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5 Interactive iPhone & Android Apps for Kids in 2013

5 Interactive iPhone & Android Apps for Kids in 2013

Moms, let’s just face it. It’s tough to get through a day with your own work and the household chores, let alone have the time and energy to play with your kids. It’s no wonder the majority of the app purchases in the Apple App Store are made by women (88%). A lot of studies proved that mobile computing devices like the iPad and the iPhone are considered effective pacifiers for busy parents as well as great tutors to teach kids. In fact, recent studies showed that 7 out of 10 kids aged twelve and under who live in households with an accessible tablet PC already know how to use an iPad or an iPod Touch!

With the amount of exposure children have to these kinds of consumer electronics, it’s now probably a must for parents (and adults in general) to have apps that are not only fun and child-friendly but are also educational. Some great examples are interactive educational apps. Not only are they specifically designed and marketed for kids, they are also fun to use—even for adults! Here are some interactive apps you should try on your iPhone.

Complete Toddler Preschool

Complete Toddler Preschool 1
    Complete Toddler Preschool 2
      Complete Toddler Preschool 3

        There are many things young children have to learn before officially starting school. There are lots of interactive apps that can actually help you prep your kid for school without the hefty budget. Consider Complete Toddler Preschool by Toddler Teasers, an app that helps kids learn all about colors, numbers, shapes, animals, letters, and even mundane things like food, transportation, and musical instruments! The great thing about this app is that while it’s highly educational, it presents simple lessons to kids in a very enjoyable way. It features games, quizzes, puzzles, and flashcards to help parents teach kids how to identify objects. The games and puzzles are so simple to use, kids could easily figure them out by themselves.

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        Download: Complete Toddler Preschool [Android]

        Nursery Jam

        Nursery Jam 1
          Nursery Jam 2
            Nursery Jam 3

              Some studies show that music can help accelerate children’s mental development. They not only learn music and rhythm, they also get to practice proper word pronunciation. Nursery Jam is a great way to start your kid’s love for music through your iPhone or iPod Touch. Unlike most nursery rhyme applications, Nursery Jam allows kids to interact with the graphics of the song showed on the screen. This not only teaches kids the basic nursery songs they would enjoy, it also shows them what each song actually means through pictures.

              Download: Nursery Jam [iOS]

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              Letter Writer Ocean

              Letter Writer Ocean 1
                Letter Writer Ocean 2
                  Letter Writer Ocean 3

                    Gone are the days of scratch paper and big pencils for practicing writing. In this modern era (where writers like me would much rather type than actually write), parents can do much better teaching their kids how to write by using apps like Letter Writer Ocean. What makes the alphabet more fun to learn is that each letter actually features an underwater animal, thus broadening their knowledge of sea creatures at the same time. While teaching a kid how to write holding a pencil is still very important, practicing writing on an iPhone could always be handy when you need to distract your kid.

                    Download: Letter Writer Oceans [iOS]

                    Make Me a Superhero/Princess

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                    make me a superhero 2
                      make me a superhero
                        make me a princess

                          Interactive apps also serve as a great way to keep your kid busy while getting groceries or driving. For those times when you just want your kids to have a world of their own and be caught up in their imagination, you can try downloading Make Me a Superhero or Make Me a Princess. The app allows your kid to design his or her own costume and choose superpowers, looks, and hairstyles. They can even go as far as giving their characters wings, capes, or tiaras, giving it the ultimate superhero/princess feel. The UI looks like it came straight from a manga or a comic book!

                          Download: Make Me a SuperheroMake Me a Princess [Android]

                          Doodle Find

                          Doodle Find 1
                            Doodle Find 2
                              Doodle Find 3

                                Games with an art or hidden pictures theme is probably the best way to keep a child quiet during an event or a dinner party, and Doodle Find is no exception. The most fun part about this app is that it’s free and very enjoyable, even for adults. All you need to do is to find the doodle picture that matches the doodle on top of the screen in 90 seconds. This may sound like too much for a kid but it actually trains them to have better hand and eye coordination and teaches them picture-to-word associations. Another plus is that you can brag about their scores (and yours too) on Facebook!

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                                No matter how you use your iPhone for your kid, make sure they are learning using the most effective methods you know of. Whether it’s the high-tech or traditional way, at the end of the day it’s the fun you had with your kid and the new lessons you both learned that matter most. Have fun!

                                Download: Doodle Find [iOS]

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                                Last Updated on February 15, 2019

                                7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

                                7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

                                Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

                                Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

                                Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

                                So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

                                Joe’s Goals

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                                  Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

                                  Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

                                  Daytum

                                    Daytum

                                    is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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                                    Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

                                    Excel or Numbers

                                      If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

                                      What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

                                      Evernote

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                                        I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

                                        Evernote is free with a premium version available.

                                        Access or Bento

                                          If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

                                          Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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                                          You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

                                          Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

                                          All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

                                          Conclusion

                                          I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

                                          What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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