As a kid, my potty seat was as low tech as it gets: a wooden seat with a smiling bunny on the back and a pull-out plastic pot for easy clean-up. Exciting, eh? Innovation in the toilet-training area continues to make leaps and bounds that I can hardly keep up with, like the potty seat that works with your iPad. What could possibly be next? Well, if you’re pulling your hair out over your training-resistant toddler, consider yet another electronic gadget your partner in crime on the war against wet bums. Huggies has created the Pull-ups Big Kid App, a free, downloadable app that celebrates those moments when peeing and pooping are your child’s greatest achievement (don’t laugh; you know how god-awful frustrating it can be!). When plain, old reward stickers just aren’t getting the job done and you’d resort to practically anything to get your kid to use the toilet, then this tool may be a godsend for you. As your child uses the bathroom more frequently, he can collect stars that give him access to fun games featuring his favorite Disney characters like Mickey Mouse and Rapunzel. And when your little one really need some motivation, there’s a special feature that enables surprise phone calls from Disney friends to encourage them to keep trying. (Whoever knew a little mouse had such a big influence?) This app even includes themed photo frames, so you can capture the moment and share the good news with Dad while he’s at the office. Hmmmm…maybe now you won’t mind as much when your toddler is begging to play with your iPhone…
In as Nutshell: Your smartphone just got a whole lot smarter. This potty-training app aims to help kids “take aim” and ditch those diapers once and for all.
What would a road trip with the kids be without playing the license plate game? For as long as I can remember, my sister, brother and I passed the time seeing how many different state plates we could spot on those long treks down I-95. The game always seemed to start off slow–how many times could we spot New York and New Jersey before getting out of the tri-state area?–but before long, it got a lot more interesting as we headed south. If you’ve tried unsuccessfully to engage your tech-savvy kid in this classic game, it’s time to kick things up a notch, smartphone-style. Introducing pl8s, a kid-friendly travel app for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch that gives a virtual shout-out to U.S. geography. When you spot a particular state’s license plate, tap on the state on pl8s and find out how many points you’ve earned, along with a fun fact about that state. You can earn more points depending on the rarity of the state plate or your distance from that state. And don’t worry about your kid hogging up the entire game; pl8s can be played by up to 4 people. (Sure beats watching that same Big Time Rush movie over and over…)
In a Nutshell: A new twist on an old travel game favorite, pl8s takes your mind places, without having to leave the backseat. It’s available for download in the Apple App Store.
If I had a dime for every time my 6-year-old asks my husband if she can play Angry Birds, I’d be able to pay for her first semester of college. OK, well maybe just her textbooks, but you get the idea. I shudder to think what will happen once she has her own Smartphone someday. Until hell freezes over, we’ll keep her gaming time limited to apps designed just for kids, like the new Moody Monster Manor that launches this Friday, March 25. Aimed at 3-6 year-olds, this is one app that’s bound to amuse even the most fidgety preschooler. Your child may find his likeness amongst one of the 20 monsters dwelling in this make-believe playhouse where they can join them on any number of adventures. Help Confused Carl throw a monster bash that’s to die for, or allay Worried Wanda’s fears by whipping through her homework with her. Kids can create and name their own monsters, too. Now they can finally see what it’s like to care for a little devil…ahem, we mean angel of their own.
In a Nutshell: Angry Birds overload? Here’s a fun kiddie app that may just satisfy your own finicky little gamer.
Remember your trusty Chatter Telephone toy? The one you dutifully pulled behind you as you toddled around the house back in the day? Well, fast- forward to the present where your tech-savvy kid can tap on your iPhone faster than you can check your e-mail. Fisher-Price has tweaked its telephone for a new generation that can do more than talk in real time. Now you can download the Chatter Telephone App, along with one for See ‘n Say and the Little People Farm, from iTunes and let your preschooler play to her heart’s content. The Chatter Telephone features three screens–Numbers, Music and People in Your Neighborhood–that help kids count, listen to different instruments and learn about grown-ups at work. Hey, in this world, busy signals just don’t exist. Warning: If you hand your iPhone over to your kid with this app loaded, you may not get it back.
In a Nutshell: Long lines at the grocery store? With the Chatter Telephone App on your phone, we say: bring ‘em on.