Like many free applications, The Hat from Harmony Hollow Software uses software to do something usually done "the hard way." In this case, it's drawing names from a hat, the time-honored method for randomly selecting individual entries from a group. The app can randomize a list of names so no one can complain about who goes first and who goes last. It can also draw individual names or pairs of names for raffles, sweepstakes, and ongoing contests. It does this all without requiring you to actually write down names, cut up the list, and throw it all … Read more
Here's a spectacular gift item for your favorite Wii user--especially if he or she is under the age of 10.
Buy.com has the Nickelodeon Fun N Fit board and videogame bundle for $69.99 shipped. That's about 30 bucks less than you'd pay at most places for the traditional Wii Fit bundle.
Nickelodeon's version includes not just the balance board (modeled in fairly hideous colors, I must admit), but also the Nickelodeon Fit game (which, FYI, sells for about $40 by itself). Needless to say, it's a children-oriented title aimed at whipping youngsters into … Read more
The other day I had to drag my kids along for some furniture shopping. Rather than endure whining and interruptions for half an hour, I handed over my iPhone--with the condition that the only apps they could use were e-books.
We didn't hear a peep from them the whole time.
As I said in Five amazing e-books for kids and again in Five more amazing e-books for kids, iOS devices are awesome e-book readers--especially for children's titles. So in honor of the season, I've rounded up another five excellent e-books for kids (six, actually)--all of them honed for the holidays.
Oceanhouse Media just cranked out a host of new goodies, including the Thanksgiving-themed "The Berenstain Bears Give Thanks" and the classic "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer"--the latter featuring artwork and sound effects from the beloved TV special.
They're both $2.99, and both universal, meaning they're compatible with iPhones and iPads alike. (While you're at it, check out OM's new Little Critter titles: "All By Myself," "Just Grandma and Me," and "I Just Forgot." They're not holiday-related, but they're just as fabulous--and only $1.99 apiece.)
Christmas Tale for iPad Let's hear it for a rare e-book freebie. It's your basic toddler-oriented tale of Santa, the North Pole, and presents, with nicely illustrated pages and the obligatory interactive goodies hidden therein. The app also includes a few games and even a wish-list builder. It's free until December 15.… Read more
"Sesame Street" exists so that children gain some subconscious understanding that their parents are somewhere on the spectrum between fallible and incompetent.
Who can, therefore, be surprised that the show decided to offer a little musical balance to the current and very popular idea that there exists a mobile app to solve any problem?
This song reflects quite beautifully man's excessive reliance on technology to alleviate the deficiencies of his own narcotically addled brain.
You will, I trust, enjoy some of the notional apps introduced in the skit--such as the one that will help you meet a … Read more
The recommended maximum TV viewing for preschool-age children is two hours a day, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.
So researchers at the Seattle Children's Research Institute and the University of Washington decided to see just how many kids adhere to that limit. They analyzed data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study--Birth Cohort, which includes information on more than 10,000 children born in 2001 with diverse socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds.
First, screen time is defined as watching TV and movies. In this study, screen time … Read more
Do you lie awake at night and see large, hairy beings, their eyes the size of the moon, leaping out of the wardrobe and looming over you?
Do you walk into dark spaces and feel the presence of ghostly apparitions ready to make deep-throated noises before they turn your epiglottis into carpaccio?
Do I sound like I am talking to a 6-year-old? This is because many children endure such fears. However, perhaps you too, still suffer from such traumas.
As kids in the '80s, my twin brother and I were allowed to watch about an hour of TV a week, which we typically used up on Saturday morning cartoons and which resulted in near total pop culture illiteracy. The dedicated hour brought on such intense euphoria that one time, when our father fell through the kitchen floor and broke a few ribs (it was an old house), we looked at him, saw he was still alive, and went back to watching Bugs Bunny.
For years this anecdote served as our central argument for more screen time (which soon included … Read more
Having turned more than a dozen Dr. Seuss classics into e-book gold, Oceanhouse Media is heading to Bear Country.
The Berenstain Bears and the Golden Rule, The Berenstain Bears Go To Sunday School, and The Berenstain Bears Say Their Prayers are now available in the App Store for an introductory price of $2.99 each.
If you have kids, you probably don't need me to introduce the series. These books are classics; I think I may have read a few back when I was a kid (the first title appeared in 1974). Although a handful of the books have … Read more
One of my favorite apps of 2010 just got a major update. Tales2Go, which provides on-demand access to nearly 1,300 children's audiobooks, updated the app to add multitasking support, story caching for offline listening, new subscription options, and more.
Intended for children between the ages of 3 and 11, Tales2Go offers a huge range of listening material--everything from two-minute fables to full-length novels. These aren't just public-domain works, either: you'll find well-known series like "American Girl," "The Boxcar Children," "Diary of a Wimpy Kid," and "Encyclopedia Brown."
For … Read more
Here's an anniversary worth celebrating: it was 50 years ago last month that Dr. Seuss published "Green Eggs and Ham." It's since gone on to become the fourth best-selling children's book of all time.
Oceanhouse Media, which for the past year has been turning "Green Eggs and Ham" and other Seuss classics into spectacular apps, decided to honor the event with a 50-percent-off sale. For the rest of the week, you can buy Yertle the Turtle (possibly the best book ever written on the subject of turtle-stacking) for $1.99, the kids game … Read more