Tag Archives: My PlayHome

23rd February 2015

6 x Apps I Use Nearly Every Day

OK, I admit it. I’m totally addicted to my iPhone. I feel naked when it’s not within my grasp – and whilst the boys aren’t allowed to play with it for long periods, they do enjoy kiddie-friendly apps when they are allowed.

These six apps are probably my favourite – they are the ones I use most days and find very useful. Plus, there’s a couple thrown in for the kids too, which I love as much as they do.

I’d love this post to be a place where you can suggest your favourites too – as everyone loves a recommendation and my iPhone could do with some fresh blood. So please do comment below (or on Facebook or Twitter) with your favourites!

photo.PNG1 – Pocket, Free (iTunes and Google Play)

This app is genius. Do you find yourself scrolling through Facebook and getting distracted by the links to web posts you want to read? Download Pocket and you can send those links to the app in a second, saving them to read when you have more time (like when the kids are in bed or you are on your lunch break at work). The really clever bit, however, is that the links are fully downloaded when you send them across, meaning you can scroll through your list and read the posts when you don’t even have an internet connection.

2 – Project 365, Free (iTunes)

I blogged about this app back in January here. The idea is that you take one picture every day as a visual diary and upload it to the app on your phone. You also get a password-protected page online to upload your photos to protect them (in case you lose your phone or a toddler throws it down the toilet). I have been taking photos for over two years now and absolutely love looking back at how the boys have changed and what we were doing at the same time in previous years. I really recommend it.

3 – Art Kive, £2.99 (iTunes)

Here’s another app I have blogged about before here. ArtKive is an app that allows you to photograph your child’s artwork, upload it into albums, label it with their age or school year, and keep it filed away forever. There is also the option to create photo books of the artwork, so you can document it in physical form too. And yes, I know that you could just take photos on your iPhone – and if you can then be bothered to create folders manually for each child and remember to keep uploading, you can save yourself £2.99. But I really can’t be bothered to do that. So, in my humble opinion, this app is really brilliant.

4 – Nighty Night, £2.49 (iTunes and Google Play)

This app is for children and it’s quite simply a work of art. Designed for children between 1 and 4 to play when winding down before bed, children can click through a farmhouse with different animals in every room. They turn off the light for each animal and watch them settle down for bed. The graphics are really beautiful and the soundtrack very serene – it’s definitely worth paying £2.49 for.

5 – The Wonder Weeks, £1.49 (iTunes and Google Play)

You know when your baby is being fussy and unsettled and you think to yourself ‘maybe it’s teething or he’s going down with a cold?’ Well according to this app, it’s very often developmental leaps that cause babies to act like this – and not only that, they can be predicted as it’s all linked to their age. So you can log onto this app, check whether baby is going through a leap, and feel better equipped to deal with it. There’s even helpful tips for getting baby through the leap happily. I still log on very regularly for Wilfred – he still has two leaps to go before his ‘Wonder Weeks’ journey comes to an end.

6 – My PlayHome, £2.49 (iTunes and Google Play)

I like this app for children a lot. It’s essentially a huge, interactive playhouse where a touch of the screen can fry an egg, close curtains, switch on a washing machine, get the family dressed, put the baby to bed, and much more. I like the fact it encourages children to be imaginative through play. Be warned though, once Stanley left an alarm clock on in the app and threw the phone down on the sofa. It took me a long time to work out where that alarm was coming from…

Check the Best Kids Binoculars Reviewed at TheGearHunt

14th June 2014

5 Of The Best Apps for Toddlers

I had a summer recipe planned for today, but right on cue, the sun has disappeared. So I’ve decided to do a round-up of the apps that kept Stanley occupied on our flight over instead.

I have to be honest; I don’t mind an overcast day. After such a long stint over in Dubai, it’s amazing to feel the sensation of cold on my skin when I step outside. It’s also a big relief to spend time putting the kids in and out the car – I had got it down to a rapid two minute routine to avoid leaving them in the 37’C of our carpark, but I felt like I’d swum 10 laps in the pool when I climbed back inside the car at breakneck speed.

Anyway, back to the point. We don’t let Stanley play on the iPad much at home, but save it for occasions when we really need it (although admittedly he did get to play quite a lot when I was feeding Wilfred during the very early newborn days – and it was a godsend for that). I feel Stanley has learnt a lot from the apps he plays – mainly alphabet, phonics, or related to stories we read at home. It’s definitely taught him things and improved his speech – and in a world where he will be surrounded by technology his entire life, I think it can only be a good thing to introduce it in moderation. When we travel, the iPad really does make life easier – and the below apps are the ones that kept him very happy on our 7-hour flight on Wednesday. If you are travelling soon, make sure you download!

1 – My PlayHome – £2.49


This was recommended to me just before we flew and I was very happy I took her advice and downloaded it! It’s a huge interactive playhouse where a touch of the screen can fry an egg, close curtains, switch on a washing machine, get the family dressed, put the baby to bed, and much, much more. Stanley was transfixed and found new things every time he played it.

2 – CBeebies Playtime – Free


This has to be the best free app available for toddlers. We don’t even watch CBeebies as it isn’t available in Dubai, but that didn’t affect Stanley’s enjoyment. He loves the dinosaur section where you adopt a dinosaur, change its colour, and make it move around. He also loved the painting and drawing section, especially the bit where they can pop bubbles over a canvas to splatter paint

3 – Nighty Night – £1.99


This app is so beautifully done and has to be my favourite app. Perfect for introducing before nap or bedtime, the child has to switch off the light for each animal before they fall asleep. I love the graphics and think the whole thing is very calming.

4 – Tally Tots Counting – £1.99


This has been Stanley’s favourite since we downloaded it before our last set of flights back to the UK. It’s all about counting – and with each number, there are challenges (such as hatching eggs with a dab of the finger or picking apples with a swipe across the screen). It has really helped with his counting and he obviously loves the challenges too.

5 – The Hungry Caterpillar & Friends – £2.49


This app makes one our favourite books interactive! The app is beautifully designed, in the form of a pop-up copy of The Hungry Caterpillar where the characters come to life. You can read the story or play different games.

Let me know what you think if you download!