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...Read More
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...Read More
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...Read More
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...Read More
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...Read More
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...Read More
Anyone else burning out on Candy Crush and 1010 lately? Me too, so I just downloaded The Path to Luma (free on iOS and Android) and I have to say that it’s turned out to be better and more interesting than I expected. In fact, my kids also keep sneaking and advancing me through the levels, which means I’m not the only one who’s hooked on it in my house. Related: The Monument Valley app is a stunner. And a stumper. Related: 9 of the most stunningly beautiful mobile games add some zen to your apps Created by the sustainable energy company NRG, players are...Read More
This week, LEGO launched a new social media-style app for kids called LEGO Life (iOS and Android), a free app that’s designed for kids ages 7-12 to share their LEGO creations and get ideas and inspiration for new projects to build. As much as we love LEGO, we always have reservations about anything “social media-y” for kids that young. So, we took a closer look to see exactly how it works and if it’s something you should look into for your kids. Related: Easy Internet safety tips that parents can start using right now Related: KidGuard helps parents track their kid’s online...Read More
We’re getting a good laugh out of the Merriam-Webster Twitter account, and don’t we all need a good laugh, lately? If you’re not following them, you should. Also, may we suggest downloading the free Merriam-Webster dictionary app? Sure, it’s the most respected source for definitions, pronunciations, and spellings in the English language, but it also has a great (albeit, subtle) sense of humor. Or, a great jocoseness, if you will. Related: Grammar rules, even in your kitchen! Related: Grammar police: Your mugs are here! The app has a full dictionary and thesaurus with audio pronunciations, which is a great resource for checking your spelling...Read More
We love finding cool toys and apps that do a great job teaching our kids the basics of coding, since it’s a language we expect they’ll want (and need) to know when they’re adults. When they’ve got great design and fun play through too, it’s even better. The updated Sprite Box: Code Hour app (iOS and Android) has all that, plus it’s totally free. Related: 5 cool TV shows for kids that are all about STEM Related: A cool way to teach kids how to code Sprite Box, which is a new app from the makers of one of our favorite math apps Lightbot, teaches the...Read More
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