(WLTX) - More kids than ever are using mobile devices, and with hundreds of thousands of apps out there aimed at kids, it can be tough knowing what is appropriate for your child.
Experts say that a good app choice combines both entertainment and education, and children respond best to apps that engage as many senses as possible.
There are some things to watch out for, however. Avoid apps that are trying to sell a product, or in-app purchases. Children often can't tell the difference between advertising and entertainment.
Here are some good choices we found in the iTunes app store.
For the littlest one out there, PLAY 1-2-3 is a good choice. It's a Free app that helps toddlers learn their shapes, colors, and letters. It's a calm and gentle program with a simple interface. Kids can interactive with colorful objects on the screen and practice drawing different shapes.
La Luna--The Story Project:
This app is from Disney, and it brings Pixar's Academy Award nominated animated short to life. It's an interactive story experience for all ages, and features original artwork from the film's director, and kids can see how Pixar makes movie magic from the page to the screen.
It costs $1.99.
Toca Hair Salon Me:
The company Toca Boca has a bunch of great apps, all of them high-tech toys that keep kids occupied for hours. One of their newest is this one, and it costs $2.99. Kids can take a picture, and then given themselves any kind of hair style they can imagine. Kids can also add sunglasses, mustaches, hats, sunglasses--you name it.
PBS Kids Video:
There are countless ways to watch videos on mobile devices, but of course not everything on YouTube is child-friendly. The PBS Kids Video app lets your kids watch some of their favorite shows without you having to worry about what else they might click on.
It's easy for kids to navigate and find something to watch. The app adds new videos weekly focusing on reading, science, math, and more. It also has a special section for parents.
Monster at the End of This Book:
The Monster at the End of This Book features Grover from "Sesame Street." It's a classic 70s era book that has been updated for the iPad. The artwork is the same, but this time it's animated, and Grover reads the story with you.
Whichever app you chose, always remember: never just download an app and give it to your child.