MTA Animals by My Toddlers App, LLC is a iPad only app that includes over 40 animal photographs designed to teach your toddler or children about animals. The animals range from cats and dogs to whales and elephants using real photographs. It is designed for preschool aged children and teaches image recognition as well as early spelling. There are two ways to access the app, one is a “toddler/preschool” version which means they can touch the different animals; the “parent/caregiver” requires to either multi-tap or press and hold to access the setup.
One of my 2 year old’s favorite parts of the app was seeing his picture as well as the animal and hearing my voice. I always supervise my 2 year old when he is using my iPad and he seemed a bit surprised that he was hearing my voice from the iPad. When you use the app, you are presented with a photo of your child/name, the animal and then a spoken statement. This could be a great thing for grandparents to record so that your kids remain familiar with their voices. I also liked that once your child heard the name of the animal, you could tap on it to hear the animals sound over and over again. One of the things that differentiates the app from others, is that the app uses actual photos of animals versus cartoon type animals. I also liked that it was easy to add animals, but child safe in that my son couldn’t easy delete animals without following a multi-step process.
To add the animals, first you must tap on the “add” button three times, then you can choose the specific animal you want to add from a scroll of animals. From there you record your voice (parent) reading a statement about the animal. I’ll admit, there were a few times where I did add a word like “dog” and then said the name of my mom’s dog Lacey. Once you have recorded the animals, your child can tap on the animal to see the photo of the animal as well as the spelling at the bottom which comes in while the word is pronounced. When you first set up the app, you enter your child’s name and put a photo of them so they can see their photo as well as the image when using it. Also in the settings, you can change the background color and text to your kids favorite colors! By the time we were done testing the app, my son was practicing saying the names of his favorite animals – even ones he hadn’t been familiar with in the past.
In terms of enhancements, it would be nice if could personalize the app for more than one child. As it currently works, you can only add the name of one child/photo although I typed both of my kids names and put a photo of both of them together so one didn’t feel left out. I would also like to be able to group animals by type – for example pets like dogs, cats and horse versus insects like ladybug or bee. I would also like an easy way to “hide” or “remove” animals. As I put more animals on, at times my son would just randomly scroll looking for animals and just kept tapping rather than engaging with the app. It might also be fun if you could put in your own photos of your pets (like dog) instead of using the images contained in the app, in the future.
Overall, this is a fun animal themed app that encourages kids to learn more about animals in an easy to use toddler friendly app. It includes over 40 different animals and can provide hours of fun for your kids as they practice seeing their favorite animals.