Every parent dreads the constant possibility of a screaming, tear-filled tantrum. The key to avoiding these meltdowns may be in the palm of your hand. The next great parenting accessory isn’t a toy, bag or a stroller—it’s your smartphone. Kid-focused apps can help you in almost any situation, whether you’re looking to entertain your child or keep him quiet during a road trip.
Angry Birds ($0.99) – It’s become a cultural phenomenon for a reason: it’s fantastic. Shoot birds into pigs. The idea is simple enough for kids but addicting enough to keep them entertained for hours. Children ages four and up will enjoy trying to break down complicated pig defenses. Google Play reports that Angry Birds is the number one app of all time. Kids love it, and so will you.
Bord ($0.99) – Let your little artist go wild with Bord, an app that turns your smartphone into a chalkboard. With six different colors and three different line thickness options, your child has the tools to make a masterpiece. When she’s done, save the work and embarrass her when she’s older.
Super Why! ($2.99) – He teaches kids to read, rhyme and spell on PBS. Now Super Why is taking his act mobile with the Super Why! app. Kids can improve their reading skills through animated interactive exercises. Users describe what the princess is wearing by choosing between coat, dress and hat, find the animal that rhymes with boat, and collect virtual stickers as they complete activities. If you don’t have PBS, http://www.install-direct-tv.com will help you jump aboard the Super Why! wagon. Until then, this app will help.
Park Math ($3.99) – Build your child’s math foundation with Park Math, a whimsical counting, addition/subtraction and sorting app hosted by friendly animals. Park Math offers three levels for preschool, kindergarten and first grade. Your child will enjoy interacting with the characters and gain a better understanding of basic math principles.
For Car Rides:
Mad Libs (free) – Get the whole family involved with this classic game on your smartphone. Let your kids fill in wacky, crazy and funny words and read from one of the 21 stories in each book. New books are available through in-app purchases for $1.99 a piece.
Netflix (free) – If you’re looking for a little peace and quiet in the car, the Netflix app can capture your youngster’s attention. Choose from hundreds of kid-friendly titles in the Netflix streaming library. The service costs $8 per month, but the app is free.
For Bed Time:
Bedtime Stories Collection HD (free) – Upgrade you and your child’s bedtime story with the Bedtime Stories Collection HD app, which features unique art on some of the most famous bed time stories in history. Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood and the Hare and the Tortoise are all top 10 purchases. Each story costs a $1, but like any classic, you can read them over and over again.