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Nanny apps for tiny tots

October 28, 2013 15:52 IST

Nanny apps for tiny tots

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Priyanka Joshi in New Delhi

Parenting is tough but choosing the right apps for your toddler or school-going child can prove problematic, too.

Keeping the smartphone or tablet PC well-stocked with apps can help parents stay on top of a busy schedule, handle homework, and keep everyone entertained.

There are many apps that can help organise your routine and entertain toddlers, while teaching a thing or two; there are apps that can track your children when you are not around.

Here’s our pick of the latest apps for smartphones and tablets that should help parents keep sane and children happy.

Click NEXT to read further. . .


Image: A child takes pictures with a mobile phone as Pope Francis leads the Angelus prayer from a window of the Apostolic Palace in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican.
Photographs: Max Rossi/Reuters
Tags: Nanny

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Nanny apps for tiny tots

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Apps for parents

Cozi Family Organizer: Calendar and Lists -- Free on web, Android, BlackBerry & iOS 

There are many calendar-scheduling apps across app stores but we found Cozi Family Organizer the most intuitive organiser across devices, with features like a centralised calendar, shopping lists, to-do lists, individual and common appointments viewing option, delegate-tasks facility, and even a journal where a whole family can share and record its special moments.

We liked that members of a family could pick a colour so an activity linked to a person could be colour-coded.

Since this app can work across platforms, you can run it on an iPhone/iPad while your partner can log in from a BlackBerry and kids can access the calendar from the web app.

Click NEXT to read further. . .


Image: Kunal, a four-year-old Indian boy, looks at dolls at an exhibition in Kolkata.
Photographs: Sucheta Das/Reuters

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Nanny apps for tiny tots

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Positive Discipline -- Rs 170 for iOS, $2.99 for Android

If you're looking for alternatives to punishment for your children, Positive Discipline is worth a download.

It has 52 cards based on the principles discussed in the book Positive Discipline by Jane Nelsen.

The cards remind you what parents can do to calmly, yet firmly, assert themselves and connect with children.

The app suggests alternatives to punishment that teach children social and life skills such as self-discipline, responsibility, cooperation and problem-solving.

There are tips on how to decode your child’s behaviour, and ideas for stopping arguments among kids before those escalate.

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Image: A model poses with the new Samsung smartphone during its launch ceremony.
Photographs: Truth Leem/Reuters

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Nanny apps for tiny tots

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BabyGrow: Growth charts for little human beings -- Rs 350 for iOS

BabyGrow is a medical app that allows parents to track the baby’s progress on the growth charts (once baby’s length, weight and head circumference are entered) approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and World Health Organization.

A recent update now enables the app to track older children (via in-app purchase).

Charts can be personalised with custom symbols and colours (different for each child).

Net Nanny -- Rs 270 for iOS, free for Android (free trial of 15 days; annual subscription costs $19.99)

The popular parental control browser for desktops, Net Nanny, is now available as an app for Android and iOS devices.

It filters inappropriate content like violence, adult imagery, bad language and keeps kids safe from online predators and cyber bullying.

It can also monitor social networking services and notify parents of suspicious activities.

It lets parents remotely view, block, or uninstall apps and blocks in-app purchases.

To uninstall it, one has to give proof of an administrator.

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Photographs: Dipak Chakraborty

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Nanny apps for tiny tots

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Apps for toddlers, kids and tweens

BrainPOP featured movie -- Free for Android and iOS

BrainPOP Featured Movie by BrainPOP is an app that features a different movie every day, followed by a quiz to test what kids have learned.

Animated documentary could be on just about any topic: Mars, dogs, asthma and blogs. The app is for older school kids (8+).

We liked that quizzes tested kids not only on the content they saw but also on vocabulary and reasoning.

After the quiz, kids view a personal statistics page, which includes the date of test, topic name, name of student, and best score (percentage).

DragonBox Algebra 5+ -- Rs 350 for iOS; $5.99 for Android

DragonBox has been designed by a maths teacher and a cognitive scientist.

The algebraic concepts are dressed as a game.

As one plays the levels, numbers, letters, and mathematical symbols appear progressively as puzzles, where a combination of cards balances the equations.

Once the higher levels are unlocked, various dragons grow and players are awarded with stars for solving and simplifying equations, using the fewest possible moves.

Click NEXT to read further. . .


Image: A girl surfing Internet in a class.
Photographs: Enrique Castro-Mendivil/Reuters

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Mini-U: Zoo alphabet -- Rs 55 for iOS

There are many free and paid animal-alphabet apps.

But Mini-U stands out with its illustrations.

The app has learning and quiz mode.

In the learning mode, you can move sequentially from A to Z or jump to any letter where it is presented with an animal whose name begins with that letter.

In quiz mode, the app shows a randomly selected animal, and asks you to identify the first letter in that animal's name.

Grammaropolis -- All levels Rs 690 on iOS, free for Android

Grammaropolis makes grammar fun for kids.

It has songs, videos, books, and quizzes on the eight parts of speech.

The free version has just nouns, but parents can purchase other parts of speech via in-app purchases.

It uses the parts of speech as animated characters whose personalities are based on the roles they play in the sentence.

Characters such as the matronly conjunction that wants mutual coordination among characters; Nelson the noun, good at his job of naming people, places, things and ideas; and a shady pronoun who wants to replace the noun make Grammaropolis fun.

Developed by a teacher, it makes grammar approachable.




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