Favorite Safety Apps

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With modern technology, it can be overwhelming by how much our kids use it and even more confusing on how to monitor what services and apps they are connected to. Luckily, there are many mobile apps that can offer peace of mind so your kids can enjoy technology while you keep a close eye on them.

  1. Life360: An accurate and powerful family locater app, Life360 eliminates the need for worrying about the whereabouts of your family. This app keeps millions of families and close friends connected, no matter what chaos life throws your way. With Life360, you can see where your family and friends are on a private map, stay in touch with group and one-on-one messaging, and get help in an emergency.
  2. KIDO’Z: A popular app designed to provide a fun and safe environment for kids, KIDO’Z transforms phones, tablets and computers into kid-friendly devices. The best part? Kids playing on the KIDO’Z app can’t accidentally or purposely wind up where they shouldn’t be on a device. KIDO’Z brings several layers of unique security, including a child-lock system, ads blocker, and apps filter to ensure that kids can only download suitable applications.
  3. ICE: In Case of EmergencyThis life-saving app allows parents to store important health data (allergies, emergency contacts, prescriptions, list of health conditions, etc.) for first responders and health staff to use in case of a medical emergency. The app can even be accessed when the phone is locked with a password code.
  4. Baby Monitor & Alarm: Loaded with unique features, this easy-to-use app not only alerts parents when there is a noise in a baby’s room, but helps parents calm their child no matter where they are through a mobile device. Loved by parents, Baby Monitor & Alarm has received great reviews from newspapers and online technology websites.
  5. Keepy: With Keepy, parents can upload, save and share their kids’ works of art. Similar to a scrapbook, Keepy’s private digital timeline allows parents to capture artwork, school work, photos and any precious mementos. Keepy eliminates clutter and allows parents to access their “Keepys” via the web, email or smartphone.

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Learning a Second Language with Little Pim

Little Pim for kids

It’s a global world out there. One language alone really isn’t realistic if you want your kids to be explorers and really engaged. We introduced a second language to our kid testers with the Little Pim app and DVDs. The kids were mesmerized.

 

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Little Pim’s award-winning language program for kids makes it fun and easy for children to learn a second language. With 11 languages to choose from, our proprietary method teaches your child 360 words and phrases. We live in an increasingly global world where learning a second language can give your child many advantages.

And scientific research shows that learning a foreign language comes naturally for children when they start at an early age. That’s why Little Pim is designed to teach kids a second language at the time they learn best, under the age of 6.

Click here to learn more about Little Pim.

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Kids & Tech Twitter Party

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Join me on Monday, June 16th for an online conversation about the best apps for kids. I am co-hosting with @TheShoppingMama and in addition to the lively twitter chat, we will be giving away (4) Kindle Fires.

We’re working on a special project to produce better apps for you and your family. The twitter party will be a chance to share the websites or apps do you like for your preschoolers. And we hope you’ll join us. For a little incentive we’re giving away FOUR KINDLE FIRES!!! No RSVP necessary. Just tweet with the hashtag #KidTech and be sure to take our special survey.

win a kindle fire

Can’t make the party? There will also be one winner from the survey randomly selected to win a $500 Amex Gift Card. Click here for the survey DigitalPreschoolersTest
Kids & Tech Survey

 

This is a sponsored survey.

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Favorite New Apps

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There is no denying that apps are a part of our modern lives. While we use them (in doses) we are always on the hunt for apps that are educational, trendy and interesting. Here are a few that caught our eye this month.

For Beauty:

Stylish mamas will love the new app StyleSeat. Through this app moms can discover beauty and wellness services in more than 15,000 cities across the U.S (think of it like OpenTable for beauty appointments). This is great when you are on-the-go or traveling as you look for hair stylists, colorists, manicurists, blow-out bars, massage therapists and estheticians at the last minute, or while on the go. You can see availability, view recommendations, and book an appointment for today, or next week, with a simple click.

For Kids:

For reading we love the new iRead With, a new shared-reading program on iPad designed to foster language development and help preschoolers get ready to read. Developed in conjunction with McGill University Child Phonology Lab, iRead With are animated stories that encourage a participative reading experience engaging both child and parent. Parents follow a prompting system that encourages them to start a conversation with the child, by asking questions about the story. Children become actively involved in the narrative and get stimulated in a multi-sensory level.

For learning fun for the kids, we love SylvanPlay, an app that contains fun Sylvan-approved games that are aligned to grade level curriculum and help build skills in reading, math, science, geography, strategic thinking and more. This includes a library of nine fun apps that focus on reading, math, science, geography, strategic thinking and more. Some of our favorites are Critter Cruise, a game that inspires math and language learning as kids take a landmark filled road trip across North America, filling up their gas tank by correctly answering questions and the  Angle Asteroids, an app that helps kids develop an intuition for angles as they position their laser to blast away the incoming asteroids. The App is  available in the Apple store and Google Play​​.

Like many families, a favorite book in our home is Eric Carle’s A Very Hungry Caterpillar. Now our kids can enjoy a digital game based on this popular series with the release of The Very Hungry Caterpillar™ & Friends – Play & Explore This includes a fun app that features pop-up games and activities, musical sound effects, and stunning illustrated scenes that will mesmorize both parents and children to play together. Available in English, French, German, Spanish and Japanese, the app is available at a special introductory offer of 25% off: $2.99 from the App Store on iPhone, iPad or iPod touch or at www.AppStore.com/TheVeryHungryCaterpillar.

We love the new app, Schoola. This app is designed to help parents shop for kid’s clothes and help fund their school. This includes access to more than 2,000 brands of like-new children’s clothing, including the Gap, Hanna Andersson, Tea Collection and Mini Boden. Through this, a portion of each sale goes back to the school from where it was donated.

For Moms-to-Be:

For pregnancy we are loving the app Totally Pregnant, a personal and informative maternity mobile software. This includes a comprehensive app whose content evolves as the users go through their 40 week journey. This includes real time information that is based on your pregnancy stage and location where you can see 3D animation of the growing fetus, video content, expert tips and LIVE classes with specialists in a variety of fields such as breastfeeding and pre-natal yoga. The app is free to download, with some features requiring in-app purchases.

When the baby arrives, we love Baby Bundle, a comprehensive app developed by pediatrician Dr. Jen Trachtenberg that features monitoring, tracking, expert advice plus a baby monitor and photo diary component. This allows you to record your baby’s sleep patterns, feeding, sleep, diaper changes and more that is ideal for working moms to those that have any issues or concerns that they want to monitor.

Organization:

PaperKarma. Stop the flow of incoming junk mail for good with PaperKarma. Using the free app, simply snap a picture of unwanted mail, press “send” and PaperKarma will unsubscribe you from future mailings. Free for iPhone and Android.

To get your kids involved in their chores we love the new app, Goodie Goodie. This free –to-download family application for iOS and Android. Through this app parents can create chores and goals (“G Missions”) for their children who earn points, that can be turned into rewards, each time a task is completed. As children collect points, they are stored as user-selected virtual candies in a Goodie Bag. Earned points can be redeemed for parent-created rewards or eGift cards for purchase to their favorite stores and for their favorite brands, delivered instantly in-app.

From Windows we love ReadingList, a fun app where you left off and allows you up to pick right back up at that spot, from any of your Windows 8.1 devices. When you’re finished reading, simply swipe the article away to move on.

It is pretty scary what is out there online. While our kids are getting increasingly savvy, they sometimes don’t always have the knowledge to be internet safe. One of our favorite programs to keep kids’ safe is with Net Nanny. Through this program, families can be safeguarded in real-time with platforms for all your technology. Through the Android app, parents can filter website content, block porn, establish time controls and more.

I have so many photos on my phone and my computer that I often don’t know where to start in the editing process. The new app Photo Mambo is designed to help with that issue as it transforms a loved one’s computer, iPad or iPhone into a digital picture frame that updates automatically each time a photo is shared. With Photo Mambo, there’s no need to download photos from email or social media sites and then copy them into a digital frame. Photos are automatically updated within the app, so they just pop into the Frame to be enjoyed today or next week—or as long as you want them in rotation. This allows families and friends to easily share pictures, which we love as a great gift for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Grandparents’ Day or any family birthday.

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We were given some codes to check out some of these apps.

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Enjoy Adventures with your Kids with History Hero

I love that everyday is an adventure with kids. One of our favorite things to do is explore NYC. Recently, we went on a mission (of sorts) with History Hero, a new and one-of-a-kind app that is designed to enhance family visits to the world’s greatest historical and cultural destinations.

History Hero App History Hero App

As an interactive app, families can enjoy experiences in Washington, DC, Minneapolis, New York, London, Paris and Rome where they can enjoy missions to various museums and cultural institutions with the goal to save history, defeat the Erasers and earn points.

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For our NYC mission, we went to the Museum of Modern Art (you can also go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Natural History Museum where the app gave us a mission folder. We then had to choose our Hero (we opted for Ally N.Blast) and picked the age range 4-7 with an adult (they also have missions for kids 8-12 and just adults). It started with the app telling is to enter through the museum and directed us to various points where we clicked ‘made it’ when we did so.

Although we really love museums, my daughter loved this experience even more as the app guided us through the museum. One of our favorite parts was going through the different galleries and when we were successful we were asked questions and then given points as well as given the option to take pictures. This was a great way for my daughter to carefully observe the paintings in order to complete the questions as well as learn interesting information that we may normally not have observed.

Another fun benefit of the app is that it focuses on age-appropriate content while rewarding learning where kids and their parents can achieve the coveted History Hero Medal of Honor.

Available for download on any Apple operating system device here. Each site tour mission is $4.99

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New Ranger Rick App

 

A few weeks ago my daughter and I had the chance to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the iconic raccoon, Ranger Rick as well as learn more about their new apps ncluding the Ranger Rick Tree House App and the Ranger Rick Jr. Appventures App. Held at the incredible Books of Wonder bookstore in NYC, we loved learning about the app and seeing real-live animals and even meeting Ranger Rick as we learned all about how technology can serve as a way to teach our children all about nature.

 

 

Through the Ranger Rick Tree House App (out in December), everyone’s favorite raccoon comes to life to connect tech-savvy kids with nature. Through this app kids 7 through 12 can interact with as stories come to life. This allows kids to explore at their own pace and enjoy everything from comic adventures, multi-level games, animal videos, nature activities, and wildlife mysteries. We loved looking at the app and checking out Ranger Rick’s Tree House that includes his living room that is filled with interactive activities; a backyard that tracks outdoor activities; a video room with real-life video clips; and a bfunny center with silly jokes, riddles and animal mysteries.

 

The Ranger Rick Jr. Appventures App is a great way for younger children (4-7) to connect and understand nature. As a series of story apps for the iPad, every appventure includes an interactive photo story, engaging games, and creative activities that are all focused on one particular animal such as lions, panadas, penguins and more! Through the app, Ranger Rick and his friend Lars the Lion take children through the grasslands to discover how lions live as well as unique features like a cool photo safari, hide and seek games, a matching sounds games, a jigsaw puzzle, a sticker world and more to help kids discover how animals spend their days.

 

As part of the anniversary, Ranger Rick debuted a new Ranger Rick Jr. Magazine. Debuting in December, the magazine will be packed with advertising-free content for kids. This will include 36 pages of animals including a ‘Green Time’ section with activities that inspire kids to get outside and stay active. The magazine is also filled with fun facts, questions and high-quality pictures to peak the interests and curiosity in children.

 

To learn more about the National Wildlife Federation, Ranger Rick. Jr. magazine, and Ranger Rick Appventures, please visit: rangerrickjr.com

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MoMA Art Lab App

MoMA Art Lab App

You know I love our NYC museums–it’s one of the best parts of living in the city. To make travel easier and more creative for kids The Museum of Modern Art recently introduced the MoMA Art Lab app for the Apple iPad, the Museum’s first art-making app.

Inspired by MoMA Art Labs, a series of interactive spaces at the Museum where kids and adults can engage with art through hands-on activities, the app offers an open-ended exploration of the various ways in which simple shapes and lines can be transformed into art. Through diverse activities and prompts for creative ideas, the Art Lab app encourages kids ages seven and up to think about artistic processes and experiment with shapes, lines, and colors, inspiring digital play.

Activities, inspired by modern and contemporary artworks from MoMA’s collection, include using virtual scissors to cut out shapes in the spirit of collages by Henri Matisse; shaking digital scraps of paper across the screen in homage to Jean (Hans) Arp’s chance collages; covering rooms in colorful line designs, as in the work of Jim Lambie; and creating a sound composition based on art by Elizabeth Murray.

Art Lab’s drawing pad includes shapes that can be stretched, rotated, and shrunk using zoom and pinch motions, tools to create straight or freeform lines in differing widths, and a palette of over a hundred vibrant colors. For extra inspiration, the app offers fun suggestions such as creating an entire city using only geometric shapes, making a person or an animal using only straight lines, creating a design using only circles or only triangles, and much more.

Artworks can be saved to the iPad’s Camera Roll, or shared with friends and family or with MoMA by e-mail or Twitter.

Using Art Lab at home or at MoMA, children, families, artists, and designers will find inspiration and new ways of connecting with the Museum’s collection.

MoMA Art Lab is available through the iTunes App Store  for $4.99. 

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FarFaria app with Endless Digital Stories

FarFaria app

What do you get when two former technical consultants for Disney create their own storybook app?  A magical place described as “not so far away” in which stories come alive on the iPad.

The land in question is a map in which stories are grouped together by genre–with imagery next to each name so that small children can easily figure out what types of stories await them there including Animal Kingdom, Adventure Island, Fairytale Forest, Fantasy Falls, Classic Grove, Fable Hills, Good Land, Bedtime Bluffs and Picture Point.

The app is downloadable for free from the itunes store and unlimited stories can be downloaded with the purchase of a monthly subscription for $3.99, with the an initial free first month trial.  New stories are added every week, and, once downloaded, books can even be read when offline.

Though my 5 1/2 year old son enjoyed reading through and listening to a couple of stories, my three-year-old daughter’s favorite part of the app was clicking around the map and watching the different lands react to her touch. My favorite part?  Because the app works on a monthly subscription instead of on a story by story basis, I never had to worry that my children were being sold something, which made it really feel like a virtual library. Albeit a library that can fit in a carry-on bag on an airplane with an included librarian to read the stories…and graphics that evoke a fairyland.

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Check out out our favorite apps for moms here,

Momtrends was not paid for this post. We were given a sample for review purposes.

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Math Evolve: A Critically Acclaimed Math App for Kids

Kids love technology and gaming so why not combine the two to make learning engaging and fun?! Math Evolve, a new educational app does just that. They have made practicing multiplication, division, addition, and subtraction into a fun arcade style math app that your child will love. No more boring flash cards or worksheets, your child will learn math skills the fun way on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod.

Math Evolve was created by elementary school teacher, Adam Coccari who was inspired to create a game that would make kids excited about practicing math. It works by seamlessly blending math into a video game to create a truly educational and entertaining experience. It can be easy enough for a seven-year-old to master, but can also be fun and challenging even for parents and adults.

To start Math Evolve, the user creates a profile, and then selects either story or practice mode. The story mode takes the player through three unique environments, microscopic, ocean, and space as they battle their way to save the universe as they correctly solve math equations. The practice mode allows the player to practice math facts without the gaming elements but still in the fun environments.  The great thing about both modes is the the player can select what math operations they would like to focus on during their game.  As a mom, I love that you can also track your child’s performance when you go to player history. This is helpful because it lets you know the math skills your child has already mastered, and what they need more help with.

Math Evolve is the perfect math app for kids because it is fun and educational. The beautiful graphics, music, and exciting game play will make your child forget they are learning and excited about math!

Math Evolve has been nominated Best Educational Game of 2011 and “Best Middle School Student App” in the Best App Ever Awards.  Math Evolve has also been selected as one of the App Store’s TOP PICKS by Fun Educational Apps and name the App Of The Month by Apps for Homeschooling.

Math Evolve is a universal app that will run on  your iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch with only one purchase and is available in the iTunes store for $1.99.  

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