Why Yes, My Child has an iPod

Just chillin...

Yup. My 2 year old son has my husband’s old iPhone (with no cell service so just a glorified iPod). You may be rolling your eyes. I can’t really blame you. A year ago, I would have done the same thing. Hell 6 months ago! What toddler needs an iPod? You will hear me get all preachy about all kids need are sticks and dirt until the cows come home but then this? Brandy must be drinkin the shine again. But seriously, when I start to explain why he has it to people, 9 times out of 10 people say “well that makes sense” or “I have an old droid that she loved to play with…I should do that” so I thought I would explain here.

First off, I try to limit his TV time and there is NO screen time at daycare at all. I know a little isn’t bad for him and if anything, good for us as a family sometimes. We decompress before bed for 30 minutes watching Curious George or Thomas. We don’t get tantrums when we turn it off. He just hops up and heads for bed. I am with Brandee all the way on that but there does need to be a limit. On a given week day, he may see 30 minutes max. Count the phone time, maybe 1 hour. I am ok with that. He turns around and reenacts the same story line with his trains…so I know it is developing some skills in there somewhere.

Add on top of this, the child’s desire to steal our phone and/or iPad to play Thomas coloring book or listen to Grover read to him. And the times we handed him our phone while waiting at the pediatrician or buying groceries or dinner takes an hour to come to the table…it was priceless.

So when Kevin got his new work phone, we canceled the personal plan and were left with an extra device. We started thinking…we had all these apps he loves to play, plus digital copies of movies…why not just load it up with just those? So we did. Now we get our iPads back and he has a source of entertainment on car rides. He doesn’t get it constantly and 99% of the time it is for to and from school(15 minutes commute). It is a privilege to have the phone. If he hits or bites a friend at school? No phone. If he is ugly to us in the morning before school? No phone. I think he gets it. He is crying in the backseat signing and saying “I sorry mommy!” when we throw down that gauntlet.

On top of all of this, he can control everything: unlock it, change movies, switch apps, etc. I think for a little one who CLEARLY likes to be in control, it is a great outlet for him. He doesn’t have to ask us…and I think he is comforted by that. Maybe I am projecting that but he is much calmer with it. He never throws it or really gets angry. He knows when the car stops, he has to turn it off. I would also like to point out the amount of mental development I have seen him establish while having it. Here are a few of our favorite apps and what I have seen him accomplish:

Lego Duplo Jams (free) – Memory game skills. When he first opened this game, he just clicked the train to watch it go by. Now? He has slowly taught himself the game of memory. They have a series of 6 cards and you have to match the animals. He used to just click haphazardly…now, he can do it. With precision. This happened in like 2 weeks. It was awesome to watch.


Toca Boca Robot Lab ($.99) – Understanding spatial relations. You build a robot and then fly it to get stars. He is slowly understanding the movements needed to “fly” the robot. At first he had no clue but I can see every time that he is getting better.



Toddler Teasers Shapes (Free) – This is a super simple app. Just a screen with 3-4 shapes. Voice asks for a shape along with the word on the screen. They have to pick the right one. He used to click the circle every time…now? He knows his shapes! Even a crescent!





Toca Boca Birthday Party ($1.99) – Sharing and pretend play. I already reviewed the tea party in this post but I wanted to go on more about them. He can serve everyone. Help clean up. Make choices. Seeing something that needs to be done and doing it (someone drinks all the tea, so he pours more). It is perfect. I could list every Toca Boca app on here…but you get the picture.



So am I still a crazy bad parent for brainwashing my child with all things Apple? If you are crazy too, what apps do you like?


P.S. My husband totally had this idea.  I was worried about Landon having it too much but we can now listen to REAL music in the care that doesn’t have the  Fresh Beat Band or Tangled.  GLORIOUS!

19 thoughts on “Why Yes, My Child has an iPod

  • January 3, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    Im lovong this idea. I just got the iPhone 4s, which leaves my 3GS unused (unless when the hubs plays angry birds). Can I download new toddler friendly apps to the old phone even with no service?

    • January 3, 2012 at 7:31 pm

      You can always download it through the iTunes it’s set up to, and synch it to the computer to get the apps.

      • January 3, 2012 at 8:52 pm

        Yeah just use the same appleID. Go to the app store on wifi and click purchased. You can out all apps you already have on there. Or buy more. Also you can sync movies if you have them digitally. Let me know if you need more instructions. We literally have every Apple product.

  • January 3, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    My boys each have an ipod touch. Here is what is currently loaded that might be age appropriate for L, had more games when they were younger:

    Preschool Adventure
    Preschool Arcade
    I See Ewe
    ABC Maze

    Come back in a year and I will let you know the age 3-4 apps we have! HA!

  • January 3, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    PS we had toddler headphones from ifrogz. LOVE. They have to use headphones to play any games with noise in the car.

    • January 3, 2012 at 8:56 pm

      Coolest tot in town. But seriously, I saw the “toddler tablets” at best buy and they were terrible. The iPad as it right. Worth the cash in the long run.

    • January 3, 2012 at 8:54 pm

      Yeah. I look at these as toys just like anything else. If anything it is a space saver. This way he isn’t dumping a box of flashcards or building a real robot!

  • January 3, 2012 at 9:39 pm

    SpaceChem would be great for someone developing those cognitive programmer pathways. It’s available for the iPad, but not the iPhone. It was my choice for Indie Game of the Year 2011

  • January 4, 2012 at 11:43 am

    Ry totally rocks out Lindsey’s iPad and either of our iPhones. I don’t feel bad about it…although she does sometimes rant about wanting to watch “Barn-beee PLEEEEAASE”

    • January 4, 2012 at 2:18 pm

      O barney….glad we have avoided that one.

  • January 4, 2012 at 11:53 am

    Not crazy at all! Our house is very similar – the TV is usually off when A gets up (I try to watch the news in the morning and turn it off before he’s up). And he gets one show at night, sometimes, no show because he’s to busy doing other things to even ask for it. Bad behavior days mean no extras for us too and he totally gets that (we get the pitiful sorry too). For playing at home he loves the Toca Boca Helicopter Taxi http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/helicopter-taxi/id424063377?mt=8 – it also keeps him moving around the house since it shows real life via the camera, he loves to ask us to go for “rides” with him! I love him moving around in the winter time too, we’re outside peoples and this saves a lot of tears on why we can’t go for bike rides when it’s dark and freezing out!

  • January 8, 2012 at 8:10 pm

    We just sold both of our old iPhones for over a $100 each on eBay but we do have some old iPods around the house that we let my toddler play with. And my oldest daughter got an iPod touch for Christmas so she feels very special now that she has that to play with all the time.

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