My daughter, Red 2, is two years old. Things like going to the store can be hit or miss with her. Sometimes she's just as wonderful and as cute as can be, and other times she'll scream loud enough that I'm concerned that I'll be dragged out of the grocery store and arrested on the spot for child abuse. Of course, there are always factors that you can consider when making a trip to the store, to try and mitigate the dangers of a meltdown. Sometimes, just telling her 'no, you cannot eat a Dora Popsicle right now' is enough to bring on the tantrums. So! As an iPhone owner, I have sought to provide some distractions. I tried using Netflix and streaming 'Go Diego Go!' However, I am cheap, and since I use T-Mobile, my edge connection just couldn't do it. (I knew that it would happen, but I thought I'd try, I was desperate at the time.) So I've decided to compile a little advice for you iPhone toting Mommies and Daddies.
Or as it's affectionately known to Red 2 - 'HEXAGON?!?!'
Red 2 looooooves this app. It's proper name is 'Toddler Teasers Shapes.' This app has a lot going for it. It's free. It is simple enough for kids to work it, yet it keeps their attention. It's free. The voice work isn't grating. It's free. It's educational. Oh, I almost forgot: IT'S FREE!!! This is a great app and it doesn't have to cost you a dime. They've got little add on packs for colors and the like, which are worth it, in this Dad's humble opinion. This app has saved me a number of times from a screaming child in the Dairy section. I still don't get tired of hearing 'Daddy, play shapes? Daddy, itsa itsa Hexagon?'
I also use Glow Draw and the Wooo! Button to lesser effect. They're alright, but Shapes is the only excellent kids app I've found. (Granted I haven't looked super-hard either.) Warning: 'Wooo! Button' is annoying as hell.
It's also extremely important to have a backup video of some kind on your iPhone. An episode of Dora or a Care Bears Movie or something. If you're too cheap to re-buy a kids video through iTunes or they don't have your kids favorite, check out Handbrake. Rip the dvd yourself and know that you've always got that ace in the hole.
Bottom Line: It's always best to mitigate your risk factors beforehand, make sure that bellies are full, drinks are tended to, and that naps have been had before getting in the car. Beyond that, with a little luck, 'Shapes,' and a backup video hopefully you're well prepared for any assault your toddler can launch.