Five Cell-Free Zones To Keep Family Life Centered

I’ve been happy with the balance we’ve found so far with kids, technology and family life. In analyzing our family’s habits, I noticed five daily routines that keep conversations flowing and cell phones in their place. Do you notice similar habits? Let’s drill down:

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School pick ups

I like having my phone off or in my purse during school pick ups. When I’m focused solely on the kids after their long day at school, it’s easy for me to pick up on important details like mood and energy level. After school can be a critical time of day for my kids. How we wind down from the afternoon determines how well we boot up for the evening’s responsibilities.

Sporting events

I like watching my kids play, dance and sing — whatever they happen to be immersed in throughout the seasons. If they see me watching, I simply want them to see a parent who is fully engaged. If I use the phone to snap a photo or answer a text, I try to make sure any digital interaction is quick and not immersive, keeping my attention on the game and players. The details I soak up from watching are helpful for family conversation starters about who played what, and how the event progressed.

Short car rides

Local car rides to school or errands around town are opportunities to ask about life’s little details. How is the school project going? What are you planning to wear to the next school dance? What shall we do this weekend? If my kids are studying their phones instead of chilling out, they would have no time or interest in a conversation. Conversations can be key to keeping relationships on track. The more, the better — and short car rides can be an awesome medium to keep them rolling.

Meals

This is old news because everywhere we turn we’re being told to have family dinner with no devices in sight. But the sentiment is overplayed for a reason. Shared meals are precious. With everyone in the family at the same table, common ground and lively conversations can overcome age divisions. Rings, dings, chimes are vibrations are interruptions that are best put aside until later.

Bedtime

Have you ever studied which nights you get the best sleep? Are they the nights you’ve burned the midnight oil in front of a screen? Or are they the nights you’ve gotten into PJs early with a book or a magazine to doze off peacefully? I’ll make a bet which situation works best for the ultimate zzzzzs.

That’s five? Oh boy. I have one more. Here is a bonus…

Bonus: Playdates with friends!

When friends get together, magic sometimes happens. Over the years we’ve hosted playdates involving all kinds of activities like dress-up, water balloons, and treasure hunts. These activities might have been overshadowed if phones got in the way. Sometimes I notice (even if a phone is just being used to play music) that it’s way too easy for a kid to take it and get consumed by something else. Playing together without distractions keeps everyone connected to each other and on the same page.

What side-benefits have you noticed from keeping cell phones out of the mainstream path? I’d love to hear your strategies, and add them to the list.

Lorraine Akemann | Cofounder and Editor | Moms With Apps

Build Family Slideshows with iPhone and Apple TV

Our family was busy making memories over winter break. Many of these memories were captured on iPhone Camera Rolls in a blend of colorful photos and whimsical videos. Wouldn’t it be a shame for another year to go by without a soul enjoying the footage?

Thanks to tech tips from our tweens and the latest Apple technologies, we have modern tools to build slideshows in a flash. Here are five simple suggestions for creating and displaying your family’s content:

Snap photos while taking a video

Sometimes when I’m taking a video, I need to interrupt and switch to photo mode for a still picture. While I was fiddling, a young family friend showed me how to shoot a still while taking a video. From the iPhone Camera, go to video mode and start recording. Once you are recording, click the white button to the left of the red record button. This automatically saves a photo to the iPhone Camera Roll. What I like about this integration is that it encourages short video clips without missing “the shot”, and slideshows come alive with both types of media.

Beam content with Airdrop

When a groups snap photos together, the snapper may get left out of their own photos. For example, as photographer, I have many more photos of my husband and kids versus me and the kids. Airdrop is a great way to collect photos from each iPhoner without having to “email or text them later”, which rarely happens. “Hey, Airdrop that to me” lets you beam it right away to round out the photo album. To Airdrop, swipe up on your iphone, make yourself discoverable, choose a photo, click the share icon, and select Airdrop. Besides, Airdrop literacy may be important to know if you have older kids. I hear teens are using it for all sorts of things. Knowing how privacy settings work in advance could be very helpful to avoid future snafus.

Favorite your best shots

With hundreds or thousands of digital images on a single phone, editing into albums could be a laborious task. But favoriting them by clicking a heart is very simple, and populates an album of top choices at your fingertips. With your favorites identified, ordering prints or playing a slideshow requires less sorting. To favorite, go to Camera Roll, select a photo, and click the heart. To view, go to Camera Roll, view Albums, and select Favorites.

Mirror on Apple TV with Airplay

Why keep awesome holiday images locked up in the confines of your personal device? Apple TV makes it possible to view them on the big screen. To view, turn on Apple TV, swipe up on your iPhone, click AirPlay, click Apple TV, and toggle Mirroring to ON. Make sure wifi is enabled in your Settings. If so, you should be able to see your iPhone screen on the TV.

Select Slideshow for all to see

If you followed steps 1 through 4, you should have a fun album of favorited content in your Camera Roll. Assuming this is true, go to Photos, Albums, Favorites, and select the first picture. Click the share icon, and choose Slideshow as an option from the bottom menu (choices should be Copy, Print, Slideshow, AirPlay, etc.). A dynamic collage of photos and videos will display through Apple TV to preset music. Slideshow options let you choose music, themes and pace. Voila!

The only problem with family slideshow night is that it’s too much fun. Everyone wants to share photos on the big screen. Before you know it, people can’t stop TALKING. Kids retell highlights from their latest trip. Relatives ask questions about the details. Parents gawk at the scenery. All ages, young and old, begin to connect over common multimedia magic, which is refreshing after being glued to individual mini universes for so long.

Lorraine Akemann | Cofounder and Editor | Moms With Apps

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3 Lessons I Learned About Online Privacy When My Teen Googled Her Name

When my daughter Googled her name following a conversation with friends about who is on the Internet, I turned out to be her biggest online privacy problem. The results of the name search displayed several photos from my personal blog that we thought were labeled anonymously. Uh oh.

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“Mom, why is my sports photo showing up on an Internet search?”, she asked.

Good question, I thought. I should know better.

And so began a series of steps to understand our digital footprint before she enters the world of social media on her own terms. I learned more from this experience than any privacy workshop, and would like to share how we are addressing and correcting the problem.

Lesson 1: Evolving as a parent

As a parent, I needed to realize that my daughter is not a toddler anymore. She has opinions about how she is (or is not) presented online, and my job is to completely respect those opinions. My old default was to be proud of some milestone and shout it out, just like I did when they started walking, talking or playing. My new default is to chill out. If they have something to share, they will soon be able to share it themselves. For the past two years, my Facebook feed dropped off from family sharing, specifically for this reason.

Lesson 2: Even if I think I’m sharing anonymously, Google still has a way of figuring things out!

I never shared their first and last name combinations on a post, but Google still linked the last name from my profile with her first name, displaying her data on a name search. In instances where I thought she was totally anonymous, Google Plus circumvented the anonymity by linking text from a friend’s comment. Ugh! Should I have been using code names from day one? Or, should I have opted out completely from the online sharing universe?

Lesson 3: Third parties that seem innocuous, like sports leagues, have their own set of issues.

Another photo that popped up was from an old team roster. This sports league required photo IDs for every player, and getting the IDs printed required uploading the photo to their database. Did their database have a delete function for players? No. Were these rosters searchable over the internet? Yes. Do I wish I would have known that in advance? Yes! Lesson learned.

Attempted Fixes

After running a name search on my personal blog, I substituted every first name reference to a generic “my daughter” or “my oldest” or “my youngest”. I did the same thing on Facebook by searching for my daughters’ names and adjusting or deleting any named posts. This seemed to fix the search listings on both platforms. Unfortunately, Google Plus is less cooperative. Even after deleting a post, the search results are still displaying the image. Next, I contacted the sports league director to request player privacy. They responded right away, but it’s taking awhile for the new privacy settings to take effect.

Moving Forward

If I had to repeat the last decade, what would I do differently? Blogging is an incredibly satisfying part of my life. I enjoy sharing stories, forming opinions, and connecting with others online. I also enjoy parenting. Luckily, I have great kids who learn along with me. I asked if they wanted to make the blog private or take anything down, and they said no. They enjoy looking back on our journeys and experiences together, even moreso now that they are becoming digital citizens themselves.

Today, I try to use more discretion before posting, keeping photos generally scenic or symbolic. When a photo is identifiable to mark a special moment, I ask permission first. What started as my personal blog is becoming a shared family archive that we enjoy. As new social platforms emerge, like Instagram, I show them my account and let them scroll through, so we experience (and learn) together how it works.

This strategy seems to be working just fine, for now…until the next episode comes along!

Lorraine Akemann | Cofounder and Editor | Moms With Apps

The Importance of Family Time in an Era of Skyrocketing Media Use

Did you see the latest report from Common Sense Media? This 2015 national survey shows an average daily media use of 6 hours for tweens and 9 hours for teens. This does not include time spent on computers for homework. Given the ubiquity of smartphones, the results are not surprising. Given the need to keep life in balance, family bonds could be an antidote to a device’s magnetic pull.

As my tweens grow (they are now 10 and 12), we continue to prioritize time spent together over time spent apart. This lifestyle is building family bonds while keeping media in a healthy place. Here are examples of our simple daily choices to keep family first in life’s list of growing priorities:

Car rides with conversations

Rides to and from school do not include devices. They do include conversations about upcoming activities, homework load, and social life on the playground. Sometimes they include random questions about life, or just listening to music together.

Family dinner

Family dinner happens most nights, except one or two nights a week when my husband and I want a private conversation or when an activity conflicts. This involves joint planning in the morning about what’s for dinner, so ingredients can be arranged for the evening’s meal.

Neighborhood walks

Walking is one of my favorite activities. The girls are old enough to join us when homework and activity schedules permit. Like car rides, neighborhood walks provide uninterrupted time to discuss mutual topics of interest between parent and child.

Watching sports as a family

After a long day, we love to put on a baseball or basketball game. Our favorite teams are the San Francisco Giants and Golden State Warriors. Watching a game together spurs conversations about game rules, great plays, and favorite athletes. “Wow, did you see that? Watch the replay!” are phrases that keep us in synch and relaxed.

Games on the living room carpet

Alphabet Dice Game, in addition to Sorry, have been recent family favorites to play once homework is done or on the weekends. We also have Mastermind, Connect 4, and Yahtzee in the RV for day-trips and camping trips.

Reading and visiting the library together

Having a stack of books to fuel our next read is essential for everyone in the family. In chapter 14 of the new book Tap, Click, Read by Michael Levine and Lisa Guernsey, they note a common refrain of modern society — “kids today have such a short attention span, they just won’t sit and read a book.” By having plenty of book choices around, and enough time on our hands to sit around and read, we hope reading will continue to be a number-one leisure activity for our children.

Quiet homes, focused time

To encourage reading, and just the plain ability to focus quietly, our home is often quiet. TVs are off by default, and turned on only for a specific purpose. Our routine is usually school, homework, play/activity/read, dinner, family time, bed. After school and during homework time, the house is quiet. The quieter the house, the better everyone can focus and get their work done.

My goal is to keep media in check through the high school years. This is why I read reports, learn how to use social media networks, and try my best to uphold a family-first lifestyle. I don’t know if we’ll be able to pull it off, but the more bonds we forge now, the better our chances may be.

@LorraineAkemann | Cofounder and Editor | Moms With Apps

Apps for Kids Launch on Apple TV

Apple continues to push forward on new interactive platforms for consumers. Beyond the iPhone and iPad, there is now Apple Watch and Apple TV. Not to be left out, kids app makers are tailoring their content to flourish in these new environments. Remote control is no longer just for changing channels, but for moving elements to complete puzzles, solve math equations, or explore enchanted worlds. Congratulations to the developers who lead this technological innovation with educational and family-friendly inventions. Let’s recap what’s new today, in apps for kids, on Apple TV:

Wee Puzzles by Wee Taps Apps

 

From the App Store description: 50 fun puzzles for toddlers! Keep your kids entertained with a wide variety of drag & drop puzzles. Whether they’re into pirates, dinosaurs, trains, gardening, rockets, submarines or farm animals there will be something for them in Wee Puzzles. [The TV version uses the Apple Remote to drag pieces into position.]

Oh No Fractions! by Curious Hat*

 

From the App Store description: Visually compare, add, subtract, multiply and divide two fractions with a unique and simple interface. [The TV version plays more like a game with a “race against time” option.]

Sago Mini Fairy Tales by Sago Sago

From the App Store description: Explore an enchanted forest with Jinja the cat. Invite Jinja out to play and discover a magical world filled with familiar fairy tale characters. Laugh as you encounter gnomes, dragons and even a frog prince. Make new friends, play dress up and unearth silly surprises. This open-ended play experience is perfect for toddlers and preschoolers.

Do you know of more apps to share for Apple TV? Reach out, and I’ll add them to the list.

*Member of Know What’s Inside, a program committed to best practices in children’s online privacy.

@LorraineAkemann | Cofounder and Editor | Moms With Apps

Do Computers Aid Learning?

This guest post is written by Garry Froehlich of Jellybean Tunes who publishes the weekly App Friday App Report. Garry addresses the latest findings from an international study analyzing the effects of technology in the classroom, and provides commentary about the results. Garry is also a long standing member of the Know What’s Inside program. 

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) released more results from the 2012 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), finding that more use of information and communication technology (ICT – they do love their acronyms) in schools does not improve reading or math scores on the PISA test for 15 year olds. The actual report runs 204 pages and has a lot of information, which the media is already spinning, but what are the actual results? From the report itself:

“Overall, the evidence from PISA, as well as from more rigorously designed evaluations, suggests that solely increasing access to computers for students, at home or at school, is unlikely to result in significant improvements in education outcomes.”

In many ways, “Do computers aid learning?” is the wrong question to ask. Technology is a tool like any other, so we shouldn’t expect that more computers equals better grades. The more important question is how to make effective use of the tools (technology) we have.

“The report leaves many questions unanswered. The impact of technology on education delivery remains sub-optimal, because we may overestimate the digital skills of both teachers and students, because of naïve policy design and implementation strategies, because of a poor understanding of pedagogy, or because of the generally poor quality of educational software and courseware. In fact, how many children would choose to play a computer game of the same quality as the software that finds its way into many classrooms around the world? Results suggest that the connections among students, computers and learning are neither simple nor hard-wired; and the real contributions ICT can make to teaching and learning have yet to be fully realised and exploited.”

“Last but not least, it is vital that teachers become active agents for change, not just in implementing technological innovations, but in designing them too.”

The OECD concludes that a new approach is needed for the use of technology in schools.

Fortunately, these results are from 2012 and the changes are already happening. Teachers, companies, developers, and parents are all involved in the creation of new models and new ideas. Technology (or any new tool) is best used when it allows us to do things that were difficult or impossible to do before. They require us to take a step back and see what we are trying to accomplish, and then to decide how, or even if, to use the tools at our disposal (see also the SAMR Model ).

With computers, and especially mobile computers like phones and tablets, the benefits are going to come from the ability to easily communicate and collaborate, access information, monitor and provide feedback, and interact with problems in new ways. Ideas like the Global Read Aloud Project, collaboration and creation of a digital book with different grade levels and classes in different parts of the country, giving kids access to iPads to monitor and improve their reading, interacting with the forces that shape the earth, continually updated textbooks, learning math skills through games with immediate personalized feedback, and of course the numerous apps we feature every week are all enabled or improved in the right ways by technology.

It’s an exciting time.

@GarryFroehlich

What Taylor Swift Taught Me (And My Tweens) About Social Media


What Taylor Swift Taught Me (And My Tweens)

If you’re a mom of tween girls (or not), chances are you’ve witnessed the growing popularity of Taylor Swift. Born in 1989, 25 year old Taylor is captivating us on her latest world tour. When our family learned that her concert itinerary included the Bay Area, we promptly joined 100,000 local fans to get tickets for the August show at Levi’s Stadium. Although I cringe while thinking of the ticket prices, the live performance is still with me, and swiftly feeling priceless.

Nestled high in the nosebleeds, we experienced a Taylor who was larger than life even though in reality she was just a glittery speck on stage. She sang strong, danced flawlessly, and spoke graciously for two full hours of chart topping entertainment.

But what’s best about the concert is the feeling that the show never ended. Taylor’s persona is accessible online, and she seems to understand our society’s ubiquitous connectivity. At one point during the performance, she credited Silicon Valley and the local technology industry for making tools that help her connect with fans. She shares moments and interacts virtually, just like everyone else.

Except, she’s not like everyone else.

Contrary to the fans around me who were paying more attention to their image at the concert than the actual concert, Taylor had no trouble making the most out of every real life moment. The next day I started following Taylor Swift on Instagram to see if she posted any highlights of the evening, and have since become analytically curious about how she balances the details of her life over social media.

With a twelve year old in the house, I want to be aware of how people are portraying themselves online. Soon, my daughter may want her own Instagram account. She hasn’t requested it yet, but given many of her classmates are heading in that direction, no doubt we’ll be facing her own account creation sometime during middle school. Who will she follow? What will she post? What examples are appropriate for her newsfeed?

Following Taylor has helped me identify five characteristics about social media etiquette that I can reference for my tweens when the time is right. Now that I think about it, having my kids join this online journey could turn out to be fun (I hope). Here we go:

Be classy.

When the kids and I were talking about how much we enjoyed the concert, we noticed how Taylor Swift seems so cool and classy. For example, unlike Miley Cyrus, there are no pictures on her Instagram feed that I need to censor. There are no butts or innuendos. Instead, there are just photographs and videos of a Rock Star celebrating life, who also happens to have a fun group of friends and a really cute kitty.

Share information.

On Instagram, hyperlinks are not allowed in the text of a single post. The only place a hyperlink will work is on your profile. One day, I noticed how Taylor’s profile changed from www.taylorswift.com to a link for nominees of MTV Video of the Year. This simple update gave me current information about who was nominated for video of the year, cluing me into pop-cultural happenings that I otherwise wouldn’t know about. I found this information useful, because music videos became a conversation starter I could share with my girls.

Appreciate the moment.

Knowing the MTV Video Music Awards were pending, I tuned into Taylor’s Instagram feed again to find out if she won. Nothing showed up on the night of the awards. The next day, there were pictures from the previous night showing good times with her friends. The delay, I hope, was due to Taylor’s choice to live in the moment, focusing on her real life experience, and not on her social media stream. Juxtapose this to the Miley Cyrus Instagram feed, and you will see who was enjoying the moment, and who was exploiting the moment.

Lead with kindness toward others.

Scrolling through Taylor’s posts, it was really nice to see her celebration of special guests throughout the tour. She highlights others. She invites others. She emphasizes that the applause needs to be louder for her guests than it is for herself. Be kind and thoughtful to others. My girls, if you are reading this, let’s always keep this in mind.

Don’t be afraid to be authentic.

I think part of what has fascinated me about Tayor’s very unsmall social media following, is that she shares glimpses of her inner circles. While it’s possible a crew of marketing professionals is staging these glimpses, it’s also possible that Taylor herself constructs and authorizes every post. Whatever the case, it comes off as authentic…right down to the handmade knitted sweater.

So sure, I’m a 43 year-old mom who has fallen for Taylor Swift, quite possibly even more than my tweens. But in a world full of bad examples and destructive life choices, wouldn’t any mom be thankful that such a hugely popular icon holds true to setting a decent example? I believe that answer is yes.

Rock on, Taylor.

@LorraineAkemann

Visiting Technology on the Road

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There is no denying that we all love to use technology, but what about visiting technology? Since you are already on the road, why not make a few detours and stop to see some of this cool (and hilarious!) technology. Many of the innovations at these locations were a step towards the technology you use on your mobile device every day.

The Museum of Jurassic Technology
9341 Venice Boulevard, Culver City, CA 90232
http://mjt.org

This museum has interesting exhibits on the very first science techniques and technological developments.  It’s a great way to introduce kids to the history of technology, and frankly, a great place for the whole family to laugh at some of the silly but important inventions.

Johnson County Museum, The 1950s All-Electric House
6305 Lackman Road, Shawnee, Kansas 66217
http://www.jocomuseum.org/visit.shtml

In some ways, it’s hard to think of as technology, but when this house was first built, it was considered futuristic and full of innovative technology.  Take for example, the sewing machine table with a cover for the machine. There is also a “hidden TV,” (I won’t spoil the surprise-see if your kids can spot it!) and a top-of-the-line fridge.

Historic Microsoft Headquarters
199 California Street, NE, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87108
http://www.roadsideamerica.com/tip/13927

This is where Microsoft began.  Your kids won’t believe that the early versions of the devices that are a huge part of their lives today were created in this (frankly) boring building.  The new Microsoft offices may be significantly cooler, but it is pretty awesome to get to see where it all began.

The Early Television Foundation and Museum
5396 Franklin Street, Hilliard, Ohio 43026
http://www.earlytelevision.org

Flat screen TVs are nowhere to be found in this museum, but every vintage model of a TV you could imagine is here.  This is a great opportunity to teach your kids about Looney Tunes and the fact they look way cooler with a gritty screen.  Don’t forget to mention that when you have to turn a dial by hand to find channels, finding the right channel was pretty gratifying and totally deserved an ice cream reward.

U.S. Space and Rocket Center
One Tranquility Base, Huntsville, Alabama, 35805
http://rocketcenter.com

Rockets and NASA make this stop self-explanatory, but just in case you need an extra push, not only do you get to look at the rockets, but you get to go inside one! Also, four words: test a space suit.

Dungeons and Dragons Park
31 Homewood Drive, Carbondale, Illinois 62902
http://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/18783

I know what you are thinking: what does this have to do with technology? You’re right, it has nothing to do with technology.  But many of us interested in technology also have a little nerd in us. This is a really cool place for nerds like us. It is safe to assume that a lot of the apps we love were in some way inspired by this truly excellent nerdtastic game.

Sara & Alexandra @actonline

Road Trip Tips: Use The Apps Already On Your Device

Your device already has great features for road trips. Try them!

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The great thing about devices today is that they come pre-loaded with great apps. While you are on the road, consider encouraging your kids to use what the device already offers.

Not sure what we mean? Case in point: the device’s camera and note-taking features.

Encouraging your kids to keep a diary of your road trip is a great way to keep them engaged. It is also a good conversation starter to find out what they thought was most exciting and particularly fun.

Combining the use of your device’s camera and note-taking tool allows your kid to be creative and to learn more about writing. One way we’ve done this is by encouraging the kids to take three pictures a day: One of themselves, one from their place in the car, and one at a stop we make.

Older kids can be encouraged to write about why they took each picture in the notes app (or you can make notes for smaller ones). When you get home, you and your kids can go through and either make a scrapbook yourself, or use an app that allows you to design and print a scrapbook.

When you hand the kids a device, you are giving them a tool with which they can create a memento of your trip easily and creatively.

Encouraging your kids to record your trip will keep them excited (especially after hour five on I-90) and will help them to stay involved in the entire process, including picking out stops. You will be amazed at what they’ll want to record and see!

Sara & Alexandra @actonline

Road Tripping with Kids? Find the Perfect Kinds of Apps for the Trip!

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In honor of all things summer, Moms With Apps is happy to bring you tips on including technology in your family summer road trips.  Road trips are a fun, time-honored summer vacation pastime for families. They can, however, also bring challenges.  To make life easier for you and more fun for the kids, we found some road travel facts, some great app download ideas, interesting ways to use your device, and some fun stops you can make that use technology in cool ways. We’ll feature these throughout the week on our Twitter feed and on our Facebook page.

To start the week off, we have pored over the different categories of apps and have identified a few types that are perfect for road trips.  These apps will keep your kids learning, busy, and mess-free!

Type 1: Apps About Maps

You may be driving through cities or states that are brand new to your kids.  Map apps are a great way for kids to learn about where you are driving, and how each state fits into the whole U.S. of A! The map can also answer the question “Are we there yet?” with a precise answer. Map apps that combine U.S. geography and games are our favorite.

Type 2: Art Apps

Sure, giving kids paper and crayons can be easy and mostly mess-free. But instead, why not give your kids an app that allows them to create anything they want? Many creative apps make it easy for kids to find inspiration, especially when the app has some suggested ideas or templates. These apps also allow their drawings to stay in one place until you get home. With an art app, you don’t have to worry about running out of crayons or coloring pages. And best of all, you won’t find crayons wedged into strange places in your car!

Type 3: Storybook Apps

These apps are a great option for a number of reasons. First, you can load up one device with lots of books, making travel lighter for everybody. Your child can pick up a storybook app and read along with the narrator while animations show what is happening in the book. Also, if you are the driver and your child needs help reading, there are a lot of book apps that have guides.  Your child can read aloud to you, and when they struggle over a word, the app itself can help them figure it out, keeping your eyes on the road. Finally, many storybook apps are interactive and keep kids interested for longer periods.  Encouraging kids to read more is always a good thing.

Type 4: Photo Apps

With these fun apps, your kids can snap photos of what is outside the window, what the back of your head looks like, and that great shot of sister drooling!

Type 5: Video Apps

These apps are especially great for kids who have trouble focusing on one movie for a long time.  These curated apps have kid-friendly videos that are mostly 30 minutes or less and give your child endless entertainment while keeping their privacy, and your wallet, safe within the app.

Type 6: Games (For everyone)

Part of being on a road trip is family togetherness.  Many apps encourage the whole family to participate, keeping everybody entertained.  Word games, trivia games, and question games are our favorites!

Sara & Alexandra @actonline