As you know, I’m always, always on the look out for great products that are pitched at families dealing with young kids. In my house right now, Ella is the Queen of art and craft. She is forever searching for activities to do that are creative and involve her imagination. Even though I am a Primary Teacher, I find it hard to find just the right activities to keep her happy and engaged. Sometimes they involve me, and some times they don’t. So when I came across Wantu, I was hooked. Much like we all struggle to think of what to cook each night, we also struggle to think of activities for our children. There are so many apps that help us to find great recipes that are quick and healthy for our families. Wantu is a mobile app designed to help parents find customised ideas for fun and interactive activities to do together with their 2 to 7 year olds. Whether you have just 15 or 30 minutes to spare, they’ve got your back!
Wantu is currently in free-beta, which means you can be the first to check it out, give feedback and be a part of their process to launch a more awesome app to keep helping parents find fun, learning centric activities to do with their kids.
For busy parents, this app is a must have that not only helps our brains, but also helps us spend quality time with our kids.
The idea is simple:
you create a profile for each of your children,
select whether you want a quick activity, or one that lasts a little longer
select whether it is an indoor our outdoor activity
select a few possibilities from a generated list, to help the app understand your child’s interests
BAM! Do the activity!
Today, Ella and I created snowflakes from a simple piece of paper…
With the school holidays coming up, you are sure to want something simple and fun to turn to, to help keep your little ones happy!
Download the app here and enjoy the endless fun. Best of all…its FREE!!! To find out more…check out the video below!
One of the most commonly asked questions I get from parents and friends is about the apps we use at school to help children in literacy and numeracy. There are literally thousands of apps that promote knowledge of letters, sounds, numbers, counting and the list goes on. The fact is, the more practice that you do to promote foundational knowledge, the better. Now that my own daughter Ella is starting school next year, there has never been a more important time to spend time with her. Reading, drawing, playing. There has also been an app that I have come across that has literally propelled her to new levels of knowledge and confidence. If you have Foxtel at home, and your children watch Nick Junior, then you may be familiar with ABCmouse. Being both a parent, and a teacher I approached ABCmouse myself to ask them if I could check it out and review it from the perspective of both. I have been given the chance to try it out for a year with my children. This is something that I searched for myself, it was not something that was offered to me. I genuinely want to find products that help parents help their kids learn. We have been using the program for a month, and I have to say that I’ve never seen anything like it. Ella literally begs me to use ABCmouse. She has developed her knowledge of commonly used words and phonetical strategies. She is able to predict text before she reads is and uses the wonderful visual cues to help her sound out words. Ella is mid way through kindergarten. Her intrinsic motivation to learn to read has literally blown me away. As a teacher, I have to say that the personalised nature of the learning pathway is phenomenal. As a parent, seeing my daughter literally soak up the learning has brought me to tears. If I were another parent, I would literally delete all of the other educational apps and just install this one. It’s that good. I repeat, I have not been paid in any way to write this review. It’s not a sponsored post. It’s just a great educational find to help parents, help their kids.
What’s more is I’ve got a 50% off code to give parents an annual subscription half price. Read below to find out how!
Haven’t heard about ABCmouse?
ABCmouse’s reading curriculum helps children to quickly learn the letters of the alphabet and their sounds, as well as learn to instantly recognize the sight words that are most important for beginning readers. Your students will learn to love to read with our hundreds of fables, fairy tales, nonfiction books, and more.
The Reading Curriculum Includes:
Concepts of Print
The Step-by-Step Learning Path™ presents the full ABCmouse curriculum in a carefully designed program of more than 850 lessons on ten levels. As your students complete each lesson, they are guided to the next one and are motivated to continue learning by the ABCmouse Tickets and Rewards System.
ABCmouse teaches numbers, shapes, patterns, and measurements. The site’s games and creative activities make math fun while giving young learners the practice they need to build a strong foundation for success. The Math Curriculum Includes:
Concepts of more and less
Counting to 120
Addition and Subtraction Facts
It also includes Art, puzzles, games, songs and printable to help kids learn in all areas of the Curriculum!
Ella has literally loved it. The best part is you can create accounts for each of your children, for their level of ability. They create their own avatar and earn rewards to spend in the virtual online shop (decorating their bedroom online etc). It is the most well rounded app that I’ve come across for learning. Best of all, you can get 50% off right now by clicking on any of the images in this post. The normal cost for an annual subscription is $70 US. Right now they are holding a Memorial Day sale for $45 US. That is six months free! This offer is only available until May 29.
For those of you who are regular readers, you would know that I am a super huge fan of Tiny Beans. For those of you have not been following for a while (poor you 🙂 ), TinyBeans is simply the best app you could ever have on your phone…if you are a parent! Tiny beans helps you to capture the precious moments you share with your children each day and share them in a private way. You can have a personal album, or share it with a few loved ones. That way, if you don’t want pics of your kids splashed all over social media, you can still share the love, but in a more intimate and controlled way. If you want to know more about the fabulous TinyBeans app, head on over to my previous post review here and here.
Since its inception, TinyBeans has undergone several updates and improvements. One of the fabulous features is the ability to know create your very own Tiny Beans Photo Book. It’s pretty easy…you simply:
choose the amount of months you wish to include
play with the captions, colours and images you wish to include
click to order!
It is delivered straight to your door, and allows you to flick through your gorgeous memories in a beautiful book. We were lucky enough to try out this product before sharing it as a Friday Find. I always pride myself on sharing only the best products on Happy Ella After, and I have to say that the quality of this photo book is second to none. The best part is that it is so simple to make, and literally takes just minutes. Here is a selection of snaps from Ella’s Book. We chose the three month book that included twenty pages…
A very cute layout of the month…
Gorgeous colours and captions…
Different layouts…just drag and drop!
Ella just loves it..
To check out the prices and find out more information about this great product, please check out their website here.
Happy Ella After readers are again blessed with luck, as the team at Tiny Beans will be offering one lucky parent the chance to create their own three month book!!! Stay tuned for details in the coming week!
I haven’t shared an App in a while, and this week, I thought I’d share a great one for toddlers. The Endless ABC App is a fantastic, interactive and visually captivating app that helps to develop letter recognition and fine motor skills. With over 50 words to play with, children drag various letters to create words. Gorgeous animations wriggle and dance as they make letter sounds and describe the meaning of the words.
It was the 2013 iTunes App store runner up, and the Editors choice. There are no ‘scores’ and kids can work at their own pace. Kids can simply have fun with letters and words.
The app is a little pricey at $7.49 but I can honestly say that it is well worth it. Available both on your iPad and iPhone, it can travel with you everywhere!
Here are some shots of Ella having fun and enjoying playing with letters and sounds…
Ella at work…or play?
If you need some more convincing, here is their youtube clip that shows all of the Apps great features!
Made by Originator Kids, it’s available for purchase through iTunes here. You can also check them out on Twitter here.
For this week’s Friday Find, I’m going back to an App that I featured in one of my first ever posts on Happy Ella After (you can check it out here). If you are a parent, you need to know about the Tiny Beans App. This fabulous team, created the Tiny Beans app to help parents everywhere capture their every day moments with their children and store it within a simple app. Whilst I am an avid lover of social media, Mums like myself can sometimes be at risk of ‘oversharing’. Tiny Beans allows you to privately store pics and if you wish, share this with family. Since downloading this app last year, I have used it almost everyday. Over this time, the app has seen some fantastic updates to improve the way in which parents can capture everyday memories.
These new features include:
The ability to upload video as well as photos
The ability to link your account to instagram. With a simple hashtag #tinybeanskids, your insta snaps go directly to your Tiny Beans account
The ability to upload the photo to the day it was taken. If you are anything like me, you take heaps of snaps but forget to upload them then and there. This new feature means that the snap is uploaded to the calendar day it was taken. No more straining your brain trying to remember!
Various filters and stickers to add some fun to your image!
A beautiful new interface that allows you to scroll effortlessly through the months to see your baby grow.
The ability to share your journal privately with family and friends. They can even add their own pics!
Beautiful photo books that can now be printed containing all your Tiny Beans pics!
It is without a doubt the best parent App you can have! They have been featured on many a website review, including Babyology.
The Tiny Beans App is free and available for download from the iTunes store here.
Last year, I was getting out of the car, baby in tow, hand bag and nappy bag lugged over my shoulder when my iPhone fell out of my pocket and smashed all over the ground. I was not a happy camper. I knew that I should have had a proper case for my phone, but had just put it to the bottom of my never ending ‘to do’ list. After upgrading my phone I invested in a case straight away, and it has proven to be a worthwhile investment by protecting my phone from a number of subsequent falls and general beating around by one small but very active baby. Whilst my phone has withstood a great deal of ‘general use’, it is time to get a new case. I’ve been looking around at various options and was recently showed this amazing new product that allows you to create your own personalised case. Cue ‘Casetagram’.
This fabulous product allows you to create almost any type of case you like. It includes a variety of themes and templates and draws upon photos from your own Instagram or Facebook library. By downloading their app, you can play till your heart’s content. Not only this, but you can create covers for your iphone or android device, and iPad! From $39.95, you can have your own family protect your precious phone!
These screen shots below show the fun I’ve had creating my own case….
Choose your device and case template…
Add your photos…
Put it all together…
Save and share your design!!!
I love, love this idea. Can’t wait for it to arrive in the mail. For more information about Casetagram, click here.
I wish I had found this App before Ella’s Birthday party! It is a simple yet, very practical idea to help your little ones learn how to blow out candles without having to waste dozens of matches!! This simple Friday Find is a free App that I personally would be willing to spend money on! With the ability for little ones to blow out candles by blowing into the microphone, they will be blowing out their own real candles in no time!
There are lots of similar Apps available, but Toddler Happy Birthday is a great one!
To download this App click here. Happy Birthday little ones!