Play To Grow

Your child is now at one of the most rapid growth phases of his entire life. Each day brings countless learning opportunities across all areas of development including cognitive, motor, perceptual, emotional and verbal communication. At Hug and Dug we’ve created fun educational apps for toddlers and preschoolers that allows them to explore and learn in a thoughtful, fun and sensible way. We take great measures to ensure that the content in our apps is suitable for all stages of development. Through complimenting the child’s ever evolving skills, Hug and Dug’s educational apps put your child’s energy and time to good use.

Some of our educational apps

Shapes around the world

Shapes III

Little Creator

Robot Shapes Lab

DayCare Explorer

Shapes II

Little Town Explorer

Shapes Puzzles 1



Zoo Explorer

Child Development Milestones: Learning Through Play

With the advent of technology affecting every aspect of our lives, parents must be sure that their children are getting the most out of it. Educational apps can have a positive and beneficial impact on your child’s development.

Your child’s early years of development can set the pattern for his behavior, learning and health later on in life. The benefits of learning through play are universal. Playing can improve your child’s self-confidence, social skills, cognitive skills, and provide him with an outlet for releasing energy. Play can also improve your child’s language, literacy, and problem solving skills.

Your child is naturally curious, and the act of playing allows him to nurture and explore his innate curiosity. As a parent, you can provide your child with opportunities to engage with others and explore his curiosity. Play with your child in a way that is flexible, fun, and imaginative. In the digital world, using age appropriate apps is a unique and fun alternative to everyday traditional children’s games.

Playing educational apps with your child is a great way to have fun together, bond, and help them to develop social, motor, and cognitive skills. Apps for toddlers can offer fun and educational ways for you and your child to explore the world together through matching games, color games, stories, and much, much more! Let your child guide the play, praise him when he does well, and don’t forget to also give him plenty of time to run around and be a kid.

At 2 years old, your child will go through many changes. He will learn about himself, experience a greater range of emotions, utter his first words, start interacting with others, and use his senses and motor skills to explore his surroundings. Your toddler will become very active and will want to walk alone, stand on his tiptoes, and climb unassisted.

As his language skills improve, your child will be able to point to and name certain objects, recognize names of familiar people, and use simple phrases. He will start learning how to distinguish colors and shapes and will be able to use trial and error to solve simple problems. 2-year-olds love physical activity such as playing pretend, doodling and singing songs that require motion, such as ‘Itsy Bitsy Spider’ or ‘Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes’.

Age appropriate apps include colourful attention-grabbing graphics and include stories, music, images, and games such as matching games, name games or musically oriented games. Playing can help your child improve his dexterity, hand-eye coordination, and finger control. This means he will be able to play with a greater variety of toys and also become more aware of the function of toys i.e. stacking blocks. This ability will allow him to play with both traditional toys and digital apps. The greater interaction with other children at this age helps your child to learn more about sharing and concepts of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’.

Toddler apps that enable two people to play are a great way to encourage interaction with others and to teach your child to share.

At 3-4 years old, your child is in the midst of his transition from toddlerhood to childhood. He will become more independent and have an easier time controlling his feelings.

Your toddler will enjoy physical activity such as running, jumping and dancing. His balance and coordination will improve and, by 4 years old, he may be able to correctly hold a pencil. He will also become more decisive and develop a rich imagination. At this age, your toddler will start distinguishing between common concepts such as night and day, big and small, and so forth.

Your toddler’s desire to play with other children his age will grow. Greater social interaction will help him develop an understanding of concepts such as sharing and kindness to others. Apps for toddlers, which have games appropriate for two or more players, are a great way to encourage your child to practice his sharing skills. Such apps can also help your child enhance his social skills and increase his sense of empathy toward others. Your child’s imagination will be very rich at this age. Your child will use his imagination and improved motor skills to create things such as drawings, Lego buildings, and much more.

There are many apps on the market today which have drawing functions and which your toddler can use to create a masterpiece. You can also find apps with puzzles and various other design functions. Perhaps the greatest benefit of using apps to draw, build or design is that you won’t be left with a mess to clean up afterwards. Apps such as these also allow your child to explore his creativity and improve his hand-eye coordination and problem solving skills.

At 4-5 years old, your child will become more independent. He will start asking a lot of ‘what’ and ‘why’ questions and learn more about his feelings.

Your child will begin transitioning out of his self-contained world and take greater pleasure in playing with other children.  He may start kindergarten this year, and so will be exposed to a new learning and social environment. Assist him at home with learning numbers, the alphabet, and a bit of reading through the use of fun apps for toddlers. Many toddler apps have fun and color-filled games to help your child learn to count, read, and match various images. At this age, your child will also love to talk.

Use traditional books or interactive storytelling apps to entertain your child and help improve his vocabulary. He may develop an interest in games that allow him to take on adult roles (such as playing ‘mother and father’ or ‘doctor and patient’. Playing make-believe with other children or using toddler apps that allow your child to take care of virtual pets are both wonderful ways to help him develop problem-solving skills and a sense of responsibility. As your child at this stage may become a stickler for rules, he will prefer having structure and routine to feel safe.

You may find that he likes to create his own rules for games. Allowing your child the flexibility to concoct his own rules enables him to develop greater organizational skills. Use toddler apps that involve planning or deciding, ‘what comes next’, or apps where following the rules is essential to winning. These will keep him engaged, create a greater sense of self- discipline, and help your child understand the concept of self-control and the consequences of breaking rules.

From age 5 and beyond, your child will develop greater confidence, balance, and physical abilities. He would have improved his motor skills in writing and drawing and have developed a finer eye for detail. Help him hone these skills by encouraging him to write and draw and by introducing him to age-appropriate apps with games such as ‘connect the dots’, ‘spot the difference’, or various drawing activities. As he gets older, your child will enjoy a wider range of activities such as dancing, running, and climbing. Engaging in physical activity is important for your child’s health and enables him to gain a better perception of his physical abilities.

Physical activities also help your child develop greater coordination and gross motor skills. Encourage your child to regularly participate in physical activities such as sports. At 5 years and older, your child will also have a good command of his native language. He may love to sing, recite poems, or listen to stories. Word games and children’s apps that help develop vocabulary through games, music, stories and captivating images are helpful ways to expand your child’s vocabulary. As he gains more confidence, your child may become outgoing, enjoy initiating conversations with others, and place an increasing emphasis on friendship. He may become more self-conscious as he starts comparing himself to others, including his friends. Help your child feel better about himself by encouraging him to pursue activities that highlight his strengths.

You can also help him feel a sense of ‘achievement’ by giving him small tasks around the house, such as setting the table or cleaning his room. Age-appropriate educational apps that provide positive feedback on your child’s achievements are also great ways for him to focus on his strengths.  Encouraging your child to focus on his interests, whether it be playing music or participating in sports, will allow him to develop and hone more specialized skills. If your child is interested in music, for example, encourage him to learn how to play an instrument or to learn about different kinds of music through classroom activities or children’s apps.