The Babysitting Guide App

Your child babysitting this summer? The Babysitting Guide by phoneflips (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android) is a great resource for anyone who is taking care of children.

The app has everything from preparing to become a caregiver, finding a job, communicating with parents, setting rules/disciplining, and safety. It’s a great app to keep as a reference if an incident/emergency takes place too. It costs $1.99 from iTunes, or get it for only $.99 for Android at Amazon.com.

The app is very informative, simple, and straightforward; no flashy animations or illustration, or sound effects, none of which is needed. I also like how it isn’t just a list of facts and steps, but gives real parenting advice. For example, not calling a child “bad” but discussing behavior and helping a child to understand it by asking questions that can’t be answered by “no.” I bet you can think of a parent or two that could benefit from this app right?

I think this app deserves a space on your mobile device screen, if you have little one’s in your life. Get the app here from iTunes. Get the app here for Android.

Tozzle App – Toddler Puzzles

I love it when my  2.5  year old daughter sits down and does a puzzle. I can see the satisfaction it brings her when she successfully inserts each piece to its proper place, and her “oh yeah, I did it,” dance when she completes the entire thing. Maybe that’s why I’m so gaga over the Tozzle Puzzle App by nodeflexion.com, oh yeah, and most importantly my daughter is gaga over it too.

The Tozzle App (iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch) comes in a Free Lite version, but the

$1.99 you spend on the full version is definitely more than worth the price. The app is great in the fact that not only is it fun and challenging, but there are 39 puzzles in all, with increasing difficulty as your child completes a puzzle and slides over to the next one. Also, new puzzles are added with app updates, so the app never gets boring, although my daughter will do the same puzzle over and over again anyway.
The puzzles work like this; the puzzle piece shown in-color in the upper-right hand corner needs to be inserted in one of the empty slots or shadows. If your child struggles with placing the piece in its correct place after

3 failed attempts, the app displays a green arrow that directs your child where to go, with a circle target that helps snap it into place.

The app is colorful, fun, has great sound effects, and cheerful music (my daughter loves to dance and celebrate with the music when she completes a puzzle). Get this app for your toddler. Seriously, get it.

Get the app now.

Apps That Take the Stress Out of Family Vacations

Summer is here, and it’s time to make the memories of the “What I did on Summer Vacation” essays your kids will make come Fall.
Here are some apps that I’ve used on our recent trip traveling with our 2 1/2 year old, and will help you avoid having a vacation like National Lampoon’s ;)
I like using the Expedia App to book flights right from your phone, and you can also use it to book hotel, car rentals, or find an activity (amusement parks, museums, etc.). Once it’s booked, print your boarding pass at home, or simply print it out at the kiosks at the airport. Get the app now. Such a breeze for what you can control, security on the other hand…I have an app for that too….
This app is such a great tool when traveling with a child, especially when you are packing a “things to do” bag for the child to keep them busy on the plane. It has a tab that reads “Can I Bring?” and it is amazing. Just type in a questionable item you would like to bring on board the plane, and it explains if you can or not. It also displays any delays at your airport, and the waiting times at the security checkpoint. Though the TSA may get a bad rap, this app definitely helps make up for it. Get the app now.
Your little one too young to pack for themselves, or maybe doesn’t even understand why Mommy is putting their things in a bag? The My Suitcase App is great app for toddlers/preschoolers to play. The game allows them to pack items in a suitcase for a vacation at 4 different destinations. Once they pack their luggage, they arrive and play at their location. Real cute and my 2 1/2 year old plays it often. Get the app now.
Once you arrive on vacation, find the perfect restaurant or entertainment with the help of the Yelp App, an app (and website) dedicated to reviews submitted by real people about local businesses in the area. Find out which restaurants are great to bring kids too, but also has food that doesn’t come out of a bag or box.You can also “check-in” to places. Get the app now.

Great App to Filter the Crap from YouTube – tinyTube

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Don’t you hate it when your child is watching his/her favorite video via YouTube on your iPhone or iPad, and you accidentally select a video that some loser has decided to edit themselves by inserting curse words or adding snippets of their own immature animation? Since when did Dora get such a potty mouth? Then you frantically snatch your phone from your child (usually resulting in a cry of frustration), and shut off the video. I’ve been there a few times, but thankfully, here is a great app to keep this from happening again – the tinyTube app.

The tinyTube app works like this: first use your existing YouTube account or create a new one to be used just for your kids’ videos. Then, on your account, save the kid-friendly videos to your favorites. Next, select the tinyTube app on your device, and press refresh at the top. The app automatically takes the videos from your favorites list, and displays them in the app. Now all your child needs to do is learn to select the tinyTube app icon instead of YouTube (I moved this app icon right next to the YouTube app to help). Voila, no stressing about Calliou suddenly becoming violent or your child’s favorite character coming upon an unfortunate death.

The app is only $.99 and I feel well worth it.

Get the app now

Build a Bug Workshop?… Create Cute Bugs With Your Toddler

If you’re like me, bugs make you a little squeamish…but with this cute app for your iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad,  bugs are adorable and…creative.

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The Bug Builder app by Tickle Tap Apps is full of bright colors, charming music, and fun sound effects. Only $1.99, and it is a very simple concept; in fact when I purchased the app, I was thinking that you could choose what kind of eyes the bug would have, antenna, legs, etc., and was a little disappointed at just how simple it really was.

I later showed the app to my two year old daughter however, and realized that this simplicity is perfect for toddlers (which we all know have shorter attention spans). Toddlers love creating things, but don’t want to be patient and go through a lot of steps and details to get to their final product. Duh mom! The app developers recommend this app for children ages 3-5, though I’d say some two year olds can grasp this app also.

Let me explain this simple concept: first you choose from 4 different designs for the body of your bug. Then you choose from several different colors to draw on your bug. Next you tap the smiley bug face in the top right-hand corner, and your design is placed in an “egg”. Now it is your job to hatch it! You tap on the egg six times, and voila, your bug creation is hatched with a face, wings, antenna, legs, and whatever else they may have. Then you can click on the camera image in the top right-hand corner, and take a picture of your bug, which is saved in your photos section on your device. Goodness, I probably have at least 20 bugs in my phone! What can I say, my daughter loves this app! She laughs so hard when her bug hatches and she sees what crazy creation she’s made.

What’s also great is that there are many different bug features the app adds onto your  bug, so you’re sure to have a different-looking bug each time!

Get the app now

Send Your Toddler/Preschooler to Fish School – Learning App

Welcome to Fish School
Do you remember the scene from Finding Nemo,  when Nemo’s father and his companion Dori are asking questions to a school of fish trying to find Nemo? All of these fish take shape to illustrate what they are talking about, like an arrow, or take the shape of Nemo’s father, mocking him with a sad face. Well, this app takes that funny idea, and turns it into a fun, bright, and musical learning experience for your toddler or preschooler.
Let your child explore numbers, letters, shapes, colors, and thinking exercises with the help of schools of fish as their teachers. The Fish School app is $1.99  app created by Duck Duck Moose for the iPhone and iPad is clever with presenting the fundamentals in a fun way. The app also challenges toddlers and preschoolers with critical thinking exercises, just right for them. For example, your child is posed with a question of selecting which fish doesn’t belong in the school of fish, or your child will be challenged with a memory game, where they have to match up the same fish.
Classical music is played throughout the app, which always lets me know that when my 2 year old grabs my iPhone, she’s gone to fish school. In fact, it’s now the first app she goes to when she has her sticky fingers on my phone.

Get the app now

Best App to Have in Emergencies

The iFirstAid app (and lite version) for the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad, is a great resource to access a wealth of life-saving information in an instant.

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I’ll be reviewing the lite version, which is FREE.

The iFirstAid Lite app has information on what to do in an emergency situation involving the use of CPR, Bleeding, Burns, Chocking, and Poisons, for babies, children, and adults. Under each of these categories, you are given step-by-step information on what you should do to help the victim suffering.

For example, if a baby is not breathing on its own, enter the app and tap on CPR, Baby, and then follow the steps to resuscitate the baby. You can also instantly call emergency services like 911, or Poison Control Information, by selecting the telephone symbol in the bottom right of the toolbar.

The app also has a great feature in which an audible voice speaks aloud the directions, so you can simultaneously follow the steps as you hear them. Just select the symbol that looks like sound waves from a person’s face, in the right top-hand corner (see image to right or below). There are also illustrations to further assist you.

This app is fully integrated, and is designed to help you find information quickly. For example, if someone is choking and becomes unable to breathe, the app takes you right from the Choking steps to  how to perform CPR.

This app is great for any mom, or any person, that wants to be prepared in a life-threatening situation.

Get the app now