Author: Kate Etue

Stack app: The mesmerizing, beautiful free app game we can’t put down

I like to keep at least one totally mindless, just-for-fun app on my iPad for some winding-down entertainment at the end of the day. Of course, Candy Crush and 1010 have dominated recently, but I’ve just discovered the Stack app (iOS and Android). And now I’m hooked. Related: The Path to Luma: A beautiful new puzzle game app that’s free. Yay! Related: 9 of the most stunningly beautiful mobile games to add some zen to your apps Stack is both beautiful and so simple (although, I do turn the volume off — ugh). As you play the game, squares glide across...

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Houseparty app: Free video chat with multiple friends at once. Great idea, or terrible one?

Thanks to FaceTime, my kids are able to chat face-to-face with our relatives and friends around the country — something this mom is really thankful for. But, at this point FaceTime videos are still just one-on-one. That’s where the fun and free Houseparty group video chat app (iOS and Android) comes in. It allows us to all get on and video chat together every once in a while. It’s like having a party, without the dirty house to clean up when they all leave. Whoo! That said, there are some concerns those of us parenting tweens and teens with their own phones have...

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Flowers for Mother’s Day, right on her iPhone

We love to get fresh flowers for Mother’s Day, but when they’re on a new phone case, they’ll last all year long, not just a few days. So, we found 8 pretty floral phone cases, from sweet bouquets to geeky chic designs, that any mom would love. Including us! CMP is an rstyle affiliate. At top: Jane Soleil floral case | Danse de Lune at Society 6 Related: 13 amazing Mother’s Day gifts under $20 that don’t feel cheap at all Herb Garden case ($36, Rifle Paper Co) This collection of herbs, fruit, and flowers is a perfect switch for spring, and...

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The free Lab4U apps are like having a science lab right in your smart phone

For those of you with budding scientists at home, the Lab4U app collection lets kids conduct real science experiments with just their phone. No WIFI required! The collection currently features two apps, Lab4Physics app and Lab4Chemistry, both of which use the sensors on your phone (in the camera, speakers, and other hardware) to measure variables like speed, velocity, sound waves, gravity or even to calculate the concentrations of chemical solutions. To be clear, these apps aren’t educational games. They actually transform your smartphone into the scientific instruments needed to perform real experiments, with step-by-step instructions on how to complete them. Once you record your data and the results...

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10 questions parents should ask when writing a cell phone contract for kids

Last year my husband and I gifted our two older kids with their own iPod and Kindle, and along with the devices came a contract that outlined our expectations for using them. As my friends have started getting wifi-connected tablets or phones for their kids, these contracts have been a big topic of discussion. So, we’ve pooled our collective ideas to share the top 10 things to we’ve considered before writing a cell phone contract for our kids. It really does help us start on the same page with our kids when it comes to how they use tech. And having less...

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8fit: The free fitness app that’s really making us sore lately

I’ve figured out that I’m the type of person who needs a quick but effective workout that I can do from my home, without expensive equipment (that takes up space I don’t have). So, my new obsession has been the free 8fit app (iOS and Android). It’s a collection of 10-minute full-body exercises that require no equipment. Related: Here’s what happened when we tried the Whole30 diet Related: 3 fitness apps for the not-so-fit. No judgment here. Once you’re in the app, you’ll customize your fitness goals — anything from “gain muscle mass” to “lose fat” — as well as setting your...

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These DIY galaxy Easter eggs are out of this world.

My kids love decorating Easter eggs, but now that they’re hitting their tweens they’re getting a little more creative. That’s why I can’t wait to try these DIY galaxy Easter eggs at Dream a Little Bigger. And, based on the tutorial, they look like they’re not nearly as hard to make as you’d think. Related: Martha Stewart’s Easter egg app gives you the perfect recipe to dye eggs. Related: OMG: Unicorn Easter eggs. Allison’s step-by-step tutorial makes these space eggs easy enough for anyone to make. And she’s got great tips about the supplies you can buy to make it so much easier, and how...

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Mover Kit: A new wearable STEM coding toy we had our kids put to the test

You’ll find no shortage of STEM kits for kids these days, many of which, like Bitsbox and Little Passports’ new Science Expeditions (just to name a couple), we’ve featured here on Cool Mom Tech. So, when our editor Kristen discovered the new Mover Kit, a wearable STEM coding toy, at Toy Fair this year, we wanted to have one of our kids use it to see if it’s really worth the $61 price tag. Related: 12 cool gifts for kids who love STEM The Mover Kit includes everything your child needs to build a LED light they can wear on their wrist (with a...

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Stridepost: A free chores and calendar app for the whole family. Yep, even the kids.

I’m always a little more motivated to get to my chores when there’s a little reward involved, like watching a guilty pleasure TV show while I fold laundry. It’s the same for my kids, and the Stridepost app (iOS and Android) helps them see how doing their share around the house will earn them both an allowance and fun rewards for pitching in. Plus, it keeps track of events on our family calendar alongside the kids’ chores and responsibilities, which makes it easier to manage it all in one handy place. Here’s how it works. Related: A helpful guide to kids’ chores by ages. The parents’ app Parents can...

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Put screen time management in your kids’ hands with the free unGlue app.

My kids are master negotiators when it comes to screen time, which is why we’ve never been successful with cookie-cutter methods to manage it. Sorry, Marble Jar. So that’s why I’m excited about the free unGlue app (iOS and Android), which actually empowers kids manage their bank of time according to their own priorities. Related: 8 smart ways parents can manage screen time and not lose their minds Related: 6 screen time management solutions that work, from been-there-done-that parents Here’s how the unGlue app works First, you need to download the unGlue app to your own phone, add your kid or kids, and then...

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Ultimate Birthday Party Gift Guide

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