Talking to Toddlers

App review by
Carrie R. Wheadon, Common Sense Media
Talking to Toddlers App Poster Image
Vocab builder works best with parents' undivided attention.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Ease of Play

The matching games and jigsaw puzzles are pretty easy for older toddlers to play with, though sometimes the puzzle pieces end up in a jumble on top of one another and it's hard for kids to sort out which piece is in place. There's an Airplay feature that will read a book to a child, or kids can swipe to read and click on each word and picture. The dialogue boxes at the end of the games hinder play, however; if a parent turns away before the game is done a child can click "yes" and get stuck in an email template.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff

The main screen has a "Tell a friend" button that sets up a form email about the app. There's also a "Love this app?" section with "Yes" and "No" buttons. A "Yes" response prompts a message asking for a five-star rating in the App store -- hitting "sure" will take you to their page in the App store. "No" brings up an email asking for constructive criticism. Also, in each section the matching game and puzzle ask you if you want to challenge a friend when you complete them. If you press "yes," then an email pops up that encourages whomever you write to that they should buy the app.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that most of TALKING TO TODDLERS is about sit-down time with little learners to build vocabulary through reading stories together and talking about everyday objects and activities. Kids can work on the jigsaw puzzles and matching games on their own if they're at that skill level (most younger toddlers won't be), but there's a dialogue box at the end of each game asking if they want to challenge a friend. Clicking "yes" prompts an email template promoting the app. There's no way to turn this off.

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Is it any good?

With nine stories in one app, TALKING TO TODDLERS is a pretty good deal. Focusing on everyday objects and basic activities, it will remind you of the way you sit down with kids to read Richard Scarry books like Cars and Trucks and Things That Go; there's a lot of pointing and chatting as you go. The "let's talk" section is good for parents who may forget that toddlers like repetition and descriptions of simple tasks and observances -- the teacher who wrote Talking to Toddlers sure remembers.

Impatient kids who like lots of things to tap on (and are the sort to take over your devices instead of sitting next to you to enjoy them) will have a harder time getting into this one. And parents who walk away while their child is working on the puzzle or the matching game will notice they get stuck with an annoying dialogue box at the end that tries to sell the app to your friends so they can try to beat your fastest time -- a concept toddlers probably won't grasp anyway.

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
  • Price: $3.99
  • Release date: September 21, 2011
  • Category: Books
  • Size: 167.00 MB
  • Publisher: Byrne Publishing
  • Version: 5.0
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 4.0 or later
  • Last updated: August 25, 2016

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