App Alert: The Best Apps for Flights (no wifi needed!) for 2.5-3.5 Year Olds

Prepping for our travel in a few days, I wanted to reload the girls ipads with new episodes/movies and apps. I posted to both my personal page and my favorite Facebook group of the moment, "Tiny Globetrotters" specifically asking for apps for my 2.5 and 3.5 year old girls to help keep them quiet and settled for the long plane time coming up. While I received a handful of mean spirited negative comments on how screentime is inappropriate for toddlers (Okay, I get it -- but its a long flight just hours after I'll turn in my two finals for my doctorate courses wrapping up this semester- so mom shame me all you want!) I was thrilled that the moms on Tiny Globetrotters -- who understand where I am coming from with long flights and need for entertainment -- had tons of suggestions!

While many of these are paid, I set aside a budget -- from our perspective, a few dollars invested to avoid ads and toddler meltdowns from frustration is well worth it!

1. Download movies and episodes from Netflix/Amazon! (Amazing, all of our old ones we bought on iTunes so glad we can put our subscriptions to use! Little Monsters, Daniel Tiger and Super Why! here we come!) YouTube Red also apparently has downloads, though we are not subscribers.

2. Toka boca - these were recommend by so many! We have had them downloaded and honestly, not a favorite though both girls do like the Birthday Party one. Peekaboo apps were also recommended, we have used but I feel like both of my girls have outgrown, better for the under 2 set if you are using an ipad that early.

3. Dr Panda Apps -- looks awesome, download the whole bundle after so many recommendations praising it from ages 2-6!

4. Smart Shapes -- moms love this one, too! Looking forward to checking it out!

5. ThinkTrolls- Hadn't heard of this one before, new to me! Have you tried?

6. 22Learn apps for early preschool learning

7. FisherPrice Apps -- we had these last year and my girls never got into them but they are downloaded on their ipad so we will see! The Monkey and Puppy ones were especially recommended

8.  Puzzingo -- this one is pricey at $14.99 but a mom was telling me that they love it as you can make puzzles from your own photos! Such a cool idea especially when traveling. I need to look into it more but could also be cool for the grandmas to download and play puzzles of the photos we send!

9. Endless Apps- these were so frequently recommend I absolutely must download! Educational (reading, etc) so many moms raved about them -- and how long their kids use them now year after year!

10. Duck Duck Moose got two votes -- another new to me developer!

11. Starfall -- another new one to discover-- apparently has a great offline, free version worth checking out!

12. FarFaria-- you can download from 10,000 books that can be read to your child! Super cool --- love this for road trips also!

My kids normally only get the ipad for flights and car rides over 4 hours each way -- but with so many unknowns once we get there, I am so grateful to arm them (and myself for emergencies!) with some great educational apps with moms and their children telling me are the best of the best!