Since my daughter was tiny she has been obsessed with a thin cuboid object which makes all sorts of funny noises and colours (my phone). My son also seems to be heading the same way. *sigh*
I bet you didn’t realise but apparently an iPhone is actually very suited to all ages. Let me list the numerous child-related uses I have found for mine so far:
When E was small I was recommended an app called Baby Monitor which is absolutely fab. You install it on your phone and input a phone number to call if it detects sound and hey presto you have a baby monitor for any situation. We use it frequently when we go to someone’s house and the kids need a sleep but they will be out of earshot. The only downfall is that the app costs about $5 but it has been very worth it for us.
First Aid Manual
Now this is a must for all new parents. The Red Cross has brought out a free, simple and life-saving app complete with video explanations on first aid. They cover all sorts, including asthma, allergies and choking, and I would really recommend downloading it.
0 – 6 months
I only discovered Sound Sleeper this time around with M but it was so useful when he was small before he learnt to self settle. The app comes in two versions with a lite version to “try before you buy” for free or the full version for $3. Now there are a lot of apps out there that play white noise but this one has a huge selection of different noises from rainfall to a busy market place to a vacuum cleaner and the really amazing option is the one where it automatically restarts the white noise chosen if it hears your baby stirring thus sending them back off to sleep sharpish.
Light show & Lullabies
0 – 6 months
Ok you might be able to coax a sleepy baby to sleep but after a night’s sleep and its 5am and they don’t want to go back to bed you need distraction and calming methods. Pabobo, which is total free, gave me at least another 30 minutes of sleep most mornings by propping it up in their view and snuggling up with them.
3 to 12 months
No app here… use “as is” if you dare. WARNING: invest in a good dribble-proof case.
6 months – 2 years
For example, during car journeys where everyone has had enough and the screaming starts, Fisher Price has a wide selection of free apps that E has only really just stopped playing with. They are free and M currently loves them so much he has stopped eating my phone to watch what is going on!
I found an app called Paint Sparkles Draw for E when she was small. The good thing is that its free and you can have two fingers touching the screen at the same time and still be able to draw which most of the other painting apps don’t allow for.
This app was actually the first one I ever downloaded for my kids. I stumbled across it by accident and it has allowed us to have many a 2 hour lunch in peace with friends and family. It is free and called Phone for Kids. The layout is simple and resembles that of an iPhone with lots of apps which are different games for children. If want only one app on your phone for your children this would be it as it has everything from a dial pad to lessons on shapes to a simple fish tank where you can tap the fish to make them move.
Toddler Puzzle Woozzle has probably kept E quiet the longest out of the bunch. It is free and filled with puzzles where you click and drag the pieces into the slots. What’s more I’ve just discovered that Swan Soft (the developer) has loads more free puzzle apps.
The most recent one I have come across is pricey at almost $7 but it really is great for helping your toddler with shape/letter recognition and learning to spell. It is called Endless Alphabet and with it I can at least feel that it is slightly educational if they must play with my phone.
My new favourite app is called Knoala. It is also free (yay) and a must have for anyone who gets stuck for ideas as to what to do with their children. Download it, create an account and enter your kid’s ages and, hey presto, it generates activities based on your current weather. Truly magical!
Ok, ok… So some of this is tounge in cheek but your phone can actually be a useful parenting tool when used in moderation.
Please don’t frown on me too badly.
N.B. all of these apps are available in the UK store (and US store to the best of my knowledge) and the age evaluations are my own based on my experiences.