4 Apps for Parents of Toddlers & Preschoolers
Parents typically have a love-hate relationship with technology. While parents rely on smartphones, tablets and other devices as they tackle the daily responsibilities of family life, we struggle with managing screen time for our children, especially when it comes to toddlers and preschoolers. Many a parent, and grandparent, has pulled up a game on a mobile device to entertain little ones while in a waiting room or running errands.
As with many aspects of parenting, there is guidance for making the best use of technology, even for parents of toddlers and preschoolers. The makers of Brightwheel, a free mobile app that helps you stay connected with your daycare or preschool, have put together a list of top apps for parents of children under 5 years old.
Common Sense Media
This is your go-to source for an expert opinion on what is best for your little one's developing mind. The folks at Common Sense Media will help you choose the right games, apps, TV shows and more, offering a library of age-based, educational ratings. From the app you can browse books or digital titles with links to buy through Amazon or iTunes.
Having trouble finding the right daycare? Ever wish there was Yelp for preschools? CareLulu collects and shares detailed info on daycare providers and preschools, including verified reviews, real photos (not just marketing shots), and up-to-date program, enrollment, and tuition information. This site will help you find high-quality and affordable childcare to meet your family's needs.
Unlike a mindless game, Agnitus is a great way to keep your little one occupied without the guilt. This award-winning app is an immersive preschool experience covering a bevy of topics including math, reading and writing. Children build basic skills, working their way through a series of books, activities and interactive games. Report cards track their progress and the reporting tools give you valuable learning insights.
Now that your little one is in daycare or preschool, you're bound to be seeing an uptick of inbound germs. The WebMD app is a handy reference tool for checking symptoms (what could that rash be?) or asking questions (is a 101 fever cause for alarm?). The mobile app also has a local health forecast tool, so you can check pollen levels or the harshness of UV rays before hitting the playground or beach.
Brightwheel is a free app providing daycare providers and preschool teachers the ability to record and track daily events and activities in the classroom. Parents receive private, real-time updates on their child delivered to a mobile device throughout the day. The app also allows for secure, digital check-in/check-out and a paperless billing system. Brightwheel founder and CEO, Dave Vasen, has been a passionate leader in education technology for many years. He launched the K-12 Education initiative for Amazon Kindle, helped bring high tech online accreditation to the developing world with Cisco, and most recently served as VP of Product at AltSchool. Brightwheel was born out of his experience as a first-time parent, wanting to engage with his daughter's development each day. As he started to spend time with administrators and teachers in pre-K, their stories provided the inspiration and fuel to create a solution that helps both schools and families. Dave holds a BA from Stanford University and an MBA from The Wharton School. He lives with his wife and daughter in San Francisco.