Traveling with the kids? If so, you'll need the best iPad apps and best iPhone apps possible to help keep them entertained while on planes, trains, and automobiles. Whether it's kid-friendly videos to watch as the miles stream by, or an education game that lets them play — and learn — about the world around them, the App Store has some great choices for the young. Here are our must-haves!
Netflix has one of the largest selections of videos period, and that includes kids content. You can even enter a kids friendly mode in the Netflix app and your kids won't see adult shows or content they shouldn't. You can easily search through hundreds of kid friendly programs and start streaming them instantly wherever you're connected to the internet. You'll need a Netflix subscription to do so but for many, the $8 a month is more than worth the entertainment it can provide not only for your kids, but for you too.
If you're traveling in a car where you will have an active data connection, Netflix is a must have. Just remember a lot of airlines will block streaming video, so if you're flying, it may not be the best choice.
PBS KIDS Video has a huge collection of shows available for streaming from some of your kids favorite shows such as Arthur, Curious George, Daniel Tiger, and more. Just choose a show and PBS KIDS Video instantly starts streaming episodes for your kids to watch. You can access the parents section in order to download episodes right from iTunes for offline playback as well. Full episodes of many shows are added rather often while clips are also available for even more episodes. Just like Netflix, you'll need to have an active internet connection to use PBS KIDS Video.
For access to PBS children's program all in one place, along with an easy hub for downloading shows right from iTunes, PBS KIDS Video is a great option.
PlayKids combines popular kid's tv shows with educational games. For unlimited videos you'll need to subscribe via in-app purchase for $9.99 a month. However, when you subscribe you can also download videos for offline playback, which makes PlayKids ideal for when you're traveling without a data connection. These shows include Daniel Tiger, Caillou, Dinosaur Train, and more. There are also other subscription options on a 3 month and yearly basis if you'd rather do that as well.
For lots of children's shows with the ability to download for offline playback, PlayKids is perfect.
Toca Nature is a beautifully designed app to teach children ages 4 and up about animals and nature. They can explore the world around them completely by touch while foraging for food to feed different animals. Along the way they'll learn about what animals eat what foods and be able to shape their own world within Toca Nature. They can also capture snapshots of animals and interesting things they find while playing. While Toca Nature is a universal download, it is a particularly stunning experience on the iPad.
If you want an educational app to help your smaller child learn about animals and nature, Toca Nature is sure to keep them occupied in any situation.
Homes by Tinybop is an educational app for younger children that lets them discover how others around the world live. You can explore different kinds of houses from a condo in Brooklyn to an adobe in Guatemala. From arranging furniture to to playing games and learning to prepare traditional meals, Homes by Tinybop not only provides hours of entertainment, but exposes young children to many different cultures all in one place.
For parents who wouldn't mind exposing their kids to a little more world culture while on the road or flying, check out Homes by Tinybop.
Tiny Bop Explorers (includes Homes, Plants, and The Human Body) - $7.99 - Download Now
iTunes tv shows and movies
If you're traveling on a plane or through areas where data either isn't available or is very spotty, it's a good idea to load up on some videos and tv shows in iTunes. Not to mention, a lot of airlines either have less than stellar Wi-Fi or they outright block services like Netflix from being used in order to conserve bandwidth. Just keep this in mind before getting on your next plane.
For travel that doesn't come complete with an internet connection, be sure to download some movies and tv shows from the iTunes app before takeoff.