annapic  Like any good mom I wish I had a million hours a day (and the patience) to read, play and teach my toddler all day long. Unfortunately, in this fast-paced day and age these moments are few and far between. Before work I need to get ready, after work we have errands to run and so on and so forth. Sometimes I just need to be able to drive the car without him being frustrated at having nothing to do. I could just get him one of those portable DVD players and glue him to that everywhere we go, but like all of us parents know, children shouldn’t watch more than an hour of TV on average everyday… according to our pediatrician and I try to set that limit even lower. However, I am only a human being and every time he cries or wants to run around in Target and it’s just us alone I can’t give in and play with him until he is satiated. If I did that, we would never make it home in time to cook dinner, eat, take a bath, read bed time stories AND be in bed by 9PM. 5Monkeys     A year ago when I got my iPhone my son, being the Curious George that he is, wanted to see what mommy does on it. At first we showed him some of the games I played, but then I had the brilliant idea to search for kids games and I found a whole bunch! Many of them were a disappointment, a waste of time and money. I don’t need a video-game addicted 3 year old. But a very few were fun and educational for him.     What does a mom want for her toddler to play with on her iPhone? For starters, nothing violent. I know that should be common sense, but that’s not so common these days. The colors have to be bright and attractive. The characters have to vary. The music should be fun and familiar (my son loves his “5 Little Monkeys” game and the “Wheels on the Bus”). Don’t be cheap and use a man’s monotone voice to help him learn to count numbers, as one application so pathetically did. Please make it a little bit more interesting than just opening the doors of a barn to find a new animal inside (no, offense PeekaBoo Barn, my son loves you, but I think you’re a waste of time). Teach them about letters, numbers and spelling! Allow them to draw or play the keys on a keyboard or another instrument. Teach them fun fact about the things little kids are already interested in: fire trucks, animals, etc. And reward them when they solve puzzles correctly. My son loves it when he completes a puzzle and the game tells him “Awesome” or, as one game brilliantly did, rewards him with stickers that he can paste in a mobile sticker book.     Let me tell you, as addicted as I am to my iPhone (and I can barely put it down), more than 60% of my applications are tailored towards educating and entertaining my child (of course I limit his use here as well). In addition, we use my iPhone to play soothing bedtime music before he goes to bed. WheelsBus So where do you find iPhone savvy moms like me? I spend most of my online time at Facebook, talking with friends and shareing updates about my son. I get tips from, find kid-friendly events and resources at and chatting with other moms like me When choosing apps for my son, I rely heavily on reccomendations from other moms  

Anna is a working single mom. Born in Kiev, Ukraine she immigrated to the U.S. at the age of 4. She speaks Russian fluently and does her very best to make sure that her little boy will do the same. Anna attended UCLA and graduated with a degree in Psychology. She is currently working as a surgery coordinator in San Francisco.  

**Editors Note** I myself have children, but one is an 8 month old little girl, and the other is a 7 year old boy. Both play with my iPhone. The baby loves to play wtih "PhonyPhone" from BabyCenter, and my son loves iShoot – which, while it does involve tanks blowing each other up, does not portray any gore or life-like violence.

  1. Great article Anna. I think we need more high quality Russian moms like yourself out there teaching other moms how to properly raise their children…… Go MOMS.


    Comment by ILYA SKOLNIKOFF — October 6, 2009 @ 12:42 pm

  2. Anna, good iPhone picks. Wheels on the Bus is definitely on my iPhone. For numbers and letters, they also like the applications from True Learning:

    Comment by Brittany — October 6, 2009 @ 5:55 pm

  3. I will have to check out that wheels on the bus app. I have ABC trace and Shapes now he likes them. thank you.

    Comment by Jules — October 7, 2009 @ 1:10 pm

  4. Great Article Anna ! I do not have an iphone but your article makes me want to buy one too to keep Simer busy when I have to do stuff outside home. Thanks for Sharing..

    Comment by Shalini — October 9, 2009 @ 5:57 pm

  5. Interesting read. I’m a momtrepreneur actually having an iPhone drawing game app called “Creople” being developed which should launch early Nov. You can read more at the Creople Facebook page. (I happen to be launching a promotional jingle contest too.) But I would love to get your feedback. (Info and Events Tab) (PR has info on how the game evolved)

    Thanks Anna!

    Comment by 2cre8 — October 9, 2009 @ 9:18 pm

  6. Anna, you are so right. More and more iPhone apps are becoming available just for kids; the the kind that educate and entertain – a healthy combination. Myself and the people I work with are parents too and we decided to bring this kind of nurturing edutainment to the children’s market under the Apeeka brand of the Sixits label. You find information about ApeekaZoo and ApeekaMatch at, on Facebook, Twitter and of course, the iTunes Store.

    Comment by KidsHomeBase — October 13, 2009 @ 7:55 pm

  7. I love your line-up! Currently installed in my iphone is Letter Peek and I love Ewe and these are good addition to amuse my son! I also like to recommend the app I’m using–Intuition ( aka “Mom’s Personal Assistant”. It is a task management app helping me fix and REMIND the schedules for I have become extra forgetful lately. Thanks again!

    Comment by Philippa — November 16, 2010 @ 2:31 am

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