Children love them and adults do too. But can apps really make parenting easier? Can they really help you to streamline things? Can they really help your children get dressed with bags packed in the morning, without constant nagging? You bet!
As a busy Mum myself I am keen to find shortcuts. I love anything that let’s me do things quickly and easily. [Yes, that is why I paid an inordinate amount of money recently for a Thermomix. And boy oh boy, it has been worth every penny!]
So as I have been playing, I mean reviewing, children’s apps for an eBook I am writing I have stumbled on some great apps that make parenting easier.
Apps for Routines-
Hands up who finds morning routines frantic at times? Me too. So rather than handing over the iPad or iPhone to pacify your child, use it to streamline morning tasks.
Get technology working for you, not against you.
One brilliant app I have used with Mr T is Kids Flashcard Maker. This app allows parents to create interactive flashcards, with photos, videos and voice recordings. I have used this app to remind Mr T about the correct sequence of tasks that he needs to complete each morning to be ‘ready’ (I learnt early on that our idea of ‘ready’ was very different).
I have taken photos and videos of him performing each of his morning tasks (e.g. brushing his teeth and hair and then getting dressed). I have inserted these photos and videos into the app and he has recorded his [uber cute] voice as he performs each task. (I must admit it is adorable when he says, “I am brushing my teeth” with a mouth full of toothpaste). On the mornings that we need to race the clock to be out the door at a specific time, we use this app.
Not only does it allow me time to get ready myself (and actually apply a full face of foundation as opposed to stripes here and there) but it also allows him to become more independent. Win win. He watches each step in the app and knows what is the next thing to do in the sequence by swiping at the next button. I admit that it is not always successful, but at 3 he can do most tasks independently now. And that is a big time and sanity saver.
Curating Artwork Apps-
There is only so much of your children’s artwork that you can display, give away or use as wrapping paper. So what can you do with it?
Art my Kid Made allows you to take digital photos of your children’s artwork and archive them. No more piles of artwork lying around the house. No more guilt when you need to (discreetly) throw out someone’s artwork. These apps allow parents to digitally archive their child’s creative artworks and masterpieces. Store, share or print your child’s artwork, all from your phone. Magic!
Another alternative is Artkive also lets you easily curate and share your little one’s artwork.
The free app that comes installed on your device can act like your own family PA. You can set up and share different calendars for your children and/or partner so you know exactly when and where every one needs to be just by clicking on the app. You can schedule birthday parties, swimming lessons and concerts. Now there is no excuse for double-booking or missing a friend’s party!
School has certainly changed a lot. When maths homework arrives and asks you to show the ‘decomposition’ method for subtraction or to list ‘abstract nouns’ you may be left feeling a little confused. Fear no more. There is a FREE app , School A to Z, from the NSW Department of Education & Communities, which has many tools, one which is an interactive maths dictionary. Other great features of the app include a ‘Spelling Bee’ game which allows your child to practice their spelling lists in a playful game format and a simple maths game to consolidate the dreaded times tables.
Tell me in the comments below, what apps help your family? Are there any you can’t live without?