Garanimals Blog

Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

July 29th, 2014 at 1:33 pm

Fun iPhone Apps for Kids

SUBTITLE-2

Looking for some fun apps to add to your iPhone or iPad?

For your younger kids, try Alien Assignment (free). It is a fun scavenger hunt app that uses your device’s camera. When the alien needs something, your child must find a household item that fits the description and take a picture of it. Fun and learning at the same time.

It’s never to early to learn about healthy eating. Go Nini  (free) is a helpful app that makes a game of making good food choices. Foods that are “Go”, “Slow” and “Whoa” help teach children about the types of food they should eat anytime, sometimes, and rarely.

For ages 8 and up, try StoryLines (free). Think of it as a digital version of the “telephone” game. The first person chooses a common phrase and passes the device to the next person, who draws a picture of that phrase and passes the the device to the next person, who must write a caption for that picture. And so on up to 9 players. When the last person is done, you review the storyline to see how different the last caption is from the first phrase. It’s both fun and educational.

9-11. Weird but True (free with 0.99 add-ons for additional fact packs) is a National Geographic app that provides lots of little known and downright strange factoids about any number of topics like lobsters and astronauts.

And of course for the little ones just starting out with basic learning, the Garanimals Learn, Play, Share app (free) teaches letters, numbers and shapes by association.

Add a little fun and learning to your summer.

Pin It

July 15th, 2014 at 11:58 am

Totally Geeky Baby Gifts

 DS

Looking for a fun and unique baby gift with the geeky parents in mind?

You’ll find some really cute and unusual items at thinkgeek.com. How about a Superhero bib and bootie set, Star Trek onesie  a quirky pacifier  (cork, mute button or vampire lips), or my favorite, The Periodic Table building blocks?

Visit geekabyebaby.com for some unique bedding, bibs, clothes and more that will amuse all you gamers, rockers, and Doctor Who fans. Lots of options for customizing your bedding, baby hats and burp cloths. Who wouldn’t love a Yoda or Minecraft Creeper hat for their little one, or a Star Wars diaper bag?

Want some good baby book ideas? How about Star Wars ABC, The Very Hungry Zombie or GoodNight iPad?

Another fun site is babygeek.com for an Indiana Jones bib or the I Just Boldly Went onesie (pictured), which is absolutely hysterical. Or a baby-safe smartphone teether. And for those die hard Batman fans, you gotta see this over-the-top car seat!

Lastly, how about this for ingenious and practical? A portable high chair. It’s like a camp chair for your baby and it takes geek factor to another level – it’s brilliant.

Your geeky baby gifts are sure to be a hit at the next baby shower you attend!

Pin It

July 1st, 2014 at 12:26 pm

Book Not-To-Miss Vacation Excursions on Peek

peek icon

Getting ready for a vacation? There are lots of easy ways to book flights, hotels and rental cars online, but what about booking the things that make the trip truly memorable? What are the best things to do and how do you get them arranged ahead of time? Try peek.com.

Peek is a new site that makes it easy for you to see what great fun activities and excursions are popular at your destination and lets you reserve your tickets before you leave home.

Walking tours, water sports, museums and sporting activities are just some of the options you can explore and decide on while planning your trip. There are also testimonials from well known folks and Peek community members on how they love to spend their time at places like Washington DC, Cape Cod, New York, Cancun and Orlando.

Tired of the beach, the pool or the theme park? Perhaps there’s something you’ve never done before that would be a thrill to try. Ziplining? Kayaking? Ghost tours? Activities like these could make it your best vacation ever. I recently spent a day off in Austin and I can testify that my Bridge Bat kayaking tour was the absolute coolest thing I did. Who knew?

Peek is fairly new so the content isn’t as comprehensive as it will be over time, but if your destination is there, it’s an excellent way to get the inside scoop on the best things to do so you can come back refreshed and rejuvenated. And hopefully with some really good stories to tell.

Download the IOS app here. Can’t wait for the Android app.

Pin It

June 17th, 2014 at 9:38 am

Find and Share Your Favorite Places with Findery

findery

There are a lot of ways to share your good times on social media. Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, and Yelp are just a few places where you can post your favorite places and where the action is.

Findery is a new app that wants to take location/social relationship to a different level. Rather than just look at the menu items people like or the photos and comments about places traveled to, Findery wants to collect input about everything from the reason why a park, or park bench, is worth stopping at, or what that funky building is on the corner where you are.

This app is a collection of stories. Imagine if lots of people shared their personal impression or recollection of a place, so that you can know the real story. What was there once? What notable thing happened there? Or why you should stop and have a look rather than walking by.

Findery is new, so it’s still building the database of places. However, the idea of not just getting a picture of a place, but a note with the factoids that bring it to life, makes this a much more interesting app.

Findery is available as an iPhone or web app – the Android app is on its way.  When you join, you can create, follow, or just explore your neighborhood or where you’re going to visit. As a frequent traveler, I love the idea of being able to find out, on a personal level, what makes a place interesting or worth visiting.  And what not to miss, especially if it’s a little bit odd or off the beaten path.

Pin It

June 3rd, 2014 at 10:26 am

Sanity Saving Road Trip Apps

unnamedq

Planning a car trip this summer? Kids in the car for any longer than an hour (or maybe less) is enough to make you panic just thinking about it. Here are some apps that can help you keep them occupied and give you some peace of mind.

Kids just want to have fun. Mom Maps  app (free on Android, $2.99 iPhone) will provide you with all the kid-friendly places near where you are. Play spaces and kid restaurants are easy to find with this app.

Road Ninja is a free app that will help you find rest areas, restaurants and interesting places to stop along the way.

Some iPhone/iPad games to play along the way include Auto Bingo , Car Travel Games  and Road Trip Scavenger Hunt ($0.99).

And for Android, try Road Trip Games, and Scavenger Hunt Bingo.

For the younger ones, there’s also the Garanimals Learn, Play, Share app…education and fun in one!

Having these apps at the ready will help ensure that your trip time goes a little more smoothly. And while they won’t guarantee that you won’t have some surprises or misadventures along the way, they will hopefully keep the whining to a dull roar.

Happy travels!

Pin It

May 20th, 2014 at 7:58 am

Saving and Sharing Family Memories

artmykidmade

We love our kids’ art. Somewhere in my attic is an artist’s portfolio folder filled to the brim with all of the preschool and kindergarten artwork of my first child. There isn’t one for my second child. Yep, the novelty had worn off by child number 2. Sorry sweetie pie!

Even so, I still have plenty of creations from both of them from their school years. I just can’t bring myself to throw them away. I finally did throw away my daughter’s dinosaur diorama from third grade. She’s 19….

Here are a few apps that let you archive the memories without having to keep the originals.

ArtKive is an lets you take photos of your artwork (or any other items of interest), tag them, upload them, and print photo memory books. The app is free, but the books run $25 for 20 pages.

ArtMyKidMade (free) is similar but links with Dropbox, Evernote or Facebook for storing and sharing.  Anything you share on the Art My Kid Made blog could be featured in their Artist of the Day pick.

Another option is Keepy. This site lets you upload photos, artwork, and other mementos to the site, make recordings that tell the story, and share it all with friends and loved ones, who can also reply or comment with text, voice recordings or videos.

Keepy is free for the first 31 items but also offers premium and ultimate plan options for $1.99/month for 101 images and $2.99/month for unlimited.

So get out those folders, baskets and boxes of fabulous art and get clicking. You now have permission to throw away the originals without guilt. Well, maybe save a few.

Pin It

May 6th, 2014 at 10:08 am

Turning Your Photos Into Art

unnamed

Looking for a way to turn a terrific photograph into an even more terrific memento or piece of art? Here are a few ways to take you beyond simply enlarging and framing your prized photos.

A really fun site is AllPopArt.com. Turn a headshot into a superhero comic book cover, a Warhol-style pop art poster or comic-style artwork. They are a bit pricey but if you’re looking to immortalize your pet or family members in a artsy, fun or funny way, there are a lot of creative ideas here. It’s fun just to browse the possibilities. And there are some great Mother’s Day gift ideas. Hint hint…

Another Photo-to-Art option is MyDavinci which offers options for transforming any photo into photo sketches, pop art, caricatures, a DaVinci sketch, and more. Gorgeous.

For the free apps that unleash your own creative photo editing potential, try Fotosketcher (Windows app), for artistic treatments, Waterlogue (iPhone/iPad) turns your photos into watercolors, and PicsArt (all platforms), the hugely popular photo editing app.

And when you’re ready to commit your masterpiece to a final product, consider these options:

FractureMe is a service that takes your photograph and mounts it on glass. Send them your digital image and they will provide you with a ready-to-hang or ready-to-stand ‘Fracture’.

And Walmart, Costco, and EasyCanvas are a few sites that print your photos on canvas in multiple size options. These make incredible wall art.

Happy editing!

Pin It

April 22nd, 2014 at 9:00 am

It’s Easy to Buy Green with GoodGuide

goodguide pic

Looking to do your part to help be kind to the earth? How do you know which products are greener than others or what company is rated better in terms of ethics and safety?

What if there was an easy way to look up a product and find out if it is organic, fragrance-free, or produced using best practices like fair trade, recycled material, or honoring human rights?

GoodGuide.com is a website that can give you all of this important information about thousands of products, from diapers to laundry detergent to pet food to cars. Using a ratings system, their team of environmental scientists evaluate the products on a scale of 1 to 10 so you can easily tell which products make good sense environmentally, and which ones you might think twice about.

The site is very easy to use and provides lots of good information. You can customize the criteria to reflect the categories that mean most to you, whether it’s health, environment or social responsibility. And if you use the mobile app, you can scan the product code in the store and know right away if the item fits the bill. If you install the transparency filter on your web browser, it will reveal the GoodGuide rating of any item you shop for online.

This is pretty handy stuff and very enlightening. Get the real scoop on the product’s footprint, not just the marketing babble.

Happy Earth Day!

Pin It

April 8th, 2014 at 9:03 am

Apps for Expectant and New Parents

unnamed

Baby on the way? Congratulations! Such an exciting, expectant, and nerve wracking time, especially if it’s your first. So much to learn, so much information about what to do and not to do. It can be overwhelming. But, while there’s no app for the hard parts, there are plenty of apps that can help you prepare.

Hello Baby app for iPhone  is a great way to learn about all of the stages of growth of your baby during pregnancy. It’s full of images and information that can help you understand the magic that is happening in the womb.

There is also the What to Expect apps for both pregnancy and the early years. This trusted series of books has been invaluable for so many of us as we navigate all of the stages of babyhood.

Sprout ($4, iPhone only) is another really helpful app for information and tips on pregnancy, weight tracking, prepping for doctor visits and what to know about all that’s happening to your body right up to timing your contractions.

Baby Bump is another app that not only provides information on your pregnancy but also has a social networking component so you can share your experiences with other moms-to-be.

And if baby is here, how about something to help with nursing, and tracking your newborn’s progress in those critical early weeks and months? WebMD Baby  provides many resources and really useful information about sleep, growth, feeding, and milestones to help you through the fraught early days of caring for your child.

I wish these apps were available when my kids were born, especially in the middle of the night when you just didn’t want to call mom, again!

Pin It

April 4th, 2014 at 9:00 am

Fun Easter Themed Apps

unnamed

Easter is such a fun time filled with the anticipation of hidden baskets and eggs. Help spread the excitement by adding some games for your child to play. Whether it be an Easter themed puzzle, virtual egg coloring, or even an Easter themed book, these apps will make preparing for Easter even more fun!

Easter Bunny Tracker - See if the Easter Bunny is close to hiding his/her eggs at your house!

Paint Easter Egg HD – A fun app for coloring virtual eggs…same fun without the mess!

Hidden Egg Hunt - A hidden picture game where you find hidden eggs. Race against the clock to beat each level.

Easter Bunny Call – Make your little ones think the Easter Bunny is calling them directly.

Color Me! Easter – A virtual coloring book with pictures of the Easter Bunny, eggs, and other spring things.

Bubble Blast Easter - A puzzle game you won’t be able to put down.

Puzzle Me Easter – Work on your jigsaw puzzle skills with this easter themed app.

Easter Bunny Scan O’Meter - Tells children whether they are being good or bad according to the Easter Bunny – the best part is that you set it secretly!

Easter Expressions - Make cards that can be emailed to wish Easter blessings to family and friends.

Easter Egg Design Generator - Another virtual egg dying app.

Easter Bunny Dress Up – Have your child take a picture with the Easter Bunny that they dressed up themselves!

Easter Bunny Games for Kids: Easter Egg Hunt Jigsaw Puzzles HD for Toddler and Preschool - An easy jigsaw puzzle app for the littlest ones.

Sneezies Easter Edition - A chain reaction game with sneezing fun!

Easter Egg Match – A fun slider game matching Easter Eggs.

Fly the Flappy Easter Bird - An arcade style game.

Bunyfur’s Easter Eggs – An Easter eBook.

 

 

Pin It