App Friday: My Pictures Talk

Welcome to App Friday, our weekly link exchange of family-friendly apps. Today we are featuring an app called My Pictures Talk by Grembe. This husband-wife team started their iPhone careeers with a series of lifestyle apps, and created My Pictures Talk to bring digital photos to life by linking them with personalized audio clips. After familiarizing myself with the menus and functions, our family spent time together taking pictures, recording messages, and playing back the results. Photo Albums beware, the competition has arrived.

 

What is your app about? My Pictures Talk is a photo utility for the iPhone and iPod touch that associates pictures with your own recorded sounds.  Use it with your family, at school, for projects, or on your next trip. We realized the power of this app when we grabbed a picture of an owl from the web and showed it to our two year old and he started saying “Owl…Owl…Hoot…Hoot” while we recorded, played it back to him, and mailed it to friends and family. He laughed and laughed hearing himself. It was priceless.

Why is it special?

  • Take a picture. Record a note, memory, someone speaking, or ambient noise.
  • Mail to friends or yourself. Post the picture to Facebook.
  • Our kids love it (non-stop giggles and pointing). They touch the pictures to hear themselves laugh and talk, then ask to take more pictures.
  • Take snapshots and record a travel log on your next trip.
  • Record a lecture and listen later.
  • Work on flashcards with your kids. Record them saying a word for the first time.
  • Record a loved one to hear when you are away from home
  • Motivate someone to talk
  • Categorize and organize your existing photos
  • The uses will change depending on what is going on in your life: home improvement pictures, vacations, lectures, fun with family…

What’s in it for me? For our May 14th App Friday, Grembe is offering FREE DOWNLOADS of MY PICTURES TALK. If you are curious about the app and have ideas for blending words and pictures, this App Friday is the perfect time to give it a try. TIP: If you are using this in a family setting, take time to learn the interface before handing it over to the kids. It has a lot of functionality, and requires both a category and name for each photo. By investing a little time upfront, you’ll begin to see how much potential is available in this app, especially when kids are happily listening to their own voices.

Related apps? If you like the idea of personalized apps, Grembe has more to offer. iCommunicate (also available for the iPad) provides a way to make customized storyboards and visual schedules for children, and is highly acclaimed in the education and special needs communities.

App Friday Link Exchange Our goal at Moms With Apps is to spread the word about family-friendly apps. Do YOU have a favorite app to share? A useful tool, or just one your family enjoys? Please participate in our link exchange and post it down below. Include the app name in the Link Title, your email, and a URL to the app. Thanks for your participation!

Why I Love My iPhone

Our feature this week is from Lisa Brandolo Johnson, co-founder of Grembe iPhone Apps and mother to three growing children. Lisa and her husband created a series of applications to help families march forward together. Their apps cover interactive communication, special needs, motivation, and record keeping. You name it, they are making it! Filled with creative energy and tremendous inspiration, this “Mom With Many Apps” shares why she values technology and how she uses it in her own own home.

I recently read a post on Twitter that asked “How do you know if someone you meet has an iPhone? Just wait a minute and they’ll probably tell you.”  It rang true for me since the iPhone did change my life. It sounds kind of silly since that is what people say about having kids too, but it is true.

Kids do change your life. They bring you lots of wonder but they also take up a lot of your time. As they grow up a little and become a little less dependent on you for their every need, moms need to find balance between the many parts of life that demand time. Kids, husbands, jobs, family, friends, hobbies, and our health. The balance can be elusive. That is why I love my iPhone. I’m not saying it equates to my mother-in-law watching the kids twice a week so I can still have a career, or the friend who will take my kids at the last minute if I need a break, but the iPhone does make my life easier.

Some nights I might get very little sleep if one of the kids is sick. I may have very little energy to care for my 3 young children. Instead of sitting them in front of the TV, I can lie in bed with them and my iPhone can read to us. We love the quality children’s literature by PicPocket Books, Storyboy, and Touchoo. We can all cuddle up together and no one knows if I close my eyes for a few minutes.

There are times when we have to wait in long lines, on bleachers while another child participates in a sport, or at a doctors office. Sure, we love talking together, but sometimes an educational diversion really comes in handy. I may have forgotten paper and crayons, but I can hand my child my iPhone and they can let their imagination soar with My Little Suitcase, or practice sorting, counting, or writing with TickleTapApps bundle pack.
Today was not only Mother’s Day, but also my daughter’s 6th birthday.  There was a lot to do. Her favorite breakfast was being made, preparations for a visit with family were underway, new toys were waiting to be taken out of their packaging, and all the while I wanted to capture her, the essence of her, on her birthday. Six years have gone by fast. My Pictures Talk allowed me to snap her photo and record her voice telling me what six years old meant to her. She wanted a porcelain plate and mug this am, not a plastic one from IKEA, because she was six. She is smart, she is tall, she knows how to take care of her brothers. She is six and I’ve got it all recorded with her picture on my iPhone.

My iPhone is fast becoming that object I’d try and rescue in a fire. It has memories on it that I don’t want to lose.  Sure I could grab a camcorder, but in the bustle of my home life, grabbing my iPhone and using apps is much easier.  In my attempts to balance all the pieces of motherhood, I love the things that help me parent more effectively.  Of course that list includes family and friends, but it also includes my iPhone.

Just Got Your iPhone for Mother’s Day? We’ve Got Apps for That!

Aaaahhh, your shiny new iPhone – a gift from the family – arrives clean and unfettered on Mother’s Day morning. After a tasty breakfast in bed, you dream of spending time loading apps, personalizing the wallpaper, syncing the calendar and customizing the settings to suit your particular needs. However, the gift of free time didn’t seem to get the memo. Here, hand it over, and let us help a mother out…

FOR STORYTIME  Mommy’s High Heel Shoes – A sweet story about a working mom and her daughter “Cakes”

FOR FUN  Rescue of Ginger – a fun and hilarious interactive storybook for kids (FREE for Mother’s Day)

FOR REFERENCE  Baby MedBasics – A quick reference guide for parents on basic baby medical care

FOR TRAVEL  My Little Suitcase kids travel app (FREE for Mother’s Day), Mom Maps FREE app for kid spots on the go, and Global Roos for translating basic phrases in different languages.

FOR MEMORY MAKING   Emmbook, a baby book for your iPhone

FOR GOOD BEHAVIOR   Motivational apps such as iEarnedThat, iReward, and iRewardChart

FOR MORE KIDS   Baby Bump Pregnancy App

FOR ANDROID Didn’t get that iPhone for Mother’s Day, but you did get a hungry baby to feed? Try Newborn for Android.

FOR MORE IDEAS  Visit our sidebar on the right to view the websites of our member developers, who are mostly parents creating apps for their own children. There are also some hot tips from Appolicious, and you can never fail at the one and only iPhoneMom.

Happy Mother’s Day and best wishes from Moms With Apps!

App Friday: 1 Little Boy

Welcome to App Friday, our weekly link exchange of family-friendly apps. Today we are featuring an interactive storybook from Touchoo. The Touchoo team along with their contributors publish quality interactive book apps for toddlers and children. Their aim is to combine the beauty in traditional children’s books with the intuitiveness and flexibility of touch screen technology. All of Touchoo’s books go through careful inspection by a child development expert, so what you end up with is much more than meets the eye. Let’s take a closer look!

What is your app about? 1 Little Boy is an interactive StoryBook app your kids would love. The story is about  a boy’s imaginary journey before bed time. One by one, animal characters you’d recognize from children’s fairytales and rhymes join the little guy on his journey.  Together they visit all kinds of places, even the moon (!), and arrive safely back in the little boy’s room – just in time for bed. The story encourages children to practice reciting numbers and counting, as they “paste” each character onto the screen, one after the other, and make them go skipping down the road together. Best for ages 2-5.

Why is it special?

  • When you let your child be exposed to new content, you want to make sure it’s educational and age-appropriate. All of Touchoo’s book-apps, including 1 Little Boy undergo scrutiny by a child development expert, verifying that they conform with the latest child development research-based guidelines and know-how.
  • With 1 Little Boy, your child will get to practice reciting numbers (pre-counting age) and counting from  1-10 in a learn-by-action manner. This type of learning is agreed by experts to be the most efficient.
  • Educational merits aside, the beautiful illustrations, the dynamic page turning, and the (real) animal sounds that you can tap-to-play again and again and a-a-a-ag-ag-ag-ag-agin make this app really fun!
  • Some other cool features include a ‘record yourself’ option for narrating the story and counting the animal characters. It’s most fun if you use funny voices for that ( to record, choose “you” under narration options in the ‘settings’ page). You could also choose the narrated version or no narration at all – to tell it yourself.
  • Looking into the very near future – the next version update of this StoryBook app (will be free and automatic) will offer text in additional languages.

What’s in it for me? Reading is fun, but reading for FREE is even better! This App Friday, Touchoo is offering FREE DOWNLOADS OF 1 LITTLE BOY. You can download for FREE, right now, just by CLICKING THIS LINK.  Don’t you just LOVE #appfridays?

Related apps? Touchoo’s library will soon be growing. No need to stop at 1 Little Boy. Add to your collection Thumbelina and Benny the Cat – coming very soon to the iTunes Store!

App Friday Link Exchange: Our goal at Moms With Apps is to spread the word about family-friendly apps. Do YOU have a favorite app to share? One for reading, or just one your family enjoys? Please participate in our link exchange and post it down below. Include the app name in the Link Title, your email, and a URL to the app. Thanks for your participation!

Revolution in Storytime

Our feature this week is from Omer Ginor, CEO of Touchoo, a publishing house for quality interactive book apps for toddlers and children. As you will read from his post, Omer is an advocate for the quality time spent between parents and children reading books. We are delighted to have him share these insights on Moms With Apps. The more Moms, Dads, caregivers and kids we have reading together, the better!

Sitting down with your preschooler to read a book (I’ll call this storytime) is an all important ritual: it influences the child’s emotional and social development, promotes literacy, forms reading habits and a love for books, and even – so I’ve learned – increases the child’s chances for success in school and subsequent success as an adult.  Storytime is one of those rare quality moments when the parent-child magic happens.

In recent years, two processes have been working in opposite directions. The first is a very welcome process, which is the proliferation of reading to children by adults. The second, however, has a rather negative influence on reading habits and storytime. With digital media becoming more dominant in our lives, preschoolers are increasingly bombarded from all sides by fast and gripping stimuli which can be superficial and devoid of real value. Research shows that these stimuli cause kids to have shorter attention spans.

Storytime is in danger. The attention span of children is constantly shrinking and those precious quality moments are becoming scarce.

A few years back, touchscreens entered our lives.  Touchscreens offer a very convenient and intuitive way to consume media. What my partners and I saw a couple of years ago  is how intuitive and compelling this medium is for the very young ones. My son, 9 months old today, can already flip through pictures on my iPhone with great joy and satisfaction (device in airplane mode, safely held by me, of course). Touchscreens are, undoubtedly, amazingly intuitive.

Personal touchscreen devices brought with them e-books, interactive e-books and magazines, and interactive storybooks. Those are, in fact, a 3-in-1 combination: (1) a children’s storybook, (2) an e-book, (3) a place of reader-story interaction: manipulating the characters and what they do, getting positive and negative feedback for actions, playing games, creating, and actively learning  (i.e. learning through doing and not through being taught). Having this type of interactive storybook around is very exciting since this is exactly the kind of book that can attract today’s toddlers and preschoolers to enjoy storytime once again. This type of of book also has added layers of educational benefits.

Our company, Touchoo, founded by four book-loving parents, creates such interactive story books for touchscreens. Each of the storybooks is created for a specific age group, and each has a different educational edge. For example, 1 Little Boy uses an active approach in teaching counting skills. Thumbelina, which will be released for the iPad and the iPhone in a few weeks, actively teaches kids to offer help when needed.

Reading an interactive story book is nothing short of revolutionary, and has the capacity to explore many developmental aspects and forms of engagement beyond the printed form.

The question is whether these books will, one day, replace the printed kind completely. Will we see only electronic devices used in storytime? Is it a fad that will soon vanish, leaving the tried-and-tested print book to fend for itself alone, or will a different future altogether take place?

I’ll leave this open to discussion. Personally, I believe the two media will end up living side by side. Interactive storybooks have the potential to bridge the widening gap between kids and reading. The interactive book will not replace the excitement kids have about their own books they can see on the shelf  because real world objects are easier to connect with. Kids will keep asking for the print books. As parents, we grew up with real books and love them. Naturally we will try to pass that love on to our kids. Last but not least, the reading experience in the two media is quite different: young kids like to sometimes take the back seat and be lead by their parent through a story. This is where print books are suited to do the job just well as their e-counterparts.

Would love to know what you think of this and how you see these worlds evolve.

Omer Ginor, Touchoo

Making Magic at AppCamp

Hosted by the editor of the Children’s Technology Review, The Dust or Magic App Camp is a three day conference about Children’s App Design. Right now on the Monterey Peninsula, 50+ participants are brainstorming about what it takes to produce a state-of-the-art-app for mobile platforms such as the iPad, iPod Touch, and Android.

We were lucky enough to get a heads-up about the camp from kid app gurus Duck Duck Moose of Wheels on the Bus fame, and figured that living only 1.5 hours away merited a family day trip to attend the first portion of AppCamp. My girls enjoyed the AppFest session, where kids were encouraged to test as many iPad and iPod touch apps as they liked from the various developers.  Fish School, KidCalc, 123 Color, SpinArt, Stickboy Piano, Stickboy Learns Chinese and all of the MobiStories selections were big hits! Towards the end, as you can see, they were getting a little tuckered out!

From industry veterans to budding innovators, if your business is apps, then the next AppCamp is the place to be. Follow Dust or Magic on Twitter to find out what they are up to next.

Written by Lorraine Akemann, creator of My Little Suitcase and one of the founding members of Moms With Apps.

App Friday: Mom Maps

Welcome to App Friday, our weekly link exchange of family-friendly apps. Today we are featuring a navigation app called Mom Maps. Creator Jill Seman designed a directory of kid-friendly locations that parents can access straight from their iPhones. Her database is powered by a community of mom-mappers, i.e.,  well-traveled parents who recommend their favorite kid-friendly spots.  Are YOU ready to be a mom-mapper too?

 

What is your app about? Mom Maps is an interactive iPhone app and website full of kid-friendly locations. Created by parents for parents, Mom Maps features over 19,000 locations in 18 metro areas that lets you to find, rate and review kid-friendly spots straight from your iPhone.  Out and about? Let the Mom Maps GPS find parks, playgrounds, restaurants, museums and indoor play areas near you.

Why is it special?  You choose ==> 1) The easy to use interface that gives you the information you need, right when you need it, and finds you automatically with GPS? 2) The community of parents who can mommap their favorite kid spots straight from an iPhone, or from the web? 3) The reality that summer is right around the corner, and you can use Mom Maps to plan your vacation or stay-cation itinerary?  4)  The fact that it’s FREEEEEEE?

What’s in it for me?  Did you know that Mom Maps is FREE TO DOWNLOAD, anytime, straight from iTunes? Once you DOWNLOAD MOM MAPS, register, and submit your family’s favorite hot spots, you’ve also just entered to WIN a $50.00 Amazon Gift Card. Mommapping has never been better!

Related Apps? Traveling with kids has its moments. Our complete line-up of family travel apps, courtesy of our Moms With Apps developers, awaits you HERE

App Friday Link Exchange: Our goal at Moms With Apps is to spread the word about family-friendly apps. Do YOU have a favorite app to share? One about travel, or just one your family enjoys? Please participate in our link exchange and post it down below. Include the app name in the Link Title, your email, and a URL to the app. Thanks for your participation!

12 Helpful Apps for Family Travel

Family travel season will soon be upon us. Carting children on planes, trains and automobiles to visit places new and old will be part of the summer’s agenda. Before heading out, it’s common for parents to pack up their busy bags and load up devices with activities to keep children content during travel lulls. We’ve polled our Moms With Apps developers for apps that help with family travel. We hope this list provides you with tools to enjoy the journey!

My Little Suitcase – Let your youngest explorers pack for their trip and head out to discover new destinations. Whether it’s the snow, beach, camping or a sleepover, kids get to use their independence and imaginations for this virtual journey. Created by the parents and founders of My Busy Kit in hopes of making family travel more fun for everyone. Updated monthly at no additional charge to keep scenes fresh and exciting for the kids. Most suitable for ages 2 to 6.  $1.99 on iTunes.

A Day in Paris With Cassie– Get inspired for your next family vacation with StoryBoy’s travel series for kids! Join Cassie as she explores the city of lights and takes in famous sights like the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre and the Notre Dame Cathedral in A Day in Paris With Cassie. This book is a great way to introduce kids to a different city and culture. $.99 sale price on iTunes (until April 30th, then price reverts to $1.99)

Transportation storybooks by MobiStories– Whether you are traveling by ship, train, plane or bus, Mobistories has an activity for you! These interactive puzzle books are a steal at only $.99 each, and include bilingual text options, storytelling, and fabulous sound effects. They each include four interactive jigsaw puzzles on every page. Choose from the Plane Puzzle Book, Bus Puzzle Book, Train Puzzle Book, or Ship Puzzle Book. All available on iTunes for $.99 each.

Sunday Drive– The Sunday Drive app aims to create awareness and promote preservation by geotagging historically valuable and scenic routes throughout America. Although most routes currently exist in Southern California, freelance photographers, artists and locals in 10 other states have helped to contribute locations and routes for families and adventurers to enjoy. The app allows previews of each route listed by order of GPS location relevant to the phone. Previews include photo, text and video to offer a feel for each route. The developers at the Sunday Drive Network hope to become a tool for teachers to educate children about history, science and nature in the real environment using the app and immersive technology. $.99 on iTunes.

Tales2Go – Taking a road trip this summer? Listen to Tales2Go the whole way…hear over 1,000 great kids stories right from your iPhone. Perfect for kids ages 3 up to preteen, Tales2Gooffers entertainment while building vocabulary, enhancing listening skills and sparking their imaginations. It’s storytime, anytime, and so fun, your kids won’t want to leave the car. Free trial subscription available on iTunes.

Family Matters– Family matters is an interactive app with questions for families to ask and answer together. Designed by a family as a tool to bring families closer, it provides fun conversation starters when you are waiting at a restaurant, in a line, or enduring a long airplane journey or road trip. These insightful questions let kids giggle together, finding out things they never knew about their parents, and vice versa. This single tool is an excellent example of how technology can enhance interactivity, communication and relationships. Make your next trip more fun with Family Matters. $1.99 on iTunes.

iKidNYiKidNYis an app created for parents who live in or are traveling to New York City.  With iKidNY you can now find the closest subway stations with elevators, changing tables, kid-friendly restaurants, parks, playgrounds, indoor playspaces, museums, and much more, all with the touch of a button.  You can also search by interactive map of the five boroughs if you are traveling to another area of the city and would like to plan before you go.  iKidNY is really easy to use and provides information, maps, and directions at the touch of a button – us parents have no time to waste!  iKidNY is a locals guide to New York City with kids right in your pocket! $2.99 on iTunes.

BlueLeoGuideBlueleoGuideis an at-your-fingertips directory of every imaginable children’s resource in the five boroughs of NYC. Think Yelp, but organized for the needs and wants of parents. Blueleo features 6,000 resources across 15 categories, including things-to-do; kid-friendly restaurants; baby and kid stores; birthday party venues; pediatricians; childcare agencies; after school programs and mommy classes.  The app also includes a “Show Nearest” feature to help the user discover the resources that are geographically most convenient, and a map pops-up when the user clicks on a listing’s address link. There’s also an auto link to the phone number and the web address for every listing. Free on iTunes.

MomMaps – Mom Maps is a navigation app for parents, similar to the above, but covers 18 metropolitan areas across the U.S. It contains lists of Parks, Playgrounds, Restaurants, Museums and Indoor Play Areas and other children’s activities that are fun for kids. You can use the site to plan ahead for a trip to the amusement park and you can use the iPhone app when you get there to find nearby children’s playgrounds and family friendly restaurants on the go! Free on iTunes.

Oh, but that’s not all. There are MANY MORE APPS to enjoy. One of the greatest review sites, Best Kids Apps, houses an entire library of iPhone apps for kids to peruse before you take your next trip. So if this list only whetted your appetite, fret not. Head over to Best Kids Apps for more. The developers at Moms With Apps are participating in their blogging contest to win an Apple iPad. If you have a blog, and want to win an iPad, go check it out. Wishing you smooth and pleasant journeys this summer!

Planning for Summer Travel? Mom Maps Features Great Travel Blogs.

Our feature this week is from Jill Seman, creator of Mom Maps – a navigation app that helps families find kid-friendly spots on the go. Mom Maps supports over 18,000 family fun parks and activities in over 18 metro areas. By teaming up with mom experts and travel bloggers, Jill has fostered an entire community of mom-mappers!  Jump start your summer plans with this list of her favorite travel resources and inspirations (original article posted on the Mom Maps blog).

Planning a stay-cation or taking it on the road? Summer is just around the corner and Mom Maps has teamed up with Family Travel Forum and some great bloggers to share hundreds of tips and reviews to jumpstart your travel plans.

I have always loved to travel. Maybe it is all those road trips I took as a kid, but I just can’t wait to go off and explore. My travels have taken me to Borneo, Amazon, Japan, Indonesia, Belize, and all over Europe and the US. The places I have visited have given me a new appreciation for the world outside my door.

Now that I have two small children, my travels have taken me to less exotic locations but have presented some of the most exciting travel challenges yet:

  • How to find the nearest bathroom in the moments before the accident happens!
  • Getting to the nearest kid friendly restaurant or coffee shop before the kids get too hungry and pandemonium breaks out!
  • Finding the nearest park or playground – one with working swings – before the wiggles completely take over!

I began to think about how useful it would be to have some spots mapped out on my phone so I could find them when I am out and about. While building Mom Maps, I discovered a vibrant community of families who have traveled with children and lived to blog about it. These bloggers all are adventurous parents with advice about how to get around with kids. Here are some of my favorites:

Family Travel Forum: Family Travel Forum has served a global network of travelers with children since 1996. FTF brings print and online publications, trip-planning consultation and a vast library of destination research together for some of the most extensive coverage of family friendly destinations around the world. *Mom Maps is proud to announce that we now provide mobile access to Family Travel Forums incredible library of kid friendly activities! For the summer travel season, we logged over 500 locations with reviews from FTF in Mom Maps, so you can get the best access to family travel content from your iPhone. Mom-mapped spots include:

Seattle’s REI: “Kids climbing the walls? Scale a 65’ wall at REI on Yale Ave in Seattle.”
Orlando’s Dinosaur World “Little ones will feel like they’re walking through a prehistoric picture book at Orlando’s Dinosaur World.”
Las Vegas’ Liberace Museum “Take in the jeweled costumes of “Mr. Showmanship” himself at the Liberace Museum.”
Maui’s Surfing Goat Dairy “Eat cheese on Haleakala & feed the goats that made it possible.”
Monterey’s Seal Rock Center “Picnic with seals and otters at the Seal Rock Picnic Center.”

Kelly Tirman:Kelly Tirman is a San Francisco mom who is fond of eco friendly goods, public libraries and the new playgrounds in Mission district. Mom-mapped spots include:

Yoga Tree ” … official volunteer baby holders at every class to comfort any upset babies so mommies can easily focus on their practice…”
Bi-right Creamery “The best creamery in San Francisco partly due to their use of organic and local ingredients”
Giorgio’s “…They also provide balls of pizza dough for the kids to play with which helps keeps the kids entertained.”

Pit Stops for Kids:Amy Whitely has amassed an amazing array of kid friendly attractions along most major highways, hotels, and airports.  At Pitstops, you’ll find real parent reviews on all the road-side attractions, restaurants, motels, parks, and airport play spaces you’ll need along the way during your family vacation. Mom-mapped spots include:

Olympic Game Farm “The Olympic Game Farm is a great place to get face-to-face with a wide range of exotic animals…”
Tillamook Cheese Factory “You can take a self-guided tour of the production floor (viewed from above), then sample all the cheese you want (yes you read that right!)”
Umpqua Discovery Center “As you enter the exhibits, you hear the sounds of the river rushing and feel nature surround you”

See Jane Fly: See Jane Fly is a team of time-starved moms, travel junkies, twenty-something trendsetters, on-the-go executives, brides-to-be and seasoned solo travelers are devoted to simplifying travel for women everywhere. They have set out to become the concierge I always dreamed of, and they have gathered a network of travel experts and savvy insiders to help when it is most needed. Mom-mapped spots include:

Santa Monica Surf School “Get in the curl, and go surfing with these laid-back experts…”
Scribble Press “Great activities abound–make books, note cards, holiday cards and gifts with your kid’s art..”
Douglas Park“…duck ponds loaded with quackers who like to be fed and an amazing wet area with sprinklers..”

Travel Mamas: Colleen Lanin, the creator, is the head Travel Mama. She got her start by writing for Babytalk and San Diego Family, and became a regular contributor to 101 Things to do in San Diego.  Her site not only presents great family travel destinations, but it contains packing lists and invaluable travel tips like travel/parenting articles, resources, and websites. Mom-mapped spots include:

San Diego Zoo “This zoo is huge … so I provide the location of each recommended attraction in parentheses…”
San Diego’s Birch Aquarium “The aquarium offers a wonderful, low-key alternative to its famous competitor…”

Alisa Shtromberg: I met Alisa through her use of Mom Maps. Alisa hails from the southwest and she blogs about her adventures in Santa Fe and Albuquerque with her son. Mom-mapped spots include:

Rio Grande Zoo “a little oasis in the middle of the desert” (w/ice cream!)
Explore “Here kids can touch, play, and even try to break with just about every exhibit which include toys and science exhibits…”
Slate Street Cafe “My husband and I just discovered this little piece of heaven…”

A Little Yum: Little Yum is a food blog for Kid Food That Adults Will Love. This blog features two moms with a passion for cooking and eating & sharing fun food experiences with their kids in San Francisco. Mom-mapped spots include:

Let’s Be Frank (Marina): “We love their organic, grass-fed beef dogs! They make us (and our kids) want to do the hot dog dance!”
Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream (Mission): “An ever-changing menu of flavors appealing to both ice cream traditionalists (mint chip) and the more adventurous (Pistachio-Bacon!).”
Little Star Pizza (Nopa, Mission): “You can’t go wrong with the daily special which invariably features the tastiest of local, seasonal ingredients.”

Keeps Me Smiling: Lorraine Akemann is a fellow iPhone developer who lives in the Bay Area. She has two children about the same age as my kids and finds great local outdoor activities. She finds hikes and outdoor activities perfectly suited for both adults and young children. Mom-mapped spots include:

Hanauma Bay: “Famous snorkeling spot on Oahu. Amazingly beautiful but also very crowded…”
Kailua Beach Park: “Kids enjoyed mini body surfing in the little waves, and the white sandy beach…”

Mom Maps maps out locations from all the above bloggers and more. We’ve entered 19,000+ kid spots, plus reviews by parents for parents, to keep your family entertained all summer. Download the Mom Maps free iPhone app or visit our website to plan your itinerary ahead of time. During the week of April 26th we’re giving away a $50 Amazon gift card. To enter, just add a review for some of your favorite kid friendly places. YOU can be a mom-mapper too!

App Friday: Arithmaroo

Welcome to App Friday, our weekly link exchange of family-friendly apps. Today we are featuring a counting app from Arithmaroo. Creators Lynn and Molly Rasmussen, a mother-daughter team based in Maui and Los Angeles, work together on this series of inspiring and educational math apps for kids. Want to get your little kangaroos excited about math? Then c’mon – let’s go counting with Arithmaroo!

What is the app about? Arithmaroo Counting so simple that it’s genius. At first kids count how many rocks and how many hands and fingers. Then they discover that seeing patterns is easier and faster. They start with 1 to 5 and work up to seeing 50 on the screen. Even adults feel the brain workout!

Why is it special? Watch the “ahas” kick in. Arithmaroo is a right brain approach that fills in the missing steps to mastering addition and multiplication. Kids start to add and multiply without even knowing that’s what they’re doing. Arithmaroo develops number sense, that all-important “feel” for numbers that is found in every state’s math standards. The soon-to-be-released Arithmaroo series–adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing–will prevent the “bad at math” syndrome that haunts too many smart, capable people.

What in it for me? ZERO! That’s right! DOWNLOAD ARITHMAROO FOR FREE this App Friday. No counting required, until you download the app, of course!

Related Apps? Interested in math? Check out this feature Lynn wrote earlier in the week, highlighting some of the terrific kids math apps we have from developers in Moms With Apps.

App Friday Link Exchange Our goal at Moms With Apps is to spread the word about family-friendly apps. Do YOU have a favorite app to share? One about math, or just one your kids enjoy? Then please post your favorite apps in the comments down below. The more great apps for kids and families – the better!