Babes on a Plane: Apps for Babies that you can Feel Good About

I never saw the movie “Snakes on a Plane”, but after I brought my 11 month old on a flight to the west coast, I thought the real horror movie should be, “Babes on a Plane”… What to do with your feisty infant when all he wants to do is lick the TV screen on the back of the seat in front of you or try to put his fingers in the mouth of the stranger sitting next to you? You guessed it, iPhone to the rescue…

Now I will say we never let our son play with our iPhones. Mostly because he likes to lick it… Also, because it is frustrating. Every time we think we’ve found an interesting app to play with, our son likes to press the home button and then is confused why the pretty animals on the screen went away. Lastly, we don’t want him to be that kid who is zoned out on his iPhone/Gameboy/future-mobile-gaming-device and too busy to notice the world around him let alone give his mom and pop a smile. That being said, we did think the airplane would be the perfect time to introduce this…

Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Case

Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Case

This would be a pretty silly looking iPhone case for adults, but not so silly for a baby. In fact, it has a mirror on the back and chew rings on the side to satiate those short attention spans. The best part is, once the iPhone is snapped into place the home button cannot be pressed because there is a thick piece of plastic covering it!

We use an old iPhone for Sebastian’s white noise at night and chose to load it up with some infant friendly apps. Here are a few I recommend:

 Old MacDonald This app is beautifully illustrated, funny and interactive.  Move the farmer on the tractor by swiping the screen. Arrive at the barn and touch all of the animals to hear their sounds, watch them move and zoom in on their babies.

Color Dots Exactly as the name describes. Colored dots on the screen appear and you touch them to pop them and then more colored dots appear. Strangely addictive and satisfying even for adults.  In the settings you can change how big the dots are and their speed so that it is just right for your baby. My son sometimes licks them to pop them. Don’t laugh! I think it’s a wonderful strategy…

Bubbles This is fun. The touch of your finger on the screen created dozens of bubbles and then you can tap the bubbles to pop them.

Bubblefree It’s bubble wrap for the iPad. Pop them. It’s fun.

Moo Baa La The first board book for the iPad. I actually love this better than the actual board book. The sheep in Sandra Boynton‘s book do actually sing!

While I’m on the subject of board books, Pat the Bunny is also a good one and this one you can’t rip up like my son did in one week…

Also, The Monster at the End of This Book was MY favorite book when I was a kid so I would be remiss not to include it here. It is simply the best. I love that it highlights the words as Grover says them and yes it is actually Grover’s voice!

Zoola There are so many apps out there about animals that it took me so long to decide which one I could say is the “best”. I can’t conclusively say that this is the best one out there because they are all so different. Some are flash card style, some are cartoon animals and some have the name of the animal on the screen. I chose this one because I like that the animals are real and the baby can click on their favorite animal and then see many pictures of that animal including the baby animal. Also, you can hear the sound the animal makes.

Musical Hands This is a very simple app. Baby hits the colored square and it makes a sound. Perfect for exploring music and not too complicated.

Note: We turn the phone onto airplane mode just to be on the safe side. We try to avoid WiFi and cell phone signals that close to the baby. Happy traveling!


About Kate Chechak

Kate Chechak is the author of She is an education consultant who previously worked at The School at Columbia University for 8 years. Currently, she focuses on teaching teachers how to integrate technology into their curriculum. In addition, she coaches math and is a curriculum developer.
Gallery | This entry was posted in Education, Families, iPad, iPhone apps, Parents and Teachers, Technology and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Babes on a Plane: Apps for Babies that you can Feel Good About

  1. Sasha says:

    You amaze me! Love this post! My eyes are open to a solution for many of our long car rides!

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