image."

Dr. Panda’s Hospital – Free & $2.99 versions

CommonSenseMedia - "Parents need to know that Dr. Panda's Hospital is an interactive educational app that teaches preschool- and kindergarten-age kids a little bit about sequencing, anatomy, and health care as they pretend to work at a hospital. Mini-games (three in the free version, more in the paid version) prompt kids to help care for cute animals with different health problems. With just a swipe or a tap, kids give shots, measure blood pressure, adjust broken bones, and more."

I Hear Ewe: Animal Sounds for Toddlers – Free

From iTunes - "...24 different authentic animal sounds and 12 different vehicle sounds. When your baby taps on an animal or vehicle icon, the game will verbally announce what type of animal or vehicle it is and play a recording of its real sound."

Marco Polo Weather – Free

Parents need to know that MarcoPolo Weather is a digital sandbox tool that encourages kids to freely explore, experiment, and play. Kids can control and change various weather conditions, such as temperature, wind, and precipitation, and observe how avatars react to the changes. Kids also can clothe and accessorize the characters and add items to the weather scene such as flowers, a tent, an igloo, and more. You can choose from six languages in settings including English, Spanish, French, Russian, Japanese, and Simplified Chinese.

PBS Kids Video – Free

CommonSenseMedia - "PBS KIDS Video is an educational app for kids to watch a variety of clips from more than a dozen PBS Kids shows. The app allows parents to share video clips with friends through email, Facebook, or Twitter. Users can also tap a link to buy videos through iTunes."

Seasons and Weather – Free

CommonSenseMedia - "Parents need to know that Seasons and Weather is an educational app that aims to teach young children and toddlers the difference between seasons and other weather information. Built by the developer of the PBS Kids Play! app, the tool speaks to children in a calming, encouraging manner and is designed to minimize frustration. The game comes with three levels for varying age groups. Younger kids who play the more advanced levels might have some problems identifying elements in pictures that aren't appropriate for the season, but again, the app does not penalize for wrong answers."

Sid’s Science Fair – $2.99

CommonSenseMedia - "Parents need to know that Sid's Science Fair is an educational app based on the television show Sid the Science Kid on PBS Kids. In the app, kids learn about a variety of early science concepts at three different science stations. In Collection Inspection, kids closely examine a collection of butterflies, leaves, buttons, or other items with a magnifying glass. They try to spot three specific elements, as well as explore on their own. In Chart It, kids categorize and sort object by color, type, position, pattern, or other criterion. By placing items on a chart, it helps them visualize data."

Toca Doctor – $1.99

CommonSenseMedia - "Parents need to know that Toca Doctor is a fun and safe collection of puzzles based on healing a sick patient. There are no written and few spoken words in the app -- it is largely visual with sound effects and music. Kids will need help at first understanding how to play. Four patient issues are identified at a time; tapping on one takes you to that puzzle. The puzzles generally involve visual matching, with some logic and tilting the device to move items. Some of the scenes show blood, such as a puzzle giving the patient a shot or cleaning up a cut and applying a bandage."