Archive for the ‘Apps’ Category

Best iPad Learning Apps for Toddlers

Monday, December 30th, 2013

The iPad is the perfect learning tool for toddlers, and the evidence suggests that interactive iPad apps can be very helpful for early childhood development. The key is to pick apps that are engaging and fun for your toddler and apps that will teach them fundamental concepts and skills. Thankfully there are a wide range of apps that have been developed specifically for toddler learning and many of them are free as well. If your kids are using the PC as well, use our parental software to keep them safe.

girl with mobile phone

Endless Alphabet

Endless Alphabet is a fun app that is designed for children ages 3 and older and was created by Sesame Street artists. The app teaches toddlers how to spell using talking letters that are slid into place. Once all the letters have been placed, an entertaining animation pops up on the screen as a reward. The app is free to use but $0.99 can be paid to remove advertisements. This is a great app for learning spelling but some of the words may be difficult for toddlers.

Kids Piano Lite

Kids Piano Lite is an eight tone piano with several different “learn to play” music activities, and it includes some free children’s songs. Ads are not show in the “baby mode” and the app is designed for toddlers aged 2 and older. This app offers a way for toddlers to develop fundamental music skills and can be a great way to keep them entertained when they are bored.

PBS Kids

PBS Kids gives toddlers and children access to videos from their favorite PBS television series anytime. It is a free app and only for those who live in the USA. PBS Kids is a great app for keeping your toddler entertained during the day.

Toddler Soundboard Free

This app teaches toddlers shapes, ABCs and numbers through association. When a color is touched the app says the name of the color out loud, and the same goes for numbers or letters. It is a simple app but it can be helpful for teaching your toddler the basics of colors and letters through simple association.

Petting Zoo

Petting Zoo is a picture book that was developed by animator Christoph Niemann and introduces toddlers to 21 animals with clever and creative animations that both parents and toddlers can enjoy. The cost of the app is $0.99.

Drawing Pad

Drawing Pad is $1.99 and offers toddlers a wide range of digital art tools to create with. The app is easy to use and toddlers can create their own art with the help of their parents. Creations can be printed or shared online and the potential mess and clutter of crayons can be avoided.

Abby Monkey: Preschool and Kindergarten

This is a free version of the paid app that has most of the same features as the full version. There are various activities such as shape matching, creating your own train, and more. The app is best for toddlers age 2 or older.

Funbrain Jr.

Funbrain Jr. offers five fun games for toddlers age 2 and older including a balloon popping game, pattern games, and an alphabetical order game. It is a popular free app and teaches many concepts and skills including quantity, sequence, patterns, letter recognition, sounds, and also helps with fine motor skills.

Best Parental Control Software For Android & iPhone

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

With all of the various options available for parental control software it can be confusing for parents looking to find a good option for controlling their mobile devices. The best parental control software for Android and iPhone includes all of the standard features needed for parental control such as web filtering, chat monitoring, real time content blocking, social media monitoring and more.

NetNanny is available for both Android and iPhone and offers a wide range of features for parental control. NetNanny is one of the best parental control software for Android and iPhone because it offers a profanity filter, blocks pornography, filters adult websites, offers social media monitoring, user profiles, reporting and alerts, and many other features. The internet filter blocks content that is adult in nature and can be adjusted to block specific types of content such as alcohol and tobacco, gambling, hate speech, and adult content. Gaming sites and video games can be blocked as well as chat rooms or forums that may have adult content.

girl with mobile phone

NetNanny can be used on any browser and offers unlimited users on any device. Settings can be adjusted for each user as needed; for instance younger children require more filtering and control over their content. NetNanny also reviews pages in real time and blocks them based on its mature content filter. It can warn parents when children visit adult websites. NetNanny also blocks images and blocks pornography with its advanced filter. The amount of time that children spend on their mobile device can also be monitored, and access can be limited to a specific amount of time.

K9 is another choice among the best parental control software for android & iPhone, and offers some features similar to NetNanny and a few unique features. K9 blocks websites in over 70 categories on various topics including gambling, hate, malware, and others. SafeSearch is implemented on all search engines blocking adult results. K9 offers real time malware protection with the Blue Coat WebFilter that helps to block potential malware or harmful downloads. Caching is used to offer faster filtering and reduce load times, and internet browsing is faster as a result.

K9 logs every website visited as well as blocked websites and offers a unique rating system for websites. It is a great option to block web sites and filter them, but it lacks some features such as a chat blocker and social media monitoring. The best part of K9 Web Protection is that it is free, however the lack of features may require the purchase of a more powerful program.

Protecting children extends beyond desktop and laptop computers; mobile devices must also be restricted from accessing adult content. There are many other parental control programs available for both Android and iPhone devices outside of NetNanny and K9, but they are two of the best. Although there are free apps available like K9, it is worth the cost to purchase a paid application like NetNanny. The best parental control software for Android & iPhone depends on the type of content you want to block. For web content filtering only a free solution like K9 may work, but for more advanced filtering, blocking and monitoring options a solution like NetNanny may be worth checking out.

5 Must Have Android Apps for Parents

Wednesday, August 14th, 2013

With shopping apps, baby monitors, fitness apps and a host of other useful apps available, parents can turn their Android phone or tablet into a useful tool for their daily routine. These are five of the best apps available to help make parents’ lives a bit easier:

Out of Milk  

Out of Milk has a number of features and helps to make shopping more stress free. Ingredients can be added on multiple lists which is useful for parents shopping at multiple stores. The pantry list lets parents keep track of what they have in their pantry. Lists can be shared with other people in real-time, and the shopping list history remembers items that were previously purchased. Local grocery deals can also be easily searched for. There are many other features available with Out of Milk and it is a very popular shopping app.

out of milk

BabyPhone 

For parents with toddlers, BabyPhone is a must have app. BabyPhone is a baby monitor app that lets parents use one of their Android devices as a baby monitor. You only need one Android phone to use as the monitor, as BabyPhone will call any landline or mobile device once triggered. While standard baby monitors have a limited range, BabyPhone has an unlimited range and is easy for parents to use. The trigger to call is based on a pre-set level of noise. There is a noise sensitivity feature that allows the monitor to pick up quieter noises or louder noise, and it can be calibrated.

babyphone

 

MyFitnessPal 

It’s easy for parents to fall behind in fitness with all of their responsibilities, and that’s why apps like MyFitnessPal exist. This app is a useful calorie counter and is the top selling fitness app for Android devices. It has the largest food database of any Android app and lets parents accurately count the calories of each of their meals. Diets can tracked among multiple people and it also comes with a barcode scanner to scan food barcodes to look them up. There are also 350 exercises included, weight tracking tools, customizable goals, and many other features available.

myfitnesspal

 

Catalogue 

Catalogue lets parents flip through the same catalogues they would get from a store. Catalogue is available for Android tablets and offers an easy way to browse the catalogues of hundreds of different stores. The search feature can search through millions of products and thousands of merchants. The app is presented in a clean and simple interface and is another app that helps reduce paper waste. Favorite finds can be shared on Facebook, and there is also a price comparison feature that compares prices from local and online merchants.

catalogue

 

Cozi Family Organizer 

Cozi Family Organizer lets parents track all of the chaos of family life in once place. It offers a color coded calendar, appointment reminders and more. Appointments can be synced with the Cozi account so that all family members can see them. Due dates can be set for tasks, and grocery lists can be shared with the whole family. Reminders can be set for family members so that important meetings and appointments are not missed. Weekly agendas can also be shared with family members. The family journal feature allows families to keep track of special moments and family photos and share them. There are many other features available, and it is one of the highest rated organization apps available to Android users.

cozi

Websites & Apps For Children With Autism

Monday, July 8th, 2013

The advancement in website graphics, interactivity & general depth and scope, along with the recent surge in smart phone apps in the same way, is a great thing for parents of children with autism. Beautiful graphics along with instant, imaginative interaction are perfect ingredients to help with Autism, and a new generation of websites and apps means that parents aren’t limited in choice. Let’s take a look at some of each, that really stand out from the crowd…

 Websites

Zac Browser – No article on websites and autism would be complete without a mention of Zac Browser – A free browser full of educational games, activities and videos.

Sensory World – This websites works as an interactive story that lets kids participate a range of activities that include recreational and learning games.

AutismGames.com.au – This is a straight forward games website, geared towards children with moderate to server autism. There’s a small selection of around 9 games, but they’re all well worth looking at.

DoToLearn – This websites has sections that help build on academics, social skills and behaviour management, all in the form of interactive games and activities for children with disabilities.

Gecko Kids – This is a simple gateway website that is a directory of a variety of websites aimed at kids learning, activities, videos and games.

Apps

Autism Speaks – Has a brilliant, comprehensive list of Apps for children with autism, ranging from learning to communication to recreation. The list is organised by price, device and type.

Conversation Builder – A brilliant app for those who want to work on speech and conversation in a fun way. Conversation builder is the winner of a variety of awards for speech therapy and social skill building.

Proloquo2go – This app is for children who have difficulty communicating through speech. The popular app allows kids to select appropriate questions, actions & feelings, from a wide range of categories.

Autismate – This app allows parents to take photos of rooms in the house, and click where each fitting is (ie fridge, sink, bed, doors etc). Once complete, children can click each thing in the house and see videos of the right way to do things. This needs to be seen to be fully understood – it’s a great idea.

Kid In Story – is a brilliant app for any child, that allows the parent to superimpose the child into a variety of stories. The stories are based around helping children understand certain social situations, conventions and behaviors.

If you’re worried about your child browsing the internet unsupervised, take a look at Gecko Filter – our parental control and filtering software.