iPod Touch Apps for Preschool

iPod touch apps for preschool

Within the past few months, I have started using the iPod Touch in the classroom, and have been on the lookout for good preschool apps. The kids love it (of course)! It amazes me how intuitive young children are with tech gadgets. Even children who typically need my assistance with “real world” activities, pick up the iPod and start touching, poking, and flicking “pages” like they’ve been doing this all their lives (maybe they have).

Here is a list of my favorite iPod apps for preschool. Most of them cost $0.99 each; some are $1.99, but I try to stick with the less expensive ones. If you have any you would like to recommend, feel free to post them in the comments section below.

Kidztory
I LOVE the Kidztory apps! So far this company has made four apps (more are on the way): The Little Red Hen, The Three Little Pigs, The Tortoise and the Hare, and The Boy Who Cried Wolf. These are illustrated, animated stories, and you have the option to have the stories read to you, or read them by yourself. You also have the option of English, Spanish, or Cantonese. I like the illustrations and I like the fact that the stories are read to the children because it makes a great listening center activity. After each page is read to you, you click the arrow at the bottom, and you get a bell ding as well as a page turner sound effect as you go to the next page.

Teach Me Toddler
Don’t get turned off by the word “toddler” in the title. This app is great for practice of numbers, letters, letter sounds, shapes, colors, and counting. The little mouse tells you what to find; e.g. “find the letter that makes the sound /k/” or “how many ships are there?” and you are given four options to choose from. The mouse lets you try again if you choose the wrong answer. There are several things I really like about this app. In the “options” area, you can choose which topics to turn on and off for each child. If you want a child to only practice lowercase letters, you can set it up that way; or if you want the child to practice only letters and numbers, you can set it up that way. For each topic, you can view statistics. You can see how many times the child identified each letter, number, shape, or color correctly, along with a percentage. The downside: you can only add four players, which makes it difficult when you have a class of 20. I have emailed the company to suggest they change that, if possible. Otherwise, it’s a terrific app.

Wheels on the Bus
One of the cutest things I’ve ever seen! Really. This is an illustrated, animated, and interactive song. On each page, a verse of the song is sung to the children, and they get to poke or slide something to interact with the pictures. For example, on one page, they slide the bus doors open to reveal a bird, and when you poke the bird, he jumps and laughs. On another page, you get to swish the windshield wipers back and forth. There’s also a setting where you or the child can record their own voice. I haven’t tried it because I don’t have an iPod microphone. This company also makes apps of The Itsy Bitsy Spider and Old MacDonald.

ABC Tracer + Words
On this app, children trace uppercase and lowercase letters and numerals. You simply trace the letter with your finger. If you go off the lines, you get a squeaky sound and your ink color changes from green to red. You can always touch the eraser to try again. Once you’ve traced it correctly, a smiley face pops out to clap for you and cheer “yay!” Then, you get to move the picture at the bottom, e.g. an airplane for letter A. You can also trace words, play the alphabet song, or pop the balloons in alphabetical order.

Memory Game: Sweets & Treats
Memory Game: Animals
Memory Game: Robots
These are three memory games. Just touch the cards to flip them over, and try to get two that match. The Lite versions are free.

Whizzit 123 Lite
I have the lite version of this app, but you can also buy the regular version. This is a simple app that works well for beginners who need 1:1 counting practice. You are shown a set of objects to count, and as you touch each object, the voice on the app counts them aloud “1, 2, 3… 3 apples.”

Teacher’s Pick
Another simple app, but it does what it’s made to do. Add the names of your students to a class list (it places the names on virtual craft sticks just like a craft stick cup for choosing students). The app randomly selects students you can choose for a class discussion or any kind of turn-taking. If you want to mark students absent or mark those who have already had a turn, you can change their smiley face to a sleepy face.

These are apps that my class and I have enjoyed. I’ll add more to this list as I find ones I like. If you use one with kids, be sure to get some kind of protective case, something that is easy for kids to grip, and hopefully is shock absorbing in case it is dropped. The iPod Touch is a lot of fun in the classroom. Hmm, now I can’t wait to use the iPad in the classroom! :)

Find more technology ideas on the Tech for Teachers Page


Comments

  1. Ubah says

    Awesome Dr. Suess app I found for The Cat in the Hat. Takes pictures and the kids faces can be used. Was on sale for.99 may have gone back to reg. price.

  2. Denise says

    Hi I am interested in this sort of technology for my kindergarten class. How did you fund this? Did you write a grant or have local donations?

    How would a person get started with this project?

    I would like to know more even though I doubt I know how to run an ipod. My cell phone still has buttons I never use.

    Thanks,
    Denise

  3. says

    This is actually my own personal iPod. I do have a donated iPod in the classroom that is a “regular” iPod, not a Touch. Eventually, I’ll be on the lookout for iPod Touch donations, but I’ll have to wait until people upgrade to the latest version before they’ll give theirs up. :)

  4. says

    I’m looking to buy 26 ipods for 26 preschool classrooms in 13 different schools in our district. I’m interested in talking with people who have used iPods in preschool. I’d like to learn not only about good apps for preschoolers, but also ways to integrate iPods into the classroom and dealing with the logistics of a school account to iTunes.

    Karen, sounds like you are using your own personal iPod touch, which means you are not dealing with the second topic. However, I’d love to hear more about how you use them in the context of your school day.

    Anyone else using iPod touches in preschool classrooms?

    • says

      We use our school mobile lab of 20 iPads in the preschool classroom. I’ve found the Redfish app, Starfall app, Preschool Monkey Lunchbox, and Monkey Sunshine Mathschool to be the most popular apps for our crowd. Redfish is also a fabulous website (www.poissonrouge.com), as is Starfall (www.starfall.com). Feel free to contact me directly for deeper conversation about how we use them (see our website About pages for contact details).

  5. says

    I let the kids use it during center time. The story & music apps are great for a listening center. We also use them during “down” times, like as children are waking up from nap. It really drains the battery, so I would recommend having some type of charging station available in the room. I have an iPod player/speaker in the room which a parent donated & we can play circle time music that way, plus it charges the iPod.

  6. Tracy says

    I really love using mine in my classroom. I too use my personal ipod 4 for them to use…I would HIGHLY recommend getting an Otter box to protect from drops…you know it will happen. I use my ipod connected to stereo to put my playlist of music from the day–really helps to not have to shuffle through several CDs throughout the day!

  7. Lori says

    I currently use my own ipod in my classroom. The kids love it. I am looking for more apps to download and use as we are in the process of getting a couple ipads. I will use them as centers. If anyone has apps they like please let me know.

  8. Regina says

    Hi Karen
    I am spending my summer looking for ways to fund buying an i pad for my classroom. Have you used one in your classroom?

  9. Jodi Altringer says

    I am an early intervention teacher and our team purchased 20 ipads for use in the classroom and on homevisits. I have presented at a local and state level on apps, ipad tips and tricks and integration into the preschool classroom. I love to talk about ipads and preschool. I would be happy to share information I have collected but don’t yet have a formal way to do so. A few of our favorite apps are Doodle Buddy, A Monster at the End of this Book, Monkey Preschool Lunchbox, iWrite Words, and any of the Duck Duck Moose music apps such as Wheels on the Bus.

    • Amanda Gill says

      I need more info on intergration into the preschool classroom. Our school is debating on ipads and thinkpads, trying to figure out what it best for our classroom? Why do you recommend the ipad? I have a Mac and Ipod touch, Iphone so I am sold but how do I sell it to our school?

      • says

        Well, for one thing, there are probably more apps available for the ipad. The majority of people buying tablets are buying ipads, so app developers are going to focus more on them, I would imagine.

    • Valerie says

      Our school district will be going all tech in 2 years. Our preschool will be getting a mobile lab to share between 3 pre-k classes. I could use all the advice I can get on how to incorporate them in our classroom.

    • Geri Martinez says

      I would be very interested in receiving information on the best apps for preschool. We are just embarking upon this technology in our preschool classrooms which include 4 special education self-contained classrooms as well as 24 regular ed preschool classrooms. I am also interested in training. I do not know where you are located, but would love to hear from you. Geri

  10. says

    I think there are some real developments in educational apps for early years learning. The iPod touches are great as require no internet connectivity. As last comment references there is currently a big movement towards table devices and iPads. These are great for preschool age children as the larger screen size is great for little fingers. Check out app available for iPhone, iPod and iPad devices ‘Pre-School Classroom’ it covers phonics, numeracy and controlled line marking required ahead of writing.

  11. nita coker says

    Karen,

    Do you know if the ipod apps will run on a kindle fire as well? Or do you know of any good prek apps for the kindle?Thanks, Nita Coker

    • says

      I’m not familiar with Kindle Fire, but I think that any apps purchased from the Apple store only work on Apple products (ipod, ipad, iphone).

  12. Abby says

    There are a series of apps by Spinlight which are called AlphaTots, TableTots, TallyTots, and Swapsies that are geared towards preschool aged children. I have used them in my Pre-K classroom and all the children love them!

  13. Tava says

    do you know of any educational apps for the Ipad in spanish? I teach in a bilingual immersion classroom and am getting my Ipad next week. I’m trying to get a headstart!!

  14. says

    Hi Karen,
    I and my sister are Mums who have left work and are trying to work from home. We developed an app for our toddlers aged 1 and 2, called Splattapult toddler counting and colours. The children get to pick a colour out of a paint pot (my older daughters voice says the colour aloud) and then it counts aloud as the paint splats on a canvas or photo. I would love your thoughts on it since you seem to be an expert in the field. We will be refining it creating another version soon when we can afford it so any comments would be welcome! Thanks for your forum.

    Mums from Australia

    Leanne and Lindley

  15. Melissa says

    Thanks for all of the good info. My school will be adding 6 ipads to each classroom, (which is about 100 in our building) so I have been looking for good apps that are for the preschool age children this Summer. I have downloaded some of those mentioned already, but looking forward to trying out the new ones.
    Thanks, Melissa

  16. says

    I have developed an iPad game for pre-school kids called Button Board. The game introduces colors through creative play and the app is free. I hope you don’t mind me giving it a plug but I think you will really like it.

  17. Monica Rodriguez says

    I went to Donorschoose.org and filled out a grant to get a set of 5 ipods for my classroom. It was super easy and the kids love them. Check out Donorschoose.org

  18. Sharon says

    I am desperately looking for an app to use for a multi-age (3-5 yrs. of age) early childhood program that incorporates all the domains for the young child and possibly our state’s standards (Michigan) that I can use for documentation and portfolios (pictures, narratives, and the freedom to add certain skills that we are working on). I would like to use this app so that I can have everything in one nice recording device that I can then print out for portfolios.

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