NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Parents and grandparents these days happily hand over their smartphones, iPads, and other tablets to the kids in their lives, most times as a babysitter or way to keep the little ones occupied.

With millions of apps to choose from, it’s hard to know which ones are good for kids.

So Sree Sreenivasan, tech expert from our partner network CNET and Columbia University’s chief digital officer, stopped by with some you should know about.

We looked at options for toddlers, young children, and preteens. Remember, most researches say to limit electronic interaction as much as possible before the age of two.

The first app, for toddlers, is Monkey Preschool Lunchbox, available for Android and iPhone.

This is one of the most popular preschool games. Your kids can have fun while playing six educational games with a bouncy monkey.

For 4-6-year-olds, there is Alien Assignment, available for iPhone.

This app for is one that encourages problem solving by getting the whole family involved. You have to help aliens fix their spaceship and use the phone’s camera to help with the problem solving. A parent or an adult has to look at the results and can discuss what worked and what didn’t.

For 5-10-year-olds, there is Storypanda, available for iPad.

This iPad app is a nice way to for your child to create his or her own stories and to share them with friends. It’s fun and interactive.

For all ages, there is Bad Piggies, the sequel to Angry Birds, available for Android and iPhone.

This one is told from the pig’s point of view.

We also had some great suggestions come in over Twitter, including Weerockets (where kids build their own online rockets and race them through space), Glow (a fun art app), Dora the Explorer (based on the TV show), and Edukitchen and Nightynight (user @mrdarius says his 2-year-olds are obsessed with them).


Sree Sreenivasan is CBS2′s technology expert, appearing every Wednesday morning at 6:50 am to discuss ways to save you time, money and aggravation. You can find him onTwitter and Facebook  and on his personal siteE-mail your questions with “CBS New York” as the subject line.