photoScreen time. Whether you’re at home for some quiet time or out with Kids in TOw, we shouldn’t feel (too) guilty about handing over our device once in a while, right? Especially not when you have some good kids apps to offer.

We’ve recently got to know Sago Mini, a series of apps for toddlers and preschoolers. These aren’t just “games,” but a tool to inspire learning and imagination. Like books, there are tons of conversation-starters, so it gets even better when parents play along.

The Toronto-based company Sago Sago loves their fans and often hosts play dates (our son calls them “iPad parties”) to test out their projects-in-progress. Find them on Facebook and Twitter to learn more.

We’ve been exploring the apps with our preschooler. And our toddler has enjoyed the odd swipe. Here is what we’ve found:

Pet Cafe: (Preschooler’s fave) Easy and fun to figure out solo. Lots of learning – counting and matching. Our preschooler especially loves the smoothie-making (aka mixing colours.) (Free)

Bug builder(Mom’s fave) This one inspires the little artist. Our preschooler loves to decorate his own bug and show off the final product. Okay, mom likes to design her own too. It’s a quick and fun process, which makes it great for taking turns. ($2.99)

Sound Box: (Toddler’s fave) We call this one the dancing dots. Our preschooler and toddler love to make noise and discover how their taps, shakes and tilts create sounds and reveal surprises. A number of fingers can join in so good for friends and siblings. ($2.99)

Doodlecast(Family fave) This is super interactive for all ages. Simply draw from a blank page or from a series of built-in backgrounds. What is phenomenal is that you can record the conversation as you draw, save the story to your device and share with friends and family (or with Sago Sago via Facebook or YouTube.) Available in 16 languages. ($2.99)

Music Box: Both kids love to make music. Each tap plays a note of two recognizable tunes. Our toddler mostly loves to make objects pop up along the way, whereas the preschooler gets a kick out of controlling the song’s tempo. ($2.99)

Forest Flyer: Preschooler has more fun with this one, taking Robin through the forest and discovering little surprises. Like a book, you can ask lots of questions based on what you see. ($2.99)

Ocean Swimmer: Another open-ended adventure. Lots of characters to encourage storytelling and tons of surprises along the way. ($2.99)