According to Business Week, the iPod Touch was the surprise hit of the holiday season. This likely means that your little guy or gal now is in possession of a shiny new toy .. er .. I mean next level productivity device. Either that, or like me, you find out that the little one enjoys playing with your iPhone much more than their Nintendo DS or PSP.
Whatever the case, this post will show you how to turn your iPod Touch or iPhone into your very own portable digital babysitter – an iPod for kids – all without spending a dime more than you already paid for the device. Sound good?
Take Advantage Of The iPod Functionality
First of all, iTunes will be your gateway into getting the most out of the iPod feature that is included with your iPhone or iPod Touch. If you want to go deep into the world of iTunes, then you will want to check out our BIG Book of iTunes.
Step 1: import your CD collection into iTunes - gather up all those children’s CD’s and audiobooks. When you’re done importing, you’ll have your very own kiddie jukebox, a perfect iPod for kids that will include all of the music they love.
Step 2: rip your DVD collection and add to iTunes (Mac or PC) – it’s like having one of those small TV screens installed in the back seat of your vehicle, except much smaller and portable (but also easier to lose, remember that velcro is your friend).
Step 3: download podcasts [iTunes Link] – start by doing a search for your kid’s favorite shows within iTunes. Next, check out other popular podcast directories. You can add those podcast feeds that you found into iTunes by clicking Advanced->Subscribe to Podcast… from the main menu (see the image below).
Free Apps To Delight the Little Ones
Doodle Buddy [iTunes Link] – this little drawing app should be fun for those little guys and gals who love to play with MS Paint.
Sprout Player [iTunes Link] – if your child loves Sprout, then this is a must-have app. It plays podcasts from some of the popular shows on the Sprout network.
DizzyBeeFree [iTunes Link] – this game uses the accelerometer controls to move the little bee around the screen collecting goodies. There are four levels in this lite version with two levels of difficulty.
Free Apps To Educate The Little Ones
Matches [iTunes Link] – this is a iPhone adaptation of the classic game, Memory. It has three varying levels of difficulty to keep things challenging.
Peekaboo Barn Lite [iTunes Link] – this is a good app for toddlers that introduces them to animals, their names and the sounds they make. This lite version only has three animals, but that should be enough to keep the toddler entertained for a bit.
Spell & Listen Cards [iTunes Link] – these flashcards help your little one to learn how to spell. The app has 500 flash cards, all with audio. Note that this app is only free for a limited time, so hurry up and grab it!
When you are ready to start looking for your own free apps, take a look at AppMiner. Most of the games I own, and some apps, were selling for $1.99 or $.99 normally, but because of this app, I was able to grab them for free. Some good categories to explore first for the kiddies are games, books and education.
Handle With Care
I must suggest one more item to create your iPhone or iPod for kids, even though it is not free. Do yourself a favor and buy a nice protective case, since our little ones tend to drop and throw things. But, if you insist on going the free route, here you go. Also, be sure to take a bit of time to learn about parental controls.
What free apps do you have installed? Do you take advantage of podcasts and movies? What mobile and kid friendly websites do you have bookmarked? I would love to hear your suggestions, ideas and experiences. Happy iPodding!
Image Credi : tinkerbrad
More articles about: