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My mom bought my 2 year old son a LeapPad2, which is fun but also a big, big challenge for him at this stage.

The tablet is definitely helping him develop his fine motor coordination, but at the expense of being frustrating. He tends to visit the same apps over and over and not understand the goal of various activities. Normal I suppose for a 2 year old -- but I can easily imagine an app existing which he could use and enjoy at his skill level. For example he is good at feeding his LeapPad "pet", giving it a bath, and taking it out for exercise. He can't "teach" the pet very well yet, because that requires very specific drawing of letters which is more frustrating than its worth to him.

So my question is:

How do you find apps that a 2 year old can use and enjoy?

  • Does your child really need to use the LeapPad? If he's having trouble with it, put it away and give him something more tangible and tactile to play with, like blocks. – user1751825 Dec 15 '16 at 6:42
  • This question is 3 years old now, so our son is 3 years older, and I can reflect on the benefit of the LeapPad. It has been very valuable, providing self-directed "screen time" (limited to ~10 minutes/day) with vetted educational value, it is his own device so he's not always asking for my phone, and it grows with him. It has unquestionably helped him learn mathematics and language skills, made him think about relationships, and developed a little hand-eye coordination. It is still a challenge finding the best apps, but with experience digging through the market you can make OK choices. – Jeff Snider Dec 15 '16 at 14:03
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We're at a similar point: 32-month-old with a LeapPad2, who can wash a dog like a champ but gets hacked when he can't yet write a letter with the stylus. (Sigh.)

Have you talked to the folks at LeapFrog directly? They rank their apps for appropriate ages, and we've found their customer service folks to be very approachable and knowledgeable about which groups get the most use out of which apps.

Unfortunately, they don't often have free trials of apps, but keep an eye out; when they do, download it and try it out. You'll know pretty quick if it is a hit or not.

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I got the Discovery Animal Alphabet Video app for my 2-year old. There are several videos so that may help. I haven't tried the music yet but that may be another possibility. Pick music or videos that teach something and you are good to go. Aside from Mr. Pencil and playing with the pet it was all over her head until I discovered these. She never watches the whole video, but she does like the animals.

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Not related to leap pad, but I have downloaded some apps from google play store into my Android phone.

I give my twins aged 2 years the phone after selecting one of the apps to play in the morning. These may not be as advanced as the ones in Leap pad but they do enjoy these.

There are animal sounds with pictures, click on alphabet and see an animated animal with some music, a paint application where you can pick and color etc.

I selected these by searching for "toddlers" in the play store

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My daughter loves the painting/drawing apps on android and iOS. She also likes the animal sound apps. I have not found many that are truly educational.

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  • Could you round out this answer with some information about how you went about choosing the apps she does like? The question isn't looking for suggestions of games alone, but how you decide upon them in the first place? What makes it likely a child of this age will enjoy the game? – balanced mama Jan 30 '14 at 20:11
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Lego Duplo are building blocks sized for toddlers, so I figured Lego probably publishes some Duplo games. Turns out they do! I found one and from there just clicked onward on the "related apps" that were listed.

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  • Real Lego/Duplo would be better for a child than virtual games about Duplo. – user1751825 Dec 15 '16 at 6:44
  • @user1751825 you're right but sometimes you can't bring building blocks where you can bring a tablet. To the doctor's office, for instance. – Torben Gundtofte-Bruun Dec 15 '16 at 9:50

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