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Home / Tips and Tricks / The Best Socialization Apps on Your Phone for 18-Month Olds' Smartphones :: Gadget Hacks

The Best Socialization Apps on Your Phone for 18-Month Olds' Smartphones :: Gadget Hacks

Your "childhood social network" may have been walking outside to the neighbors – and outside is a great place for kids. Nowadays, the terms education, digital media, entertainment and toddlers no longer have to be mutually exclusive. As with most things in life, it's about balance, and these apps can help your child with social-emotional development if you're not playing with friends.

You may still have doubts about using mobile apps with your 18-month-old child. To dispel these doubts, let's take a quick look at a case from a long time ago; One of the great philosophers, Plato, thought that learning to write could be detrimental to memory.

When men learn this, oblivion will invade their souls; they cease to exercise their memory because they rely on what they have written and no longer call things out of themselves, but by external signs.

1; "Phaedrus" by Plato

Maybe Plato was quite a bit prolific, but look at all the new ways to learn the "technology" of writing. It's understandable that you're worried about your 18 months of using mobile apps, but we're here to help you to your advantage.

The apps we showcase can help simulate social activities, such as talking to someone on the phone. They can also help identify and deal with emotions and teach manners. Another aspect that helps to socialize your child is when both you and your child interact with an app. If you find that your smartphone or tablet is actually affecting family or other social interactions, set limits and tell your child that the device sometimes needs to "go to sleep."

The American Academy of Pediatrics has (something) recently confirmed that digital media are ubiquitous. However, the organization encourages parents to keep a grip on the situation and control media use rather than leaving it to the family. To help you develop a family media plan and set limits, the AAP designed a useful website and recommends:

Children aged 18 months to 2 years should be accompanied by a parent to view quality media in order to understand What they are Seeing and connecting with the real world

According to the AAP, more than 80,000 apps are referred to as educational, but little research has been done to verify this. So how can you find the best learning apps for your child?

Use Child, Content & Context to Select Apps

The Fred Rogers Center for Early Education and Child Media naturally inspired and dedicated to the legacy of Mr. Rogers . Rogers & Neighborhood ) identifies the attributes of high-quality learning apps as the three Cs: child, content, and context. To Break Them:

  • Child: No one knows your child better than you. You can use this knowledge about your child's unique cognitive aptitude, physical ability, social-emotional advancement, and individual interests at various stages of development ,
  • Content: The purpose of the media should be completely clear. It also has to do at least some of the following functions: present new concepts, educate, develop certain skills, and get involved.
  • Context: These apps are not for the sole use. Your child will learn best from you, and you'll be able to reinforce the concepts you've learned from the apps, even off-screen. In addition, your child may benefit more from certain apps when learning in certain environments, such as outdoors or at home.

Socialization apps are not emotional pacifiers – or any app. We will do our best to identify and investigate apps that meet your child's specific learning needs, but your child is an individual. Some of these factors may be different for you and your child. As always, it is up to you to provide that human touch and personalized parental interaction when your 18-month-old child uses the apps we will present.

Learn more about the 3 C & # 39; s in "Screen Time" by Lisa Guernsey ( Amazon | Walmart)

Achieving Social Development Milestones after 18 Months

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention include, but are not limited to, the following most children do just after the age of 18 months:

  • Knows what ordinary things are; for example, phone, brush, spoon
  • Points to grab the attention of others
  • Just play as if feeding a doll

Digital media can be valuable in achieving these milestones as long as yours Help kid to connect the action on screen and off screen. Talking to a talker can be a bit different than talking to a real person on the phone, but it's certainly a good exercise.

Recognizing emotions, empathizing with others and learning tactics on how to deal with one's own emotions can all be explored within an app, but practical application will also be necessary. Your child may not be able to link the lesson behind the apps without your help. So you should stay very committed.

Apply the recommended activities of the CDC after 18 months

The CDC probably does not recommend any app use a particular app, but it has a list of activities that it promotes, which serves as the basis for the apps which we recommend in this article in addition to the above development guidelines. This list is not all-inclusive, so keep that in mind.

  • Describe her feelings. For example, say, "You are happy reading this book."
  • Encourage pretending to play.
  • Encourage empathy. For example, if he sees a child who is sad, encourage him to hug or paw the other child.
  • Read books and talk in simple words about the pictures.
  • Copy the words of your child.
  • Use words that describe feelings and emotions.
  • Use simple, clear sentences.
  • Ask simple questions.
  • Hide things under blankets and pillows and encourage him to find them.
  • Play with blocks, bullets, puzzles, books, and toys that teach cause and effect and problem solving.
  • Name pictures in books and body parts.
  • Provide toys that promote playing; For example, puppets, play phones …
  • Blow bubbles and let your child pop.

Consider the Possible Costs of Free Apps

Just like your 18-month-old can delete apps that you really need if you're not careful, he or she can also spend some money on "free" apps if you are not careful. Some free apps are completely free, with no in-app purchases, but others show ads or have some features disabled without payment. We'll give you an overview of how prices are handled in each app, but then make sure your app store settings are correct to avoid accidental payments or fees.

They say nothing in life is free and while That's not always the case in the world of apps, but it often sounds right. One possible "cost" of a free app is that your child is exposed to ads, and with some apps it can be constant – to the point where it will not even be able to play. When deciding whether to use or pay for the free app, consider the interaction that your child is likely to have with these ads. In-app purchases can also accelerate incredibly fast, and the potential for a single app can cost hundreds of dollars.

Also keep in mind that app development is work and developers like to get paid for their work – and everyone likes to get paid for their work.

Try these social-emotional apps with your 18-month-old

We searched for apps that hit the three Cs; are similar to the social-emotional development guidelines of the CDC; and have activities that are comparable to those recommended by the CDC. Mostly we searched for apps that promote creativity and playful learning, but also include emotions and empathy.

App 1: Teletubbies: Laa-Laas Dance Game

Personally, I like the Teletubbies, but my 18-month-old likes them. Similar to the name, Laa-Laa's Laa-Laa Dancing Game lets you and Laa Laa help pick props and music for their dance routines.

If your child already sees the Teletubbies Show, he or she will likely become the characters and sights. You do not have to worry about hidden costs or share your private information because the apps are COPPA compliant.

Laa-Laa's Game allows your child to enjoy his or her explore creative side. It encourages you to pretend to play and involves fun and real concepts, like choosing clothes. The Laa-Laa App takes a light approach, is funny and appealing. This is one of four apps with the Teletubbies, and it pays to consider all four options to meet your child's individual interests.

Throughout the day you can sing, dress and dance the same songs as you Laa-Laa. Some 18-month-olds may not yet have the patience to dress up, but you may be able to help your child find it less of an annoyance.

Currently, Laa-Laa's Dancing Game is available for both Android and Android with $ 2.99 iOS App Store

Companion Toy: 11-inch Jumping Laa Laa Plush Teletubbies Doll ( Amazon | Walmart)

App 2: BabyFirst's Play Phone 2

These apps might help your child to learn numbers, but at this age it's more likely to play a fake game. My 18-month-old child can pick up a rectangular piece of cardboard and talk on the phone. More Captivating than a Piece of Cardboard, BabyFirst's Play Phone 2 (also known as Play Phone for Kids) lets your child have a video chat with characters from the BabyFirst TV network (my daughter has never seen it, but she still likes it) Characters.)

The Play Phone 2 app has a phone with very realistic-looking touchscreen buttons, lots of animation, playful sounds, and the ability to "send" emoji.

The app manages to be educational, encourages learning new ones social skills and is appealing. No doubt, your child has seen you on the phone and wants to imitate it. Using Emoji provides a lesson for your child to understand emotions.

Baby First Play Phone for Kids is free on both Android and the iOS App Store.

App 3: Avokiddo Emotions

Honestly, I enjoy this game, and also my 18 month old kid. And we're not the only ones – Avokiddo Emotions has won multiple awards. The goal is to make your pet laugh or cry, but it's quite permissive in the way you do it.

The graphics are very high quality. The emotions of the animals are represented by actions such as drooping ears, and when they are sad, cause and effect are highlighted as the animals jump in response to the sound of a horn. You could even inspire eye rolling. Aside from emotions, you can also play with these crazy characters, feed, dress up, and otherwise take care of them.

With the Avokiddo Emotions app and your guide, you can help To convey emotions and empathy as well as playfulness and caring for others. You can help your child recognize the animals' emotions and their causes and cause empathy by finding out what you can do to cheer them up again. You and your child can also play with different objects.

Avokiddo Emotions is available for Google Play and iTunes for $ 2.99.

App 4: Arties Magic Pencil

Art that helps others, forms and a funny story – what is not to love? Artie's Magic Pencil may also be an app that could help with physical fine motor skills, but he is most notable for his use of empathy and altruism during his interactive action. The app also offers downloadable and printable drawing sheets so you can take them out of the screen if you feel that your child has spent too much time gluing their eyes to a screen. Obviously, your child's drawing skills are no longer polished after 18 months, but doodling is not outside their domain.

Arties magic pencil can also help your child learn more about colors, shapes and patterns. The prompts on the screen are simple and clear, but your child will continue to need your help. The pedagogical approach that the app uses can also be used in real life – our world is made up of forms. You can also take your child on a journey through your house or to the outside, identify objects and their shapes.

At iTunes, Artie's Magic Pencil costs $ 2.99. Google Play has a section of the app called "Artie's Village" that you can play for free, but to continue the adventure, it will cost 99 cents.

App 5: Toca Kitchen 2

Similar to Avokiddo Emotions, in Toca Kitchen 2 you can feed the characters and see how they react. You and your baby can also use kitchen utensils to create delicious dishes with creative combinations of ingredients. Part of the cooking takes on a whole new level – ever wondering what it would be like to cook a salad? The best part is that it does not make a mess for you.

Your child can benefit from learning the names of the foods he or she will surely meet if they have not already. It can be more fun to get a stronger reaction from the characters by giving them food that is disgusting, but you can encourage empathy by asking your child to imagine (if he / she trusts) this combination of foods is unstructured, but still encourages interaction with the characters and for your child to explore food and cooking.

Currently, Toca Kitchen 2 can be bought for $ 3.99 on iTunes and for free on Google Play.

App 6: Teletubbies: Po's Daily Adventures

Babies tend to like other babies, so there's a natural attraction to the baby-facing buttocks, one of Laa-Laa's counterparts Teletubbies . But Po's app focuses more on daily activities and care for others. Help Po clean up after jumping in mud puddles (you can help her jump into the puddles!), Play, eat and go to bed. This app is also COPPA compliant.

Playing, eating, bathing and going to bed sums up the 18-month day, so the app is very easy to assign. Po's Daily Adventures also shows that your little one caring for others can be very rewarding. This is one of four apps with the Teletubbies, and it pays to consider all four options to meet your child's individual interests. Po's Daily Adventures was chosen because it's more focused on educating about real tasks and helping others.

Throughout the day, you can remind your child that they have the same responsibilities fulfill, with which you helped Po.

Po's Daily Adventures costs $ 2.99 on Google Play and iTunes.

Companion Toy: 8-inch Talking Po Plush Soft Teletubbies Doll [ Amazon | Walmart]

App 7: Elmo Calls

Elmo Calls is based on a very similar set of concepts but includes the popular furry monster Elmo of Sesame Street which was actually endorsed by the AAP. The Elmo Calls app has been redesigned to make it easier to play calls pleasing your child and schedule calls at specific times (with more call types when buying call packets).

You can download Elmo Calls for free from Google Play and for 1, $ 99 on iTunes. Elmo Calls also offers several additional packages for purchase, ranging from 99 cents to $ 6.99 apiece.

App 8: Baby Monitor – Games for Babies, Parents & Family

Baby monitor is a musical recording concept like the other above mentioned phone apps, with nursery rhymes, animal sounds and other sound effects, lullabies and songs. You can also add your own pictures and music and record your baby or yourself.

Currently, Baby Phone is only available on the Android platform. It's free.

App 9: Breathe, Think, Do

Sesame Street Breathe, think, do app, teach your kid how to do that exactly when dealing with emotions , Your child can help by breathing the monster deep into his stomach (by knocking on it), blistering as the monster thinks of some plans to cope with the stressful situation (eg go to daycare) , and watch the plan unfold. The app teaches problem solving, emotional resilience, planning and self control.

The app is bilingual (English and Spanish) and is based on research. Some users complain that the screen turns black when playing with the app. Personally, I did not experience that, but I thought it was a potential problem worth mentioning.

  • Install Breathe, Think, Sesame: Android | iOS

Breathe, Think, Do is free on both Android and iOS platforms.

App 10: Daniel Tiger for Kids: Exploring Daniel Tigers Neighborhood

Explore Daniel Tigers Neighborhood Based on the PBS TV Show Daniel Tigers Neighborhood is described as a "digital doll house".

We can get behind description but feel that it's too modest. The app is a complete digital city. It's a very open game, but the intent is still obvious – your kid can socially integrate and interact with multiple characters as he or she explores the city.

App 11: Daniel Tiger for Parents

Whether it's sharing, being angry, or trying new things, Daniel Tiger for Parents has a song for it. And now you have an app with a song for it. Before I had a child, I refused to hear anyone sing, and had my doubts about whether or not I wanted to sing to my own child. Now I have no problem letting go with it because I see how much she enjoys and learns from it.

From the PBS TV show Daniel Tigers Neighborhood the app contains 12 songs and 60 songs of video clips on topics such as feelings, responsibility and kindness towards others. Also for parents there are over 90 conversation starters and tips on how to use the app in everyday life. It is available in both English and Spanish and includes some social media features such as the ability to share images.

Daniel Tiger for Parents is on both Google Play and iTunes free

Do not forget the most effective ways to promote social-emotional development

Be with your child. Be an example of the social behaviors your child should learn. Show him unconditional love. Apps can help in some ways, but do not forget to take a lot of breaks to play outside, play sports, talk, read books, laugh, spend money to be other people, etc.

Come on and engage with us and other readers by discussing the apps that you find most useful for your child's social abilities, either in the comments below or on your favorite social media platform.

Cover picture and screenshots of Delani Clatfelter / Gadget Hacks

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